St Mary’s Church is located in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England. The church is said by to have been the “Mother Church of Huntingdon”. It probably occupies the original site of Huntingdon Priory of Austin Canons, founded here in 1140 by Eustace de Lovetot. It seems to have been used first as a parochial church on the removal of the priory to the east end of the town in the reign of Henry II.
In July 1607, the building fell down, building of the present church commenced in March of the following year and was finished in 1620. It is a Grade I listed building The church consists of chancel, cloistered nave, aisles, south porch and a western tower of Perpendicular Gothic era. Crocketed pinnacles and buttresses are enriched with paneling and niches.There are eight bells, presented by M. E. Maill in 1876.
The nave is divided from the aisles by four arches on each side, supported by round and octagonal columns. Some of the piers, as well as the chancel, exhibit portions of Early English Period and Decorated Gothic work. In 1876, the church was furnished with open oak seats. The nave and the chancel roofs and the stalls in the chancel are also of oak. The stained glass east window, a triplet, was the gift of Archdeacon Vesey. There is a stone pulpit, the gift of the late Earl of Sandwich. The font is Early English, with a plain octagonal bowl, resting on clustered shafts. The whole building was restored in 1876, under the direction of A. W. Blomfield at a cost, exclusive of special gifts, of over £2,000. There is a monument to the family of De Carcassonett, erected in 1749, and one erected by the officers of the 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment, to the memory of their comrades who fell in the Crimean War. The church has sittings for 550 persons.
When I originally visited the church the heating system consisted of a low pressure hot water system with its roots firmly based in the late Victorian period. There was a cast iron boiler in a “boiler pit” below the tower floor.
As with all Victorian heating systems they were designed to run continuously at a low level throughout the winter in a time when people’s expectations of heat were far less than today and because of its age and inadaquatesy it was decided to replace in its entirety.
The new system is again a low temperature hot water system but is a sealed system with a wall mounted condensing boiler serving triple paneled radiators sited on the outside walls and is capable of bringing the church to temperature within two hours, drastically reducing running costs and giving high levels of comfort.
Type of system
Low pressure hot water Select system
Wall mounted gas fired condensing boiler by Potterton output 110kW
Minster type 33 triple paneled in white
Projected running costs are approximately £4.94p per hour or around £12 for a typical Sunday service
As the system is a Select system it comes with a five year guarantee on the boiler radiators controls and pipework.