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St. Mary, Burwell, Cambridgeshire


The church of St. Mary, at the south end of the village, is a light and elegant structure in the Late Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel (restored in 1867-8 by the University of Cambridge), nave, aisles, north and south porches and an embattled western tower, with pinnacles and spire, and containing a clock and 5 bells: the wall between the nave and chancel and the roof of the nave were built in 1464, at the expense of the Bennet family, as appears by an inscription in stone in the church: in the church is a brass effigy of an ecclesiastic, vested in cassock, surplice and almuce, the head resting on a pillow, and originally under a triple canopy, but only the central pediment, with a figure of Our Lord in Pity, remains; this brass is palimpsest, and the reverse includes part of the remaining pediment of the canopy, made up of three pieces of an early figure of a deacon, c. 1320; the bottom portion of the canopy consists of the lower half of the figure of an abbot in rich vestments, and generally assigned to John Lawrence, abbot of Ramsey 1508-39, who died in 1542 and directed that he should be buried here: the church was extensively restored during the period 1877-90 and an organ and chancel screen erected, at a total cost of £1,727, and it now affords 650 sittings.

Church Records

The parish register dates from the year 1562, and contains an account of a calamitous fire which took place in 1727, when a barn in which about 140 persons were assembled to witness a puppet show took light from the accidental firing of loose straw, and about 80 persons perished.

St. Mary

Denomination:Church of England