St Peter's Church, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Address:
Castle Hill, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB3 0AJ
How to find us | Access information
Opening times:
Open, 11am - 4pm.
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Saxon mermen in the smallest church in Cambridge

The tiny, tall-spired St Peter's is tucked away in a quiet corner of Cambridge with ancient trees in the churchyard. This simple building is a haven of tranquillity from the busy streets around it. It was originally built in the eleventh century, and traces of its Saxon past survive in the form of two lovely carved doorways and the stone font, decorated with four mermen grasping their split tails. Mermen may have an ancient link to St Peter, patron saint of fishermen.

The church was rebuilt in Georgian times, and is a simple, elegant gem of a building. There is a charming weathervane outside with the initials AP on it; these are said to be those of Andrew Perne, a sixteenth-century Dean of Ely. An unnamed grave stone, dated February 1681 lies in a quiet corner of the churchyard. The grave could have belonged to someone who died in the second wave of plague that devastated the local area around this time. But what's unusual and quite poignant about this gravestone is that it's in the shape of a heart.

With the homely domestic architecture of the neighbouring houses, including Kettle's Yard Museum next door, and the quaint buildings of the Cambridge Folk Museum nearby, this corner of Cambridge has an almost rural feel, in contrast to the grandeur of the city's more famous sights.

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