- The Vicarage
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An analysis of the principal features of St Edmund’s Church, Hauxton, with an evaluative outline of its architectural development and any repairs or interventions in the fabric, and explanation of where work is typical of its period and where not.
(i) Construction Materials
(ii) History and Architecture
(iii) Chancel Arch
(v) Interior Decoration
1: English Heritage Listing
2: Geological Map
St Edmund’s is a Grade 1 listed church situated on the edge of Hauxton village, four miles south-west of Cambridge. Worship on this site began in the 10th century, or earlier, initially in a wooden building. Construction of the stone church began in the 12th century following its endowment to the Ely monastery.
Illustration 1: West View
Over centuries, a wealth of literature about churches has been generated. For historical background, I have particularly enjoyed Roy Strong’s Little History of the English Country Church; for local context, Norman Pounds, Cambridgeshire, History of Church & Parish and a village publication St Edmund’s Church, Hauxton (SECH) have been useful. Two 19th-century antiquarians, CL Bell and AG Hill, also explored St Edmund’s and have provided interesting perspectives. The literature yields many descriptive summaries, including the rambling 1962 English Heritage Listing, Appendix 1. However, my favourite, for conciseness and clarity, is from Cambridgeshire Churches, edited by Carola Hicks 1997):
‘An exemplary example of a Romanesque parish church with an aisleless nave and chancel. The east wall of the chancel is now straight set with two twelfth-century windows, but excavation has proved there was formerly an apse. The massive chancel arch is a striking feature: it has two roll-mouldings and is supported on two big semi-circular shafts with plain block or cushion capitals (as at Ickleton). There is evidence of a twelfth-century window in the south wall. In the nave there is a plain north doorway and a more distinguished south door with one border of colonnettes, roll moulding and chip-carved lintel.’
One of the oldest in the county, the church is relatively humble having retained much original, Norman architecture but it has a rich history and many interesting features.
(i) Construction Materials
‘Churches of South Cambridgeshire were built of fieldstone, flint from the local boulder clay or river gravels, with only a sparing use of limestone’ (Pounds, 2004). This describes perfectly St Edmund’s which is constructed of ‘pebble, flint, clunch rubble and freestone dressings’ (Pevsner, 1970).
Cambridge’s geology, Appendix 2, is mainly cretaceous limestone, overlain by alluvial clay; it yields soft, white chalk and grey clunch neither of which is good for masonry. High-quality building stone is available to the northwest but, as transport in the middle-ages was expensive, either by ox-drawn cart or horse-drawn barge, it was used sparingly in humble buildings. It is, therefore, no coincidence that many stone buildings were located, as is St Edmund’s, close to navigable waterways. Pounds suggests that only 20% of material in South Cambridgeshire churches is freestone; it would normally be used, as in Hauxton, to provide structural strength e.g. quoins, shafts, tracery and buttresses.
Pevsner (1970) identifies the stone as Barnack, a high-quality, Jurassic limestone quarried near Peterborough. It was very popular in Cambridgeshire until supply was exhausted in the mid-15th century, coinciding with the end of Hauxton’s main building period. Pounds also points out that, even for the experienced eye, precise identification of stone subjected to centuries of weathering can be difficult. However, the characteristics of the stone quoins of St Edmund’s are unmistakable as Barnack, course-textured, with fine, rounded grains of oolites and small, fossilised shells.
Illustration 2: Barnack Quoin
Medieval builders used materials closest to hand. In Hauxton, the most readily available stone was clunch, which could be excavated just north of the village as shown in 19th-century maps.
Illustration 3 – Local Materials
Clunch is soft and weathers badly but as its texture is even and carves well, it was often used for interior features. There are examples at Ely Cathedral and it was used in the 13th-century side altars at St Edmund’s (Listing, 1962).
Illustration 4: Clunch Details
For rubblestone walls, stones were also commonly gathered from surrounding fields. Around Hauxton, fieldstones included flints - hard, sedimentary quartz (chert) nodules commonly found in chalk. Diverse in colour and texture, some are jagged -taken directly from the layer in which they were formed; others are rounded, from tumbling in glacial streams. Glacial melt also carried random stones from other areas, depositing them in alluvial clay and gravel. While flint is fairly common in Cambridgeshire, it is more prolific elsewhere in East Anglia where it is often shaped, ‘knapped’, and used to face entire walls as in the 11th-century tower at Beachamwell, Norfolk.
Illustration 5: Beachamwell, Flushwork Tower
Beachamwell’s decorated exterior contrasts with that of the more random St Edmund’s -‘rubble of all kinds thrown together and bonded with an excessive use of mortar of indifferent quality’ (Pounds, 2004). Although there has been repair and rebuilding over the centuries, it is reasonable to assume that wall materials are original: it was ‘common practice in Cambridgeshire to recover and reuse as much material as possible’ (Pounds, 2004).
Illustration 6: Restored, Rubblestone Wall
Cambridgeshire’s geology may not provide good building stone but it does yield other essential building materials: limestone, clay and gravel for manufacturing mortar, render and limewash, Illustration 3. Gravel was extracted from pits opposite the church until their conversion to a nature reserve in the 20th century and, although not abundant, wood was also available for burning.
Typically, interior walls of medieval churches were rendered and limewashed. These materials, in the damp English climate, are particularly subject to ‘deterioration, cracking and peeling with growth of algae’ and finishes had to be regularly reapplied (Pounds, 2004). They were still customary when 19th-century restoration work was carried out. On removal of the rough-cast plaster, the architect reported: ‘the pebble wall on the inside was so good that I was very desirous not to replaster it, but it was thought that the church would not look sufficiently comfortable for the rustics of Hauxton if it were left so’. (HITP, 1993). His observation reflected emerging preferences for natural stone finishes; no fresh limewash was applied to the ‘made good’ external walls nor to the newly-rendered chancel wall. Whitewash is, however, still clearly evident on one area of the North nave, Illustration 11, presumably a consequence of either poor removal or re-application.
Illustration 7: SE View, Natural Exterior
Interestingly, Bell’s 19th-century sketch shows no rendering, indicating that he visited before completion of the 1862 restoration work.
Illustration 8: Bell’s Sketch
During the 19th and 20th centuries, development of new materials proved to be detrimental to preservation of many ancient buildings. Some, such as hybrid mortar mixes (lime mortars gauged with hydraulic lime) were incompatible with traditional materials which allowed buildings to breathe, by naturally releasing moisture rather than locking it in. This eventually caused causing problems with damp and accelerated weathering. Following the most recent work, carried out over 20 years ago, the fabric of St Edmund’s seems sound and there are no signs of dampness.
(ii) History and Architecture
Archaeological evidence indicates that Hauxton’s first stone church, begun around 1109 (SECH, 1994), was in the form of the basilica comprising a simple, east-west orientated building of rectangular nave for the congregation and smaller, semi-circular apse/chancel for the altar. This plan, familiar to 6thcentury Augustins who spread Christianity in England, was typical of many early churches. Another Cambridgeshire example was St Giles' Church which was founded around 1092 and served by Augustinian monks. A rather poor sketch by 18th-century antiquarian William Cole depicts a building very similar to St Edmund’s before the tower was added.
Illustration 9: Early, Two-cell Church
Despite subsequent development, discussed below, the essential plan of St Edmund’s remains the same today; there has been no major expansion, addition of aisles, clerestories, or surviving chapels. In keeping with its church, Hauxton village is relatively small and unassuming with few opulent buildings. As a resident of over 90-years recently told me ‘there’s never been wealth in this village’. Pounds explains why this is important to the development of church building: ‘size and magnificence of a church was more often a measure of the disposable wealth of a community, and of its desire to impress others, than of the physical needs of its parishioners’. Generally, Hauxton’s neighbouring villages were better-endowed with benefactions from local patrons, as reflected in their churches which are more developed than St Edmund’s, Table 1.
Table 1: Neighbouring Church Features
Illustration 10: Neighbouring Churches
These churches were among the thousands erected during the century of ‘Great Rebuilding’ which followed the Norman Conquest. The prevailing Romanesque architectural style, as evident in Hauxton, was remarkably consistent, characterised by round, roll-moulded arches and decorative details. At St Edmund’s, one typical, small, round-headed Norman window ‘of clunch restored’ remains (Listing,1962); the authors of the Cambridgeshire Churches web-site speculate that, as several windows ‘are very narrow, and their rounded heads are carved entirely from a single stone’ they may be reused Saxon work (Colburn & Ynys-Mon, 2009). The South wall window decoration, Illustration 23, is typically Norman, but the plain, North window may be earlier.
Illustration 11: Norman or Saxon Window?
During the 13th century, altars were added and a square-ended chancel replaced the barrel-apse (SECH, 1993), in response to new liturgy in which chancels became the focal point of worship (Strong, 2007). During the 14th to mid-16th centuries, described by Strong as ‘Golden Age’, churches were thriving; communities were synonymous with parishioners who were engaged in the rituals associated with the Catholic faith. A significant proportion of buildings, 30–50%, were remodelled (Strong, 2007) including St Edmund’s where chapels were built out creating a cruciform plan common in medieval churches (Strong, 2007). These changes are illustrated clearly Bell’s 19th-century plan.
Illustration 12: Bell’s Plan
Evidence of the transepts, likely to have been removed in the early 16th century’ (SECH, 1994), is provided by clear traces in the stonework (Hicks, 1997).
Illustration 13: Transept Arch Trace
Other, 15th-century, additions include the tower, roof and a rood-screen, whose insertion damaged moulding to the south of the chancel arch, Illustration 17. As Pounds explains ‘enlargement and elaboration of simple two-celled churches was accomplished in stages, distinguishable by their architectural and decorative style’. Work normally took place over years, not least to spread cost, and many churches were only completed shortly before the Reformation (Pounds, 2004). Development of St Edmund’s provides examples of the main medieval architectural styles: Norman (chancel arch), Early English (altar), Decorative (windows) and Perpendicular (tower); by the end of the century, ‘the church building itself was much the same as it is today’ (SECH, 1994).
Following the ‘Golden Age’, particularly during the Reformation, Civil War, Commonwealth and Restoration, parishes experienced ‘turbulent times’, periods of ‘prolonged neglect’ (Strong, 2007) following which, according to contemporary inspection reports, most churches were ‘dilapidated’ with ‘extensive defects’ – Hauxton, in particular, was ‘dismally nasty’ (Pounds, 2004). Subjected to uncertainties caused by erratic religious direction from high Catholicism to stark puritanism, church guardians had to divert resources away from maintenance to making interior alterations. There was to be no further extension at St Edmund’s until the 20th century when a modest, but well-designed, vestry was constructed over the North door.
Illustration 14: 1930s Vestry
(iii) Chancel Arch
Considered to be the ‘best Norman piece of the church’ by Pevsner, the arch is described as ‘fine’ in the Listing and ‘remarkably grand for its age and the small size of the church’ (Colburn & Ynys-Mon, 2009), even Hill acknowledges it to have ‘good character’ (1880).
Illustration 15: Chancel Arch
While there is unanimity that this is an example of the highest standards achieved by Norman craftsmen, historians remain unclear as to how construction knowledge and practical skills were disseminated in the middle-ages (Strong, 2007). Pounds suggests that, ‘local emulation often produced common styles and motifs in the design and decoration of parish churches’ (2004). A frequently-cited example of carving likely to have been the work of one itinerant mason, is the arch whose ‘cushion capitals and square abacus’ bear a striking resemblance to those at nearby Ickleton (Pevsner, 1970).
Illustration 16: Capitals
During the 13th-century damage was caused, still visible today, when mouldings were cut away for the installation of altars (SECH, 1994).
Illustration 17: Damaged Arch
Another possible example of carving by an intinerant mason is the 12th-century South doorway, which is similar to that of Stourbridge Chapel in Cambridge (Hicks, 1997). Both are good examples of Romanesque carving with round-headed, roll-moulded arches. By contrast, the less-used St Edmund’s North door, now covered by a vestry, is quite plain.
Illustration 18: Doorway Comparison
(v) Interior Decoration
Medieval interiors were richly decorated with frescoes and statuary as still seen in Catholic churches in Europe today. A 13th-century fresco of Thomas Becket, described as having ‘matchless‘ quality and grace’ (Hicks, 1997), at the nave’s East end provides evidence that the interior of St Edmund’s was also once painted.
Illustration 19: Surviving Frescos
During the Reformation and Commonwealth periods, church interiors were whitewashed to obliterate ‘popish’ decoration and iconography. ‘Notorious puritan’, William Dowsing, toured Cambridge churches and ‘wrought considerable damage’ in Hauxton as recorded in his diary:
‘March 13, 1643: we destroyed a crucifix, three popish pictures, an inscription in brass, and ordered the steps to be levelled’ (SECH, 1994).
Remarkably, Becket’s fresco survived, probably as a happy consequence of the 13th century ‘medieval fashion that blocked his recess’ when the side-altars, which damaged the chancel wall, were inserted (Hicks, 1997). As new chancel steps were installed during the 19th-century restoration, there is now no evidence of the original floor.
Illustration 20: Chancel Steps
When first constructed, the nave was shorter, ‘reaching not far west of the present north and south doors’ (British History Online). Pounds (2004) suggests that, between 1100 and 1500, one of the first changes made in response to increasing demands for space and decoration would have been to extend a church’s nave. In 1229, St Edmund’s nave was extended westward by one bay with thinner walling (SECH, 1994).
Illustration 21: Nave Extension
As explained above, to avoid the expense of new material, the Norman quoins were reused.
Illustration 22: Recycled Quoins
As in most churches, St Edmund’s nave is larger and more recently developed than the chancel; responsibility for its building and maintenance rested with parishioners, clergy looking after the chancel. During the medieval period, Hauxton’s clergy were also responsible for its dependent chapel at Newton and their resources for maintenance and development must have been stretched.
Chancel additions in the 14th and 15th-centuries were two ‘light’ windows and a three-light, Decorative-style East window, Illustration 26; this was restored from fragments found during 19th-century restorations (SECH, 1994) and described by Hill as ‘of no particular merit’ (1880). Decorative-style windows were also installed in both nave walls. Unusually, the existing, much older Romanesque windows were not replaced; perhaps to avoid more expense.
Illustration 23: Romanesque Windows
New development often obliterated previous architectural features (Pounds 2004); a uniformity of style was preferred as seen in Hauxton’s neighbouring churches, Illustration 10. At St Edmund’s, although adjacent windows compete for space, the mixture of styles was tolerated.
Illustration 24: Restored, Decorated and Norman Styles
A common feature of most medieval churches was a porch, either wooden or stone-built, providing an important location for a multitude of village functions: business, oath-taking, marriages (Strong, 2004). There is scant evidence that St Edmund’s South door once had a porch as would be expected. In 1880, Hill reported, ‘the South doorway once had a porch, traces of which can be seen’. However, I was unable to identify any evidence in the fabric of the building. Bell’s plan, Illustration 12, shows pillar outlines; it is possible that its appearance may have been similar to the porch shown in Cole’s drawing of St Giles, Illustration 9.
During the ‘Golden Age’, St Edmund’s acquired its Perpendicular-style tower; ‘local pride became an important factor in the desire for a tower or a spire’ (Pounds 2007). Evidence of the construction date, 1459, is provided by an inscription, probably made by the master mason, under one of the beams which is, alas, too high for close inspection!
Illustration 25: Perpendicular Arch
Despite the lack of good stone, the square tower, Illustration 1, is well-built with ashlar quoins, buttresses and battlements indicating sufficient funds for transporting materials. In some areas, building round, rubblestone towers avoided the expense of ashlar, as at Beachamwell in Norfolk, Illustration 5. Also conforming to the ‘general rule’ for Cambridge, the tower is constructed on a plinth with three storeys (Pounds, 2004). However, contrary to the assertion by Pounds that spires are generally found only to the West of Cambridgeshire, three of Hauxton’s wealthier neighbours have spires, Illustration 10.
Visiting in the late 19th century, Hill found a boarded and plastered chancel roof; he assumed that removing the plaster would ‘disclose the original roof in tolerable preservation’. (Hill, 1880) It is still covered but the exposed, Perpendicular-style nave roof appears to be original and is, as described by Cole in the 18th century, a ‘very prittie Wood Roofe’ (SECH, 1994). Sources differ as to its date: Hicks suggests 17th-century or later, the Listing cites 15th-century, perhaps constructed when the tower was added; Pevsner simply describes the roof as ‘nice Perp’.
Illustration 26: Chancel and Nave Roofs
The roof was repaired and retiled during the 19th-century restoration work and most recently replaced in the 1990s. It is possible, considering the roof’s steep pitch, that it may originally have been thatched, as at Beachamwell, Illustration 5; certainly, sedge was readily available in the fens. There is, however, no other evidence of thatch at St Edmund’s, or for Cambridge churches in general (Pounds 2004).
When the Anglican church finally achieved some stability in the 18th century, Catholic ritual and supporting benefactions were not restored and church income was considerably reduced (Strong, 2007); church communities were no longer synonymous with village populations and henceforward, the village gentry’s patronage was increasingly crucial to the welfare of church buildings. Plaques commemorating families, often accompanied by benefactions, adorn many church walls. St Edmund’s had never been well-endowed in this regard – when Cole visited in the 18th century, he observed that ‘no arms, &c., nor inscriptions only upon a grey marble in the body of the church’ (Hill, 1880). The possible benefactor’s memorial was ‘unfortunately lost’ by the time of Hill’s research, but two family inscriptions had appeared in the intervening years, still a poor total in comparison to those of neighbouring churches, Table 1.
(xii) Maintenance & Restoration
As soon as they were erected, church buildings demanded constant maintenance and repair: ‘masonry decayed, mortar fell out of the joints, foundations sank and walls were thrown out of alignment’ (Pounds 2004). For a small, relatively impoverished village, this presented a major challenge which was compounded in the 18th century when a non-conformist surge diminished attendance and support for St Edmund’s: ‘In 1783 almost the whole population of Hauxton were dissenters. They had a meeting house, gone by 1807, and prevented the vicar handing out tracts to their children’ (British History On-line). By the early 19th century, St Edmund’s was in ‘a state of disrepair with windows boarded up’ (HITP, 1993). This ‘disrepair’, typical of the state of churches nationally, was recognised by the Cambridge Camden Society, established to promote the importance of the parish church to architectural heritage. In 1843, the Society organised a survey covering Cambridge churches including St Edmund’s; an extract from their report was considered worthy of printing in the local press with the preamble:
‘We think it right … to point out the following instances of abuse, neglect or dilapidation, in some of the churches near Cambridge, with a hope that this notice may lead to their timely correction’.
Illustration 27: Cambridge Chronicle, 17 June 1843
The Society’s objective was achieved and, in 1860, St Edmund’s received funding from ICBS, an organisation established in 1818 to support church building and restoration. The work, directed by local architect William Fawcett, was typical for the period and included the removal of rood loft and screen, floor-relaying, plastering and repairs to windows and walls.
Illustration 28 – Funding Application
The Victorians restored around 7000 churches – striving to achieve an idealised perception of the ‘Golden Age’ church (Strong, 2007). Much restoration was considered crude and unsympathetic, a view which led to the foundation of the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Buildings at the end of the Victorian era. At Hauxton, perhaps the most controversial aspect of the restoration work was the removal of the 16th-century rood loft and screen; otherwise, it was generally well executed and the result is pleasingly simple.
Difficulties associated with maintenance continued into the 20th century as shown by the following account of the rare, but potentially serious, implications of not complying with ancient obligations:
‘In 1916, a County Councillor and Town Councillor, Mr J H Stevens, bought some of the land in Hauxton with an obligation to repair the chancel of the Parish Church. This he refused to do. The Church Wardens took proceedings in the Consistory Court who, in 1928, ordered him to do the repairs. Still he refused to have the necessary work done and finally, in 1929, he was committed to Bedford gaol’ (HITP, 1993).
Today’s churches are inspected every five years to identify problems and establish repair priorities. A 1990s quinquennial inspection of St Edmund’s identified the need for ‘massive repair work’ and, as in ‘times past’, parishioners led the fund-raising. Work included roof retiling and releading, wall and stonework repairs and interior restoration. Unconventionally, interior walls were not decorated with frescos, as when the church was built, nor finished in the conventional, puritanical white but were painted a cheerful yellow!
For centuries, village churches, such as Hauxton’s, were the only buildings large enough to accommodate gatherings of the entire community. Strong describes them as, ‘truly democratic buildings, the meeting place of ordinary people through the ages’. Although, as common elsewhere, parishioners are fewer in number than in previous centuries, Hauxton’s population is about to expand considerably with the construction of a major housing development. An increase in parishioners may follow, bringing fresh ideas; perhaps, as Strong suggests, ‘adaptation’ of the church may supercede ‘preservation’.
At the time of its construction, the church was located at the very heart of a village whose roots can be traced to the Romans; as a consequence of centuries of village development, it is now fairly isolated. It is appropriate that 21st-century expansion is on the site of buildings demolished to make way for a factory complex; St Edmund’s position at the very heart of the village will be re-established.
Illustration 29: Village Sign
Anon., St Edmund’s Church, Hauxton Pamphlet, 1994 Illustrated Ted Hodgson
Bell, Charles Lingard, 2013. Antiquities of Cambridgeshire, Volume 1 – The Thriplow Hundred. M J and V Cowham, Cambridge
Brown, J, 2011. 750 Years of Life in an English Village. Amberley Publishing
Darby, H C, 1974. The Medieval Fenland. David and Charles, Newton Abbot
Elliott, A and Jordan, I, 1993. Hauxton In Times Past (HITP). Authors
Hicks, C (Ed), 1997. Cambridgeshire Churces. The Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust
Hill, A G, 1880. Architectural and Historical Notices of the Churches of Cambridgeshire. Author & Subscribers
Pevsner, N, Second Edition 1970. The Buildings of England, Cambridgeshire. Yale University Press
Pounds, N J G, 2004. Cambridgeshire, A History of Church & Parish. The Oleander Press
Strong, Roy, 2007. A Little History of the English Country Church, Jonathan Cape
Village Church Web-site -http://www.harstonhauxtonnewton.org.uk/hauxton.htm
British History On-line -http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=66755
Cambridgeshire Churches -2009 Ben Colburn & Mark Ynys-Mon
The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain & Ireland (CRSBI) -http://www.crsbi.ac.uk/
The Incorporated Church Building Society
Scotland Churches Trust -http://www.scotlandschurchestrust.org.uk/
CAMBRIDGESHIRE [Transcribed and edited information mainly from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland -1868] http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/CAM/Cambridgeshire/CambridgeshireHistory.html
Cambridgeshire Collection Archive:
Cambridge Chronical, 1843
English Heritage Listing: http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/resultsingle.aspx?uid=1164672
List Entry Summary
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990
as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
Name: CHURCH OF ST EDMUND
List Entry Number: 1164672
CHURCH OF ST EDMUND, CHURCH ROAD
The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: South Cambridgeshire
District Type: District Authority
National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.
Date first listed: 31-Aug-1962
Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.
Legacy System Information
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System: LBS
This List entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.
List Entry Description
Summary of Building
Legacy Record -This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Reasons for Designation
Legacy Record -This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
Legacy Record -This information may be included in the List Entry Details.
TL 4352 HAUXTON CHURCH ROAD, 15/140 Church of St. Edmund, 31.8.62
Line: 1 Parish church mainly early C12 with C15 addition and alterations. Pebble, flint, clunch rubble and freestone dressings with steeply pitched plain tile roofs. Plan of West Tower, nave and chancel. West Tower, C15 on plinth with embattled parapet and three-stage diagonal buttressing with newel staircase in North West corner. West window of three cinquefoil lights with vertical tracery in two-centred head. Small single light window to first stage and two-centred arches to bell chamber openings. Nave, c.1120 and originally with North and South transepts, now blocked. Each corner of the nave has an enlarged angle shaft of Barnack limestone.
9 The South doorway is also c.1120 in a round headed and roll moulded arch. The attached columns have moulded bases and cushion capitals. Frieze of chip carving, to the lintel over the doorway. One small round headed window with similar ornament to the head and later windows of clunch restored. The chancel has been rendered, but similar materials visible. There are two restored C15 window with low sides in the south wall and one c.1120 round headed windows of one light to North and South walls. C15 East wall replacing the apsed sanctuary of the original church. The North wall of the nave has a C13 lancet with a restored pointed head. Interior:
17 The tower arch, late C14, of two wave moulded arches, the inner on enlarged shafts with half octagonal capitals and moulded early C12 nave has two opposing windows on each side wall. The two at the East end have deep splays and round headed rear arches, of early C12. At the West end, the window on the North side is a restored C13 lancet and on the south side an enlarged window opening probably of C14. There are opposing North and South doorways of the early C12.
23 The six bay nave roof is C15 and of upper crown post construction. The crown post is carried on a collar between the principal rafters and has bracing to the collar purlin only. There are ashlar pieces and arch bracing to the principal rafters and collars. The collars are embattled and moulded and have rosette bosses to the soffits. In the C14 transepts were added but these have now been removed and the openings blocked. Part of the two centred arches remain. The fine chancel arch is early C12, round headed with two roll moulded arches on the west side. The responds each have two semi-circular shafts with holdwater bases, cushion capitals and square abacus. The East side has a single order of roll moulding.
32 One the North side of the chancel arch is an early C13 side altar of clunch. Hollow and roll moulded orders in two centred arch on corbels. On South side, another side altar in an unmoulded two centred arch. The recess is painted with a figure of St Thomas Becket and the reveals with scrolls. The chancel is also early C12 and was originally apsed. North and South walls have opposing early C12 windows and there is later fenestration in the South wall, The font is late C12. Tapering octagonal bowl on octagonal base and stem and four subsidiary columns. There are ten C16 pews in the nave and a good C15 pulpit. Hexagonal on original stem and base. The panels are carved with blind tracery at the heads.
R.C.H.M.: record card
Pevsner: Buildings of England p. 405
V.C.H. (Cambs) 001 VIII p. 194
Listing NGR: TL4359652172
Appendix 2: Geological Map