St Mary, Haddon, Huntingdonshire

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Feature Sets (2)


St Mary's has a clerestoreyed nave with three-bay N and S aisles, but extended to the W alongside the W tower; N and S transepts and a square chancel. The original unaisled church is represented by the spectacular early 12thc. chancel arch. Aisles (with arcades and N and S doorways) and transepts were added in the 13thc., as was the attractive N porch. The chancel was rebuilt late in the 13thc. The W nave extension and the tower belong to the 16thc. Pevsner suggests that the 13thc design for the W end involved a bellcote rather than a tower. Construction is of roughly coursed stone blocks. The church was restored in 1897 and 1901.


The church and a priest are mentioned in the Domesday Survey, and at this time the manor of 5 hides was held by the Abbot of Thorney.

Now benefice of Stilton (St Mary Magdalene) with Denton and Caldecote, and Folksworth with Morborne and Haddon.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Chancel arch

Round headed, two orders to W, one to E.

1st order (shared). On half-columns with roll/hollow bases. On the N is a block capital with broad stems of interlacing reeded foliage rising from a plain roll necking. The S capital is similar but the stems have reeded borders only. Both capitals have major losses; on the N, the SW angle and a slot cut from the centre of the main face; on the S, most of the E part is missing. Imposts are chamfered with a reed on the face. In the arch is a fat soffit roll.

2nd order (W face only). En-delit nook shafts with bases, imposts and neckings as in the 1st order. The N capital is a double-scallop with chip-carved stars in the shields. The S is a completely plain cushion. Running up each jambs, outside the nook-shaft, is a row of chip-carved saltires. In the arch is a heavy nook roll. The label is chamfered with saltires in squares chip-carved on face and chamfer. Outside the label is a hollow.


This beautiful chancel arch is a valuable example of high-quality work of c.1100. There are parallels with Castor for the foliage forms on the capitals.


  • Victoria County History: Huntingdonshire. III (1936).
  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough, Harmondsworth 1968, 257-58.
  • RCHM(E), An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. London 1926, 123-25.
Exterior from S.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
TL 134 925 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Huntingdonshire
now: Cambridgeshire
medieval: Lincoln (Dorchester to 1085)
now: Ely
medieval: not confirmed
now: St Mary
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter