St Mary used to be a wayside church, hugging the edge of the Great Cambridge Road until this was diverted. It is now a well-kept secret – the only sign leading to it reading simply ‘Byroad’. It passed to us after the heroic group that took it on when it closed sought a long-term solution.
St Mary’s is listed Grade I and was taken into care by the Friends in 1982 after the church authorities had proposed converting it into a house. It retains a fascinating series of monuments to the Catesby and Sheddon families.
A tiny church with ancient origins sitting in timeless melancholy at the edge of the East Coast Mainline.
This residual tower of 1775 is all that remains of the church after it fell into decay in the 1960’s following serious storm damage. We are thrilled that the Friends of Lightcliffe not only care for the vast churchyard, but have catalogued all 11,000 burials online.
The tiny little church at Llancillo, vested with us in 2007, is probably the most difficult of all our buildings to find – but the search is worth it. The key hangs in the porch but the door is only locked to keep out the sheep.
Dismayed by the ‘Low churchmanship’ of the nearby parish church, Mrs Louisa Harris decided to erect her own private chapel, and assembled a glittering array of artists to execute it. Architect: Sir Guy Dawber. Date: 1897.
Old St Luke, which sits in the same churchyard as the Victorian church that replaced it, was one of our very first vestings in 1974. It has survived against the odds, not least because it is one of the most loved of all our churches – with an active group of Local Friends.
St Mary’s was in a sorry state when the Friends took it on in 1975 , and chronic movement has led to severe cracking in the nave and chancel. We have carried out an extensive programme of underpinning and conserved the fragile mural paintings in the nave.
There has been a church on the site of St John the Baptist for nearly a thousand years, but the distinctive chequerboard design of clunch (limestone) and knapped flint you see today was a rebuilding of 1852-4 by the Ecclesiologist JH Sperling.