Hemingford Grey Church, Huntingdonshire

Hemingford Grey, like all the most picturesque places hereabouts, stands next to the River Great Ouse and has a lovely river front area.

The church is very distinctive with its lopped-off spire and is a great place to sit by the river and watch the world go by.

The first church was built around 1160, it was enlarged in 1210 and the central tower was removed at this point. In 1320 the church was widened and in 1390 the west-end tower was constructed and the spire would have come soon after that. All this survived happily up until 1741 when a hurricane destroyed the spire.

The spire was then truncated to its present form rather than being rebuilt which gives St. James’ Church its very individual look.

Not unusually the Victorians got their hands on the church and mostly mucked around with the interiors. Restoration work continued right through the 20th Century and as recently as 2010 the roof structure was rebuilt and strengthened.

We are left with a pretty, unusual and satisfying church standing in a magnificently pastoral setting.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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