Rob and I continued on a bus to St Andrew’s church in Cherry Hinton, which is at TL 490571, and has a website.
At 3 pm we had an appointment with Karin the Vicar and a lady called Isobel. We were to look at Evetts glass. For those who haven’t followed my blog for years, Leonard Evetts was an artist who lived in Newcastle for many years. I had some of his stained glass windows in Ponteland, and found others as I travelled round the North East (you can search for them all on this blog by using the category buttons to the right). He had lived in Woolsington, part of the parish, and several members of my congregation had known him well.
The other week Karin contacted me through this blog to say she has two Evetts windows and wants two more. I passed her query to the Newcastle DAC – so if anyone knows Evetts glass needing a new home, Karin would love to hear from you. Isabel had been involved in the installation of the two windows – and as we chatted it turned out she had also been at school with my mum (in those days she was Isobel Cherry and mum was Jane Hoskinson. They were at the Perse). Rob made himself very useful with a camera (thanks for these photos).
The glass went in in 1987. There is a picture of Leonard Evetts painting Christ’s face in this window on page 42 of the book Leonard Evetts: master designer, privately printed 2001, ISBN 1 870787 80 3.
It was a good chat, and good to have an opportunity to look at rest of the church. The coffin lid and the font are early – Norman – both probably from an earlier church. The first mention of this building is in 1201 when Henry, son of the Fitz-Hughe family, obtained confirmation of a grant to him of land at Hinton with the advowson of the church. During the 13th century the original church was replaced by an Early-English structure, some of the materials of the older building being incorporated into the new. The chancel dates from the second quarter of the century, the nave being constructed about the latter part of the third.
The church is largely built of flint rubble with some stone facings; the carvings and mouldings, which are executed in local clunch, were probably the work of village craftsmen. Clunch is an easily worked, soft white limestone, and was locally quarried. Corpus Christi College had a quarry here by virtue of a grant of King Edward III and the history page on the website says that the Cherry Hinton Rectory also used to own a pit. “Historically, the medieval stonecutter lived and worked beside his material; hence it is likely that many expert masons occupied the district, and that Cherry Hinton was the centre for a thriving village industry; where the clunch would have been cut and carved on the spot before being delivered elsewhere.” (I hope Karin can find an old legal document which gives her the right to all the clunch dug in Cherry Hinton).
In the C18 an antiquary called William Cole visited the church and wrote that the woodwork was decaying, walls and pillars were invaded by green mould and ‘the whole chancel was squalid and dirty’. About 1792 the clerestory fell and extensive repairs became necessary. Even in the middle of the 19th century the west end of the north aisle was ‘blocked off and used as a rubbish depository’ – ‘an idle and unseemly custom’ says a visitor ‘very common in the churches in the neighbourhood of Cambridge.’
There are some lovely memorials. There are details of Walter Serocold here. “The King has not a more meritorious young captain in His Majesty’s Navy.”
I looked up Bewick Bridge to find out about the mathematician, and found that a local school is named after him. Their website says “he was vicar for 17 years from 1816-1833, and he founded the very first school in the village in 1832, the year before he died. He also built the vicarage at the end of Fulbourn Old Drift, the road on which our present school stands. Bewick Bridge was a Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and author of a famous Algebra text book. In 1812 he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society.”
There are some interesting kneelers – the Mathematical Bridge at Queens’ College and “Keep Fit” – we will not have a keep fit kneeler at any of my churches! I like the wood panel.
Outside there is a huge churchyard. We didn’t explore it, but did find a lot of War graves. Let’s end with a lovely gargoyle.
It was nice to be in a church that is doing its best to be the parish church for the community. They had had a festival weekend with 800 people through the doors, and still had time to chat to us. Thank you!