St John's Church, Duxford, Cambridgeshire
- What's nearby
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 torture and martyrdom, and 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.
Victorian decorative genius. A church from our finest shortlist.
Saxon mermen in the smallest church in Cambridge
Musical angels serenade New Testament tales
Churchyard accessed through a stile and there is a deep step down into church. Wheelchair ramp available by arrangement.
Disabled access information
Small step into church
Facilities & Hire
Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number have heating, running water or toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor.
Ten miles from the centre of Cambridge, 1 mile south east of M11 at Junction 10; church in centre of small village on St John's Street
Nearest railway station: Whittlesford Parkway (1 mile); Bus route number C7
History & Further Information
Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church before you visit? You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walkround guides we have for this churchCambridgeshire County Guide 2012
This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches we care for in Cambridgeshire. Printed copies of the county guides are also available at the church.
Useful local links:
- Visit Cambridge tourism website: www.visitcambridge.org
- Cambridgeshire Family History Society: www.cfhs.org.uk
- Cambridgeshire Association for Local History: www.calh.org.uk
- Cambridgeshire history website: www.cambridgeshirehistory.com
- Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust: www.cambshistoricchurchestrust.co.uk