Category Archives: Cambridgeshire

Tydd St Giles Cambridgeshire

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The separate Bell Tower of St Giles originally was part of the main building but it tumbled to the ground in the 18th century.

There has been two reasons given for this catastrophe, the first being that of strong winds combined with poor foundations. The second explanation which has such a gothic charm it makes you wish that it was true.

It is said that the peel and clammer of the bells so irritated Lucifer himself that he toppled the tower to the ground.

All credit must be given to Sir Gilbert Scott who undertook the rebuilding of the tower on it present site in 1880s, for his courage in putting right what Old Nick had destroyed.

Tydd St Giles Village Sign


 

Marholm Cambridgeshire

St Marys The Virgin Church Marholm is set on the outskirts of the village on the road to Milton Hall and Castor. It is the last resting place of the Fitzwilliam Family.

St Marys The Virgin Church Marholm

St Marys The Virgin Church Marholm

To reach Marholm Church you first have to pass The Fitzwilliam Arms with its welcoming presence, taking the road which leads to Milton Hall the home of the Earls Fitzwilliam.

The Fitzwilliam Arms
Village Sign and 
Just outside the village boundary you will find an entrance into a field where St. Mary’s The Virgin Church sits in all its isolation.

The church is the last resting place of The Fitzwilliam family, the 5th Earl Charles William Wentworth (1868-1857) who was a patron of JOHN CLARE, who’s mother and father were married in this church .

John Clare‛s mother Ann Stimson was Parker Clare’s senior by eight years, Ann was aged 35 when she married Parker, her parents where John (Town Shepherd) and Elizabeth who were from nearby Castor.

Fitzwilliam Resting Place

The headstone with the crest under the tree belongs to William Thomas George Wentworth-Fitzwilliam, the 10th Earl Fitzwilliam (1904—1979) he was last to hold the title.


Dorothy L Sayers Cambridgeshire Connections

Bluntisham

This was the home of Dorothy L Sayers writer and creator of the aristocratic detective Lord Peter Wimsey.

St Marys Church Bluntisham

St Marys Church, Bluntisham, Cambridgeshire

Her father was rector of St Marys Church Bluntisham between 1897 and 1917 before moving to the Parish Church in Christchurch.

He was responsible for the partial restoration and expansion to a ring of eight bells in 1910 which was only completed in 2004 when the bells were rehung in a new iron frame. This made a full circle ringing possible for the first time for 160 years. Perhaps an inspiration for his daughter’s novel The Nine Tailors.

St Mary's Church, Bluntisham, Across The Flooded Great River Ouse.

St Marys Church, Bluntisham, Across The Flooded Great River Ouse. Cambridgeshire

It is said that the names of some of her characters in The Nine Taylors were inspired by the stone masons inscriptions in Bluntisham Churchyard a walk through the long grass failed to discover a H. Gotobed or an Ezra Wilderspin, but when all hope was almost lost we stumbled on a Thoday, a pity that it was not a William or James or even a Mary.

Cambs-Churches

Grave Stone, St Marys Church, Bluntisham, Cambridgeshire

Christchurch

Christchurch Village Sign

Christchurch Village Sign, Cambridgeshire, England

The Christ Church, Christchurch,

The Christ Church, Christchurch, Cambridgeshire, England

Henry and Helen Sayers moved from Bluntisham to Christchurch in 1917 and was rector there until his death in 1928.

Dorothy L Sayers it is said preferred Bluntisham, but was a frequent visitor to her parents home in Christchurch. She is said to have stated; “Christchurch is the last place God made, and when He’d finished he found He’d Forgotten the staircase!”

Henry Sayers photograph can still be seen in the vestry, the commemorative tablet to the couple was placed by parishioners at on the west end of the nave. They are buried in a grave on the north east side of the churchyard which was originally unmarked but their last resting place is now celebrated by a marble stone bearing their names.

March

St Wendra Church is situated on the outskirts of the fenland market town of March. Now surrounded by housing mainly of the modern variety, but this does not detract from the experience of crossing the threshold and encountering the heavenly angles suspended in all their glory.

Saint Wendreda's Church, March,

St Wendreda’s Church, March, Cambridgeshire.

They are justifiably world famous and have been admired by many, notably Sir John Betjeman and Dorothy L Sayers .

St Wendreda's Church

Angle Roof, St Wendreda’s Church, March, Cambridgeshire

Cambs-Churches

Angle Roof, St Wendreda’s Church, March, Cambridgeshire

Miss Sayers has Mrs Venables the rectors wife in The Lord Peter Wimsey novel The Nine Tailors compare the hummer beamed angle roof in Fenchurch St Pauls with those of Needham Market and March

“of course the angel roof is our great showpiece, I think myself it is lovelier than the ones in March and Needham Market”.

We did try to make our own comparison by visiting the church in Needham Market, Suffolk but found it locked with no indication who held a key, perhaps we may try an other day.?

Cambs-Churches

St Wendreda’s Church, March, Cambridgeshire.


Chapel Bridge Cambridgeshire

Chapel Bridge crosses the Bevill’s Leam which runs from the junction of Whittlesey Dyke and the Twenty-foot River to Mere Mouth where it joins the Old River Nene deep in the Cambridgeshire Fens.

In times gone by barges would make their way along Bevill’s Leam stopping at this point to be loaded with agriculture produce.

At onetime a barge which was converted into a chapel would provided travelling church services.

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Chapel Bridge

Today you are more likely to encounter on the banks of Bevill’s Leam anglers competing in fishing matches.


 

Potto Brown, Houghton Mill and A Friendly Cat, Houghton Cambridgeshire

Potto Brown was Born in Houghton Cambridgeshire in 1797 he took over the running of Houghton Mill on his father’s retirement in 1822.

He was responsible for building the mill and contributing to the cost of building the Free Church in nearby St Ives. He build the small chapel in Houghton where his grave can been seen to this day, he died in 1871 and was laid to rest beside his mother and his two previous wives.

Potto Brown

While taking the air‚ as they say in Jane Austen novels, around Houghton Mill on The River Great Ouse, Huntingdonshire,

Chasing Shadows

Chasing Shadows

This splendid sleek gentleman made friends with the camera and I on a crisp bright January morning making chasing shadows irresistible.

Village Sign Houghton and Wyton


Bourn Cambridgeshire

Bourn village is situated in the county of Cambridgeshire just to the east of Ermine Street, the Roman Road between London and Lincoln also called the Old North Road.

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Village Sign Bourn

It is home to the world-famous Bourn Hall clinic setup by Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards in 1980. Bourn Hall was built-in the early 1600 on the site of a Bourn castle.

The castle was a wooden structure erected in Norman times towards the end of the reign of Norman the Conquer, it was destroyed by fire during the reign of Henry III in the war of the Barons.

The Church of St Mary’s and Helena’s that we see today dates back to the twelfth century but there was a church built just after the Norman Conquest which was made of wood.

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The Church of St Mary’s and Helena’s

The belfry has a peel of eight bells which have been added to over the years, in the 19th century Bourn was renowned for its good hunting land, the bells of the church would be rung to advise to meet at one of the inns for the hunt. In 1842 the parish could boost a total of five inns.


Edwin Muir. Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire.

Born in Orkney in 1887.

Socialist, Critic, Contributor to The New Age Magazine, Translator, one of Scotland’s best poets and perhaps a counter balance to Hugh MacDiarmid vision of Scotland and poetic language?

Laid to rest in Swaffham Prior churchyard Cambridgeshire along with his beloved wife Willa Anderson who was an author in her own right.

Edwin Muir's Cottage Swaffham Prior

In 1919 he married Willa Anderson and said not long after that “my marriage was the most fortunate event in my life”. They collaborated on English translations of such writers as Franz Kafka, Gerhart Hauptmann, Sholem Asch, Heinrich Mann, and Hermann Broch.

Ewin Muir' Last Resting Place

We were a tribe, a family, a people.

Wallace and Bruce guard now a painted field,

And all may read the folio of our fable,

Peruse the sword, the sceptre and the shield.

A simple sky roofed in that rustic day,

The busy corn-fields and the haunted holms,

The green road winding up the ferny brae.

But Knox and Melville clapped their preaching palms

And bundled all the harvesters away,

Hoodicrow Peden in the blighted corn

Hacked with his rusty beak the starving haulms.

Out of that desolation we were born.

Edwin Muir From Scotland 1941.

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Little Gidding Cambridgeshire

 

Little Gidding has history running through its environs, it sits nestled down sleepy lanes in Huntingdonshire were an effort has to be made to seek out its secrets.

In 1625 Nicolas Ferrars, his mother and family moved from London to Little Gidding to live a more simpler life setting up a community of religious observance. They set too and restored the manor house and chapel on the site.

 

Charles I visited Little Gidding a number of times the last was in 2nd May 1646 when he sought refuge from Cromwell’s men after the battle of Naseby.

The Ferrars family lived on at Little Gidding until the mid-eighteen century but the practice of the religious community ended with the death of John, Nicolas Ferrars brother and his wife in 1657.

William Hopkinson a Stamford Solicitor bought the property in 1848 becoming Lord of the manor, he built the house (Ferrars House) which stands today and restored the chapel after years of neglect.

There has been a few prominent poets associated with Little Gidding, George Herbert who was a close friend of Nicolas Ferrars, Richard Crashaw styled “the divine″, was part of the Seventeenth-century Metaphysical School of poets and visited Little Gidding often and one of the greatest twentieth century poets T. S. Eliot who visited on the 25th May 1936 inspiring the final poem in the Four Quartets, Little Gidding.

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

T S Eliot. Four Quartets

from Little Gidding.

 


Peakirk

Peakirk is a small village near Peterborough to the south and Stamford to the west, its name means Pega’s Church.

Cambs-Churches

In the Eighth century St Pega had a hermitage here, she was the sister of St Guthlac who resided on the island of Clowland some 5 miles away. It is said that she lived in Clowland before being banished by him because he maintained that her form had been taken by the devil tempting him to break his vows and eat before the sun went down.

When her brother died in 714AD she attended his funeral traveling along the river Weland where tradition has it that she healed a blind man from the town of Wisbech on her way to Crowland.

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A year later Pega set out on a Pilgrimage to Rome she never returned to Peakirk, she did in 719 and her mortal remains rest in a unknown church in the eternal city but legend has it that her heart was returned to the Peakrirk to be Interned in a shrine.