St Nicholas Church
The Parish Church of St. Nicholas lies in the centre of the village and was recorded in the Domesday Book. It is likely that most of the Churches mentioned in the 1086 survey would have been constructed of wood, but several architectural historians have reasoned that Glatton unusually may have been of stone. Nothing now remains of this early Church, although Saxon relics have been unearthed in recent years. The earliest part of the present Church are the Nave Arcades which were built around the year 1200 and have double chamfered round arches, although some re-used stones in the Church itself are crude enough to be Anglo-Saxon. According to the Victoria County History of Huntingdon, the rebuilding started in the 13th Century with additions, alterations and renewals until the Church was reopened with great pomp and ceremony on 23rd April 1869 after a complete restoration. The Bishop and 26 Clergy attended followed by a luncheon in Lord Sherrard’s house.
About ten o’clock, Lad, (possibly Lancelot Wingfield, Rector of Market Overton?) and I, went with Aunt Persis to the Church for final arrangements. People soon began dropping in and presently all our people came: Annie, Harry, Louie Carter, the Charles Lucases, Coopers, Mr. Dennis, Mr. Hoskins, the Willises and our five choir men were comfortably seated before the procession of about 26 clergy and the Bishop came in. Uncle George read prayers. Mr Dickerson and Harry read the lessons, Mr. Bradley the Litany; the Bishop and Mr. George Heathcote the communion service and the Bishop preached…
Over a hundred sat down to luncheon at Lord Sherrard’s house…Church again at 3.30 and then down came the rain, almost drowning the voice of the preacher, Mr. Collins. Went home in strong force in slip carriage.’
Extract from ‘Our Past’ by Harriet Emily Grace Wingfield dated 23 April 1869
The walls of the tower are faced with ashlar in Ketton stone, those of the Chancel with coarse hammer-dressed stone and the rest are of rubble with stone dressing. The roofs are all leaded. The Church is of considerable architectural interest.
The Benefice of Glatton was granted to Count Eustace of Boulogne who married Mary of Scotland. Their daughter Maud became with wife of King Stephen and Glatton passed to their daughter Mary, the wife of Matthew of Flanders. It then descended to Reginald, Count of Boulogne, who did homage to King John in 1214, and subsequently died childless.
The Advowson of the Living was transferred in 1133 to the newly founded Monastery of Missendon which was attached to the Abbey of Arronaise in the Pas de Calais. The mother house of this Abbey was dedicated to St Nicholas which may well be the origin of the dedication of Glatton.
St Nicholas Church Gallery
Photographs: Terry Brignall MBE & William Cheung