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St Botolph's heritage 

Lonely sits the city that once

St Botolph's stands on the site of an earlier church which stood at the ancient Trumpington Gate of the city.  A Norman church stood on this site, and perhaps also a Saxon church before it.  The Nave and Aisles of the present church were built in the early fourteenth century, about 1320.  

The following century saw the construction of the Tower, crowned with carved symbols of the Four Evangelists (restored in 1971), the magnificent arch beneath the tower at the west end of the Nave, the South Chapel and the South Porch, and the carved Rood Screen between the Nave and the Chancel.  This is the only medieval Rood Screen remaining in the ancient parish churches of Cambridge.  The four bells were cast in the fifteenth century by the London bell-founder, John Danyell, and have never been altered since.  

The seventeenth century is represented by the monument in the South Chapel to Thomas Plaifere, a noted preacher and Latinist, who died in 1609, and the elegant octagonal wooden canopy (1637) over the medieval font near the west door.  

The Chancel was rebuilt in 1872.  It was designed by G.F. Bodley and worked on by local artists G.R. Leach and G Gray.  This outstanding example of high Victorian decoration was conserved and restored in 2009 with grants including one from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

The north window in the Chancel is a memorial to Dr Campion (died 1896), Rector from 1862 to 1892, and President of Queens' College.  It shows St Botolph between St Bernard and St Margaret, the two patron saints of Queens'.

The South Chapel was refurbished in the 1920s as a memorial to the 1914-1918 World War.  Of particular interest is the window of St George and St Michael, by Rachel Tancock, a noted Arts and Crafts stained glass artist.

There is a memorial stone to the Darwin family near the vestry door, who were parishioners of St Botolph's.  

Hello and welcome to St Botolph's. If you are a new visitor, we have a page for you to get to know us and learn more about planning a visit.
Click here to see more.

Planning your Visit

Welcome to St Botolph's 


The following information is specifically for those planning a first visit, so that you know beforehand what to expect on a Sunday morning.

Where and When

Our services are at St Botolph's church in the centre of Cambridge (details below). On Sundays these always start at 11.00am.  We suggest planning to arrive 10-15 minutes early, especially if driving as parking spaces are in short supply in central Cambridge, and to find somewhere to sit before the service begins. When you arrive, you should be greeted by a sides person who will help you find somewhere to sit and will give you a hymn book and a prayer book, or a service sheet.

We serve tea, coffee and biscuits after the service and we hope very much that you will stay for a chat. It is a great way to meet people, or simply take time to find your bearings. All refreshments are free.

Plan your journey: 

Open Google Maps

Accessibility: There is wheelchair access. Please let the sides person know on your arrival and they will help you. Please note access to the toilet requires a step.


The service

Our Sunday service begins at 11am and follows the Book of Common Prayer.  On the first, second, fourth and fifth Sundays we have a Sung Eucharist.  On the third Sunday we have Choral Mattins with a said service of Holy Communion at 8am.  There will be organ music before the service and the bell will ring for about five minutes before the service starts.  All services will have a sermon from the Rector or a visiting preacher.  These usually last for around 10-15 minutes.  The choir plays a part in all services, leading hymns and sung elements of the service.  The service ends with an organ voluntary.  Many people sit and listen to this for five minutes or so.  Others will start to congregate around the tea and coffee table for a chat.

What about children?

We welcome children of all ages and no one should be embarrassed if young ones cry or older ones wander around.  We do not have a Sunday School so children remain in the service with their parents.  There is a carpeted area in the side chapel which is available for parents and small children who want to step away from the main church for a while.

Getting in touch

Helping with services and the life of the church

If you want to get involved in the life of the church and help us make our services run smoothly, please let us know.  We are always looking for help with anything from flowers, to refreshments, to opening the church for visitors during the week and a hundred and one other tasks that keep the life of the community. 

Get in touch with us to plan your visit
If you would like to come and visit the church beforehand you are more than welcome! Get in touch and we can arrange a time that suits you.
Email Address:
Comments / Questions or anything you would like to say?

Next, we will contact you by email to say hello and help arrange anything necessary for your visit.


DSC6582   IMG 0172 (1)
The Rev'd Jonathan Collis, Rector   Sarah Eastwood, Churchwarden
We hope that you will feel at home at St Botolph's.

Best Wishes,
All at St Botolph's