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18 September 2014
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Clues from the Past in Kirtling Parish Church

By Carol Davidson Cragoe
Image of Kirtling Parish Church, Cambridgeshire
Kirtling Parish Church from the south side  ©

Visit Kirtling Parish Church for a record of the twists and turns of history as seen in an ancient building. Find out how to 'listen' to your own church - there's bound to be some history bound up within its structure.

Interpreting parish churches

The parish church is much more than the repository of the local community’s faith. It is a record of the twists and turns in the history - religious, political, and social - of the whole country.

'Tracing its history is a business of piecing together clues ...'

The architectural details of the building itself are full of clues, which can be followed by the informed eye. Some churches still retain details that pre-date the Norman Conquest whilst others have histories that do not stretch back nearly so far. But whatever the case, most parish churches can bear at least some scrutiny and repay the visitor with a greater sense of history.

Take Kirtling Parish Church, in Cambridgeshire. Christians have worshipped here for over a thousand years, and the church has been altered and changed many times along the way. Tracing its history is a business of piecing together clues from looking at the actual fabric of the building both inside and outside, from the landscape around the church, and from documentary records.

Published: 2005-02-01

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