Summer Course 2021 – Seniors – for those aged 13-18
|Venue||Little St Marys Church|
About the course
More details on repertoire to follow shortly
About the venue
A Short History of LSM
There has probably been a place of worship on the current site, just outside the original town walls, since before the Norman Conquest. According to the earliest known records, this church, known as St Peter without Trumpington Gate to distinguish it from the other St Peter by the Castle, was served by three successive generations of the same family, beginning with Langline who was in office around the date of the Conquest. If the records are to be believed, his successor Segar officiated as parson for eighty years and was followed by Henry, who in his turn held the position for another sixty! At some time during one of these prodigious incumbencies the little Saxon church seems to have been rebuilt in stone by the Normans.
Around 1207 the church was given to the Hospital of St John the Evangelist, the forerunner of St John’s College, and served by chaplains from that foundation. Remains of the tower of St Peter’s can still be seen at the north-west corner of LSM; the present entrance from the porch incorporates the former tower arch and gives us a good impression of the small scale of the original building. The single bell, cast in Stamford in 1608, was rehoused in a small turret during the late 19th century and is now struck electrically, sounding the hours during the day and also the Angelus at noon at 6pm.
Some time in the 1280s Hugh de Balsham, Bishop of Ely, lodged some scholars in the hospital, but quickly discovered that the students and sick people did not get on well together, and therefore moved the students in 1284 into two houses on the south side of St Peter’s, allowing them the use of the church as their chapel. This was the origin of Peterhouse, the first Cambridge College. By the 1340s St Peter’s was in such decrepit condition that Peterhouse was obliged to rebuild it; the tottering chancel finally collapsed in 1350. In 1352 the new building was rededicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Grace. To distinguish it from the University Church of Great Saint Mary it became known as Saint Mary the Less.
When a separate chapel was consecrated in Peterhouse in 1632 during the Mastership of Matthew Wren, uncle of Sir Christopher, LSM reverted to being simply a parish church, but the college remains the patron of the living.
|Little St Mary’s Church, Trumpington Street, CAMBRIDGE CB2 1QG|
|Cambridge National Rail|