A glorious Saturday afternoon in September 2008. Hardly a cloud in the sky and an ideal chance to re-visit the church of St John The Baptist at Werrington, which fell foul of some dreadful lighting conditions the last time I was there!
The old part of Werrington village is very attractive, with the church being surrounded by some lovely old cottages.
Werrington is another of those villages that have all but been swallowed up by the growth of Peterborough. Just a small village at one time, the latest population figures that I have seen suggest that the population at the last count was somewhere in the region of 14,800.
Those who know me will probably know that I do not particularly enjoy photographing churches that are in built up areas. I aim though to include places like Werrington, Paston, Dogsthorpe, Farcet, Stanground and Woodston though as they were all once small villages before becoming swallowed by modern day Peterborough. Having spent some time here though I felt that the church of St John The Baptist at Werrington was a very pleasant little oasis of peace and calm in an otherwise very busy area of the city.
Church grounds are very well maintained indeed. Very attractive and well laid out. Someone (or most likely more than one person) can feel justifiably proud of themselves! Whilst wandering in the church grounds I noticed a lack of really old gravestones. Nothing earlier than the mid 19th Century. A little internet research after I returned home suggested that the oldest grave in the churchyard was dated 1851. Prior to that date it is thought that the deceased were laid to rest in nearby Paston.
This church had some very ancient bells, which were taken down in 1930. One of these is now at Bellfounders John Taylor of Loughborough. These have been described as being the only bells in the Diocese of Peterborough to be cast before 1300. Some windows here date from the 14th Century, with the East Window being dated at 1330.
As mentioned earlier, church grounds are neat and tidy with the building itself looking in good order and well cared for. However, this was not always the case. At one point the church was in a very poor state of repair and for a time part of the nave was exposed to the weather. Work had to be done and a stone inset in to the West wall commemorates the repairs with the names of churchwardens Robert West and John Holden and a date of 1680 still being legible. The porch is dated 1668. Nice South porch with a small path leading up to it from the main road being flanked with evergreens. Really, very pleasant!
This really was a nice end to the day. Had started out in the fens in the fog and ended up in very pleasant sunshine. Nothing unusual or earth shattering about this church. Just an honest building in a nice setting cared for by people who obviously love their church! St John The Baptist at Werrington does not have the wow factor of St Mary at Whittlesey, or St Wendreda at March, seen earlier. It does not have gargoyles or grotesques, no intricately carved 18th Century graves. It is charming though and well worth a visit if you are in the area.