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The History Of Saint Mary's Lidgate


Welcome to Saint Mary's church, Lidgate, which is magnificently set in a commanding position on a knoll overlooking its village and the surrounding countryside. It stands, in fact, within one of the baileys of a motte and bailey castle and the north side of the churchyard is bounded by what was part of the outer moat. To the north-east of the churchyard is a rectangular moated space, and nearby is part of an ancient wall.

This is in fact a very early site, where evidence of Roman occupation has been discovered. Little remains of the castle today - one 19th century writer states that its foundations were dug up to repair the local roads!

St. Mary's serves an attractive village, set along the B 1063 road from Newmarket to Clare. There are several picturesque houses and cottages, and the lane leading to the church loins the main road by the large village pond.

This ancient building has been a centre for Christian worship and witness for at least 750 years and is still in regular use for the purpose for which it was built. Here we see craftsmanship of many periods - from the 1200s down to our own century, as generations of Lidgate folk of different historical periods and Christian traditions have altered, enlarged and beautified it.

Please feel thoroughly "at home" here in our Father's house, and feel free to explore its features of interest. (Please pray for the priest and people whose Spiritual Home it is, and who would be so very grateful for any contributions that their Visitors and Pilgrims can spare to help them maintain their ancient church, intact and beautiful, for the glory of God and for future generations to use and to enjoy.

May almighty God bless and keep you.

Last Modified Friday 21 December 2012