Cambridgeshire Churches

Duxford, St Peter

a very square tower indeed

There are three medieval churches in Duxford, if you include the old hospital chapel, but this is the only one that is still officially an active church. For most of its history, Duxford has been divided into two parishes, that of St Peter and that of St John just round the corner, until in the 1870s St John was made redundant. St Peter got its bells and a thorough restoration, and for that reason is considerably less interesting than the sister church that the Victorians left to rot. But that's irrelevant.

We found the church locked, but the key was easily obtainable from the post office just down the road. On the outside, the tower is well worth a close look. It's obviously rather old, given the Norman bell-openings. The thin engaged shafts on the corner are a nice touch. Inside, though, the tower arch (which is a very big but rather plain Norman affair) is just about the only thing that hasn't been scrubbed into good Victorian dullness.


The chancel is Norman too, though only a few windows reveal so - ones attention is inevitably drawn to the horrid reredos and the bad glass that fills the windows throughout the church. The font, though, is interesting - a very gnarly 14th century stem with an earlier font.

The best thing about the church was the cheery grotesques on the roof corbels of the nave. There were the usual wild men glaring down with their legs and arms clasped in eye-watering yoga poses, and also a funny creature that looked as though a mason used to seeing sheep had attempted to carve a lion. Good fun.

We found St Peter closed, but a key is available at the post office

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