Morborne is a tiny village, which can be found about a mile from Folksworth, just to the West of the A1M. The population of this village has declined from Victorian times, with the village having a population of no fewer than 43 in 1991!! Just a few scattered farms and cottages really, plus the church.
Morborne is a place that I visit fairly often these days. In Spring the fields surrounding the church are filled with lambs. Very little traffic goes through this village. It is a good place, therefore, to go if you want peace and calm for a while. For me it is a place to get my breath back as well. Morborne is situated at the top of a steep hill which normally tests out my lungs as I crawl up it on the cycle! This visit though was in early January 2010, when the UK was in the midst of one of the worst winter's for many years.
All Saints is an unpretentious small village church, that sits in some picturesque Cambridgeshire countryside. The view across the field from the west, pictured above left, is particularly attractive.
Very little information regarding this church is on the internet. However, I could find out that a church was mentioned here during the Domesday Survey of 1086. The earliest surving part of the present structure is suggested as being the East wall of the nave which is said to date from the 12th Century. This church has a very attractive red bricked Tudor tower, which in fairness looks completely out of place with the rest of the building. Two bells are hung here, one of which was cast at the Stamford bellfoundry by Tobias Norris I. Regular visitors to this site might know that I have been researching this bellfounder and, cast in 1614, this is one of his earliest bells. It is inscribed "CVM : VOC : AD : ECCLESIAM : VENITE 1614"
All Saints has two fonts! One inside and one outside!! The one outside can be found just to the side of the north porch, and I am told that this came from the nearby deconsecrated church at Caldecott.
This church is normally kept locked, with a keyholder notice pointing the interested visitor to a nearby farm. I fell lucky here though as the church was open, the first time that I had found it so in several visits.
Inside, the attention is immediately drawn to the south wall where there is a cerved effigy of what is believed to be an Abbott of the monastery of Morborne. It is assumed that this would have been the builder of the present church. This would probably date this figure to the middle of the 13th century, at which point the existing structure was almost completely rebuilt. This figure was found buried under the tower when renovation was underway on the tower in 1900. Photograph of this figure is included below....could have done without the electrical power point right at the side of it though! To the right of this figure is a Saxon coffin, complete with lid.
As mentioned earlier this church was pretty much completely rebuilt in the 13th century, and that is when the chancel dates from. The south wall of the chancel though was rebuilt in 1864, when much restoration was undertaken. More work was done on the church in 1900. What is noticable when looking at this building is the number of buttresses that there are, particularly on the south side. Subsidence must be very bad here.
A fragment of wall painting can be seen on the north wall of the chancel, arm upraised and face just about discernible. The interior reminds me of neighbouring Haddon, with similar carvings on the chancel arch. These appear to have been "patched up" at some point!
Church grounds are well kept, and one headstone is worth mentioning. This is in remarkable condition given its age and it a memorial for one Thomas Woods who passed on in 1700. This once stood inside the church accounting for its good condition.
I like Morborne. A place of quiet, and tranquility. A place to take my bible and some food, and just sit and read with the summer sun beating down. These places should be treasured!