St John's Church, Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Address: Green Street, Duxford, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB22 4RG
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Open summer weekends; other times keyholder nearby
Keyholder information, accessibility and facilities

A heavenly church with Templar links

  • stunningly detailed wallpaintings;
  • ancient graffiti;
  • mysterious Middle Age wall markings;
  • amazing carvings.

The picture-postcard setting of St John’s is only part of its charm. It is set in a pretty village next to the green and surrounded by attractive old houses.

The exterior is quirky rather than beautiful. It is originally Norman, and has a magnificent doorway of that period, with a carved zigzag pattern round its arch. The lead 'spike’ that rises from the tower is very typical of churches in this part of the country. Its top was twisted in 1897 when a flagpole tied to it, to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, was blown about in a gale.

The striking Medieval and earlier wallpaintings are only one of the many treasures and curiosities that make a visit to this church rewarding. The paintings on the west wall of the chancel are probably the most graphic.

There are scenes from the crucifixion of Christ, a graphic picture of St Margaret's toture and martyrdom, some horrid devils. Fragments of paintings cover most of the other walls.

Inside, massive Norman arches support the central tower. Both inside and out, it is worth looking at the exquisite carvings. Those in the north aisle include human faces, angels and strange creatures. A rare link with the past is provided by the graffiti scratched into the stonework over the centuries, many of which are very old, as you can see from the dates, and the fact that some are in Latin. There are also strange marks cut into the stone in various places around the church, where people used to sharpen their arrows in the Middle Ages.

Wallpaintings flower logoDiscover more about the wallpaintings in this church

 

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How to find us

To locate this church on a map, click on the 'View on map' link that appears below the address information at the top of the page.

Road directions

6 miles south of Cambridge, 1 mile south east of M11 at Junction 10; church in centre of small village on St John's Street

Public transport information

Nearest railway station: Cambridge (6 miles). Bus route number C7

OS Reference No.

TL 478 462

What’s on & news

News

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Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

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Image gallery

Click on images to view larger

Images from Flickr

The CCT is grateful to the Flickr group, Friends of the Churches Conservation Trust, for the images shown here. CCT is not responsible for the quality or content of images taken from Flickr.


Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Useful information

Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church and the CCT before you visit?

You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walk round guides we have for this church.

 

 

 

PDF iconCambridgeshire County Guide (PDF, 4.8mb)

This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches CCT cares for in Cambridgeshire. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

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Comments

  1. Eugen Winter (23 May 2011, 23:15)

    I was born in Victoria House, St. John's Street, in 1942, it was, I suppose the first building I saw. As a child I played in the churchyard, which at that time was very overgrown, but ideal for hide and seek. I remember the bells being taken down from the belfry, they were laid out in the churchyard for people to see, before being taken away, some of them to St. Peter's. As children we had access to the inside as the key could be had from a nearby house, Mr and Mrs Ryder, I believe. With regard to the top of the spire, it had another two feet or so more, which made the top look like a crooked forefinger. In the mid to late 50s there was a gale of wind at night, when I looked out the morning after I saw that the tip was missing I went to the South side of the church and recovered the missing two feet of spire which had been blown off. It was made of lead, wrapped round a wooden core it was, in fact the very tip of the spire, there were a series of holes along the lead, indicating that there had been a weather vane. Unfortunately I don't know what's happened to this piece of spire now.
    I am very pleased that St. John's has now been taken under the wing of the redundant churches and that it is now being cared for, as, during the 1950s it was in a very poor state after the lead was taken off the North side and replaced with felt to try and keep the rain water out. I hope this may be of some interest.

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

St John's Church, Duxford, Cambridgeshire

Keyholder

If the access information for this church is listed as 'Keyholder nearby', this means that the key is kept by one of our invaluable volunteer 'keyholders', who usually live just a short walk from the church and can give visitors the key; sometimes this is a nearby hotel, pub, library, art gallery or other venue. You will find instructions explaining how to get the key when you arrive at the church.

Disabled access

Churchyard accessed through a stile and there is a deep step down into church. Wheelchair ramp available by arrangement.

Facilities

Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating or running water meaning that they can be cold, and very rarely have toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor. We do apologise for any inconvenience the lack of facilities may cause.