September 2008 marked the 200th anniversary of the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Church, Chertsey. To mark this occasion this exhibition looks at the history of just some of the churches in Runnymede using photographs and objects from our collection.
From the 11th century until the 1537 the land known today as the Borough of Runnymede belonged to Chertsey Abbey. The Abbey of St. Peter , founded in 666 AD, was one of the greatest in the land. During the reign of Edward the Confessor the Abbey was granted tithes and full rights to administer justice in the towns of Egham, Thorpe and Chobham, the administrative area known as the Godley Hundred, the village and church of White Waltham, Berkshire, and woods and 20 acres of pasture at Cookham.
With the dissolution of the monasteries the land reverted to the Crown, but much of the local area still looked to St. Peter’s Chertsey for its religious instruction. Gradually over the centuries, as the population grew and villages became towns, new parishes were created and new churches built for the local congregations. This exhibition tells the story of some of those churches.
Addlestone Baptist Church
Addlestone Baptist Church was formed in 1828, however local people had been worshiping at Baptist “cottage meetings” since 1790. The first pastor of the church was Reverend R. Grace, who stayed eight years and established a Sunday school. The congregation slowly grew over the next ten years to ninety people. In March of 1838, Reverend WC Worley was ordained, and the following year the church was moved to its current site, but “preaching stations” were still maintained at Chertsey Lane and in Byfleet.
On October 27, 1839, the following resolution was passed by the congregation with some dissention: “That from this day forward we received into communion, and church fellowship, members of all denominations, of whose faith and piety we shall first approve.” This statement broadened the church’s mission and opened its evangelical mission, becoming the “glory and strength” of the church. Soon after, Mr Worley retired and the church remained without a preacher for almost 14 years.
By 1857, the congregation was down to 16 members, but that Christmas a “new era” began at the church when Reverend Robert Tubbs became pastor. He “carried the Gospel” into the local towns and won much respect and admiration for the church. He died in 1871 and was succeeded by the Revered Edward Leach, editor of The Freeman newspaper. Around that time, a Mrs Huntsman gave money to have the church modernised. The first foundation stone was laid in 1872 by the Reverend Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of the most prominent and charismatic preachers of the time, who afterwards famously preached to 3,000 people under the Crouch Oak tree.
When Reverend Leach resigned in 1873, the congregation had grown again to 41 members. In 1874, the Reverend John Jackson became preacher, resigning two years later. The church was without a preacher again for a year until the Reverend Edward Tarbox became pastor in 1877, and membership rose. Seven years later, after Tarbox moved to Woking, Reverend R Sinler became pastor, followed by a Reverend Bayly and then Reverend Thomas G Pollard in 1906.
One of the most notable members of the Addlestone Baptist Church was Mr Frances John Marnham, MP, JP. Marnham was a privately educated and very well travelled man, whose father had worked for the Baptist Missionary Society. He functioned as the Deacon and Treasurer of Addlestone Baptist Church. He was a member of the London Stock Exchange and in 1906 was a Member of Parliament for Chertsey, Division of Surrey. Before he was elected to Parliament, he was chairman of Chertsey Urban District Council. He was also on the management board for Sir William Perkins’s School for ten years.
Today Addlestone Baptist Church’s membership is around 120 members. With over half of the congregation under 18, it is set to remain a cornerstone of the community, especially given that part of the church’s aim is to “build relationships with the local community through participation in community activities”. Their overall vision statement is “to relate to God in worship and to respond to God in mission” while being “a visible and vibrant family of God’s people, making a difference in the lives of people and families in our community” and “ensuring that the Fellowship is led with vision, integrity and godliness”.
Addlestone Methodist Church
For many years Addlestone was part of the Windsor and then Chertsey Methodist circuit and so worshipers would probably have walked to the White Hart Yard Chapel in Chertsey. However, with the coming of the railway and an increase in population in the 1870s the Superintendent of Chertsey started classes in Addlestone. From 1885 the worshipers met in a small building in Simplemarsh Road that is now a private house. Initially established as a mission chapel supported by a mission from Chertsey, it was so successful that in 1888 it became a chapel in its own right, and by 1892 the congregation had out-grown the tiny meeting place. In 1897 the circuit agreed that a new chapel should be built at a cost of £2,000. Land was purchased in Station Road and in 1898 the chapel was formally opened.
In 1906 accommodation for a Sunday School was built at a cost of £150, and although it was a basic corrugated iron room it remained in use until 1982. There were plans to replace the room in 1958 but permission to do so was not forthcoming until 1977. As a result of these frustrating delays in the building of a new meeting room, the interior of the church was converted in to a dual purpose church and meeting room space in 1970. In order to accommodate these changes the organ was removed to make more space, the rostrum was replaced with an altar and communion rail and the pews were removed and replaced with chairs.
All Saint's Church, Chertsey
In 1899 Manwaring Shurlock, Church warden at St. Peter’s Church, local benefactor and author of the book of Chertsey tiles, bequeathed £1,000 to build a church for the increased population of the Eastworth Road area of Chertsey.
This bequest was supplemented by another for £1,000 from the late Mr. Sergeant Spinks and a further £7,000 of gifts and donations.
The church was consecrated on All Saints Day, 1st November, 1901, and it closed for worship 69 years later on 1st November 1970. Six years later the site was sold and the church demolished.
Chertsey Methodist Church
Originally members of the Wesleyan Society of Chertsey met in a small chapel in White Hart Yard, where the modern day Sainsbury centre now stands. In 1860 an Addlestone man called Joshua Richards offered to build them a chapel for £500 if they found a suitable site. Land was obtained in London Street but the job was put to tender and Mr. Newland of Cobham was given the task with building work starting in April 1863. The chapel was completed later that year and the opening service was conducted by Rev J. Rattenbury on Friday October 23rd 1863
A school was added to the chapel in 1867, and the following year central heating was installed which was still in use up to 1963. Over the next 50 years the chapel was endowed with new pews (1896), new stained glass windows and a new church organ (1902). A church parlour, classroom and small kitchen were added in 1906.
In 1936 the congregation was increased as a result of the Methodist Union when the ex-Primitive Methodist Church followers joined the Wesleyan Methodist at the London Street Church. The Primitive Methodist Society had been founded in Chertsey in 1876 when there was a split within the Methodist Church. Primitive Methodists, taking their name from a speech by founder John Wesley in 1790, were more evangelical than their Wesleyan counterparts. From 1876 they held open air meetings in the Goosepool area of Chertsey, before moving to their own chapel in 1878
During the Second World War the Methodist Church sustained much superficial bomb damage with the glass windows needing to be repaired in 1949. In 1950 a wall was build around the church to replace the iron railings removed during the War, and in 1982 the church was demolished and flats built on the site, although worshippers had joined with the congregation of St. Peter’s Church two years previously.
Christ Church, Ottershaw
For centuries Ottershaw was part of the land belonging to Chertsey Abbey and part of the parish of Chertsey, but from 1857 it became part of the new parish of Addlestone. Whilst the population remained low this was an acceptable arrangement, but with a steady rise in residents during the 19th century residents required and desired their own place of worship. It fell to local landowner and philanthropist Sir Edward Colebrook to rectify the situation.
In 1864 Colebrook gave land for a new church, a churchyard and a vicarage from his estate where it bordered Chertsey. He also met the cost of building the church and endowed it with £100 a year for its running costs.
The church, designed in the studio of the great Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, was consecrated in 1838. Built to accommodate 220 people, vicars were permitted to perform baptisms, marriages and burials, but all fees were paid to the parish vicar in Addlestone. This arrangement existed until 1871 when Ottershaw became a parish in its own right
In 1869 Colebrook gave further land so that a Church of England School could be built. Money was raised to build the school which remained until 1967 when it moved to new buildings. The building was then used as a special-needs school until 1985 when it was sold and converted in to flats.
Over time modifications and additions were made to Christ Church. In 1881 the Lych gate was added in memory of the Rev. John Roberts Oldham, vicar from 1865 to 1881, and four years later the tower and belfry was build. The peal of 6 bells includes a tenor bell weighing 16 hundredweight helping to make the ring the second heaviest six-bell ring in Surrey.
At the turn of the 20th century further improvements were made with the arrival of piped water (1906), gas lighting (1920) and electric lighting (1928). At this time the churchyard was also extended thanks to a donation of land by Miss Dora Cecilia Schintz, owner of Ottershaw Park. In more modern times Christ Church has been augmented with the building of a new vestry and meeting place in 1969, and a new parish centre opened in 1989.
In 1930 the church hall was built which was commandeered by the National Fire Service during the Second World War. Unfortunately whilst in their care it burned down and had to be rebuilt! The original vicarage was sold in 1935 and a new one built in Cross Lane. The old vicarage with its 10 bedrooms, coach house, harness room, and stabling for 2 horses was divided in to flats which were later demolished in 1983.
Inside Christ Church are a number of interesting features, one of which are the wonderful stained glass windows including some given in memory of Sir Edward Colebrook and his wife Elizabeth Margaret. In 1901 nine stained glass windows were made and installed to the design of Charles Kemp, and at the same time the Reredos depicting the Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin, the Crucifixion, and Christ in Glory after his Resurrection was also installed.
Christ Church, Virginia Water
At the turn of the 19th century the now wealthy area of Virginia Water and Wentworth was a poor region of the parish of Egham. Many of the residents did not journey to the parish church of St. John as there were very few free pews for the poor of the parish. In 1837 a gift of £2,000 was received for the endowment of a church and vicarage in Virginia Water on the condition that only one fifth of pews were to be rented whilst the rest were to be made available to the poor.
Subscriptions were collected and a committee formed to oversee the project. Tenders were invited for the building of the church, and an Egham builder Mr. Northcroft was chosen. By the end of the year fundraising had been so successful that the committee was able to order a tower and a spire for the church. Funds had even came from Queen Victoria herself so that her officers and tenants in the Great Park should be permitted to attend services.
The cost of employing a clerk, sexton and pew-cleaners cost in the region of £40 a year, and the money was to be raised by the pew rates. Only subscribers who gave £50 or more were permitted to have the transept pews, with the rates for the original subscribers being £4 per year for each of the double pews in the transept and £3 for each of the eight single transept pews.
Holy Trinity, Lyne
Holy Trinity is the Parish Church of Botleys and Lyne and was built in 1849 when the parish was created. The land was given by Lady Frances Hotham in 1845 and the money needed to build the church was collected from local landowners and parishioners.
The building, consecrated in July 1849, was designed by Fredrick John Frances, and is faced with stone from a quarry in Godalming. The new church undertook baptisms and burials, but was not permitted to hold weddings until the end of 1849, and even then all fees still had to be paid to St. Peter’s, Chertsey until 1857.
St. Anne's Church, Chertsey
Before the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century Catholicism was the state religion, however with the establishment of the Church of England Catholics were persecuted and their property confiscated. This situation was temporarily reversed when Mary became Queen, but with the succession of Elizabeth I Catholics once again faded in to the background. This is not to say that catholic worship ceased, it continued but in secret and so it is difficult to establish to what extent it survived within the Borough at this time. Records do show that were still a few people willing to stand up for their faith such as Anthonie Standen of Chertsey who, in 1577, would rather a pay fine than attend protestant services. A further 11 individuals had been fined by 1684.
In 1735 Woburn Park became a centre of Catholic worship when it was bought by Philip Southcote, a staunch Catholic, and the house became home to a local mission of Dominican friars. Even with the 1778 Act of Catholic Emancipation it was still illegal to build churches or chapels until 1791.
In 1816 the Dominican friars moved to Weybridge and as a result Chertsey had no Catholic chapel for followers to worship in for many years. In 1850 Lord and Lady Holland of St. Ann’s Hill House converted to Catholicism due to their friendship with the exiled King of France Louis Philippe who was living in Esher. A room in St. Ann’s Hill House was converted in to a chapel for worship, and later a tiny chapel dedicated to St. Ann was build in the grounds. The retired Rector of Weybridge, Father Charles Camberbach became Lady Holland’s priest.
Until 1898 the St. Ann’s House chapel was the only place for Catholic worship in Chertsey, but with an increasing number of Italian immigrants to the town Eastworth House was bought as a residence and chapel in 1898. The following year the Salesian Sisters were invited to use the house as a residence and were permitted to build a corrugated iron chapel in the grounds for Catholics in Chertsey. This remained in use until 1972 and demolished in 1974.
In 1927 the Salesians purchased land on the corner of Highfield Road and Eastworth Road at a cost of £300. A further £9,000 was needed to build St. Anne’s Church, which opened on 19th July 1930, however the debt was not finally cleared until 1955.
St. Augustine's Church, Addlestone
The population of Addlestone increased dramatically with the coming of the railway, and it became necessary to build another church and school to keep up with the demand.
In 1882 a site was acquired in Albert Road and St. Augustine’s Church and school were opened. However, demand was so great that it soon became too cramped for both purposes and so the school remained in situ (until 1967 when it became annex for Darley Dene School and demolished in 1988) and a new “tin church” was built in Weybridge Road and consecrated in February 1891.
The “tin church” could seat 250 people, but again, over time, this became too cramped and so a new brick church was built in 1939 next to the school were services had originally been held. The building was dedicated as a mission church rather than consecrated in the manner of an Anglican parish church, and over time was used less and less with the congregation using St. Paul’s instead. In 2005 the decision was taken to sell the site to the Surrey Islamic Trust to be used as an educational and cultural centre. The site of the tin church is now used by the Church of Latter Day Saints.
St. John's Church, Egham
Although there are no written records, it is likely that Egham had a church in Saxon times. It is thought to have been a wooden structure which was replaced by a Norman stone building in the mid 12th century. Little is known about this pre-Reformation church. A monument in the present church marks the rebuilding of the chancel by Abbot Rutherwyke in 1327, and a will dated 1424 leaves money for the repair of the belfry whilst another dated 1464 leaves 8d for new bells. The vicar paid tithes the Abbot of Chertsey, specifically for repairs to the Abbey until 1258 when it is recorded that only half when to Chertsey with the remaining perhaps being paid to the vicar. In 1333 Abbot Rutherwyke ordained that a vicarage should be “well and thoroughly built with a croft adjoining … containing 15 acres of arable land”. The present vicarage is still on this site.
In the 14th century Egham was ravaged by Black Death which broke out in August 1348, and by the end of the year there was no vicar in residence - perhaps an early victim to the pestilence. His replacement was there two months before the position was again vacant, and his successor lasted a mere three weeks.
With the dissolution of the monasteries all church land became Crown property, and with the death of King Henry VIII the country was virtually bankrupt. An Act was passed permitting the confiscation of chantries, free chapels and hospitals, and may churches including St. John’s fell in to disrepair. Under the rule of Oliver Cromwell the font was removed, and by 1703 the church was in need of urgent repairs. The population of Egham had grown considerable over the centuries and by this time the church was no longer large enough, and so in 1709 the gallery was enlarged, and at the end of the century a new private gallery was added to the south side by Sir. John Elwell. However this did not alleviate the overcrowding issues for long. At the beginning of the 19th century the population of Egham stood at 3,000 whilst the parish church could only seat 400. It was therefore decided to demolish the old 12th century church and build a new one to accommodated 1,000 people. Despite protests over the total demolition of the old church, work started in 1818 at a cost of £8,000, and the new church by Henry Rhodes was opened on 16th March 1820. Provision had been made for 300 seats for the parish poor whilst the rest of the pews were bought by local families. The old bells were recast in 1819, and again in 1911 when two new ones were added.
The only remaining part of the original church is the 15th century lych gate which was a former porch.
St. Jude's Church, Englefield Green
Before the 19th century Englefield Green was a rural hamlet in the Parish of Egham, based around the green. Gradually the village expanded and there was a call for a church to be built for the residents. Local landowner, Edgell Wyatt gave a plot of land large enough for a church and a cemetery, and on St. Jude’s day, 28th October 1858 the foundation stone of St. Jude’s Church was laid. Edward Buckton Lamb, the architect, had a reputation for unusual designs and it is said that, when the Bishop of Winchester consecrated the St. Jude’s on 5th July 1859, there was a definite look of surprise on his face! As the population of Englefield Green grew it became practical for a new parish to be formed, and the first vicar, the Revd Lawrence James, was inducted on 14th March 1930, and a new vicarage was built the following year.
Originally the roof had red tiles, but they were replaced with Westmoreland slates in 1934, and there were seven stone crosses on top of the gables. Now there is only one cross which is a modern replacement. The interior is strikingly patterned with coloured bricks, stone bands and black pointing, and has been described as being `like streaky bacon’. In 1866 the north transept was added and at this time St. Jude’s was said to seat a congregation of 530.
The east and west windows date from 1867 and represent the resurrection of Christ and Chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel respectively. The large window in the north transept is believed to be in memory of the Vicar of Egham, Rev. Monsell’s son, who died in the Crimean War. The rose window in the transept suffered distortion over time as a result of an old well which was not discovered until 1955, and was dismantled in 2000.
St. Mary's Church, Thorpe
St Mary’s, Thorpe is an ancient church said to have existed prior to 625 AD although there is no documentary evidence to support this. It is known that in 1333 the Abbot of Chertsey, John de Rutherwyke, entrusted the chapel at Thorpe to the vicar of Egham. Most of the tithes were still payable to the abbot, with the vicar only received the tithes of eggs, sheep, a gallon of corn from every virgate of land (c. 30 acres) and an endowment of 50 shillings. In return he was supposed to supply a chaplain, but did not and a dispute started between the Abbot and the vicar which eventually involved the Bishop when parishioners petitioned him to allow them to take on the responsibility. In 1428 the Bishop gave the parishioners custody of the chapel goods and the responsibility of finding and presenting to him a suitable priest. The new priest would receive all the offerings and tithes with the exception of those of corn and hay, and he would be responsible for the chapel and its services. The Abbot was ordered to repair the chancel, to provide bread and wine for the daily celebration, 2 processional tapers, and sufficient straw to straw the church twice yearly. The parishioners became responsible for providing the stipend of the chaplain, and to provide a house for the clergy to live in. At the same time St. Mary’s also secured the right of burial in its own parish rather than in Chertsey, and so land had to be provided for a cemetery. This is where the story of St. Mary’s, Thorpe falls silent until the next recorded mention in 1537 when the it was became Crown property, along with all other abbey land, on the dissolution of the monasteries.
The church is built with flint and rubble walls with clunch, hardened clay, and sandstone dressings. The red-brick tower is an early 16th century addition. As with most churches, alterations have come with time and use. Whilst the chancel arch is early 12th century Norman in style, there have been 13th and 15th century modifications. The north and south aisles were demolished at some time prior to 1800 and rebuilt in 1868.
Inside the church there is a modern alter (1956) as well as a modern font as the original one disappeared c. 1811. Set in to the floor in front of the choir vestry are fragments of mediaeval tiles from Chertsey Abbey, and although the west window of the south aisle is a modern replacement, it is thought to be based on the original design.
St. Mary’s originally had a 3 bell peal: a treble (1753) a second by William Eldridge of Chertsey (1693) and a tenor by Richard Phelps, (1725), but these were recast in to 4 smaller bells in 1958.
St. Paul's Church, Addlestone
Before the 19th century Addlestone was a largely rural settlement with few inhabitants who would attend services at St. Peter’s, Chertsey, but by the 1830s the population had increased sufficiently to warrant its own church.
Land was given by George H. Summer, owner of Simplemarsh Farm, and architect Mr. Savage was appointed to oversee the building of the new church at a cost of approximately £2,431. Delays in the tender process beset the project, but finally in 1836 the foundations were laid. Despite receiving donations of £3,876 10s 0d it soon became clear that more funds were needed as the cost of the church rose to £3,757 7s 1d with a further £986 needed to build a vicarage.
St. Paul’s was consecrated on 11th January 1838, and at this time was still part of the Parish of Chertsey. At first attendance was relatively low but this was soon to alter as between 1870 and 1890 the population of the town almost doubled. In 1841 a school was opened behind the church and by 1857 there were 74 boys, 84 girls and 99 infants in attendance. With the coming of the railway and the increase in population that resulted, Addlestone broke away from the Parish of Chertsey in 1857 to become a parish in its own right. The new Church Council levied a church rate of 2d in the pound to help fund the church and to pay compensation of £20 for the loss of income to Chertsey.
Over the subsequent years St. Paul’s has undergone reconstruction and improvements in keeping with modern developments. In 1870 the churchyard was extended and gas lighting installed. In 1883 a new organ chamber was built on the north side of the chancel, hot water was installed, and iron railings encircled the church. A new boys school was built in 1902 and in 1904 work was undertaken to enlarge the chancel, build a new and bigger vestry and to repair the roof and tower.
The church has continued to change and alter throughout the 20th century, including the installation of electricity in 1914, establishing a church hall in 1934 which in turn was replaced with a new church centre in 1972, and the completion of the Lady Chapel in 1968. However, the greatest change to the church came at the early part of this century. On 12th December 2003 a fire devastated the building, destroying the whole of the interior of the tower and the roof of the nave. As a result the church was closed for three years whilst repair work was undertaken, including the installation of new stained-glass windows, many of which use glass rescued from the original windows.
St. Paul's Church, Egham Hythe
In 1885 the railway system became more developed in the Egham Hythe area, resulting in a massive expansion in agriculture, industry and housing. As a result, after the First World War, it was decided that a church was needed for the local people. In 1919 land was obtained by two pivotal men in the community’s spiritual history - the Vicar of Egham and Edward Budgen, a local trader. Soon after, the vicar began having services in what was first known as the Sunshine Hut and later called St Paul’s Mission Hall. An appeal fund was soon set up because of the makeshift church was deemed “unworthy of the title of God’s house”. The simple wooden framework, akin to two meagrely decorated huts, was also used throughout the week for a variety clubs and council medical clinics.
In 1928, the Reverend P.F.L Burges was assigned to Egham Hythe and the church was temporarily moved to the area where the current church hall is located. Building work started on 21st July 1930 and the church was finished by 10th May 1931, when it was consecrated by the Bishop of Guildford. The cross-shaped church was designed by architects Messrs John and Paul Coleridge, who created much natural light in the church by installing a tower with windows over the arches of the transept and choir. The tower can be seen from substantial distance away, even from parts of the Thames.
An organ was donated to the church by Edward Budgen in 1936. The church’s only stained glass window was fitted in 1962 through a donation by the vicar’s warden, Mr Moody. The current church hall was built in 1957. The number of the church’s modern patrons has declined somewhat in recent years by disappearing industry and telecommuting.
St. Peter's Church, Chertsey
Although aspects of the present church date to 1310 it is thought that worship took place here before this date. It was originally dedicated to All Saints, and was located at the boundary between the Abbey estate and the town of Chertsey. The chancel and the lower portion of the tower survive from the original church, with the tower being added to in the 15th century. The church remained largely unaltered from 1310 until the 19th century when, from 1806 to 1809, the church was rebuilt.
The earlier nave had fallen in to decay in the 17th century and so it was decided that the church should be rebuilt with only the chancel and the tower remaining. As the only church in the area the congregation was made up of residents of Lyne, Longcross, Addlestone and Ottershaw, and so it was suggested that the new church be built with a gallery to maximise the number of pews available. Plans were put forward to the Bishop for approval, but in their haste the architect omitted to include stairs to reach the proposed gallery, and it was decided that including stairs would encroach on the church too much. Therefore, nothing came of the rebuilding plans until the turn of the century when only a west gallery was included.
The original nave was taken down and sold in aid of the rebuilding fund. Built to the design of Richard Elsam, under the supervision of a local resident, Thomas Chawner – the architect of Richmond Terrace, Whitehall the work cost a total of £12,000. The builder had been promised payment of £4,000 as soon as the roof was on the new building, and so he hastily erected the new church to claim his money. Unfortunately for the town of Chertsey the work was substandard with the building dangerously close to collapse and the builder nowhere to be found. Further funds had to be raised to encase and strengthen the supporting pillars, and to finish the job of building the parish church. In order to raise money for the project gallery pews were sold and became the freehold of the owners. It was at this time that the tower was heightened by brickwork and turrets to give its current appearance, and a new 522 pipe organ was installed (replaced in 1880).
Further alterations in 1869 saw the floor of the nave raised 3 ft and the west gallery removed. A century after the rebuilding, in 1907, St. Peter’s Church was again closed for building work. During this time the congregation were welcomed at services at All Saints Church, Eastworth Road. In 1922 more alterations saw the south east entrance converted in to a side chapel which became a war memorial for the fallen in the Great War. The organ was also enlarged and rebuilt
As with most churches, the interior of St. Peter’s is decorated with memorials given in remembrance of the great and good of Chertsey. The window in the chancel south wall was given in memory of Dr. Manwaring Shurlock, Church warden, benefactor and author of the book of Chertsey tiles. The clock was given in 1892 by William Herring and his wife Elizabeth at a cost of £180 and replaced an earlier clock which can now be found in St. Pandionia and St. John Baptist Church in Eltisley between Cambridge and St Neots. Within the tower are eight bells, the oldest dating to c. 1310 and is known as the Abbey Bell. This is the bell made famous in the Blanche Heriot poem. The carillon, a gift from Mr. Sergeant Spinks in 1898, plays four times a day, and between Michaelmas (Sept 29th) and Lady Day (25th March) the curfew is rung every night on the tenor bell which was cast in 1679 and recast 200 years later.