A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.
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The patronage of the parish church at first belonged with the manor to the king, who still presented in the 1190s (fn. 1)and 1215. (fn. 2)In 1217 Henry III presented a clerk of the papal legate, Cardinal Gualo, (fn. 3)and the same year, out of gratitude for Gualo's efforts to pacify the kingdom, gave Chesterton church in free alms to the cardinal's newly founded abbey of St. Andrew at Vercelli (Italy), to which the pope confirmed it in 1224, and to which the church had probably been appropriated by 1218, (fn. 4)when a vicarage was ordained. (fn. 5)Its patronage was usually exercised by the abbey's resident proctors. (fn. 6)The king, however, considering Vercelli to be an alien house, occasionally claimed to present vicars, as in 1359. (fn. 7)The proctor last presented to the vicarage in 1439. (fn. 8)Following the transfer of the impropriate rectory in 1442- 4 to the King's Hall, Cambridge, and the incorporation of that Hall in Trinity College in 1546, (fn. 9)the advowson of the vicarage belonged successively to those colleges, (fn. 10)Trinity retaining it in the 1980s. (fn. 11)Both colleges almost invariably presented their own actual or former fellows, (fn. 12)Trinity continuing that practice until 1817. Even after 1836 it still until the 1960s chose former members of the college. (fn. 13)
In 1086 a priest at Chesterton possessed I yardland. (fn. 14)About 1200 the church was said to have 2½ hides attached to it. After Richard I had presented Master Reynold of Paris, however, Samson Burre, son of William of Knapwell, in 1200 disputed Reynold's claim to the glebe, asserting that it was the Burres' hereditary lay fee. Samson maintained his claim against Vercelli abbey until 1220, when he had reduced it to one for I hide, with uncertain success. (fn. 15)In the mid 13th century the whole church was taxed on 40- 50 marks, (fn. 16)in 1291, although later said to have been overvalued by a quarter by a cardinal, at £60, of which the vicarage accounted for only £6. (fn. 17)
In 1219 the vicarage was endowed with the altarage, 2 a. of arable, and rent. (fn. 18)That endowment proved insufficient, and, probably in the mid 13th century, a composition assigned to the vicar 18 a. of arable to be held of the rectory manor; the offerings, save for harvest sheaves, and mortuaries; all the small tithes, even from the rectory when it was at farm, besides those of hay; 1,000 eels from the fishery in the Cam; and the corn tithe of any closes temporarily in arable cultivation. The hay tithe of the manorial demesne was to be rendered by allowing the vicar 3 a. of its 30 a. of meadow in the fen. At inclosure in 1838 that right was represented by 4 a. allotted annually out of the 42-a. manorial cow pasture. (fn. 19)By 1279 the vicar had been granted a messuage and 1 a. of the Barnwell customary land in exchange for 2 a. of the rectorial fee transferred to the priory. (fn. 20)About 1349 a vicar gave the living 2 a. of rectorial customary land, while 14 a. of freehold was rented to the vicars c. 1400. (fn. 21)In 1422-3 a vicar refused to pay corn tithes from his arable. (fn. 22)When part of Arbury pasture was sown with oats in 1550, the vicar was allowed the tithe from it, whether the land was ploughed or not. That right was still acknowledged by a small annual payment from the lord of Impington c. 1750. (fn. 23)
In 1663 the vicarial glebe was reckoned to comprise 21½ a. of arable, (fn. 24)and at inclosure 23 a., (fn. 25)probably including benefactions. Thomas Furthoe, vicar 1601-28, had c. 1615 acquired 9 a. of arable and 4 a. of grass, all copyhold, which his brother the physician John Furthoe by will proved 1633 left to Trinity College in trust to augment the vicarage and repair its house. (fn. 26)About 1640 the vicar refused to accept the traditional rates of composition for small tithes, and demanded personal tithes from labourers' wages. (fn. 27)In the late 17th and early 18th century the vicars in practice took most small tithes in cash at customary rates, only those on hay in kind. (fn. 28)In 1814, following a six-year lawsuit, Dr. Ramsden, then vicar, established his right to take tithes of wool and lambs in kind, rather than accept the traditional payments of 1d. per sheep and 3d. per lamb. (fn. 29)Thereafter the vicars let most small tithes to the larger farmers for short terms at rates below their potential yield. About 1820, when the glebe was let for £60, those tithes were farmed for £173, £100 below their estimated value. (fn. 30)
At inclosure in 1838, when the whole parish was tithable, save for the 42 a. of low grounds by the river, the vicar was allotted 18 a. for his freehold glebe and 4½ a. for the Furthoe bequest. Under the simultaneous tithe award he was allowed for his small tithes, latterly rented for £156 gross, a rent charge of £180, to which another £10 was added in 1841, when payment of tithe finally ceased, for his 4 a. in the low grounds. (fn. 31)Of the Furthoe land, 3½ a., including 2 a. of closes, were sold in 1875. The remaining glebe arable, 21½ a. south of the Kings Hedges road, of which two thirds was let as allotments, was sold to the city council in 1925. (fn. 32)
In the Middle Ages the vicar's income was usually small. Under £20 in 1379, (fn. 33)it was even below £5 by the mid 15th century. (fn. 34)A vicar in 1471 acquired a papal dispensation to be a pluralist. (fn. 35)In 1535 the vicarage was worth c. £10 12s., (fn. 36)and in 1650 £60. (fn. 37)In the early 17th century its yield was estimated as £45-50. (fn. 38)By 1830 its value was c. £206. (fn. 39)By 1851 it was worth £235, (fn. 40)and by 1873 had reached c. £270, while into the 1880s the vicar received numerous fees from the growing population of New Chesterton. (fn. 41)In 1873 Trinity College gave £420 to procure a matching augmentation and another of £300 in 1925-6. (fn. 42)
In the mid 13th century a site was assigned for building a vicar's house at the south angle of the rectorial homestead. In 1838 it covered two roods. (fn. 43)That house was perhaps the 'parsonage' said in the 1660s to have seven hearths. (fn. 44)Later neglected, it was put in repair between 1775 and 1807. (fn. 45)It was rebuilt c. 1820, in grey brick with a four-bay front to the south-east, framed by flat strips: (fn. 46)Trinity College as trustee of the Furthoe estate had in 1818 been adjudged liable for dilapidations of £600, while Queen Anne's Bounty advanced £500. (fn. 47)The house was later enlarged at the rear, part being given three storeys. After 1900 the pilastered doorway with its carved frieze was reset in a new porch on the north-east side. The house remained the vicar's residence in the late 20th century. (fn. 48)
Although Cardinal Gualo appointed a vicar in 1218, (fn. 49)there was probably an interruption, while Barnwell priory had the church on lease, (fn. 50)for Stephen Rampton, of a local family, was described, probably c. 1255, as the first vicar. The vicars, because they spoke the English tongue, and not the alien rectors, were to govern the church, all other priests serving in it, and the parish clerks. The vicar's duties also included distributing alms to poor parishioners out of the loaves offered for each plough on All Saints' day and collecting Peter's Pence out of the penny offered for each inhabitant at Easter. (fn. 51)Vicars were regularly recorded from the mid 1250s onwards. (fn. 52)In 1278 the church had 12 service books. (fn. 53)Vicars were usually assisted by one or more chaplains. One was recorded in 1265, (fn. 54)and four or five often resided in the parish from the 1270s. The peasants frequently gave them pieces of land for the donors' souls, to be sold after the chaplain died, probably to support commemorative masses. (fn. 55)A parish chaplain was mentioned in 1335. (fn. 56)One chaplain, Geoffrey Andrews, of a prominent village family, although defamed in 1353 for misconduct with a parishioner's wife, served as vicar c. 1360. (fn. 57)Another chaplain in 1381 allegedly practised sorcery by 'running' a loaf to detect a horse thief, (fn. 58)while another was recorded in 1406. (fn. 59)
In the late 14th and early 15th century vicars mostly served for 10 years or more each, usually until 1420 quitting the living by resignation or exchange, although one remained from 1414 until he died in 1439. (fn. 60)A wealthy villager, William Chastelet, in 1434 left his own chalice and set of vestments to the parish church, requesting burial in the chancel. (fn. 61)The graduate vicars drawn from the King's Hall after 1440 (fn. 62)possibly neglected their parochial duties. A Chesterton man was one of three Lollards compelled to abjure in 1455. (fn. 63)One vicar, however, in 1491 left 10 marks to repair the church, in which he wished to be buried. (fn. 64)Two parish chaplains were recorded in 1487, (fn. 65)and it was commonly parish priests or curates who attended the parishioners' deathbeds in the early 16th century, (fn. 66)although the vicar did so c. 1520 and c. 1535. (fn. 67)In the 1540s a vicar employed three curates within a year. (fn. 68)
A band of Carmelite friars settled in the parish in 1247, somewhat disquieting its inhabitants. They began to build a church, but had removed to Newnham by 1252. (fn. 69)Their abandoned site, held of Impington manor, was called the Carmes in the early 14th century. (fn. 70)
By 1279 a priest was probably endowed to sing at the altar of St. Mary in the parish church, mentioned from 1278, (fn. 71)the lands of St. Mary's chapel being recorded from 1280. (fn. 72)By 1300 Stephen, its priest, held 33½ a. (fn. 73)About 1300 land was also given for lights at St. Mary's altar. (fn. 74)By 1333 the chaplain of St. Mary held 13 a. freely of the rectory manor. (fn. 75)His endowment had apparently been given by numerous villagers, who were therefore commemorated at his masses, while he was chosen by the leading villagers. When naming a new priest in 1336, they stipulated that he must say a daily mass of St. Mary, singing it on Sundays, besides assisting the vicar in the choir at canonical hours and parish masses. Absence for more than three days must be approved by the more notable parishioners assembled at church. A chaplain wilfully neglecting his duties for over 40 days could be dismissed. (fn. 76)By 1350 part of the endowment, 17 a. of customary land, was being let by Barnwell priory. (fn. 77)Priests singing at St. Mary's altar, whose service was styled a chantry by the 1350s, were recorded until c. 1380, (fn. 78)but the chantry probably lapsed soon after, some endowments falling to the rectory. In 1408 it was claimed that Vercelli abbey had defaulted since 1396 on its duty to find a canon to celebrate mass at St. Mary's altar every Saturday, and to distribute wheaten loaves and beef to the poor at Christmas. (fn. 79)St. Mary croft, where the chantrist's house stood, had been leased by the impropriator by 1458, (fn. 80)and was copyhold of the rectory manor in the 17th century. (fn. 81)
The village had several guilds in the later Middle Ages. By 1279 aldermen of guilds of St. Mary and St. Nicholas held 2½ a., (fn. 82)and brethren of the Trinity were recorded in 1335. (fn. 83)In 1389 a guild of St. Mary had recently been started to revive the old chantry, providing candles for St. Mary's altar. Although Our Lady still had a chapel and image in 1515, that guild was not certainly recorded after 1500, nor was the guild of St. Catherine, founded c. 1380 to maintain that saint's decayed alter. (fn. 84)In 1519 Thomas Lovell charged his Chesterton lands with 1 mark a year to support a priest, whose duties included saying three masses weekly at St. Catherine's altar, and preaching the word of God. (fn. 85)In 1503 William Batisford, desiring burial in Our Lady's chapel on the north side of the church, left 9 marks a year to maintain a chantry in it. He also left a chalice, mass book, altar cloth, and all his vestments for use there. (fn. 86)Neither of those endowments was recorded later. A chaplain of St. Margaret was mentioned in 1543. (fn. 87)
The wealthiest guild was that of the Resurrection, (fn. 88)also called by 1356 Corpus Christi. (fn. 89)Established c. 1337 by young people of both sexes, its entry fee was set at 5s. by 1389; then, as c. 1540, it was headed by an alderman, who with two keepers accounted at an annual meeting of the brethren. By 1389, when it had paid out £30 for masses, it was holding a yearly procession on Low Sunday and furnishing lights before the cross on the rood. Its members attended their brethren's funerals and it paid for masses for their souls, and 3d. a week to those too sick to work. That benefaction was represented c. 1545 by a practice of relieving the parish poor.
The guild then held occasional feasts, maintained a stipendiary priest, and was trustee of a close and 12 a. of freehold, apparently in Landbeach, which Thomas Martin by will of 1501 had left to pay a priest 1 mark a year to sing a Jesus mass every Friday in the parish church. In 1545 that money went to the vicar, Thomas Blythe, who was also the alderman. Martin also left 1 a. to the guild, and to the chief pledges the guild hall where its brethren and sisters assembled. The guild's endowment, in 1389 comprising 18 a. of copyhold, mostly given during the Black Death, had by 1540 increased to 58 a., the title deeds dating from 1425. (fn. 90)Although William Cook had removed the guild hall by 1549, (fn. 91)control of the other guild lands was transferred between 1540 and 1545 to the churchwardens. (fn. 92)The land, which was later all reckoned copyhold, escaped confiscation in the 1540s, except for Martin's land, (fn. 93)and was all thenceforth absorbed into the later Church and Town estate. About 1585 the latter comprised 50 a. formerly owned by the Resurrection guild, and c. 13 a. once belonging to guilds of St. Mary, St. Anne, All Saints, and St. John. (fn. 94)
Money was still being left, sometimes to the town, to maintain obits in the mid 1540s, (fn. 95)and for the sepulchre light as late as January 1559. (fn. 96)Henry Cook in 1535 specified that the family obit endowed by his will should continue only so long as the king's laws permitted. (fn. 97)In 1561 the site of the demolished high altar had still not been whitened over. (fn. 98)William Green, curate or parish priest in the 1540s, (fn. 99)resided while vicar in 1561. Being unqualified to preach, he read the Book of Homilies. (fn. 100)He was the last recorded non-graduate vicar for four centuries. From 1565 to 1644 the vicarage was regularly held by fellows of Trinity College beginning their clerical careers. Few won distinction; Christopher Hampton, 1585-9, became archbishop of Dublin. (fn. 101)Two in the 1570s employed curates, (fn. 102)the second, who was Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity and a pluralist, being non-resident in 1579. He possibly lost Chesterton soon after, the Crown presenting his successor by lapse in 1580. (fn. 103)Curates were occasionally reported until 1600. (fn. 104)Under them there were many breaches of ecclesiastical discipline, including not only mowing hay and carting on Sundays, (fn. 105)but sitting and drinking in alehouses in service time, (fn. 106)and brawling in the church, sometimes over claims to seats. (fn. 107)Some villagers long neglected to receive communion. (fn. 108)About 1580 the rectory farmer did not attend church, and was letting the chancel fall into decay and its roof leak. (fn. 109)Thomas Furthoe, vicar 1602-28, (fn. 110)initially employed a curate, (fn. 111)and was noted in 1609 for failing to catechize. (fn. 112)
In 1638 the church needed to have its seats made uniform and the reading desk turned. (fn. 113)Richard Webb, vicar since 1630, a pluralist and a substantial landowner elsewhere, was a confirmed Laudian. He placed the communion table altarwise and railed it in, and insisted until 1642 that parishioners should come to the rails to take the sacrament. The villagers later complained that Webb read half the service from the chancel and could hardly be heard in the nave. Although he provided preachers every week, they were frequently changed, while his own few sermons were mostly devoted to enforcing tithe payment and obedience to bishops. In the 1640s he proved a zealous royalist, obstructing parliamentary propaganda, and objected in 1643 to fasts at Christmas. (fn. 114)Although ejected in 1644, (fn. 115)he was still living at Chesterton when he died in 1650. (fn. 116)The minister in 1650 was a Magdalene man, who received neither blame nor praise from the visitors, (fn. 117)but in 1654 a Trinity man again served the parish. (fn. 118)He and his successor in 1656 both later became dissenting ministers. (fn. 119)
In 1662, although the church lacked a hood, surplice, and book of canons, it was otherwise duly equipped for the Anglican liturgy. Although the reading desk still stood in the middle of the nave, the communion table had been returned to the east end of the chancel. The new minister had renounced the Covenant, and sought to comfort those 'troubled in conscience'. (fn. 120)
From 1665 until 1800, except in the 1680s and 1780s, Chesterton was mostly held for periods of 8-15 years by serving fellows of Trinity, often with higher offices in the college, and after 1700 with other livings. (fn. 121)They commonly lived in college, serving Chesterton in person. In 1728 Richard Walker, a noted botanist, catechized in Lent, held two services each Sunday, and celebrated communion, attended by up to 50 people, thrice a year. (fn. 122)Similar practices continued throughout the later 18th and early 19th century, although from the 1770s the vicars often employed curates, who resided and preached once each Sunday. (fn. 123)G. A. Brown, the first vicar to reside for many years, in 1825 preached at both Sunday services and catechized in person, claiming a large congregation and an attendance at communion of up to 60. (fn. 124)When he temporarily had a curate c. 1830, he paid him four fifths of the vicarial income. (fn. 125)
Brown's successor, E. A. Smedley, resided throughout his incumbency, 1836-74, (fn. 126)employing no curate in the village. He preached twice each Sunday in 1836, when there were only 20-30 communicants. (fn. 127)In 1851 he claimed an attendance at each service of some 200 adults. The church then had 490 seats for adults, of which 220 on benches were free. (fn. 128)By 1849 the choir was assisted by a Church Singing Society, converted by 1860 into a Church Young Men's Association. (fn. 129)By 1873, when the church had 600 sittings, the average morning attendance was 250, that in the afternoon only 200; many also worshipped elsewhere, but to the communions held six times a year barely 20-30 people went. (fn. 130)A new vicar started an additional evening service in 1874, and by 1885 was holding cottage meetings for the more distant parts of the parish. There were then c. 850 churchgoers in the village, while others from outside attended the communions held weekly by 1885. Another 600- 700, however, neglected all worship. (fn. 131)In the village the vicar was aided by curates by the 1880s. (fn. 132)From the 1850s he had acted as chaplain to the workhouse, but in 1903 the guardians rejected his services, relying instead on a rota of dissenting ministers. (fn. 133)From the 1880s new ecclesiastical parishes were successively created for the suburbs west of the village: St. Luke's in 1881, St. George's in 1938, and the Good Shepherd in 1969. (fn. 134)The area of the ancient village remained populous enough to retain its own incumbent, having eight vicars between 1900 and 1986. (fn. 135)In 1931 the former Baptist chapel on Chapel Street was acquired for use as a church hall, which it remained in 1986. (fn. 136)
The church reeves of St. Andrew's were mentioned in the mid 13th century. (fn. 137)By the 18th century, as in practice earlier, its maintenance was largely funded out of the Church and Town estate, including besides the guild lands, Martin's 13 a., which were sold by the Crown in 1549, but acquired from the purchaser by Serjeant William Cook, then their occupier, who had already in that year granted them to feoffees for the town for 60 years at a nominal rent. (fn. 138)The lease was renewed in 1594 for 180 years. (fn. 139)By 1600 the Church and Town lands comprised 46 a. reckoned as copyhold and 13½ a. of long leasehold, usually let to leading villagers for rents totalling £5 in 1560 and £25 by 1631, when town houses perhaps stood in Guildhall close. (fn. 140)Under the 1576 composition the copyhold was vested in nine trustees, who were to pay a fine for admission only when two thirds of them were dead, while the lord chose the tenant at a rent set by the manorial court and churchwardens. (fn. 141)Those rules were in force in 1679, and feoffees of the town lands were regularly admitted from the late 17th century to the 19th. (fn. 142)At inclosure the trustees claimed to hold 2½ a. of closes and 61 a. of copyhold arable, and emerged with 4 a. of free closes and 69 a. of land near the Milton boundary. (fn. 143)The 69 a. were sold to Cambridge council c. 1893 for £7,245, and the closes between 1898 and 1927, the proceeds being invested in stock. The capital yielded c. £274 a year in the early 1960s and £1,130 in 1985. (fn. 144)
Before 1729 the churchwardens had spent the town land income, c. £40, on church repairs and other parish purposes, including poor relief, as required. By custom the parish clerk was paid £3 for ringing the bell twice daily. In 1729 a Chancery decree devoted most of the money, c. £25, to schooling and the poor, assigning only the surplus, after the clerk's £3, to church repairs. (fn. 145)In 1814-15 the rental was raised from £35 to £93. The vicar thinking £40 enough for the church, a new decree in 1818 reassigned the income in 20ths as soon as the income should reach £100 net, 7 for the poor, 2 for educational purposes, 1 for the parish clerk, 2 for the vicar to continue the afternoon sermon recently started, and 8 for church repairs. (fn. 146)In the 1820s and 1830s the churchwardens took £40 a year for repairs. By 1856 the total income had risen to £135, by the early 1860s to £160. (fn. 147)The church's various shares, ½ in all, were still being paid in the same way in the 1960s, but from 1981 the clerk's share was assigned to the vicar, who thus received £179 in 1985, while £477 went to maintain the church fabric. (fn. 148)
The church of ST. ANDREW was so named by 1224. (fn. 149)By the mid 13th century the patronal feast was marked by special offerings. (fn. 150)St. Andrew's image still stood in the chancel c. 1505. (fn. 151)The 'spacious' and 'lightsome' church, built of field stones dressed with ashlar, and faced inside with clunch, consists of a chancel with vestry and organ chamber, aisled and clerestoried nave with north porch, and west tower. (fn. 152)From a possibly cruciform 13th-century predecessor it has retained the wide chancel arch, the splays, later built up, of the east windows of the aisles, and the east and west responds of an earlier nave south arcade, apparently as long as the present one. There also survives the plain octagonal font, while three tombstones with floriated crosses, which lay upon the churchyard wall c. 1770, remain in the churchyard. (fn. 153)The existing structure dates largely from the 14th and early 15th century. The nave arcades of seven bays have moulded arches on octagonal piers. The aisles were gradually rebuilt, beginning with the south aisle; at its east end an early 14th-century window, retaining ogee tracery, was reopened in 1879. (fn. 154)That aisle also had a 14th-century piscina, perhaps serving a guild altar. The north aisle's four western bays and the north porch are early 15th-century. A matching south porch surviving in 1777 was demolished possibly in the 1840s. The west tower of three stages has short lancets in the second storey and belfry windows with trefoiled heads, and is surmounted by a short octagonal spire with gabled lucarnes. Between the 1340s and the 1380s the Resurrection guild contributed £11 to making the bell tower, £28 towards buying two bells, perhaps the two recorded in 1552, and £10 to making an Easter sepulchre, (fn. 155)perhaps one of the two ogee-headed recesses in the north and south aisle walls. In the 15th century the tower west window was blocked to provide a narrow stairway. The chancel, probably rebuilt in the 15th century, had a five-light east window with Perpendicular tracery and side windows with embattled transoms. Its early 15th-century sedilia and triple piscina were probably uncovered in 1842. (fn. 156)In the 15th century the aisles also received new windows, all of three cinquefoiled lights, resembling those of the clerestory added when the present low-pitched roof replaced a steeper one, whose outline is visible on the tower's east wall. The square-framed north aisle windows are presumably later. The aisles and the clerestory, but not the chancel or north porch, were embattled. Shortly after 1500 a vestry was added north of the chancel.
Much medieval woodwork is preserved. About 1250 the rood beam with the circle of lights hanging before it was mentioned. (fn. 157)The chancel retains its late 15th-century roof on king posts, much renewed between 1842 and 1844, (fn. 158)while the nave roof, on queen posts, was replaced, probably c. 1865. The lean-to aisle roofs, restored in the 1860s, (fn. 159)retain some 15th-century principals and panelling. All those roofs are supported on stone corbels mostly carved with shield-bearing angels. The aisles also retain some late medieval glass canopy work. An 'elegant' screen surviving in 1748 as in the 1850s, and still having some tracery in 1879, was removed c. 1880, and later lost. (fn. 160)In 1748 six stalls stood each side of the chancel. The nave still contained in 1986 its late medieval seating, 21 benches in all, with arm rests carved with crouching beasts and poppyheads mostly foliated. In the 1890s more seats were carved to match them. (fn. 161)Medieval wall paintings of the Works of Mercy, discovered during restoration in the north aisle, had gone by 1887, (fn. 162)but the Doom painting over the chancel arch, probably late 15th-century, whose lower part was probably uncovered in 1865, (fn. 163)survived and was refurbished in 1980. (fn. 164)
The chancel was in decay with broken windows by 1579, (fn. 165)and the church in the late 17th century needed plastering, and repairs to its woodwork, to the north porch, and to a 'little old chapel' on the north, perhaps the vestry, (fn. 166)which was in decay in 1783. (fn. 167)There is an early 17th-century pulpit. Probably after 1660 the chancel received the rails carved with cherubs' heads amid festoons, there in 1748, (fn. 168)later removed to the south aisle. Two altar tombs in the south aisle, extant in 1748, (fn. 169)have disappeared, but numerous 18th- and early 19thcentury floor slabs and marble wall tablets to members of local families, including the Wraggs and Wileses, remain.
In the 1840s the church was dilapidated, its window tracery in decay and the nave and aisle roofs needing much work. (fn. 170)Trinity College undertook repairs to the chancel in 1842. (fn. 171)The spire was rebuilt and the south aisle window tracery renewed in 1847-9. (fn. 172)In 1859 a singing gallery at the west end was taken down, and an organ installed, (fn. 173)which was later removed to the chancel. (fn. 174)More work was done on the aisles in 1864, while the nave roof was repaired by 1869. (fn. 175)Although T. H. Naylor opposed too thorough a restoration, fearing the displacement of family memorials, (fn. 176)work proceeded on the interior in 1879-80 with William Smith, recommended by the S.P.A.B., as architect. It included reflooring and new seating. (fn. 177)In the 1890s the north aisle parapets and walling were repaired. (fn. 178)An organ chamber north of the chancel was built in 1897, (fn. 179)and the vestry was enlarged in 1934. (fn. 180)In 1968 the cracked upper third of the spire was rebuilt with the old stonework. (fn. 181)
The plate in 1986 included a cup of 1746, patens of 1700, 1717, and 1812, and a flagon of 1748. (fn. 182)By 1748 and in 1850 there were five bells. (fn. 183)One was cast in 1606, two in 1612, all being given blackletter inscriptions, a fourth c. 1660, and the last recast in 1825. (fn. 184)All were recast and a sixth added in 1909. (fn. 185)The parish registers are virtually complete from 1564. (fn. 186)Bones dug up in the garden of St. Mary's chaplain in 1360 were then thought to have been those of people buried outside consecrated ground during the Interdict of John's reign. (fn. 187)The churchyard was enlarged in 1869 (fn. 188)and 1912. (fn. 189)
After 1850 three new parishes were created out of St. Andrew's. The first was St. Luke's. By 1860 the population of New Chesterton was too large for the vicar to handle. From 1862 (fn. 190)he appointed curates for it drawn from zealous young fellows of Cambridge colleges. Services had been held from 1851 in the schoolroom of the Industrial school, later used for the new church's Sunday school. In 1863 a temporary wooden church seating 300, named St. Luke's, was opened off Victoria Road, and soon overflowed by the large congregations attracted by High Church practices. (fn. 191)In 1867 a site north of that road was bought for a permanent church, (fn. 192)and building began in 1873. ST. LUKE'S was designed in the Decorated style by William Smith, to have a chancel, a five-bay nave, aisled and clerestoried, and a south-west porch surmounted by a tower with spire. The chancel and two bays of the nave were completed in 1874, whereupon the new church was consecrated. (fn. 193) Church Com. files (St. Luke's), corr. 1874. Design illus. Bldg. News, 8 Jan. 1875 (copy: C.R.O., 231/Z 23).
The rest of the nave with the tower was added in 1884-5 to furnish in all 770 sittings. (fn. 194)
The new church soon flourished. By 1873 an attendance of 1,575 was claimed, and in 1885 Anglican worship drew 3,700 out of c. 5,000 inhabitants, while the number of communicants rose to 390 in 1885 and 450 by 1897. In 1885 and later St. Luke's provided weekly communions, two Sunday services, both with sermons, and two services for children. Its small churchyard was closed by 1897. (fn. 195)The new church owed much to the energy of George Hall, principal curate from 1871. (fn. 196)He became vicar in 1881 when St. Luke's was constituted a separate parish, covering the built-up area near Cambridge, (fn. 197)and served, largely at his own expense, and usually assisted by two curates, until he retired exhausted in 1889. The patronage of the new living, first assigned to the vicar of St. Andrew's, was transferred to the bishop of Ely in 1888 for £100 which formed the sole endowment of its vicarage until after 1900. (fn. 198)The clergy, church, and schools were financially supported partly by Trinity College and various local church societies, partly by gifts from the poor but loyal working-class congregation. Hall had established three church schools, and A. J. Miclethwaite, vicar 1892-1904, added two more. One of them, an infants' school off Richmond Road, designated in 1898 as St. Augustine's mission church, (fn. 199)was still in regular use for services in 1987. (fn. 200)A glebe house, finally acquired in 1907, was sold in 1922 and replaced by another newly built north-east of the church. (fn. 201)After the long incumbency of W. W. Partridge, 1916- 52, St. Luke's had two more vicars before presentation was suspended in 1976. (fn. 202)
From 1927 another new parish was needed for the housing developments along the Milton road. In 1931 a site was acquired north of Chesterfield Road upon which a temporary mission room, later used as a church hall, was put up, and a curate was appointed. The new church of ST. GEORGE was completed in 1938 to designs by T. H. Lyon. Built mostly of red brick, it has a chancel, nave flanked by low aisles, and tall south-west tower. The district chapelry of St. George, created in 1938, comprising all the north-west part of the ancient parish, was served from 1939 by clergy, commonly styled vicars, who were presented by the bishop. (fn. 203)
For the new housing estates north of New Chesterton another new church, of the GOOD SHEPHERD, was built on a site acquired in 1952 off Mansell Way, to a design by S. E. Dykes Bower. Of red brick, it consists of a chancel with vestry erected in 1957-8 and a fourbay nave completed in 1963-4, when it was consecrated. The parish, constituted in 1969 with the bishop as patron, was served from 1963 by a priest-in-charge, but by 1972 by a vicar assisted by two other clergy. (fn. 204)
The boundaries of the ecclesiastical parishes into which Chesterton was divided were adjusted in 1954, 1966, and 1969. (fn. 205)From 1982 St. Luke's and the Good Shepherd were served with two adjoining city parishes by a team ministry, called that of the Ascension. (fn. 206)One of its clergy also had charge of an ecumenical church put up on (fn. 207)