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Friday, 6 February 2015

Swaffham Prior


Swaffham Prior's twin churches
Hatchments in St Mary's
This parish in East Cambridgeshire has two churches sharing a single churchyard.  It became a single parish back in the 1600s. Both churches date from the twelfth century, or even earlier. Both are very old.

Window in St Mary's
St Mary's on the left is still regularly used for services.  St Cyriacs and St Julitta's, on the right, is used for exhibitions, concerts and some special services. The latter has no fitted pews and very good acoustics. St Mary's has a large inner glass door, between the tower area and church proper, to keep the main church warm. This was added as a millennium project in memory of local boys killed in road accidents.

St Mary's
When we visited today, Feb 6th 2015, there was a bright blue winter sky and the outside temperature was cold at about 3 degrees C.

Village sign
Swaffham Prior is a quiet village situated some 10 miles east of Cambridge. Many who live here are retired or commute into Cambridge city. The village is situated high up (well for Cambridgeshire!) on the chalk and overlooks fen to its north. The village has many fine, old, houses. It feels old.

The village has a by-pass and it was easy to park outside the churches in the
St Cyriac + St Julitta's
street. Both churches are usually unlocked.

As well as having 2 churches, the village has 2 windmills, one of which is still used to grind corn. Lane's Bakery in Burwell sells this flour.

View from St Mary's
There is a pub about 200m from the Swaffham Prior churches, on the same road, on the same side, serving food.

See http://www.swaffham-prior.org.uk/ and
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swaffham_Prior .

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