Soke of Peterborough

Wansford Church, Soke of Peterborough

Wansford is one of those forgotten villages of the Soke of Peterborough which sits over the River Nene and is one of the most attractive in the area. The church stands at a high point overlooking the river valley with the attractive medieval bridge below (halfway across the bridge, incidentally, marks the traditional boundary between Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire).

The earliest Church seems to be of Saxon origin and it began as a chapel of ease for Thornhaugh Church. Shortly after the Conquest it became a church in its own right and at this point a rebuild was undertaken. A further rebuild seems to have taken place in the 13th Century and it remained this way for many centuries. Unusually a rebuild took place during the Commonwealth when the south wall and porch were rebuilt in 1663.

At this point the Church was often described as the smallest in England – being just 30 x 25 feet. The Tower, which is only 8 feet square, is from the 1200s, with the spire being a century or so later.

The church is now considerably larger because in 1902 it was decided to rebuild and extend. The chancel, vestry, and the organ chamber were all built at this time essentially doubling the size of the church.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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