Monday, 19 March 2012

St Peter, Cambridge

Turn your back on the ghastly St Giles and see the jewel that is St Peter. This tiny CCT church is often open and if it isn't the key is held by the gallery next door, except when I visited since restoration work was being undertaken in the church and they didn't have the key. I was advised to return in a week or two and return I will.

Pevsner says "Early C13 S doorway with two orders of colonnettes and capitals apparently developing from waterleaf to stiff-leaf. Complex arch mouldings. The W tower flintwork with quoins and a nice recessed spire with dormers is C14. The N wall seems in parts to have been left standing, when, in 1781, the rest of the church was rebuilt.  FONT. Square, Norman, with fish-men at the angles holding their twin tails. The tails and arms form a symmetrical pattern on each side of the font."

St Peter (2)

St Peter (5)

South door

A path made of gravestones leads to the quaint little church of St Peter’s on Castle Hill, with a medieval cobblestone tower crowned with a short stone spire. The church was reduced to its present size (less than 30 feet long) in the 18th century, but there is Norman masonry in the walls, and we enter by a doorway built when the Norman style was passing, the round arch resting on shafts with capitals of simple leaves; one of the shafts is renewed in oak. A small doorway of the same time is blocked in the north wall. The curious square bowl of the font was made by the Normans, who carved the rim with cable, and gave the four men at the comers legs like tails, which they hold to form festoons.


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