Monday, 5 September 2011

Longstowe, Cambridgeshire

St Mary is lovely but sadly locked with no sign of a keyholder. This is a shame as I would have liked to see the monuments that Mee mentions. The beautiful location almost lets me forgive the locked status - but not quite.

ST MARY. C14 W tower with Perp tower arch. The church 1863-4 by Fawcett of Cambridge (GR). Interior red and blue brick and stone. - MONUMENTS. Sir Anthony Cage d. 1603. Tomb-chest with two recumbent effigies and children kneeling small against the front of the tomb. - Immediately above it Sir Ralph Bovey d. 1679, a very remarkable conceit. Sir Ralph rises, a naked figure, waist high from the ocean, grasping a wooden anchor let down by the hand of Christ from white clouds.

St Mary (4)

LONGSTOWE. It is scattered along its quiet lanes within ghostly sound of the tramp of Roman legions down Ermine Street.

The hall in the park was old when the Cage family bought it in Queen Elizabeth’s day; they left it long ago, bequeathing their ashes and their monuments to the church in the shade of the great trees. It has been refashioned, like the hall which keeps it company.

On a table tomb lies the alabaster figure of Anthony Cage, who died the same year as the great Elizabeth. He is in armour, and his wife has her tiny head set round with a wide ruff. A monument of 1679 shows the curious figure of Sir Ralph Bovey rising from the tomb to grasp an anchor let down by a hand from heaven. A window of St George carrying a lance is in memory of Colonel Frederick Sharp, who fought through five battles of the war and fell in 1916.

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