Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Great St Mary's Church, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Great St. Mary's is the University Church for the University of Cambridge and as such holds an important place in the city's life.

The oldest church dates to around the reign of King John, although it may have been a few years old even then. This was destroyed by fire in 1290 and then rebuilt. In 1352 it stopped being St. Mary the Virgin and took on the mantle of Great St. Mary's, around the same time the ownership passed to Trinity College who still own the church today.

The church was mostly rebuilt between 1478 and 1519, the tower being added in 1608. It was quite unusual in that work was undertaken by Richard III and Henry VII - a rare example of a building crossing the boundaries of the Wars of the Roses.

Many Reformation scholars, including Erasmus, preached here and the burnt ashes of Thomas Cranmer, martyred by Mary I, lie interred here under a plate in the south chancel.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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