St Andrews Church, Wood Walton, Cambridgeshire, Engalnd
St Andrews Church sits in glorious isolation over looking the main east coast railway line before it makes its way on to Peterborough and the frozen north beyond.
It is located about a mile outside the current village and access is first along a road going only to a small number of homesteads and then what only can be described as a field track through a five bar gate down to the church.
We have paid this church a visit on two seperate occasions, the first was on a sunny afternoon and to compliment its isolation we found the doors firmly locked and not a soul to be found.
The second visit found the builders hard at work carrying out restoration work and excessive repairs where damaged had been sustained due to thieves in the night indiscimitly filling there pockets and transit van, apparently nowhere was sacred as the broke into the vault below in the hope of finding lead from a previous century. The workman were friendly and more than happy to let us look around but it was sad to see it in such circumstances.
St Andrews Church and The monument to Gwenllian of Wales both sit isolated at the end of a narrow track.
St Andrews Parish Church and Sempringham Abbey Church
The current church of St Andrews sits to the north of the site where St Mary’s Priory once stood and where Gwenllian of Wales was held captive after being abducted by King Edward I in 1283 until her death .
The priory of St Mary’s was founded by St Gilbert around 1139 and was an order of both Gilbertian monks and nuns, it was destroyed in 1158. The present church once was larger than it is today due to the fact that in 1788 the Norman chancel and transept were taken down because it had become dilapidated.St Andrews Church and The monument to Gwenllian of Wales both sit isolated at the end of a narrow track.
The monument you pass on the way to the church commemorates Gwenllian of Wales, daughter of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last true Prince of Wales.
Monument Commemorates Gwenllian of Wales
Gwenllian was abducted by King Edward I in 1283 after the defeat of her father, because she was a threat to King Edward’s hold on power in Wales, rather than kill the infant Gwenllian was taken to Sempringham Priory and kept a captive in order that she remained childless. She spent the rest of her life at St Mary’s Priory Sempringham in Lincolnshire as a nun of The Gilbertian order where she died at 54 in 1337.