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Britain > East Anglia > Cambridge > St Botolph's Church

A medieval church, dedicated to the patron saint of travel

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Painted Panels
Darwin Memorial
Medieval Architecture
Rood Screen
Stained Glass Windows
Tower and Bells
St Botolph’s Church is dedicated to St Botolph, the patron saint of travellers and a 7th century abbot from East Anglia. He inspired the naming of the Lincolnshire town Boston or Botolph’s Town. This in turn went on to inspire the naming of the Massachusetts city of Boston.

The church tower with carved symbols of the 4 evangelists at its corners
The Church has a long and fascinating history. It is located by the old medieval south gate of Cambridge, where upon travellers would enter the city from London. It was also the first church reached by visitors from the west, who would enter the city crossing the Cam at the current site of the Silver Street Bridge.

The sundial on the corner of the tower

The church clock on the tower
St Botolph’s was built in 1350 upon the site of previous Norman and Saxon Churches. It has undergone continual additions. The carved symbols of the four evangelists was added to the tower in the 1400s along with the church’s four bells. The carved Rood Screen too was added around this time and is now the only remaining one of its type in the ancient parish of Cambridgeshire. Its recently restored 19th century painted panels depicts the angel announcing to Mary that she is to bear a child, Jesus.

Inside the church

Part of the painting on the Rood screen
The chapel has a long standing association with Queen’s College, with one of the founders of Queen’s being Andrew Docket, a 15th century Rector of the Church.

Part of a beautiful stained glass window
The Church is a fine example of medieval architecture and houses a stunning collection of stain glassed windows including the ascension of Christ, faith, hope and charity, the crucifixion, the annunciation, the nativity and the baptism of Christ. A memorial to Darwin can also be found by the vestry door, as a result of Darwin’s family being parishioners of St Botolph’s.

The memorial to Charles Darwin found by the vestry door
Visitor Information
St Botolph's church is open to visitors daily during daylight hours. Entrance is FREE. Tel: 01223 363 529

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