St Andrew, Grantchester, Cambridgeshire

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Feature Sets (3)


Perpendicular nave with a S aisle of 1877 and N doorway under a porch, and a splendid 14thc. chancel with a N vestry. The W tower is dateable by the heraldry of its windows to the time of Bishop Fordham of Ely (1388–1426). The chancel is ashlar faced, the tower of pebble rendered with mortar and equipped with a stumpy lead spire, the nave of pebble with brick repairs, and limewashed except for the 19thc. S aisle. Into the W end of this, the Victorian builders incorporated a number of 12thc. carved stones, presumably from an earlier church on the site. These are described in Section III.3.d below. The report also describes the plain font.


In 1086 Grantchester included two main holdings, each of 2 hides and 3 virgates. One was held by Robert Fafiton, and the other by two knights from Count Eustace. A tenant named Robert also held 1 virgate from the Count of Mortain and half a virgate from Picot of Cambridge, but it is not clear whether this was also Robert Fafiton, or indeed whether one, two or three Roberts were involved. Finally, Gollan held 1½ virgates from Count Alan, and two knights held 3 virgates from Guy de Raimbeaucourt. No church is mentioned in connection with any of these holdings.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration


Five chevron voussoirs as follows:

(viii) Centrifugal single roll lateral face chevron with cogwheel edge

(ix) As (viii).

(x) As (viii) but with a lozenge on the angle, possibly point-to-point.

(xi) As (viii).

(xii) As (viii).

Human head corbel

Round head flattened at the top and with big round eyes and open mouth. Hands shown on either side of face. On the R the hand holds a narrow length of tongue, which emerges from the open mouth. The L hand holds an even narrower length which touches the outside corner of the mouth, suggesting that it has been wrapped around the back of the head.

Human head corbel

Oval head flattened at the top and with big round eyes and a closed mouth with heavy lips. Between the nose and the upper lip is a band like a muzzle around the face. Signs of a nailhead diadem. Damage to the chin.

Reset window

Plain square jambs and a semicircular monolithic head inscribed with two orders of fictive voussoirs.

Section of drip course

Chamfered top edge above a flat section with three-strand plait as (vi).

max. h. 0.22 m
max. l. 0.31 m

Section of drip course

As (xiii).

max. h. 0.24 m
max. l. 0.33 m


Perhaps originally rectangular showing remains of a cross inscribed in a circle. Possibly part of a gravestone, possibly graffiti.


Fragment with the end of a raised three-strand plait.


Fragment with section of three-strand plait.


Presumed to be part of a gravestone with an edge roll on remaining edges and part of a raised Maltese cross design.


Irregular rectangular stone carved on the L section with scallops. Could belong to a scallop capital, or may possibly represent drapery folds.

l. 0.42 m
Max. h. 0.09 m



W end of S aisle. A plain, circular tub-shaped bowl with a chamfered lower rim set on a modern plinth. The rim has repairs corresponding to the removal of a lock. The interior is lined with lead.

ext. diam. of bowl 0.97 m
h. of bowl 0.53 m
int. diam. of bowl 0.78 m



  • G. R. Bossier, Notes on the Cambridgeshire Churches. 182, 32.
  • The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, V, 1973, 209–12.
  • C. H. Evelyn-White, County Churches: Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. London 1911, 82-84.
  • A. G. Hill, Architectural and Historical Notices of the Churches of Cambridgeshire. London 1880, 214–25.
  • The Ecclesiastical and Architectural Topography of England: Cambridgeshire (Architectural Institute of Great Britain and Ireland), Oxford 1852, 10.
  • D. and S. Lysons, Magna Britannia. Cambridgeshire II, pt I, London 1808, 202–03.
  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Cambridgeshire, Harmondsworth 1954 (2nd ed. 1970), 392–93.
  • RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in the County of Cambridge. Volume 1. West Cambridgeshire. London 1968, 113–15.
Exterior, general view from SE.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
TL 434 555 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Cambridgeshire
now: Cambridgeshire
medieval: not confirmed
now: Ely
medieval: not confirmed
now: St Andrew and St Mary
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter