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A local history and genealogy site for Wimpole, a village and parish in South Cambridgeshire
Curated by Steve Odell

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St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole
and Chicheley Chapel
A Brief History and an Index to Information Pages
A local history and genealogy page for the Parish of Wimpole.

St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole
St Andrew's Parish Church.
A living church for the Parish of Wimpole, located within the National Trust's Wimpole Hall Estate.
The Church is managed and maintained by the Parochial Church Council.

Medieval Church at Wimpole c1707   The Medieval Church at Wimpole (pre-1748).
  Detail from Johannes Kip's 1707 engraving of Wimpole Hall
  for the 2nd Earl of Radnor.
A Brief History
A few metres away from the east wing of Wimpole Hall lies St Andrew's Parish Church, standing within the parish churchyard. The Church was once the centre of a whole village, most of which has been swept away during various clearances and remodelling of the Wimpole Estate. Although the Parish Church is close to the Hall, it is not part of the National Trust. It is a living Church for the Parish of Wimpole and maintained by the Parochial Church Council. Services are held several times a month.
St Andrew's Parish Church consists of a structurally undivided Chancel and Nave with an earlier medieval Chapel (the 'Chicheley Chapel') set alongside the north wall. The structure is mostly of brick and freestone with clunch dressings. The west end of the Church (entrance and bell tower) and the Chicheley Chapel are in freestone and clunch ashlar.
The Chicheley Chapel is of 14th century origin and built as a Chantry by Sir William de Staunton, twice Lord Mayor of London (1393 and 1407). A priest was employed to say a daily mass for William and to pray for the souls of the dead.
The Chapel is all that remains of a larger medieval Church [pictured above] demolished in 1748 prior to the erection of the present building. The new Church was completed the following year for Lord Chancellor Hardwicke to the design of Henry Flitcroft.
In 1834/5 the south wall of the Chapel was opened up to the Nave of the Church and some of the major monuments in the Chapel had to be repositioned.
In 1887 the fabric of the Church was further restored, including the remodelling of the south door and 'bell tower' and the windows on the south elevation, to leave the building largely as you see it today.
The Church and Chapel are home to some outstanding monuments to members of the Chicheley and Yorke families, past owners of Wimpole Hall.
The bell, mounted in the cupola above the west front is said to be by Miles Graye III (1628-1686) and dated 1653.

Nave, St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole c1905 Chicheley Chapel, Wimpole c1905

Detail, St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole
  Detail: Lord Chancellor Hardwicke's Monument
  Chicheley Chapel, St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole
 Churchyard Register: (Page 1: Arber to Johnson), (Page Two: Knowles to Young)
Alphabetical Index to Known Graves and Monumental Inscriptions.
Burials and Interments are updated to September 2018.
 Churchyard Plans
(1) Churchyard Plan with Key showing locations of Known Graves.
(2) Memorial Garden Plan with Key showing locations of Interment Plots.
Burials and Interments are updated to September 2018.
 The Yorke Family Vault
The Vault under the Chicheley Chapel. Resting place of the 4th Earl of Hardwicke. The page includes a rare 1985 photograph of the interior and transcriptions of all nine coffin plates.
 The 'Hound Sejant' Communion Plate
The Church owns a valuable set of Communion Plate by distinguished goldsmith Richard Blackwell the younger, bearing 'Hound Sejant' marks and dating from the mid-1650s.
 The Wimpole Rectors
Known Rectors, Churchmen and Benefactors, from 1291 to 1955.
 The Thomas Worsley Brass
A Wall-Mounted Brass in the Chicheley Chapel dated 1501. The page includes a brass-rubbing made in 1891 by Oswin J. Charlton.
 The Wimpole Chapel
A small private Chapel in the village of Wimpole.
 "Wimpole As I Knew It"
by the Rev Alexander Campbell Yorke [plus A Biographical Note by David Ellison]. A reminiscence of a boyhood spent at Wimpole Rectory from 1852 to 1871.
External Link
 Orwell Group Benefice (online)
The Orwell Group Benefice has five Churches covering the parishes of Wimpole, Orwell, Arrington, Croydon, and Barrington. The site includes contact details, church information and times of Church services.

Nave, St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole 2018 Chicheley Chapel, Wimpole 2018

Church (Parish) Registers
In medieval times there were no parish registers. Through the efforts of Thomas Cromwell in 1538 a mandate was issued by Henry VIII for churches to maintain parish records. This ordered that every parson, vicar or curate was to enter in a book every wedding, baptism and burial in his parish. In 1558 Queen Elizabeth re-confirmed her father's mandate into law and many church records date from that year. Wimpole's own church records for baptisms, weddings and burials began in 1560.
In 1754, the Lord Hardwicke's Act (and yes, that's our Lord Chancellor Hardwicke [1690-1764], interred within his memorial in Wimpole's Chicheley Chapel) required separate registers for banns and marriages. Banns being an announcement made in a parish church of an intention to marry. The act was passed to prevent clandestine and under-age marriages. To make the Act more effective, a special printed form was devised which called for the signatures of the officiating minister, the two witnesses and those of the bride and groom. Wimpole's church records for banns and marriages in the new format began in 1754.
There is an ongoing project to list all of the Wimpole church registers on this website. The current progress is indexed below:
Wimpole Parish Registers:
Baptisms:   1560-1599†   1600-1649   1650-1699*   1700-1749*   1750-1799*   
1800-1824†   1825-1849†   1850-1874†   1875-1899†   1900-1924†**
Banns:   1755-1849†   1850-1900
Marriages:   1560-1599   1600-1699   1700-1799   1800-1863
Burials:   1560-1599   1600-1699   1700-1799   1800-1849†   1850-1899
* indicates page is unavailable. ** indicates some year transcriptions are available.
† indicates complete page has been set to facilitate name searches.

This page was last updated on: 15 April 2020.

Altar Tomb, St Andrew's Church, Wimpole 2018 Organ Gallery, St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole
Heraldic Stained Glass, St Andrew's Church, Wimpole Communion Plate c1650, St Andrew's Church, Wimpole

St Andrew's Parish Church, Wimpole

The Chicheley Chapel c1905
The Chicheley Chapel c1905
Note the tightly packed pews amongst the monuments.
Wimpole's owner Mrs Elsie Bambridge removed the pews in a reordering of the Church.

[From a postcard in my collection]
Aerial View of St Andrew's Parish Church 2016
Aerial View of St Andrew's Parish Church 2016.
Wimpole Rectory is on the right.
By agreement © John Fielding 2016, all rights reserved.

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