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St Leonard, Southoe, Huntingdonshire

(52°15′54″N, 0°16′4″W)
TL 183 644
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Huntingdonshire
now Cambridgeshire
  • Ron Baxter

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St Leonard's is built of cobbles, and has a square-ended, late-13thc. chancel and a three-bay aisled nave with a clerestorey. The S arcade dates from the late 13thc., and the N is Perpendicular as is the brick clerestorey. The W bay of the N aisle houses the tower - Perpendicular and of brick with a low tiled roof. The chancel arch indicates that the nave itself is 12thc., and also from this period comes the reset S doorway and a section of string course reset in the W wall of the S aisle.


In 1086-87, most of Southoe was held by Eustace, Sheriff of Huntingdonshire, and the remainder by Robert Fafiton who also held lands in Beds, Cambs and Middlesex. In neither case does DS mention a church.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration

String courses

Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Pevsner describes the doorway as 'carved with about as many motifs as could be accommodated'. It is very rich, but the capital forms, decorative repertoire (including chip-carving) and heavy mouldings argue in favour of a date around 1100. Motifs such as the chequer ornament, chip-carving and billet indicate a debt to Ely Cathedral. Sawtooth is also found in the earliest work at Ely, but not of the spiky form found on the reset string course here.

Victoria County History: Huntingdonshire. II (1932)
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough, Harmondsworth 1968, 344-45.
RCHM(E), An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. London 1926, 239-41.