Holy Trinity Parish Church, Meldreth

The History of Holy Trinity

There has been a Christian Church on the current site for nearly one thousand years. The larger part of the village of Meldreth was given by the Saxon King Edgar to the Abbey of Ely in the year 970, and the first church here was probably built by the Monks of Ely for the use of their first tenants.

The Dean and Chapter of Ely, as successors of the Prior and Convent, are Patrons of Meldreth, linked with Melbourn since 1952.

The first stone-built church, of which parts remain in the present building, was built about 1190 AD, and consisted of Chancel, Nave, and Tower. The North and South Walls of the small Chancel, the North Wall of the Nave, and the lower stages of the Tower, are parts of the Norman church.

The graceful tower arch is of the "transitional" Norman type; that is, it has Norman shafts, capitals, and mouldings, but a pointed arch.

There are traces of Norman paintings on the North side of the sanctuary, in "masonry pattern" in yellow and black.

Also in the chancel, there are the remains of wall painting of about 1325 AD, including a fragment of a huge St. Christopher opposite the door, and in the decorated window, inserted about 1350, there is a stained glass figure of St.John the Baptist, with a monk of Ely kneeling in adoration of the Lamb of God.

About 1400 the high-pitched Norman roof was removed and the clerestory with its fine king-post roof, and the South aisle and arcade were added; the top stage of the tower was added then or perhaps a little earlier.

Architecturally, therefore, the church came to be as we see it today some five hundred years ago.

Note the orignal painting on the beams above the screen. This was part of the colour scheme of the Rood and Loft, the doorway to which is high up in the North Wall.

In the tower space is a stone coffin. This is the oldest piece of man's handywork remaining in Meldreth, as it is a Roman British coffin of from 300 to 400 AD.

Reverend F C Clare's Memorandum Book, 1944-52