Cambridgeshire Churches

West Wickham, St Mary

the lofty tower

We arrived to find the graveyard looking a bit like a war zone. A vast beech tree had just been chopped down by the gate and was lying in several chunks waiting to be carted away. On the northern edge of the churchyard a whole host of smaller trees had been hacked back.

Something drastic seems to be going on inside the church, too - the bit of the path closest to the porch has been lifted, and a red and white tape around the porch confirmed that this was not going to be a very fruitful visit. We did peer in through the windows, and all the benches were covered in plastic sheeting. A new roof, perhaps? We'll have to come back soon and find out.

I was able to have a look around the outside, anyway. The tower is rather stark and unadorned. It has an internal staircase, so instead of a turret we just have a line of small windows leading up one corner. The top has Perpendicular bell-openings, but no battlements (despite what Pevsner says).

the ghost of a window

Once upon a time it would have been even plainer, since the diagonal buttresses were added later on. Elsewhere, the y-tracery in the chancel was nice - it looks restored on the south side, but the north side is a bit more corroded and points to its true age. There's little else to report until we actually get in…

St Mary was closed when we visited - I don't know if this is a usual state of affairs.

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