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Pair of Table Top Tombs 5 Metres South West of the South Porch, Churchyard of All Saints

A Grade II Listed Building in Ellington, Cambridgeshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.3318 / 52°19'54"N

Longitude: -0.2988 / 0°17'55"W

OS Eastings: 516018

OS Northings: 271770

OS Grid: TL160717

Mapcode National: GBR H16.WSL

Mapcode Global: VHGLT.RNXB

Entry Name: Pair of Table Top Tombs 5 Metres South West of the South Porch, Churchyard of All Saints

Listing Date: 2 February 2010

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393652

English Heritage Legacy ID: 504713

Location: Ellington, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, PE28

County: Cambridgeshire

District: Huntingdonshire

Civil Parish: Ellington

Built-Up Area: Ellington

Traditional County: Huntingdonshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Ellington All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Ely

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Listing Text

ELLINGTON

49/0/10010 HIGH STREET
02-FEB-10 Pair of table top tombs 5 metres south
west of the south porch, Churchyard o
f All Saints

GV II
A pair of table tombs probably erected in 1599 using C14 side panels and C13 top slabs. Restored in 2009 by Fairhaven & Woods Ltd.

MATERIALS: The side panels are of Weldon limestone and the top slabs are from the Clipsham group of quarries, which is also the stone used for the 2009 restoration.

PLAN: Two rectangular table tombs aligned east-west and parallel to each other, 350 mm apart.

EXTERIOR: Both tombs were constructed in an identical fashion on splayed stone plinths reusing existing C14 panels of varying sizes and carved with repeating encircled quatrefoils on the same pattern as those of the quatrefoils which appear on the C14 font in the church. The east and west ends of each tomb had one encircled quatrefoil and the flanks five each, but considerable erosion has meant that the north and east sides of the south tomb have been replaced with flat plain Clipsham panels and a further panel has been inserted in the south face of the north tomb. When constructed one panel was lacking, so that the east end of the south tomb was built of pale orange brick of c1600 laid in an indeterminate bond. Both of the tomb slabs are very worn so that no designs, patterns or inscriptions are visible, and both have rebated lower edges all round, which overhang the bases and were not designed for them.

The tombs both have group value with the adjacent grade I Church of All Saints.

HISTORY:
All Saints church was rebuilt from the C13, as the restored chancel testifies. The bulk of the aisled structure however is from the C15, including the very tall and slender tower and spire, which is visible from a considerable distance as one approaches from the east or west on the A14. The materials are rubblestone dressed with Barnack and Ketton stone. In 1574 the advowson of the church was granted to Peterhouse College in Cambridge, and the college paid for Scott's restoration of the chancel in 1863 and the enlargement of the churchyard, which was enclosed by a brick wall. The churchyard has over a hundred headstones, and there is a table tomb in the angle between the chancel and the south nave aisle commemorating Thomas Ladds who died in 1802.

There is a local legend that the two table tombs five metres south-west of the south porch were made to accommodate the remains of two sisters who, in 1599, donated 63 acres of land to the parish for the maintenance of the poor, and this charity - the Town Lands Charity - remains active today, administered under the requirements of the Charities Commission. The story may be true as the two tombs are constructed of quatrefoiled panels dating from the C14 with worn and uninscribed slabs laid over the top. The names of the benefactors are not recorded. Where stone panels were not available, principally in the east end of the south tomb, pale orange brick of c1600 was used, fired from the Oxford clay which underlies most of the parish. In 2009 the tombs were both restored by Fairhaven & Woods Ltd., stonemasons of Cambridge, using Clipsham stone as a replacement for the original Weldon limestone.

SOURCES:
Alexander, J.' Building Stone from the East Midland Quarries: Sources, Transportation and Usage', Medieval Archaeology XXXIX, (1995) p. 107-135.
Page, W (ed.) 'Victoria County History, Huntingdonshire' Vol. 3 (1936), pp.44-48.
Pevsner, N ' Buildings of England. Bedfordshire, Huntingdon and Peterborough' (1968) pp. 237-238.
Horsford, M 'All Saints Church, Ellington' (church guide book, 2008)

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION DECISION:
The pair of table tombs five metres south of the Church of All Saints, High Street, Ellington, Cambridgeshire are recommended for designation at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architecture: they are composed of C14 sculpture with quatrefoil motifs, taken from three older tombs.
* Historic Interest: this pair of tombs commemorates two parish benefactors, and is an unusual instance of re-using late medieval masonry in the late Elizabethan period.
* Early Fabric: the masonry, dated to C14, is early evidence of outdoor tombs of lone status.
* Group Value: they are sited adjacent to, and have group value with, the Church of All Saints, a Grade I listed building.

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

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