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St John, Duxford, Cambridgeshire

(52°5′39″N, 0°9′22″E)
TL 478 462
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cambridgeshire
now Cambridgeshire
medieval not confirmed
now Ely
  • Ron Baxter

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12thc. nave, chancel and central tower. An elaborate N chapel was added to the chancel c1350, and the nave has a N aisle of c1450. Construction is of flint and pebble with brick repairs and some mortar render on the chancel. The S porch is of brick, and brick buttresses have been added to support the tower. The exterior N aisle wall includes 12thc. moulded fragments, none with sculpture. 12thc. features recorded here are the tower arches and the S doorway. The church has been disused since 1874 and was declared redundant in 1976.


In 1086, Gerard held 6 hides in Duxford from Count Alan. Count Eustace held 5 hides and 3 virgates. Gilbert held 4½ hides from Robert de Tosny, and Payne held 3 hides and 1 virgate from Hardwin de Scales. No church is mentioned in connection with any of these holdings, so it is not possible to distinguish between the two Duxford parishes at this date.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches

Other writers have agreed that the tympanum does not match the rest of the doorway, but their conclusions are very different. Cobbett (1929) dated the tympanum earlier than the doorway, likening it to Hartlepool grave slabs and dating it c.640-800. H. M. and J. Taylor rejected any Anglo-Saxon attribution and dated it "post-Norman" on the ground that the arched upper surface is three-centred. For the present author the only certainty is that arch and tympanum were not designed to go together, and the likeliest possibility is that the chevron arch is an elaboration of a much simpler doorway, including the tympanum, which belongs to the same date as the tower arches. For these, Johnson draws parallels with early (c.1090) work at Ely itself.

The church is now redundant and in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

G. R. Bossier, Notes on the Cambridgeshire Churches. 1827, 44.
L. Cobbett, "The Tympanum at St John's Church, Duxford, Cambs.", Cambridge Antiquarian Society Proceedings and Communications, XXX, 1929.
The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, VI, 1978, 217-18.
C. H. Evelyn-White, County Churches: Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. London 1911, 65-66.
The Ecclesiastical and Architectural Topography of England: Cambridgeshire (Architectural Institute of Great Britain and Ireland), Oxford 1852, 153.
F. S. L. Johnson, A Catalogue of Romanesque Sculpture in Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely. M.Phil (London, Courtauld Institute), 1984, 245-49.
D. and S. Lysons, Magna Britannia. Cambridgeshire II, pt I, London 1808, 50-51, 181-82.
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Cambridgeshire, Harmondsworth 1954 (2nd ed. 1970), 333.
H. M. and J. Taylor, Anglo-Saxon Architecture. II, 1965, 77.
H. A. Tipping, "A Cambridgeshire Village Church", Country Life LII, 1922, 844-46.