Entrance to St.
Ancient font in St.
Peters is decorated with mermen.
Another favorite place of mine in Cambridge
is St. Peters. It is not far from Magdalene College,
just a little bit more to the north and uphill.
It is a tiny church now, resting on a scrubby hill
surrounded by trees such that it is impossible to get a photo of it. Part of this quaint little church dates
back to the 11th century.
Here is the main entrance (at left).
Opposite this arch, on the other side of the church, is a Norman
arch. Very old.
Inside, the baptismal font probably dates back to Roman
times. This hill where St. Peters sits was an
old Roman town, then a fortress. Some
kind of pagan temple probably stood on the site of St. Peters long before it was a
At one time, St.
Peters was much larger. In the 1700s, its main roof collapsed and
the church went on, roofless, for some time.
The ceremonies – weddings, baptisms, etc. – were conducted in the
roofless church. Then the large part
of the church was demolished, and this old little wing is all that
remains. It was reformed into a small
chapel, with small rush-seated chairs.
I just love the simplicity and calmness of this place.
The church is situated in a place called Kettle’s
yard. There is a gallery there,
dedicated to folk art. The yard once
contained a mish-mash of tiny little old homes, in a very crowded settlement
that was devastated by the plague. The
ramshackle homes are long gone, but the ancient, village atmosphere remains.
Street from St. Peters is a tall mound where there once
stood a watchtower for a fortress/castle.
This headquarters during Roman times, Norman times, and later, is
still the headquarters for the city of Cambridge. The big government buildings nearby are
still called the Castle, but they aren’t ancient.
Take the time and effort to climb the steps to the top of
the mound, where you will have a very scenic and English view of Cambridge.