Brief Guide and Plan
The Church of St John the Baptist Stibbington
The church of St John the Baptist Stibbington, in its delightful village setting among the trees, is mentioned in the Doomsday Book Survey (1086). It was rebuilt as a chancel and simple nave in the middle of the 12th century. The Norman nave and chancel arch of this period remains. About 1180 a north aisle was added. About 1240 the chancel was rebuilt on a larger scale, with its axis farther to the south, and some twenty years later a south aisle was added to the nave. The west tower, added in the 15th century, became unsafe and was demolished in 1848–49; the two aisles rebuilt, and the vestry, organ chamber and porch were built, a timber bell-cote being added to the nave roof. Prior to the Reformation the advosown (the right to nominate the priest) was held by Thorney Abbey. Since then it has passed through the Russell family and then to the Earls Fitzwilliam at Milton Hall (in Castor Parish). It is now held by Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland of Milton Hall grandson of the last Earl Fitzwilliam.
Short History of the Parish
At one stage a suburb of Roman town of Durobrivae, with its pottery kilns, Stibbington was a village during the Saxon period. There were originally it seems three manors within the parish: one held by Count Eustace of Boulogne; one held by the Abbot of Thorney and a third one in Sibson originally held by the Knights Templar, (and attached to the Preceptory of Temple Bruer south of the city of Lincoln) which then passed to the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St John of Jerusalem after the Templars were dissolved. After the Reformation these manors were eventually all held by the Russells (later Earls and Dukes of Bedford). There are records of a chapel in the Sibson area of the parish, possibly on the site of an area later known as “Chapel Waste.” Stibbington Hall, near the church, is a fine 17th-century house which replaced an earlier building, parts of which are incorporated in it. The house “has the finest Jacobean façade in the county” (Pevsner). The former Rectory, south of the church, dates from the 16th-17th centuries and incorporates some 15th-century building material. The former village school is now an outdoor centre for Cambridgeshire schools.
Details of Services and Contacts
Stibbington Church is in a benefice of the six village churches including Castor, Sutton, Marholm, Upton and Water Newton; parish office 01733 380900 website www.castorchurch.co.uk
Friends of Stibbington Church
The Friends of Stibbington Church (FOSC) is a group founded in 2013 to help with the care and repair of the building. Details of the are on their website at http://www.stibbingtonchurch.co.uk