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St Mary Magdalene, Ickleton, Cambridgeshire

(52°4′23″N, 0°10′47″E)
TL 495 439
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cambridgeshire
now Cambridgeshire
medieval not confirmed
now Ely
  • Ron Baxter

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Architecturally, Ickleton is one of the most important Romanesque churches in the county. It was originally a cruciform church of c.1100 with aisleless chancel, aisled four-bay nave with clerestory, transepts and a central tower. The S aisle was widened (14thc.) to the width of the transept, and a chapel added to the N side of the chancel (15thc.), which was later removed although its entrance arch remains. The N transept has since been shortened to the width of the aisle. The original nave clerestory was very low, with windows above the apex of each arch. When the aisle roofs were raised, new windows were added at a higher level, but five rather than four, so that the clerestory is out of phase with the arcade. The chancel was rebuilt in the later Middle Ages, and again in 1882. The upper storey of the tower is 14-15thc., and it has a lead broach spire and a Sanctus bell. The church is constructed of flint and Sarsen pebbles. Restoration work following a deliberate fire in 1979 resulted in the discovery of a celebrated cycle of wall paintings from the 2nd half of the 12thc. decorates the N wall of the nave. Sculpture described here comprises the nave arcades, W crossing arch and W doorway.


The manor (19½ hides) was held by Count Eustace of Boulogne in 1086, his father having received it from William I. A further half hide was held by Durand from Hardwin de Scales. No church is mentioned.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches



R. Bristowe, Ickleton Cambridgeshire (undated Guide)
C. H. Evelyn-White, County Churches: Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. London 1911, 104-07.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Cambridgeshire, Harmondsworth 1954 (2nd ed. 1970), 411-12.