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Cambridgeshire - Waterbeach

Main street Waterbeach - early 1900's

"WATERBEACH is a parish and large village, on the navigable river Cam, with a station on the London and Ely section of the Great Eastern railway, and is 5½ miles north-east from Cambridge and 62 from London, in the Western division of the county, hundred of Northstow, union of Chesterton, petty sessional division and county court district of Cambridge, rural deanery of Quy and archdeaconry and diocese of Ely. "

" The land in this neighbourhood is, very fertile, and there are large market garden grounds. The principal crops are wheat, barley, beans, potatoes and turnips. The area is 5,722 acres of land and 28 of water; rateable value, 13,170; the population in 1891 was 1,382."

[Kelly's Directory - 1900]

Waterbeach St John the Evangelist

The church of St. John the Evangelist is an edifice of the 13th century, in the Early English style with Perpendicular insertions, and consists of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing a clock and 5 bells: the windows of the clerestory and aisles are Perpendicular: the chancel is enriched with an alabaster and mosaic reredos: the beautiful font of marble and Caen stone and a very elaborate brass lectern were presented by friends of the late vicar: the chancel, nave and aisles have been restored, and the church enlarged and reseated with carved oak benches, and in 1878 a stained window was placed in the belfry: in the nave floor is a stone inscribed to William Stane M.D. and Fellow of the College of Physicians in London, d. 11 Feb. 1679: the pulpit was erected in 1879, as a memorial to the Rev. William Keatinge Clay B.D. vicar here 1854-67; it is of Caen stone and alabaster, inlaid with representations in mosaic of the Sermon on the Mount and the preaching of St. Paul, and is further adorned with statuettes of St. John the Baptist and the Prophet Elijah: the church was restored in 1878, at a cost of 3,500, and affords 450 sittings. The register dates from the year 1653.

The mission church of St. Andrew, at the extreme end of the parish, and 3½ miles from the parish church, was erected in 1883, at a cost of about 800, mainly contributed by Mrs. Horne, and is a building of stone, consisting of chancel and nave: it affords 60 sittings. Here is a Baptist chapel, of which the late Rev. C. H. Spurgeon was for some years minister and one at Chittering. There are also Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist chapels and a Salvation Army hall.

Two miles north-west are the remains of the ancient abbey of Denny (Daneia), originally built in 1160 by Robert, chamberlain to the Duke of Bretagne, as a cell of Ely, and dedicated to SS. James and Leonard, but refounded in 1342 by Agnes, Countess of Pembroke, for nuns of the order of St. Clare: the refectory and the greater part of the church, of Norman and Decorated work, remains.

[Kelly's Directory - Cambridgeshire - 1929]

Photographs Copyright © Mandy Manning 2000

These photographcover the exterior and interior of St John's church. The pictures are located inside the church and will require local examination to read the text and to truly appeciate the content.

Details of the Churches and Religion in Waterbeach are documented on the Waterbeach website.

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Last Updated on: 12 October 2000
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