The history of All Saints

All Saints’ Church is the third or fourth sacred building to stand on the North side of Huntingdon’s market square, Market Hill; the current church and its predecessors have been there for over a thousand years.

Dating from 973AD, one of the earliest records mentioning a church here points to the original dedication having been to St Mary (or The Blessed Virgin and All Martyrs). This Saxon building would probably have been smaller and constructed from wood. Evidence was found during restoration work in the 1950s of a later Norman (stone) church, which itself was rebuilt in the 1200s (13th Century). With the exception of the tower - added to the church in the 14th Century - the entire church was rebuilt in the Perpendicular style during the late1400s (15th Century) and is, in the main, the building we see today  five to six centuries later. The chancel dating from this time, was rebuilt last and is askew relative to the nave. The history of the church published in the 1970s ascribes this to the fact that construction of the chancel began from the road, also noting that work in 1957 revealed that the pitch of the roof had had to be adjusted to make it fit on to the nave correctly. The tower was damaged during the English Civil War, when a Royalist force retreating after the Battle of Naseby attacked and captured the town, it was rebuilt in brick (the bricks used date from 17th Century).

By 1802 both the remaining town churches - St Mary’s and All Saints’ - were so ruinous that the Corporation passed a resolution to pull them both down, sell the materials and had plans drawn to build one single church in the Gothic Revival style with steel arches, however funding for the project wasn’t forthcoming.  

In 1859 the current organ chamber was created from the existing chapel at the head of the North aisle and the vestry added. (An 1837 plan, showing the seating in the church, suggests that the current triangular vestry replaced a smaller rectangular room). This and further work - to rebuild the collapsing South Aisle, remove the box pews and galleries and repair the Nave roof - were carried out during the incumbency of Rev Francis Veasey who subsequently became Archdeacon of Huntingdon. Much of the restoration was carried out at his expense.  The architect for this work was Sir George Gilbert Scott.

 In 1956 and 1957 the South porch was restored and parts of the battlements made safe. 








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