St Mary and St Andrew's Church
The Church of St. Andrew, received the additional name of St. Mary, patron of the chantry after the 16th century. It was in the 19th century that it was believed to bear the name of St. Barnabas, on whose day the village feast was held.
The Church consists of a chancel with south chapel, central tower and nave with a south isle and porch, and is built of field stones of ashlar dressings, until stripped in 1910, the walls were plastered externally. The Norman Church comprises of only a nave, central tower and chancel. The thick north wall of the nave survives, with one round headed window,and the lower stage of the tower with four such windows. The south window is surrounded by linear carvings of grotesque creatures. In the 13th century the chancel was rebuilt, with a row of lancets, mostly later blocked, in its north wall, a south isle, divided from its nave by a three bay arcade was added alongside the nave and tower.
The nave walls were heightened, and its roof raised, bringing a tower window inside the church. Square openings over the nave arcade may represent clerestory windows of that period. In 1352 the high alter was reconsecrated and proberly after re modelling two decorated windows were inserted in the north wall of the nave. The west window of the same period, formally contained the arms of waterville.
In the early 15th century, new windows were inserted in the south isle, and the tower was given new arches to the nave and chancel and a taller belfry stage. The tower bore the arms of scales and allegedly Beauchamp. Its new belfry windows cut off the tops of earlier ones. It is surmounted by a short leaded spire, which was missing in the early 19th century. By 1500 a two bay chapel had been built, south of the chancel, the original screens between chancel and chapel survive. The east windows are proberly early 16th century, that of the chancel once containing the arms of Tilney impaling playters. Bequests for glazing the church were made in 1521
After the reformation of the south chapel, (1665) the lords chapel fell into despair. In 1638 the church was overcrowded with prominent parishioner's pews. In 1783 many windows were decaying and blocked with plaster,their mullions gone. In 1823 the church contained reserved pews for 87, benches for 117 and a large pew for 90 children at the west end. The high pew except for the manorial pew under the tower, which survived until 1913 were swept away when the interior was cleaned and later restored between 1875 and 1882. The roofs and external fabric was were throughly restored between 1905 and 1922.
The Church, recorded by 1217 had evidently been founded before the manor had been subinfuedated, The Church, though a rectory 1275, had previously been served by vicars. By Grant of Thomas, Earl of Warwick in 1385 and a paypal bull of 1390 the Church was appropriated in 1392 to St. Mary's College Warwick. A Vicar was ordained, the advowson being assigned to the college which retained it until its dissolution in 1544. The crown then exercised the patronage until 1558 when at the instant of Bishop Thurlby the crown granted the advowson to jesus College Cambridge which retained it in 1972.
In 1351 Henry Ciprian granted land worth 5 marks for a chaplin to sing mass at Virgin Mary's alter in Whittlesford Church. Three successive chaplins held that chantry until 1393, when, because no licence in mortmain had been obtained, it was supposedly forfeited to the crown. The township apparently recovered the land, which was held in 1432 by Feoffees, and having been converted to other purposes, escaped confiscation at the reformation.
In 1525 the village had a stock of £3. After the reformation the parish retained possession of it's guildhall, using it as a workhouse, poorhouse and schoolroom.
The building standing northeast of the crossroads is a timber framed early 16th century building, having a jetted upper storey with brackets and a carved bressumer and one medieval doorway. In 1966 the Parish Council sold the building and it was renovated in 1972.
Rectors were occasionally recorded from the mid 13th century. Edmund of London,
Rector 1296 - 1316 or later,was a pluralist and in the King's service.
Thomas Machye, vicar 1496 - 1508, had been a fellow of King's and headmaster of Eton, and his successor had a degree in cival law.
In the early 16th century the church was proberly served by the curettes who witnessed parishioner's wills. Although jesus College became patron in 1558, it did not begin to appoint ex-fellows as vicars regularly until 1597. Between 1600 and 1640 the vicars usually served through curates, one of whom remained in office for over 10 years after being charged for fathering an illegitimate child. Robert Symons (d.1662) left a rent charge of £10 a year from Borough mill Sawston, for a sermon at Whittlesford every Sunday. By the 18th century the vicar had appropiated his money.
The plain square font is 13th century, and there are remains of medieval decorative
painting in the blocked lancets in the chancel. 15th century seating, with carved fronts and bench ends, remains in the nave, and a contemorary desk with poppy heads in the chancel. Fragments of one or more alabaster retables were found in 1876, walled up in the south chapel, insets in the nave formally contained brasses
to John Newton. (d.1500) and his two wives. There are wall tablets to Mary (d.1690)
wife of Thomas Dod, and William Westley (d.1723) who endowed the village school.
Amenities & Services >