Bassingborn Church, Cambridgeshire

It isn’t quite clear when Bassingbourn Church was built, the earliest surviving mention was from the reign of Henry III (1216-1272) who granted that a fair should be held here, but that also implies the church was here already.

The oldest surviving parts are the base parts of the west tower, which date to around the same time as the grant for a fair, so there are no clues to be had from there either.

It is unusual that whether this was a rebuild or not that the first part built was the tower, the rest of the church was completed by around 1400 and this church essentially survived for four hundred years or so.

During the Commonwealth Francis Holcroft was made ‘Minister of the Word’ at the Church. Holcroft became a controversial figure after the Restoration when he was removed from his position at the church and became an itinerant preacher. He was jailed on several occasions before he eventually died and was buried at nearby Thriplow.

In 1685 the tower began to develop a large crack and by the early 19th Century was in severe danger of collapse. So in 1812 work began to shore it up and this led to a whole restoration program which culminated in the tower being rebuilt around 1879.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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