On Thursday, 14th September we will be welcoming back Stuart Orme to give our first talk of the season on “Peterborough Cathedral – Past, Present and Future”. After many years working at Peterborough Museum, Stuart is now Director of Operations at the Cathedral, which will celebrate the 900th anniversary of its existing building in 2018.
The first Abbey at Peterborough (then called Medeshamstede) was founded about 655AD, but severely damaged by a Viking raid in 870. After being re-built, the church and surrounding buildings were accidentally destroyed by fire in 1116. Construction of the Cathedral as we see it today, was begun in 1118 and it was consecrated in 1283.
Bourne Abbey, now the parish church of St Peter & St Paul, was founded in 1138 for Augustinian canons, and the following year a Benedictine Priory was established at Deeping St James. The founder of both is recorded as Baldwin, son of Gilbert de Clare. Baldwin married Adeline de Rollos (or Rulos), whose father, Richard is credited with draining and improving land around the Deepings which encouraged the growth of communities here.
Both the church of St Guthlac in Market Deeping and the parish church of Deeping St James retain some stonework dating back to the 12th century, but much re-building has taken place over the years. Many Market Deeping Wills in the 17th century include bequests “for the repair of the church” which seems to have been in a poor state then.
This piece of stonework, preserved in the porch of St Guthlac’s, pre-dates the present church. It is thought to be part of an Anglo-Saxon tomb cover from the late 10th century, and indicates that an earlier sacred building existed on the site.
Stuart Orme’s talk will start at 7.30pm in the Conference Centre, Deepings School. Everyone is welcome. There is a charge of £2 for non-members.
(A full list of speakers for the season can be found by clicking on the Events page of our website)