A Guide to the Ancient Churches in Cambridge

Although it is important to go to church to renew our faith, sometimes we cannot help but marvel at the beauty of its architecture. After all, Cambridge is home to some ancient churches.

Even if you are practicing a different religion, you can still visit these churches. Just be mindful of their beliefs, and remember to dress appropriately.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

One look at its structure and you’ll know why it’s also called the Round Church. Built during the First Crusade, this church is one of the four medieval churches with round architecture found in the country. This is also patterned after the Holy Sepulchre Church in Israel.

Masses are no longer held at this church. But visitors can look at the exhibits inside. They can also join the walking tours that the church administrators organize.

Our Lady of the Assumption and the English Martyrs

This is one of the largest Catholic Churches in England and was built in the 1800s.  Its design belongs to the Gothic Revival Style. When you go inside the church, take note of its cruciform layout. This is a common layout of other older Catholic churches. Its stained glass windows also feature English martyrs, particularly St. John the Fisher.

St. Benedict’s Church

Located in the heart of the city, St. Benedict’s Church dates back to the Anglo-Saxon period. It is the oldest building in Cambridge and is also known as St. Benet’s.

The church gives a sense of antiquity. Some of the features to look for in the church are the tower, the Saxon arch, grotesque beast carvings, and medieval altar slab, among others.

Great St. Mary’s Church

If you happen to be walking along the River Cam, then perhaps you’ve seen this church. It is indeed great with its huge steeple stands. Part of the thrill of visiting this church is learning about its rich history dating back to 1519. Why does it have two organs? Why is it the official center of Cambridge? You’ll know the answers when you get inside. On the other hand, when you climb the Church Tower, you can see the best views around the city.

King’s College Chapel

Also located along the River Cam, this chapel is known for its glass-stained windows. It is also regarded as one of the finest examples of late Gothic English architecture. Inside, you will see the world’s largest fan vault and the artfully constructed wooden chancel screen in the altar. Its construction started in 1446 but was finished over a hundred years.

Visiting these churches hopefully gave you tranquility and renewed your faith. You also get plus points if you had a better appreciation of history.

 

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