St. Andrew's Church
St Andrew's Church - Stained Glass Window St Andrew's Church - Stained Glass Window

C. 900 AD The Cathedral of Luttingus

 It has been supposed that subsequent to the Danish raid, Soham was relinquished as a religious site, but it is recorded that Luttingus, a Saxon nobleman built a Cathedral and Palace at Soham. The original Saxon Cathedral would have been a classic example in its construction, with a simple stone building, traces of which still exist within the structure of the present church, and a separate round bell tower which was pulled down when the late Norman tower was built in its stead.  This would have been situated, along with other religious buildings, within a circular enclosure. Today the enclosure exists more or less in its original form although somewhat diminished in size.  Vestiges of early buildings discovered on the opposite side of the road to the enclosure, along with further burials, may have existed within the enclosure in Saxon times.  It is unlikely that this is the site of the original Abbey.

Ranulph Granted Lands for St. Andrews 1102 AD

St. Andrew's Church, Soham 1700s

The building of a great Norman Church at Soham is evidence that the Norman’s had a great presence here. In 1102 AD Hubert de Burgh, Chief Justice of England granted 'Ranulph' certain lands in trust for the Church of St. Andrew. This confirms to us that a Church was already in existence here.

Recorded as the first Vicar of Soham, Ranulph had a hand in designing the new church which would incorporate some of the original Saxon building completed by Luttingus.  The Norman design originally included a central tower, however, this was never built and it seems that the separate Saxon bell tower remained in use.

It is apparent that the Saxon Rectory of Luttingus was still in use at this time.  Records suggest that a separate Vicarage was created and endowed before 1291 when it is referred to for taxation by Pope Nicholas IV, and that the two were brought together in 1341AD during the reign of Edward III.

In 1496, right at the end of the Norman period, William Yaxle bequeathed enough money to build a new church tower, and requested that the old tower be removed and the new one built on its foundation.  The tower was built as specified, and a new bay was added to the Church in order to join it to the tower.

The Church of St. Andrew

On 3rd August 1451, Soham Parsonage and Vicarage were granted to Pembroke College, Cambridge. This was confirmed by the signature of King Henry VI in 1454. The College still maintains a strong connection with the Church today. The earliest church registers date from 1558 onwards.

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