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All Saints, Hartford, Huntingdonshire

Description

Hartford is a village on the eastern edge of Huntingdon, on the N bank of the Great Ouse. The church is at the S edge of the village, alongside the river but high enough above it to avoid all danger of flooding. It is built of rubble with Barnack and other ashlar dressings, and consists of a chancel with a N vestry added in 1895; a nave with N and S aisles and a S porch; and a Perpendicular W tower with a projecting S bell stair. On the N side of the church is an extension opened in 2004 with a hall, kitchen and lavatories and accessed from the exterior and through the N nave doorway of the church.  The chancel has 12thc N and E walls with no sculptured features. Otherwise it is of the 14thc but remodelled by Robert Hutchinson in 1861, including an elaborate neo-Romanesque chancel arch. The nave arcades are of the end of the 12thc; the N stylistically earlier. Romanesque features described here are the greatly restored S nave doorway, the two nave arcades and the font.

History

In 1066 the manor was held by King Edward, and in 1086 by King William who committed it to the care of Ranulf, brother of Ilger. It was assessed at 15 hides and included a priest and two churches as well as two mills and a good deal of woodland.

Hartford was granted to St Mary’s Priory, Huntingdon in the reign of Henry I, and the grant confirmed in 1147, 1253 and 1327. It remained the property of that house until it was dissolved in 1538. The advowson of the church was also held by the priory until the Dissolution.

Features

Exterior Features

Doorways

Interior Features

Arcades

Nave

Furnishings

Fonts

Comments/Opinions

The S arcade is dated later than the N of the evidence of the stiff-leaf corbels and the pointed arches.  Other than these, the main change is the abandonment of impost blocks after pier 1 of the S arcade. It seems impossible that the same sculptors were responsible for the end corbels of two arcades as produced the irregular pier capitals, and it may well be that all four of them were produced by a later workshop attempting to replicate the different periods in which the two arcades were originally installed. If this is the case, they are of little value for dating purposes. RCHM(E) dates the N arcade c.1180 and the S ‘perhaps ten years later’. The reset S doorway they also date c1190. The font is described as Norman by O’Brien and 13thc by RCHME, the List Description and VCH.

Bibliography

Historic England Listed Building 53531

C. O’Brien  and N.Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough, London 2014, 506-07.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Bedfordshire and the County of Huntingdon and Peterborough, Harmondsworth 1968, 259.

RCHME, An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Huntingdonshire. London 1926, 128-30.

Victoria County History: Huntingdonshire. II (1932), 171-75

Location
(52°20′13″N, 0°9′28″W)

World map

Hartford
TL 256 726
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Huntingdonshire
now Cambridgeshire
medieval Lincoln
now Ely
  • Ron Baxter
28 September 2016