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St John the Baptist, Pampisford, Cambs - - 333981.jpg
St John the Baptist, Pampisford
Grid reference: TL494487
Location: 52°7’12"N, 0°10’48"E
Local Government
Council: South Cambridgeshire

Pampisford is a village, in Cambridgeshire, south of Cambridge, on the A505 trunk road near Sawston.

Pampisford Hall, the principal house of the village, was rebuilt to the designs of George Goldie for James Binney, whose descendants still live there. In the park is a pinetum, planted with fir trees from Japan, Mexico, China, California, Austria, and the Pyrenees.

Hereaboiuts is an ancient earthwork, the Brent Ditch; the remaining section of a defensive ditch, dug to close the gap between forest and marsh, which runs between Abington Park and Dickman's Grove, and is most clearly seen in the park of Pampisford Hall.

Parish church

The parish church is St John the Baptist. Its porch shelters a simple Norman doorway over which stretches a tympanum. This porch contains ten small arches, which are filled with crude carvings that perhaps tell the story of John the Baptist, as evidenced by the block and the head of the figure lying on the floor. John the Baptist, carved by modern hands, appears again with Christ as a finial for the domed cover of the Norman font.

The 650-year-old tower has a tiny spire, and its 15th century Chancel arch opens into a massive arcade created at the time when Norman styles were changing into English. The arch is screened with delicate oak tracery of the same age.

In addition to the monument mentioned above, another monument, possibly the tomb of the Founder of the Chancel, resides against the north wall, just at the foot of the steps. This monument is an ancient stone altar monument that is covered with an old English marble. Formerly there were labels around the rims of the monument, but these labels have been torn off and are now lost. There are large shields on the front and on each end of the monument, but no carvings can be seen on them now.

In the first south window of the nave are shields for four coats of arms, but the markings on only two of them can be understood, the other two being defaced. One is for the Parker family, who in the mid-18th century are said to be the then Lords of the Manor at Pampisford. Another is the Arms of the Clovell family.

In the churchyard there are two more altar monuments, one of which is made of free-stone with a black marble top for Dr Robert Gell who died in 1665 aged 70.

Noteworthy local families

The Herald's Visitations (1575 and 1619) record an armiger holding an estate here, John Killingworth, who is designated "of Pampisford", although he appears to have resided at another Killingworth estate, Balsham Place Manor. However, the parish register for Pampisford records the burial there of John Killingworth, Esquire, on 24 May 1617.

In 1742 the church monuments were recorded: "on the south wall within the rails is a Mural Monument of white marble, with this inscription on a square of black marble in gold letters, which are now scarce[ly] visible: Here lyeth the Bodye of John Killingworth Esquier whoe was twyse married: his former [1st] wife was Beatrix, daughter of Robert Alington of Horseheath, by whome he had two sons and four daughters. The latter [2nd wife] was Elizabeth, daughter of William Cheyney, Esquier, by whom he had three sons and four daughters. He dyed the 23rd of Maye Anno 1617. Aetatis suae 70."

In a house in Pampisford there are, in the parlour window, Arms for Richard Killingworth and his wife Margaret Beriff, and in one of the main bedrooms are Arms for his son (inscription:) "John Killingworth Esquire [who] married Beatrice daughter of Robert Alington". In the same window are another set of Arms for John Killingworth and his second wife Elizabeth Cheyney.

Outside links

Village website


("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Pampisford)
  • Palmer, W.M., F.S.A., Monumental Inscriptions and Coats of Arms from Cambridgeshire, (as recorded in 1632, and between 1742 & 1782), Cambridge 1932, pps:132-134.
  • Mee, Arthur, The King's England - Cambridgeshire, New revised edition, London, 1965, pps: 176-7.
  • Cambridgeshire Family History Society Journal, Cambridge, August 1994, pps: 285 - 292