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Church Post Code PE28 5PN

Normally Closed To Visitors


I am quite, but not totally ashamed, to admit that I arranged a four church crawl in to Huntingdonshire/Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire in October 2022 based on the fact that there was a coffee morning on at All Saints, Winwick!

I had visited the church here before but had very little in the way of interior photographs. The church would be open for the coffee morning which would allow me to see inside; and my church photography is often pretty much linked with food and drink and my thoughts were distracted by the hopes of chocolate cake as I cycled in from the south.

The day had started with a visit to the church of St Mary the Virgin, Leighton Bromswold, before heading to Winwick via Old Weston; with the church there being sadly closed at the time of typing this due to structural issues.

Winwick is a small village In Cambridgeshire, close to the border with Northamptonshire, with a population of 193 in 2021. It is seven miles south east of Oundle and 12 miles north west of Huntingdon. The village here was part of Huntingdonshire until 1965, when it became part of Huntingdon and Peterborough. It became part of Cambridgeshire in 1972.


The village was mentioned in the Domesday Survey of 1086, but there was no mention of a church or a priest here at that time. There is little historical information to be found on the internet for this village, but British History Online mentions an outbreak of the plague here in 1546 when 40 people including the Vicar were buried between March and August that year.

The church here sits on high ground and dominates the local landscape. Looking at it from the south, All Saints sits nestled between trees with a little straggle of houses around it. The church is thought to date back to the 12th century, with the south doorway dating from that time. The chancel nave and south aisle were rebuilt during the mid 13th century with the north aisle added around 1325. The south transept was built in the early 15th century with the west tower dating from the late 15th century. The clerestory was added in the early 16th century, with much rebuilding happening at that time.


There was a period of Victorian rebuilding here in 1864 when the south transept, south aisle, clerestory, south porch and the upper part of the spire were rebuilt. There was more repair work required on the spire in 1935 after it was struck by lightning.

The church that we see today consists of west tower with spire, nave with north and south aisles and clerestories, south porch, south transept and chancel.

The perpendicular west tower is buttressed to two thirds of the way up, and has an octagonal broach spire with two tiers of lucarne windows at the main compass points. The church clock is set to the west face.

This is a church of pleasing proportions, with the south dominated by the transept, which speaks of the wealth here in the past. The clerestory windows are few and small in size, with three to the north and just two to the south. These are of a flower design with eight leaves or petals. According to the British Listed Buildings site, these are called octofoil, a double quatrefoil. I admit ignorance in not hearing this word before, but felt slightly better when seeing that my spell checker did not recognise it either.

There are five bells in the ring here. The first of the ring was cast by Peterborough founder Henry Penn in 1716. The second was cast by St Neots founder Joseph Eayre in 1756, with this bell inscribed with the name Thomas Wade, the church warden of the day.

The third and fourth of the ring are of great age, with each being cast by Newcombe of Leicester in the 16th century. As is usual with this founder’s bells, they have wonderful old English inscriptions (which my spellchecker hates). The inscription on the third is ‘Prease God Only’ with the fourth inscribed ‘S Kateri’

The fifth of the ring is dated 1864 and is courtesy of Taylor of Loughborough and at this point all of the bells were rehung. This coincided with the period of Victorian restoration.


Moving inside and the coffee morning had been going for a little while and there was a pleasant buzz of conversation upon entering. Food won out over architecture for a short while and a pleasant time was spent with some friendly locals, with cuppa and slab of chocolate cake!

There are four bays to north and south. The north arcade dates from around 1320 and has octagonal columns. The south arcade dates from around 1250 with the central column being octagonal with the others being round.

The easternmost bay of the south aisle leads in to the south transept and a modern screen separates the transept at its north and western sides.

The hand of the Victorian restorers can be seen throughout the interior and it looks like the pews could date from this period. Certainly, much of the flooring throughout the interior is Victorian.

The walls of the chancel are bare, with the exception of a couple of paintings from a local artist.  The three light east window is of clear glass and the altar cloth and reredos are of the same design. Interestingly, there are no sedilia, piscina or aumbry in the chancel itself, but the latter two can be seen in the south transept. There was a chancel screen here until 1748, at which point it was ordered to be taken down.


The south transept is large and of interest. It is set up with an altar; nothing unusual in that, there are plenty of transepts set out the same. However, the altar here is against the south wall rather than the east wall. This means that anyone reciting the creed here will need to turn east and face away from the altar whilst doing this.

It is also worth noting that there is a piscina and an aumbry here but they are on the wrong sides! If this transept was turned around 90 degrees, so that it faces east, the piscina would be on the north wall and the aumbry on the north wall, which is the wrong way around.

On the ceiling of the south transept are some wooden carvings.  A green man with furrowed brow looks on through sightless eyes. Close by are two male figures with a split in the wood running through one of the men’s faces.

The font is of great age, dating back to the 13th century. It has a square, plain bowl with octagonal stem and four carved shafts, one of which looks as it if may have been replaced.


The church grounds are of interest, without there being anything of any great rarity. One of the more interesting gravestones shows an angel in flight, minus its head, blowing a trumpet. The trumpet was an often used symbol of the resurrection and here could be seen as a testimony as to the faith of the deceased.

Close by, angels peer out through a coating of orange lichen. Stepping back outside, there was a lovely hint of warmth in the sun, despite it being mid October. I stood outside, enjoying the peace; sheep grazing in the field to the south of the church and virtually no traffic on the road that leads past the church. It was good to be back here again after a few years!

This is a delightful village church and it was good to be able to take a proper look around it. It was good to see it being used. It is always good to enter a church and hear a buzz of conversation. I also appreciated the help in arranging the visit and the tour around the interior. It was time to move on; with neighbouring Clopton being the next point of call.


All interior photographs on this page are from the October 2022 visit. Exterior photographs are from the previous visit as the light quality was a little better.

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