Anglesey Group of Parishes Benefice of Five Churches near Cambridge

Holy Trinity, Bottisham

 

The Building

Holy Trinity Church, Bottisham, has been described as ‘One of the most interesting churches in Cambridgeshire and in addition an architecturally very satisfactory building’ (Pevsner, 1970). It merits three stars in ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’ – ‘one of the county’s most glorious churches’ (Jenkins, 1999).

 Parishes/Bottisham/History

The earliest parts of the present church date from the Early English period: the west porch (the Galilee - relatively rare), the tower (top Perpendicular), the font and the lower part of the chancel, but including the chancel arch. The oldest part is the lower section of the tower, which dates from around 1200. The feature of greatest impact is undoubtedly the nave, which may well have been commissioned and paid for by Elias de Beckingham, Justice of Common Pleas to Edward I, whose tomb lies in a prominent position in the centre aisle. The nave is all from the same period, an unusual feature, and dates from around 1310-1320. The depth and detail of the moulding of the arches is outstanding. Two tall, narrow windows with caged tracery, at the east ends of the north and south aisles may well have lit chantry chapels, although there is now no visible evidence of one on the north side. The clerestory windows are centred over the columns, rather than over the points of the arches, possibly a device to avoid the nave reaching an excessive height. The arches of the arcades are not aligned with the aisle windows, possibly because the buiders did not wish to disturb the graves under blind arches on the wall of the south aisle. The burials date from the Early English period and may have been under the walls of the south aisle of the earlier church.

 History

  The nave is separated from the chancel by a Perpendicular stone screen, dating from
   around 1474, which was probably constructed at the time of the creation of an Allington chapel at the east end of the north aisle.The parclose screens around the Allington monuments and around the Jenyns memorial in the south aisle, with    their tracery of the Decorated period, may contain remnants of the original C14 rood screen, which may have been reworked c 1470 to form an Allington aisle chapel. The memorials behind the screens have been described as ‘superb post-reformation monuments’ (Jenkins, 1999).History

 

  The lower parts of the chancel, with the priest’s door, double piscina and sedilia, are  EarlyEnglish, but the windows on the north and south are c 1475. The east window and reredos date  from 1875 (Sir Arthur Blomfield, stained glass by Clayton & Bell). The gallery at the west end of the nave, which was added at the time of the major reordering carried out by the Revd Hailstone in 1839/40, carries the old Walker organ. This was installed in 1840 as a barrel organ, but was converted into a keyboard instrument in 1864 (awarded Grade II* status for historical importance by the British Institute of Organ Studies). The western screens, enclosing the Fairhaven chapel and choir vestry with their high quality woodwork, were designed by Sir Albert Richardson and erected in 1952 – the carved angels on the screen are by Sir Charles Wheeler.

 History

 As part of his restoration in 1839-40, Hailstone re-seated the nave, with the primary object of increasing the number of seats. The reworking of the Allington aisle chapel to make the two parclose screens at the east ends of the aisles dates from this period. There have been changes to Hailstone’s pews. Two rows were lost from the central part of the nave as a result of a fire in 1993 and the remaining central pews, no longer on a platform, moved back to allow the formation of a raised space in front of the chancel arch. Pews were removed from the south aisle in 2005 to accommodate the font.

 

 The tower contains a ring of 6 bells, all but the treble (recast 1976) dating from between c. 1590 and 1638. The fifth is a rare survivor from the foundry of Richard Nicholson of Cambridge, cast circa 1590. Only two bells are known to remain from this foundry. The 5th is also one of the small number of bells in England that bears so-called royal heads motifs, possibly representing Edward III and his queen. The 4 bells from the foundry of John Draper of Thetford bear the imprint of coins, which had been inserted into the mould. The second is on permanent loan from Kirtling; originally their treble, but was re-tuned to augment the original ring of 5. The bell frame, designed for a ring of 6, is of oak and dates from 1929. The bells were removed from the tower, refurbished and re-hung by Nicholsons of Bridport in 2015.History

 

 The clock, by Munsey of Cambridge, was installed in the tower in 1870. The two clock faces, on the south and west walls of the tower, were repainted and re-gilded in 2015 in memory of Peter Green, who lost his life in the crash of a Turkish Airlines jet near Paris in 1974.

The report "The bells at Holy Trinity Bottisham" summarising the research undertaken by the History Group, formed as part of the project to renovate the bells in 2015, can be read here.

 

 

 

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Anglesey Group of Parishes Benefice of Five Churches near Cambridge

Holy Trinity, Bottisham

 

The Building

Holy Trinity Church, Bottisham, has been described as ‘One of the most interesting churches in Cambridgeshire and in addition an architecturally very satisfactory building’ (Pevsner, 1970). It merits three stars in ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’ – ‘one of the county’s most glorious churches’ (Jenkins, 1999).

 Parishes/Bottisham/History

The earliest parts of the present church date from the Early English period: the west porch (the Galilee - relatively rare), the tower (top Perpendicular), the font and the lower part of the chancel, but including the chancel arch. The oldest part is the lower section of the tower, which dates from around 1200. The feature of greatest impact is undoubtedly the nave, which may well have been commissioned and paid for by Elias de Beckingham, Justice of Common Pleas to Edward I, whose tomb lies in a prominent position in the centre aisle. The nave is all from the same period, an unusual feature, and dates from around 1310-1320. The depth and detail of the moulding of the arches is outstanding. Two tall, narrow windows with caged tracery, at the east ends of the north and south aisles may well have lit chantry chapels, although there is now no visible evidence of one on the north side. The clerestory windows are centred over the columns, rather than over the points of the arches, possibly a device to avoid the nave reaching an excessive height. The arches of the arcades are not aligned with the aisle windows, possibly because the buiders did not wish to disturb the graves under blind arches on the wall of the south aisle. The burials date from the Early English period and may have been under the walls of the south aisle of the earlier church.

 History

  The nave is separated from the chancel by a Perpendicular stone screen, dating from
   around 1474, which was probably constructed at the time of the creation of an Allington chapel at the east end of the north aisle.The parclose screens around the Allington monuments and around the Jenyns memorial in the south aisle, with    their tracery of the Decorated period, may contain remnants of the original C14 rood screen, which may have been reworked c 1470 to form an Allington aisle chapel. The memorials behind the screens have been described as ‘superb post-reformation monuments’ (Jenkins, 1999).History

 

  The lower parts of the chancel, with the priest’s door, double piscina and sedilia, are  EarlyEnglish, but the windows on the north and south are c 1475. The east window and reredos date  from 1875 (Sir Arthur Blomfield, stained glass by Clayton & Bell). The gallery at the west end of the nave, which was added at the time of the major reordering carried out by the Revd Hailstone in 1839/40, carries the old Walker organ. This was installed in 1840 as a barrel organ, but was converted into a keyboard instrument in 1864 (awarded Grade II* status for historical importance by the British Institute of Organ Studies). The western screens, enclosing the Fairhaven chapel and choir vestry with their high quality woodwork, were designed by Sir Albert Richardson and erected in 1952 – the carved angels on the screen are by Sir Charles Wheeler.

 History

 As part of his restoration in 1839-40, Hailstone re-seated the nave, with the primary object of increasing the number of seats. The reworking of the Allington aisle chapel to make the two parclose screens at the east ends of the aisles dates from this period. There have been changes to Hailstone’s pews. Two rows were lost from the central part of the nave as a result of a fire in 1993 and the remaining central pews, no longer on a platform, moved back to allow the formation of a raised space in front of the chancel arch. Pews were removed from the south aisle in 2005 to accommodate the font.

 

 The tower contains a ring of 6 bells, all but the treble (recast 1976) dating from between c. 1590 and 1638. The fifth is a rare survivor from the foundry of Richard Nicholson of Cambridge, cast circa 1590. Only two bells are known to remain from this foundry. The 5th is also one of the small number of bells in England that bears so-called royal heads motifs, possibly representing Edward III and his queen. The 4 bells from the foundry of John Draper of Thetford bear the imprint of coins, which had been inserted into the mould. The second is on permanent loan from Kirtling; originally their treble, but was re-tuned to augment the original ring of 5. The bell frame, designed for a ring of 6, is of oak and dates from 1929. The bells were removed from the tower, refurbished and re-hung by Nicholsons of Bridport in 2015.History

 

 The clock, by Munsey of Cambridge, was installed in the tower in 1870. The two clock faces, on the south and west walls of the tower, were repainted and re-gilded in 2015 in memory of Peter Green, who lost his life in the crash of a Turkish Airlines jet near Paris in 1974.

The report "The bells at Holy Trinity Bottisham" summarising the research undertaken by the History Group, formed as part of the project to renovate the bells in 2015, can be read here.