Monday, 19 March 2012

St Clement, Cambridge

Leaving St Luke I set off in the usual heavy traffic to park in Lion's Yard and stumbled across the impossible - a free place to park in central(ish) Cambridge. Sorry; I'm not telling you where since I don't want to spoil it for future use or other users.

Having parked the car I set off on foot for St Clement to find it, sadly, locked for no apparent reason. It's in a populous area...no, no, no I will not rant.

I rather liked this curious church with its Lego built tower popped in between old aisles (which was my main draw)and the ecumenical use between CoE and Greek Orthodox churches just adds to the pleasure; it made me wonder what percentage of Cambridge's population was Greek but I haven't followed the thought up.

Pevsner's rather, to my mind, rude: "The exterior dominated by the somewhat silly W tower of 1821 (by C. Humphrey). It is cemented and so clearly of its date that one does not expect a church essentially of the C13 behind. This is of nave, chancel and aisles, with an arcade of five bays. The piers between nave and aisles are octagonal and have moulded capitals of comparatively simple design. The arches are two-centred and double chamfered. The E bays are obviously later, probably C14. The outer walls of the aisles were rebuilt in the Late Perp style (a date 1538 in the roof of the N aisle), and a clerestory was added. The s doorway is the best remaining piece of the C13, though grossly restored. It has two orders of colonnettes and a very complex section of the arch. The chancel was rebuilt in 1726 and gothicized in the C19. FONT. Octagonal, Perp, with two tiers of blank arches on each side of the shaft and a pointed quatrefoil with shield on each side of the bowl."

St Clement (2)

St Clement (1)

St Clement’s church, not far from the river in Bridge Street, has lost much of its medieval interest, but the nave arcades with tall octagonal pillars are chiefly 13th century, and we come in by a 13th century doorway. The medieval chancel was taken down and the stone used for building Jesus College. The brick chancel is 18th century, the small tower being 19th. The old font remains. Three bays of the south aisle are enclosed by an oak screen with twisted balusters in memory of a curate who came in 1865 and stayed till 1930, one of the longest periods of service in any church in Cambridgeshire. There are figures on pedestals of the Madonna and Child, and of the two martyrs canonised in our own time, John Fisher and Sir Thomas More.

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