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There were formerly as many as seventy-seven ancient edifices in the town, consisting of Guilds, Hospitals, Priories, Convents, Hostels, &c. And besides them, eighteen Churches : there are now fourteen.* We have already described Great St. Mary's Church, at page 48; of the rest, the following only are deserving of particular notice.
HOLY SEPULCHRE CHURCH,
In Bridge-street, usually called, from its form, The Round Church, on account of its singular shape, excites the curiosity of the antiquary; though its primary form has been much disfigured by subsequent buildings, and in its present state it appears under many disadvantages. “It is evidently,” says Mr. Essex, “a story higher than its original architect intended it should be. This alteration was made in the reign of Edward II. for the reception of bells.” The more ancient part is completely circular; the arches above the pillars are of the circular form, with chevron mouldings, having a peristyle in the interior, of eight round pillars of great circumference, and far greater solidity than could be necessary to support the conical roof, with which it appears to have been originally furnished, being 41 feet in diameter. The arch over the west door is embellished with round and zigzag mouldings, in the Norman style. This entrance was probably the only one when the church was first built, but the circular area is now thrown open to the chancel. The interior of this ancient fabric has recently undergone extensive repairs.
* The Churches destroyed were, St. Nicholas, which stood on the site of King's College; St. John Zachary, on the site of King's College Chapel; St. Peter without Trumpington Gate, on the site of which is now Little St. Mary's; and the Chapel of St. Edmund's, which stood opposite St. Peter's College.
The proper name of this building is, “The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jewry," an appellation which
gave rise to the erroneous opinion that it was originally a Jewish synagogue; but the ingenious architect just quoted, affirms that it was built by the Knights-Templars,* or by some persons concerned in the Crusades, who took the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem for their model. “ It will be easier,” observes our author, “ to ascertain the age, than the founder of it;" and he afterwards expresses his decided opinion, that it was erected in the reign of Henry I., or between the first and second Crusades, and is one of the oldest churches of this form in England. The only three similar churches in England are, Little Maplestead, Essex, the Temple Church, London, and that of the Holy Sepulchre, Northampton. That part of Cambridge in which this church, and that of All, Saints, and St. John's College stand, was anciently called the Jewry.
* The Knights-Templars were instituted in the year 1118, to protect the pilgrims who visited the sacred places about Jerusalem. Apartments were allotted them near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
IN ST. CLEMENT'S CHURCH,
In Bridge-street, is the grave-stone, with inscription in Lombardic capitals, of John de Helysingham, Mayor of Cambridge, who died in 1329. The steeple of this church has been recently erected from the bequest of the eminent antiquary, William Cole, M.A., late of Milton in this county. He died in 1782, and his monument, containing an extract from his will, is on the right hand of the entrance. The front of this steeple bears his appropriate motto, Deum Cole.
Situated near St. John's College, is a plain edifice in imitation of stone. The interior is particularly neat, and the altar-piece represents the Saviour breaking bread; but its chief attraction is a monument to the memory of the elegant poet and promising scholar, Henry Kirke White, who died at St. John's College, of incessant study, Oct. 19th, 1806. This monument, by the celebrated Chantrey, was placed in this church by an American gentleman of the name of Boott, under the following interesting circumstances :- The well-known life of Henry Kirke White, written by Southey, being as popular in America as in this country, excited in the mind of Mr. B. a desire to visit the place of the poet's interment; and on arriving at Cambridge, he was surprised to find that no mark of respect had been shewn to his memory.
Mr. Boott obtained permission to erect, at his own expense, a monument in the church, “ as a tribute to departed genius.” The artist applied to was Mr. Chantrey, who has fulfilled his commission with the utmost classical taste and merit as a sculptor. The monument is placed at the west end of the church, facing the altar; it consists of white marble, and exhibits within a medallion, the portrait of Mr. White, in bas-relief. Below the medallion are the following lines, from the pen of William Smyth, M. A., Professor of Modern History :
Warm with fond hope, and Learning's sacred flame,
low stone he saw his lonely name, And raised this fond memorial to his fame.
ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH,
Opposite Caius College, is remarkable as having been the burial-place of the famous Reformer, Paul Fagius, who was interred here. Nov. 24th, 1549. In consequence thereof, the church was interdicted in the reign of Queen Mary, (A.D. 1556,) and his body, and that of Martin Bucer, another eminent pillar of the Protestant faith, who was buried in Great St. Mary's, were submitted to a mock trial, taken out of their graves, and publicly burnt, together with their writings, at the Market-cross :* the church was then reconciled by the Bishop of Chester, acting as the deputy of Cardinal Pole.
The Visitations of the Bishop of Ely are held in the spacious and venerable Chancel of this Church, which is fitted up with Stalls, supposed to have been brought from Trinity College. The screen has been lately removed to the east end. The great east and west windows are of bold flowing tracery. There are some very fine foliated arches, sedilia, and other matters of decoration, in the chancel and south aisle, that will well repay the attention of the architectural student.
* See Buceri Scripta Anglicana.