Church of St Nicholas, Church Street, Great Wilbraham
The Parish Church of St Nicholas in Great Wilbraham is a Grade 2* listed 12th century Anglican church. The original building was remodelled by the Knights Templar in the 13th century in a cruciform plan. It is built of fieldstones, originally dressed with clunch but later replaced with limestone, the roofs are plain tiled. The West Tower was added in the 15th century, replacing the original crossing tower, and has diagonal buttresses, stepped battlements and pinnacles at its corners. It houses 6 bells that are used regularly. The nave has four Early English crossing arches. Seating is provided by fixed timber pews on a timber pedestal. The communion rail is early 18th century and has twisted balusters. The font is early 12th century and dates from the original church on the site. Services take place once during weekdays and once at weekends. Additional activities include bell ringing by the Great Wilbraham Guild of Change Ringers on a weekly basis and various other groups monthly.
Today, the building remains a focus for worship in the community, a place of quietness and a sanctuary from the rush of modern living. To continue to serve the needs of the worshippers and villagers in the future, the completed works are the first step along this journey.
The new Ringing Gallery reinstates a feature that was removed during late Victorian alterations. The raised floor improves the ringing area and provides space for lavatory facilities and a new contemporary kitchen. This, coupled with the raising of the bell rope guide offers a clearer view of the West window from the Nave. The removal of the unattractive and dated kitchen area from the Nave and the rear sets of pews gives the opportunity to create a large clear space for a variety of church and community uses. The additional space will also allow for improved access for the less mobile as part of a later phase of work.
In 2017, this project received the Engage Award from the Historic Churches Trust of Cambridgeshire.
Main Contractor: F.A. Valiant & Son Ltd.
Structural Engineer: Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd.
CDM Co-ordinator: Ashton Consulting Engineers.