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One of the oldest buildings still standing in Cambridge

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Peal of Bells
St Benedict Stained Glass
Saxon Architecture
Saxon Tower
St Benet's Church is considered to be the oldest surviving Church in Cambridgeshire and one of the oldest buildings still standing in the county.  Built in around 1025, it has been a place of worship for over nine hundred years. It is of late Saxon construction and one of the finest examples of Saxon architecture in the region.

The Anglo Saxon church of St Benet's, thought to have been built in 1025

Did You Know?

The area around St Benet's was originally home to an Augustinian Priory dating from the late 13th century.
Located on Benet Street just off King's Parade, the Church is about a 35 minute walk from the train station. The Church was dedicated to Saint Benedict, whom in the sixth century began a monastic rule that has since inspired countless monks and nuns throughout western monasticism. In 1352 the newly built Corpus Christi College adopted St Benet's Church as its college chapel, a status that St Benet’s retained until 1579. The patronage of the Guild of Corpus Christi has been central to St Benet’s history, with numerous Fellows of the college serving as priests. In 1946 the church was placed within the care of the Society of Francis, the Anglican Franciscans.

Did You Know?

It is claimed that the first ever peal of bells was rung from here during the 17th century. The church contains 6 bells, the earliest dating from 1588 and they are still rung weekly.
The Church itself is a beautiful example of Saxon craftsmanship.  The most striking feature is its Saxon tower, which with the exception of the 15th century windows, remains almost unaltered. Within the Church interior, the highlight is a fine stain glass depiction of St Benedict which is framed beautifully by a Saxon arch. Whilst at first glance not as magnificent in appearance as the later Renaissance churches , the Saxon interior and architecture reflect a more modest era and the solemn, reverent beauty of the church serves as a break from the fancy, heavily decorated buildings that adorn the Cambridge streets.

The interior of St Benet's Church

Part of the stained glass window inside the church

Did You Know?

You will notice small round openings towards the top of the tower. It is thought these openings were created to allow Owls to enter the tower and feed on the mice inside!
The church has been in use for almost a thousand years and one can almost sense the years of history and activity oozing from the stone walls. The church remains active to this day and is home to a vibrant community of worshippers.
Visitor Information
St Benet's church is open to visitors daily, 7.30am to 6.30pm. Entrance is FREE. Tel: 01223 353 903

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