Swaffham Prior

Swaffham Prior

Infobox UK place

official_name= Swaffham Prior
country= England
region= East of England
os_grid_reference= TL567639
latitude= 52.25
longitude= 0.3
post_town= CAMBRIDGE
postcode_area= CB
postcode_district= CB25
dial_code= 01638
shire_county= Cambridgeshire
population= 765 (2001 Census)
hide_services= Yes

Swaffham Prior is a village in East Cambridgeshire, England.

Lying 5 miles west of Newmarket, and two miles south west of Burwell, the village is often paired with its neighbour Swaffham Bulbeck, and are collectively referred to as 'The Swaffhams'. Swaffham Prior was often known as Great Swaffham in past centuries. It should not be confused with the town of Swaffham in Norfolk.


The village is dominated by its twin churches that have served the parish since at least the 12th century – the Church of St Mary, and the Church of St Cyriac and St Julitta (dedicated to Saint Quiricus and Saint Julietta). In 1667 a parliamentary order combined the churches under a single parish.

The church of St Mary was first built in Norman times, and over its history has at times been allowed to fall into ruin, only being fully restored at the start of the 20th century and now serving as the parish church. It contains an attractive rood screen, and is celebrated for its series of stained glass windows showing scenes from World War I.

The original church of St Cyriac and St Julitta (Cyriac's mother) was built prior to 1200, and may possibly have existed before 1066. The present chapel is a plain Gothic-style church, consisting of a small chancel and nave with three small transeptal chapels. The tower was built in the 15th century tower and contains 6 bells. Having fallen into disuse, in 1878 an order was received that the church be demolished, but the order was never carried out. It now serves as a hall for exhibitions and other functions. Scottish poet Edwin Muir (1887-1959) is buried here

External links

* [http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/5BEDC28D-2A00-4AC2-B6B3-23C57FE66E51/0/SwaffhamPrior.pdf Swaffham Prior - 2001 Census]
* [http://www.fylde.demon.co.uk/church.htm World War I commemorative stained glass]
* [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=18882 A history of Swaffham Prior's churches]
* [http://www.swaffham-crier.co.uk The Swaffham Crier - Swaffham Prior's Village Magazine]

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