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St Martin, Little Stukeley, Huntingdonshire

(52°21′57″N, 0°13′27″W)
Little Stukeley
TL 210 757
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Huntingdonshire
now Cambridgeshire
  • Ron Baxter

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St Martin's has a tall aisled and clerestoried nave, a lower chancel and a W tower. The N and S nave aisles extend to the E end of the chancel, forming N and S chapels, the N now in use as a vestry. Of the present building, the tower dates from the end of the 13thc., and the chancel and N chapel to the early 14thc. There is evidence for a 13thc. N aisle, but around 1500 it was completely rebuilt, and a S aisle, S chapel and porch were added. The porch was rebuilt in 1652 and the N aisle in 1673 and again in 1887, and at this time the N chapel was converted into a vestry. R. Hutchinson, the architect responsible, collected such earlier remains as he found and displayed them in the walls. The E wall of the chancel was rebuilt in 1910. Currently (2004) the pinnacles of the tower, damaged in recent storms, are under repair. The nave is constructed of stone rubble, and the chancel of stone and pebble rubble except for the ashlar W wall of 1910. The S aisle and its porch are of ashlar, but the N aisle is of brick except for the W bay, of rubble. The tall lower storey of the tower is of pebble rubble, and the upper storey of ashlar.

It will be seen from the above that no 12thc. fabric survives as built, yet St Martin's remains an important Romanesque church on account of the large number of carved stones that Hutchinson reset in the walls of the tower, inside and out, and the exterior N aisle wall, and the curious N vestry arch. There are also loose stones, at present kept in the tower.


The church and a priest were noted in 1086, when the Abbot of Ramsey held the manor.

Benefice of Great Stukeley with Little Stukeley.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration

String courses
Corbel tables, corbels

Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Interior Decoration

Blind arcades
String courses

Loose Sculpture


The wealth of reused carved stones indicates the presence of a 12thc. church of some elaboration, presumably with a pair of doorways whose voussoirs went into the two blind arches in the tower. Identical stepped beaker clasps are found in the N doorway of St James's church, Spaldwick, only 6 miles to the W. The large, loose chevron voussoirs must have come from an elaborate arcade or chancel arch. A similar corbel table to the one reused here may be seen on the chancel of St Margaret's, Fletton, 13 miles to the N. The human head corbels are of two types, and no very convincing local parallels can be offered for either. A lion very similar to that now set inside the W tower may be seen at St Michael and All Angels, Sutton, 16 miles N.

Victoria County History: Huntingdonshire. II (1932).
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough, Harmondsworth 1968, 286-87.
RCHM(E), An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. London 1926, 266-68.