CambridgeshireSTIVESAllSaints(peteroconnorCC-BY-SA2.0)1 PeterOConnor

All Saints

Beautifully positioned on the north bank of the river Ouse, you cannot fail to be struck by the extremely graceful tower and spire, the excellent proportions are apt to make it seem much higher than it really is.

St Ives, Cambridgeshire

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Church Street
St Ives
PE27 6DG

The church is named after St Ives, or St Ivo. He settled in Slepe, Cambs, later renamed St Ives. In 1001 a ploughman dug up a stone coffin containing his bones. St Ive's Priory was built on this site.

Before entering the church, pause for a moment at the west door for the careful observer may find fragments of the original church, on one side the head, on the other the tail end of a rabbi. This is probably a play on the name, Coney, which was fairly frequent in these parts.

Flanking the doorway are large niches with moulded pedestals and shafted jambs; modern figures of St Peter and St Paul have been placed in these and St Ivo himself stands in the niche over the door.

The bellchamber has a story all to itself. The spire was blown down by the great gale of 1741 and rebuilt in 1748 only to again need rebuilding in 1879. Finally, in 1918 a large part was knocked down onto the church roof when an aeroplane crashed into it again necessitating another rebuild.

The interior does not disappoint, it is one of rich greatness, with much ornamental work being added over the centuries. The figures on the pillars immediately attract attention. There are ten of these in pairs and include an amazing array of subjects: a lion’s face, a dog biting its own tail, a ram, a bull baited by a dog, foliage, an eagle, angel holding a scroll. Beneath the eagle corbel is a smaller carved and moulded bracket on which stand figures of St Nicholas and St Margaret; St Mary Magdalen and St Laurence; St Stephen and St Andrew; St George and St Agnes; St Thomas of Canterbury and St John Baptist. These are all the work of Ninian Comper.

The church possesses a fine Italian Processional Crucifix of silver dating from about 1500 and the chief item of interest in the church records is an old vestry book which contains the signature of Oliver Cromwell as one of the overseers of the parish. There were two of these signatures but one of them has been cut out; the remaining one dates form 1634.

  • Wildlife haven

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Café within 500m

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Ledger Chapel

St Ives, Cambridgeshire

There's an awful lot of historical water under St Ives bridge and chapel.

St Ives Free Church

St Ives, Cambridgeshire

St Ives Free Church is one of the oldest nonconformist churches in the country, tracing its history right back to the 1630s when Oliver Cromwell lived in the town for five years.

St Peter & St Paul

Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire

The tall, graceful spire is visible for miles around, it was used by sailors and others returning by boat along the river Great Ouse to the port of St Ives as a welcoming landmark, and it may even have had a lit beacon to aid their way.