All Saints, Caddington, Bedfordshire

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Feature Sets (2)


The church has chancel (with modern vestry on N), nave, N and S aisles and W tower. The 13thc. chancel (extended in the 14thc.), has a late 12thc. chancel arch with keeled respond shafts and stiff-leaf capitals. The nave was originally aisleless, and the quoins surviving in its outer W wall may date from the 11thc. The N and S aisles are 15thc., as is the W tower. The church was extensively restored in 1875 by Ewan Christian. The late 12thc. S doorway, reset when the aisles were built, has also been restored.


The Domesday Survey does not mention a church at Caddington, but records that the Canons of St Paul, London, were granted the Manor by William I. The advowson of the church of Caddington was held by St Paul's by 1183–4 although VCH suggests that it was held by them prior to this date (VCH, 319-20). The grant was confirmed in 1254 by the Bishop of Lincoln.

In 1086, Caddington was partly in Hertfordshire (10 hides) and partly in Bedfordshire (5 hides). It was transferred wholly to Bedfordshire in 1897.


Exterior Features


S Doorway, nave (reset)

Round-headed, of two orders.

h. of capital incl. necking 0.18 m
h. of capital not incl. necking 0.20 m
h. of opening 2.50 m
w. of opening 1.32 m
First order

Engaged three-quarter respond shafts on square chamfered bases; carved capitals above plain necking and hollow-chamfered impost blocks with a groove on the face.

L capital: a single row of stiff-leaf, upright on the S face, sloping on the W, and weathered.

R capital: four pointed, long-stemmed leaves with small round-headed leaves between. Weathered, with one of the leaves on the S face broken away completely. Fine tooling marks are visible.

The whitewashed arch has a hollow on the soffit, a keeled angle roll, followed by a hollow on the face, with a fine roll moulding outside it. The imposts and part of the shafts are restored.

Second order

Detached nook shafts (c. 0.3 m taller than the shafts of the first order) on water-holding bases with a plain spur on the L, this is missing on the R. Bell capitals above plain necking and hollow-chamfered imposts. The arch has three rows of lateral chevrons on the face (roll, hollow, roll) and one on the soffit, carved point-to-point.

Plain hollow-chamfered label with a groove on the face, terminating in label stops comprising three roll billet mouldings (two above, one below). The label, imposts and capitals and much of the masonry of the shafts are modern.


Pevsner suggests that the quoin stones surviving in the outer W wall of the nave may be Anglo-Saxon, but Hare states that the side-alternate quoins are a type used throughout the medieval period. Both Pevsner and VCH proposes a date of 1180-1200 for the doorway.


  • Domesday Book: Bedfordshire, Ed. J. Morris, Chichester, 1977, 12, 1.

  • Domesday Book: Hertfordshire, Ed. J. Morris, Chichester, 1976, 21, 2.

  • The Victoria County History: A History of the County of Bedford, London, 1908, 2:306–7, 314-20.

  • M. Hare, 'Anglo Saxon Work at Carlton and other Bedfordshire Churches', Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal, 6, 1971, 33-40.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England, Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough, London, 1968, 61-2.

Church Plan


Site Location
National Grid Reference
TL 064 199 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Bedfordshire
now: Bedfordshire
medieval: London
now: St Albans
now: All Saints
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Hazel Gardiner