Huntingdon Parish Church, Huntingdonshire

There has been a church here for many centuries. Two small churches were replaced by one large one, which was dedicated as All Saints, early in the Norman period. Huntingdon, as one of the Conqueror’s chosen bases in the region, prospered in the early Middle Ages but then fell victim to the Black Death of 1348 which decimated the population.

After this the number of churches in the town was reduced to four. One of these was All Saints which was entirely rebuilt in the early 1400s. It was here that the body of Mary, Queen of Scots, was rested on its journey from Peterborough Cathedral to Westminster Abbey in 1612.

Huntingdon is, of course, strongly connected to Oliver Cromwell. So it is perhaps surprising that it was King Charles who took up residence at the George Hotel in 1645 and it was on his orders that the 13th Century tower of All Saints was demolished as it was feared it was a Roundhead lookout post. The Parliamentarians arrived and retook Huntingdon and St. John’s Church, which stood nearby and was where Cromwell had been baptised, was so badly damaged that it was subsequently demolished.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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