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Parish Church of St Mary

A Grade II* Listed Building in St Neots, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.224 / 52°13'26"N

Longitude: -0.2682 / 0°16'5"W

OS Eastings: 518388

OS Northings: 259836

OS Grid: TL183598

Mapcode National: GBR H2L.K0V

Mapcode Global: VHGMF.9CKD

Entry Name: Parish Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 10 January 1951

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1127993

English Heritage Legacy ID: 53186

Location: St. Neots, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, PE19

County: Cambridgeshire

District: Huntingdonshire

Civil Parish: St. Neots

Built-Up Area: St Neots

Traditional County: Huntingdonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Eynesbury

Church of England Diocese: Ely

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Saint Neots

Listing Text

This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 27/09/2016





Anglican church. C12 and C13, the tower a dated rebuilding of 1688. Extensive restoration in 1857 and the chancel extended in mid-C20. Principally Early English and Perpendicular Gothic, the tower perhaps an example of Gothic survival.

MATERIALS: Cobble stone walling interspersed with Clunch blocks, with Barnack limestone dressings, many of C19 restoration date. The tower is of ashlar limestone, believed to be re-used C13 masonry. Peg tile roof coverings to chancel and porch, lead sheeting to the nave and copper sheeting to north and south aisles.

PLAN: Mainly linear in form, with a nave, north and south aisles, north aisle porch, a tower to the south-east corner of the south aisle, a chancel and an extension to the chancel south side wall.

EXTERIOR: The north elevation to the 5-bay North aisle rises from a plinth with continuous moulded string courses. The central aisle porch has a steeply-pitched roof and a tall pointed arched doorway with a moulded surround. Flanking the porch are tall pointed arched 2-light windows with quatrefoil heads, and between the windows are shallow stepped buttresses. Above and set back behind a low moulded ashlar aisle parapet are 5, 2-light Clerestorey windows with Y-traceried heads and surrounds in similar style to the aisle windows below. The West end has diagonal buttresses to the aisle corners and a tall pointed-arched West doorway set below a wide 3-light window with decorated tracery to its head. There are stepped buttresses at the junctions of the aisles and the taller central nave gable. The South aisle is lower and narrower than its north counterpart and has both pointed and flat arch-headed windows to its south wall. There is a pointed arched doorway to the central bay, to the east of which is a 2-light window. Further east is the attached tower, projecting at a slight angle to the nave and aisles, possibly indicative of a rebuilding on the footprint and alignment of an earlier structure. The tower has five stages and a crenellated parapet with corner pinnacles. Clasping buttresses extend to the base of the bell stage, which has a 2- light louvred opening to each façade. There are two doorways at ground floor level to the tower west wall, the one to the north giving access to the tower spiral stair. The chancel has a tall stepped 3-light lancet window to its gable, and diagonal buttresses to the corners. The C20 extension is built against the south wall of the chancel.
There is no dedicatory inscription or names on the adjacent Eynesbury War Memorial (Grade II); instead the dedicatory inscription for the memorial is incised and gilded onto a slate plaque which is set into the church wall. The inscription reads: THIS MEMORIAL CROSS WAS ERECTED BY THE PARISHIONERS/ TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN GRATEFUL REMEMBRANCE OF/ THE BRAVE MEN OF EYNESBURY/ WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY IN THE/ GREAT WAR – 1914 – 1919.

INTERIOR: The nave arcades are of different dates, the North arcade with circular columns, squared abaci and capitals with scalloped, pointed leaf and stiff leaf ornamentation. The South arcade has octagonal columns and broached hollow chamfered arch mouldings. The South aisle is of narrow width, with a C13 arched opening providing access to the tower, and a buttress-like projection to the west of the opening. Each aisle has a 2-light window either side of the wide C13 chancel arch. The nave has a trussed roof with small arch braces and posts carried on moulded wall corbels.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The North aisle retains a set of medieval bench ends with traceried fronts and ends embellished with eclectic representations of human heads, birds, animals and beasts. The pulpit is of late C17 date, and includes inlay work to its panelling and angle post decorated with garlands and cherubs' heads.


Pevsner, N. `Bedfordshire Huntingdon and Peterborough'. (1968), 242


The church of St Mary, Eynesbury , St Neots , Huntingdonshire is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural Interest. The church is an important and well-preserved example of early medieval ecclesiastical architecture. It is mainly of C12 and C13 date with evidence of its sequential development clearly represented in its architectural detailing.
* Historical Interest. The church retains much medieval fabric, alongside evidence of different phases of continuous community use and worship from the C12 to the C20.
* Plan form. The church has an unusual and distinctive plan form; its tower is located at the south-east corner of the south aisle, and apparently rebuilt on an earlier footprint.
* Interior. The special interest of the church is considerably enhanced by the quality of its interior, including its furnishings, which include a set of medieval bench ends and a fine C17 pulpit.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 25 October 2017.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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