Godmanchester is one
the oldest settlements in
Huntingdonshire, standing directly across the River Great Ouse from
The origins of the
church are shrouded in history, but
Christian worship was certainly in place here by the late 4th
Century. There is mention of a church here being sacked by Vikings in
Century and it seems probably that this early church was entirely
The next church, the first stone one, was built in the 9th
and is recorded in the Domesday Book, of this church only the north
the font survives.
current Chancel was built in the early 1200s
and reputedly dedicated in the presence of King John in 1215
– this may be
apocryphal as John was embroiled deeply in the Barons’ Revolt
at that point.
continued to grow and the church was
over the next 100 years or so. It appears that corners were
cut and the central tower fell over demolishing much of the nave and so
rebuilt in the 1400s and enlarged again in the 1500s.
the time the tower was added, Ramsey Abbey
been dissolved. Because of this the local population was taxed to raise
funds – an unpopular move. Stone was robbed from the
Nunnery (where Hinchingbrooke House now stands). Even the vicar of St.
protested the tax for building the tower – the warrant for
his arrest is still
in existence, although there is no record of him actually being
the tower with its great spire was added and is today the most
feature of the church.
Victorians tinkered as usual including removing
the east window which had stood since the 1300s and replacing it with
lancet windows, they did however redeem themselves by adding new
to the south aisle. Throughout the 20th
Century there were various
programmes of repair and consolidation.
- Andrew J. Müller
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