Steeple Gidding, St Andrew's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Beautifully carved 12th century doorway
The village was recorded in the Domesday Book, but no church was mentioned. In 1178 Pope Alexander III confirmed the advowson of the church as belonging to Ramsey Abbey, so we know that there must have been a church by the 12th century.
By 1260 the church was so well established that it gave its name to the village (the 'Steeple' in Steeple Gidding referring to an existing church steeple). We do not know when that first church, or its steeple, was built, but the steeple was replaced with the current one in the 14th century.
The most interesting feature is the carved Norman doorway. The doorway is 12th century as is a holy water stoup just inside the door. The doorway arch is 12th century but the jambs are 13th century. The chancel dates to 1330, but many of the windows are modern as is the chancel arch. The nave is 14th century, though the four-bay south arcade dates to about 1300.
The fairly plain octagonal font is made of Ketton stone and dates to the 16th century. It is topped by a 17th-century oak cover. Against the wall is a massive stone grave slab carved with a floriated cross. In the chancel is a medieval piscina and a stepped triple sedilia is set into the south wall. Opposite the sedilia, against the north wall, is an unusual neoclassical memorial to an unknown woman, with a bust topping a coat of arms and a scrolled tablet.
The church was restored by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1872 and the medieval porch replaced with a new one, and the 15th-century tower and spire were restored in 1899. It is built of rubble and ashlar dressed with Barnack stone.
There are memorials dating to the 17th century, many of them members of the Cotton family (see Conington), with the oldest being Thomas Cotton (d. 1640). Another very fine Cotton memorial is to Sir John Cotton, who died in 1752.
The church is no longer used for regular worship and is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. It is normally open daily to visitors. Steeple Gidding is just a short distance from the quite wonderful church at Little Gidding.
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About Steeple Gidding, St Andrew's Church
Address: Steeple Gidding, Cambridgeshire, England, PE28 5RG
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: 3 miles west of Sawtry off the A1
Website: Steeple Gidding, St Andrew's Church
Churches Conservation Trust
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Historic Time Periods:
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12th century (Time Period) - 14th century (Time Period) - 16th century (Time Period) - 17th century (Time Period) - Domesday Book (Historical Reference) - Medieval (Time Period) - Norman (Architecture) -
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Little Gidding Church - 0.5 miles (Historic Church)
Buckworth, All Saints Church - 3 miles (Historic Church)
Alconbury, St Peter & St Paul - 4.5 miles (Historic Church)
Conington, All Saints Church - 7.6 miles (Historic Church)
Elton Hall - 7.7 miles (Historic House)
Aldwincle, All Saints Church - 7.8 miles (Historic Church)
Fotheringhay Castle - 8.6 miles (Castle)
Kimbolton, St Andrew's Church - 8.6 miles (Historic Church)
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