Sunday, 28 January 2018

St Peter, Wilburton

Well, last weekend was the final one I spent with the bf in Cambridgeshire before he made the move to south Wales.  In a process that is too involved to explain but did include snow we ended up in Wilburton Sunday lunchtime.  We had been past this rather beautiful church any number of times on the way from Sutton to Cambridge, but never stopped and had a look round.  Frozen fingers not with standing I'm so pleased that this time we did.  It is a delight, small, very architectural and quite atmospheric.  It stands happily in the midst of a small triangular churchyard towards the top of the village street.  Of the houses that surround the church is the best is Bell Gable House to the north. The whole grouping is quite picturesque, rather ideal of what an English village should look like.
Ignoring the base of the tower (EE) the church really all of one period: Perpendicular.  The work of one generous late Medieval patron, Bishop Alcock of Ely.  It - built west tower with spire, a broad, aisle less, nave and a narrower chancel is built or rubble and has a lovely texture.  On the south side is two storied porch.  In addition there is a small north transept, Victorian by Sir G G Scott, who restored the church in there 1860s.  (There had been an earlier restoration by Pugin, and later work in the church by Scott's eldest son George Gilbert junior)  The interior is spacious and light filled, the architecture is very sophisticated and elegant.  It's also well furnished in Late Victorian style.  I particularly liked the benches running the along the nave walls.  The rood screen is apparently medieval though it looks Victorian, and there are a number of brasses and robbed matrices. There is clutter, alas, looking back at the photographs more than I realized, but apart from the N transept it is kept in check.  However in the north transept it rather robs the sculpture on the east wall of any dignity.  Not the sort of work that either us of liked but it deserves better.  In the chancel the floor tiles around the altar are likely to be by Pugin, though to be honest we really didn't take much notice.  I blame the cold.

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