Soke of Peterborough

Castor Church, Soke of Peterborough

One of the great Churches of England, St. Knyeburgha at Castor has been a place of worship since the 4th Century AD. Roman remains stand in and around the churchyard and were once the second largest Roman building in England.

After the Romans left St. Kyneburgha, daughter of King Penda of Mercia, founded a convent here for men and women in AD 650 and became the first abbess. The Vikings sacked the monastery and it was then rebuilt as a Saxon Minster Church.

When the Normans arrived they enlarged the Church and added its crowning glory, the magnificent carved tower which is considered by many to be the finest Romanesque Church tower in England. Work continued throughout the medieval period and the Lady Chapel contains wall paintings from around 1350, which the nave roof has over 60 figures which were carved around 1450. The spire was added to the tower in 1350.

Castor today is a sleepy little village in an often by-passed part of the country but the Church is truly a magnificent building and well worth a detour to explore.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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