Cambridgeshire Churches

Little Wilbraham, St John the Evangelist

the odd tower base of Little Wilbraham

Little Wilbraham has one of the nicer churchyards I've come across in this area - splendidly leafy, with good views out across fields to the north and west. There's what looks like a preaching cross in the churchyard.

The church is set back from the road along a track, and its closest neighbour is a very handsome looking cottage painted in sage green.

I added it to the list of Houses I Would Live In If I Were Ever To Earn Any Money, sighed, then entered the church.

The main body of the church looks like it's very old - there is a 10th century window in the south wall. The tower is 14th century, and the chancel is Early English, heavily restored.

Inside, the west end is decidedly confusing - aside from the usual tower arch there are two lesser arches on either side, looking almost like flying buttresses. Most peculiar. 

The rest of the church is rather unexciting. The north aisle (rebuilt in the 14th century) is huge - wider than the nave. In the chancel they have recently discovered a leper's squint in the south wall, and there's a very damaged double piscina up by the main altar. The central pillar must have broken off at some point, for there's a big block of modern stone supporting the little rounded arches at the top.

a leafy chancel picture

The patronage of Little Wilbraham was held for a while by the Knights Templar. They had a house at nearby Great Wilbraham, where their influence is much more obvious.

I did have a poke around inside the leper's squint looking for the Holy Grail, or an alien manuscript giving instructions on how to build a pyramid, but to no avail. It must be a conspiracy...

St John was open when we visited.

| | about us | | | | ©2009 Ben Colburn & Mark Ynys-Mon