All Saints, Buckworth
All Saints, Buckworth
The Domesday Book records a church at Buckworth in 1086, but the oldest parts of the current church of All Saints are 12th century corners of the nave, which was originally aisleless. A south arcade and aisle were built in the 13th century, and the chancel and north aisle added in 1310.

The tower is topped by a spire which has been the highest point in Huntingdonshire for over 7 centuries. The most striking feature of the tower is a pair of circular windows with beautiful geometric tracery, set into the 3rd stage.
The main south door is late 13th century, rehung in the 15th century to swing outwards. It is made with v-edged boards against a horizontal frame, a technique similar to that used to make Tudor ships. Around the eaves are a wonderful variety of gargoyles and grotesque carvings, including strange beasts and a grinning king.

GROTESQUE CARVINGS
Grotesque carving, south aisle
Grotesque carving, south aisle exterior
Gargoyle, south wall
Gargoyle, south wall
Grotesque carving
Grotesque carving
Inside, the most obvious feature is the roof, with a wonderful set of painted bosses. The roof is a Victorian restoration, but it rests on 15th century stone corbels carved with angels holding heraldic shields. There are four bosses reused from the earlier medieval roof, mixed with modern bosses. Among the carved heads used as bosses are a Green Man, the ancient symbol of fertility. Other faces are kings wearing crowns, and it is interesting that the kings look towards the altar, while the Green Man looks the other way. Coincidence? Not likely!

ROOF BOSSES
Green Man
Green Man
Human face
Human face
A king
A king
Foliage design
Foliage design
In the north east aisle are fragments of a 13th century stone coffin-lid carved with crosses and on a bracket against the south chancel wall is a small carved figure holding a book. This was found in the foundations of the chancel in 1907.

The most interesting memorial is to William Stevenson (d. 1711), decorated with a skull and crossed bones to represent mortality.

Visiting
All Saints has limited opening hours. I had to travel a long way and arrived earlier than expected, so I sat and rested in my car. A chap emerged from a nearby cottage to walk his dogs, and we struck up a conversation. When he returned from his dog walking he made me a cup of coffee and brought it out to me. Talk about friendly natives! There was still no sign of the church warden arriving to open the church door, so my new friend went to the warden's house - which wasn't signposted at the church - and returned with a key the size of one of those old prison keys in films. In no time I was inside the church and snapping away happily with my camera. My new friend had to leave and just asked my to lock the door and leave the key there, as it was a peaceful village and he'd return soon to retrieve it. Now, what an advertisement for Buckworth village!

All Saints is a lovely church in a beautifully picturesque hilltop setting. Though the interior has some interesting features, particularly the roof bosses and carved corbel heads, the best features are the 13th century nave and tower, with the eye-catching gargoyles and Geometric windows.
    Historic Highlights
  • 13th century nave
  • 1310 chancel
  • Medieval roof bosses
  • 13th century carved corbel heads
  • 15th century clerestory
  • Grotesque gargoyles on exterior


William Stevenson memorial (1711)
William Stevenson memorial (1711)
Medieval corbel of an angel
13th century corbel of an angel
12th century stonework, chancel exterior
12th century stonework, chancel exterior
Geometric window in the tower
Geometric window in the tower
Gargoyle of a king
Gargoyle of a king
Late 13th century door
Late 13th century door

About Buckworth
Address: Church Road, Buckworth, Cambridgeshire, England, PE28 5AL
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Buckworth is 5 miles west of Huntingdon, off the A1(M)/A14. Parking along the verge. Regular opening hours.
Location map
OS: TL148767
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express


NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS

Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest

Alconbury, St Peter & St Paul - 2.3 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Steeple Gidding, St Andrew's Church - 3 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Little Gidding Church - 3.3 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Buckden Towers - 6.3 miles (Historic Building) Heritage Rating

Buckden, St Mary's Church - 6.3 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Kimbolton, St Andrew's Church - 6.3 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Huntingdon, All Saints Church - 6.3 miles (Historic Church) Heritage Rating

Kimbolton Castle - 6.3 miles (Castle) Heritage Rating



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Peterborough
Visitor Information Centre
9 Bridge Street
Peterborough
Cambridgeshire
England
PE1 1HJ
Tel: 01733 452 336
Email: vic@peterborough.gov.uk
Web: http://www.visitpeterborough.com/
Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays
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