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St Andrew, Witchford, Cambridgeshire

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Feature Sets (2)

Description

Aisleless nave, chancel and W tower, all in rubble with brick repairs, especially to the tower. The nave has N and S doorways, the former under a brick porch. A date stone over the N doorway indicates a restoration in 1887. The tower is 13thc., and the later nave is canted to connect with it. The apparent date of nave and chancel is early 14thc., but the consecration date of 1376 indicates that it must be later. The only 12thc. feature is a beast head corbel reset in the nave W wall to the N of the tower.

History

The Abbot of Ely held Witchford in 1086. It was assessed at 3 hides.

Features

Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration

Miscellaneous

Corbel

Beast head corbel rest in nave W wall N of tower. A grotesque lion like creature with projecting almond-shaped eyes with bulging drilled pupils, a long nose, bulbous at the tip, and wide, grinning mouth with gapped teeth. The head is deeply carved with much undercutting. Curiously a stone immediately below it appears to bear the word JUNE in script.

Comments/Opinions

The head was first noticed by Johnson (1984), who remarked on the scarcity of figural sculpture in the county. Its provenance is not known.

Bibliography

  • J. Bentham, The History and Antiquities of the Conventual and Cathedral Church of Ely. Norwich 1912, 75.
  • G. R. Bossier, Notes on the Cambridgeshire Churches. 1827, 72.
  • The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, IV, 1953, 177-78.
  • C. H. Evelyn-White, County Churches: Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. London 1911, 204.
  • The Ecclesiastical and Architectural Topography of England: Cambridgeshire (Architectural Institute of Great Britain and Ireland), Oxford 1852, 115.
  • F. S. L. Johnson, A Catalogue of Romanesque Sculpture in Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. M.Phil (London, Courtauld Institute), 1984.
  • D. and S. Lysons, Magna Britannia. Cambridgeshire II, pt I, London 1808, 293.
  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Cambridgeshire, Harmondsworth 1954 (2nd ed. 1970), 504-05.
Exterior, view from S.

Location

Site Location
Witchford
National Grid Reference
TL 504 787 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Cambridgeshire
now: Cambridgeshire
Diocese
medieval: not confirmed
now: Ely
Dedication
now: St Andrew
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Ron Baxter