Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Cambridgeshire (District Authority)
Bassingbourn cum Kneesworth
National Grid Reference:
TL 33066 44073


TL 3244 BASSINGBOURN-CUM-KNEESWORTH NORTH END (East Side) 15/51 Parish Church of 22.11.67 St Peter and St Paul


Parish church. Early C13 tower survived till 1897 and was rebuilt in C14 style. Nave replaced in late C13 by nave arcades, north and south aisles and clerestorey added in c.1350. Chancel c.1330. South porch late C14 restored in C19, external turret to rood screen C15. Vestry built to north side of chancel c.1500 demolished c.1750. Restorations; by Edward Nightingale (d.1723), chancel east window c.1844, south chapel 1862, aisles, nave and roofs rebuilt by Nash of Royston architects in 1864-5, west tower rebuilt 1897. Walls of flint rubble and clunch with original clunch dressings and C19 limestone replacement. Roofs of lead and slate. South elevation: West tower of three stages with embattled parapet and small leaded spirelet belfry blind arcade with two-light belfry window. Embattled nave, moulded cornice with gargoyles, six restored two-light windows with ogee tracery in flat arches with drip moulds. Pent roof to south aisle, and slightly wider two-bay chapel to east end with moulded plinth continuous around two stage angle buttresses, three restored windows of three ogee-headed-lights with flat arches and drip moulds. Small quatrefoil window in fabric of perhaps original nave to west of chancel. Three bays of chancel with moulded plinth and plain parapet and similar three-light windows with mouchettes in two-centred ogee-arches with foliate finals to drip moulds. (Octagonal stair turret and priest's door in north elevation, north-east bay of chancel with blocked window and locker and piscena of former chapel and vestry). South porch rebuilt in C19 on high flint and stone plinth with two-centred moulded wooden arch and trefoil spandrels and cinquefoiled lights on each side. Roof of two bays with crown post and cambered tie beams. South doorway, restored two-centred arch of two sunk-chamfered orders with moulded label. Interior: Nave arcades of six bays with two-centred arches of two hollow or plain chamfered orders, octagonal piers and semi octagonal responds with moulded caps and spurred bases. Chancel arch two-centred of two moulded orders with filleted attached shafts and moulded caps and bases. Tower arch replaced C19 with four-centred head. Chancel north wall, small recess perhaps an Easter Sepulchre, south wall double piscena with trefoiled heads and crocketted ogee labels, sedilia with three seats and arcade of three ogee arches with crocketted labels. Screen, C15 with ogee head to doorway recently painted. Two niches defaced on east wall of south chapel. Font of polished C13 purbeck marble, octagonal bowl on circular plinth with eight shafts. Roof to chancel of five bays with king and queen posts, moulded tie-beans and principle rafters with carved bosses, possibly late C15. South door wooden planks with notched lap rear frame C14 or earlier (similar to High Roding, Essex); chancel north door C14. Brasses. In nave; purbeck marble floor slab with figures of man and woman to 'JOHN TURPIN 1494 with Margaret his wife, also WILLIAM TURPIN Esq Principal of New Inn was here interned - 1575, also JANE TURPIN widow and benefactor to this church and to ye poore - 1597 THOMAS TURPIN - 1627 with ANN his wife and EDWARD TURPIN - 1683 and ELIZABETH his wife and CHILDREN of them'. Monuments: Nave; black marble tablet with moulded and enriched frame with apron, deaths head and drapery to Geoffrey and Elizabeth Nightingale 1664 and 1681. Tower buttress; white marble tablet Sarah Hewerdine 1739, black tablet to Rev. George Pennington 1832 and Catherine his wife 1839, white marble tablet to Joshua Lilley 1848, Elizabeth his wife 1852 and their daughter 1825. Floor slabs; in chancel to Ann wife of Rev. W. Cowling 1807, draped figure of man in white marble with inscribed tablet to Henry Butler 1647, black slab to Charlotte widow of Porter Bringlove 1843; in nave, black marble slab to Edward Nightingale 1804 and others black slab to Thomas Fair 1822, small black slab to Rev John Williams 1770, black slate to Edward Nightingale 1723, black slab to Edward Nightingale 1723, black slabe to Edward Nightingale 1750 and Eleanor his wife, black slab to Charles Nightingale 1757, to Capt Robert Nightingale 1784, George Mauby 1812, to Ernest Barnard 1750, to Ephrain Sell 1830 and Simeon Sell farrier 1822. Glass in south window of chancel C14 and possibly C16. Stone tablet in tower with moulded border and Nightingale shield of arms inscribed 'This library was founded and erected by Edwd Nightingale of Kneesworth Esq. AD 1717. This church was entirely paved with free stone at his proper cost and charge. These together with the clock now in the steeple and many other Benefacions to this church and parish were the efforts of his liberality to them ... died and interned 1723'. The library was installed in new cases in the vestry in 1900, in 1969 the books were sold to libraries of Cambridge and Essex universities. Two wheel-less ploughs formerly in the tower are on loan to Saffron Walden Museum. Two C13 coffin lids.

RCHM report 1950 VCH Vol. VIII p.27 Pevsner Buildings of England p.301 Hewett, C. Church Carpentry p.103

Listing NGR: TL3306644073


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Hewett, C A , Church Carpentry A Study Based on Essex Examples, (1982), 103
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Cambridgeshire, (1954), 310
Salzman, L F, The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, (1982), 27


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 01 Apr 2002
Reference: IOE01/05506/21
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Mike W. Hallett. Source Historic England Archive
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