Segenhoe Church - Ridgmont, Bedfordshire, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Dragontree
N 52° 00.718 W 000° 34.336
30U E 666608 N 5765151
Quick Description: Amidst the countryside near Ridgmont lies the old, important ruin of Segenhoe Church.
Location: Eastern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 7/26/2009 10:11:07 AM
Waymark Code: WM6W2K
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member rogueblack
Views: 9

Long Description:
All Saints church uses local building materials and it is this structural aspect that we will be focusing on with this earth cache. Consisting of Totternhoe Stone and Lower Greensand the church is both important from both archaeological and architectural perspectives.

Dating from the 11th century the oldest part of the ruin (the chancel) is made from brown cobbles. Then we see the deep red-brown sandstone from the Lower Greensand, and Totternhoe Stone with the attractive red, hand-made bricks from the Georgian restoration. There are two small windows in the north of the chancel and the plain chancel arch has a little zigzag carving present from this date.

A window has a lintel stone with the arch cut with three crosses in circles and two saltire crosses which appears to be Saxon. The south door (which was reset) is Early Norman whilst the west tower dates from the Georgian era with a north arcade of the 13th/14th century. The east bay is ironstone.

The site is of important petrological interest and is a scheduled monument. Segenhoe appears to be the name of the ancient parish and this church would have been the main place of religious worship before the population moved to settle at nearby modern Ridgmont.

Originally there was a wooden steeple before 19th century alterations took place. This included moving the 14th century font in 1855 to the new church of All Saints in Ridgmont. This was returned to Segenhoe church in 1904 but then destroyed by vandals in the 1960s.

Between 1818 and 1819 Robert Nixon of Woburn repaired the church rebuilding the north porch, repairing the walls with brick and enlarging most of the windows also fitting them with wooden tracery. Also he reconstructed the roof, replaced the lead with slate and finished the exterior with stucco. 1823 to 1826 saw the addition of a new tower ordered by Archdeacon Bonney and it resembled the Lidlington church tower.

The 1840s saw a report that the church was in a good state of repair but very poorly furnished, but by 1853 it had deteriorated to a state where a lot of repair work was needed. This led to the decision that a new building should be erected and Segenhoe was left for the purpose of a mortuary chapel and graveyard whilst All Saints in Ridgmont took over every other purpose.

Abandoned and albeit forgotten the church was derelict in 1912 and then recommended for demolition in 1927. Then F.C.Eeles of the Central Council for the Care of Churches discovered the ancient fabric which was restored by W.A.Forsyth between 1928 and 1929. This restoration and plight of Segenhoe church was documented in a series of articles in the Bedfordshire Magazine between 1959 and 1961. This highlighted the deteriorating condition of the building with the roof virtually collapsing by 1970. The Ampthill & District Archaeological Society campaigned for preservation of the ruin and in 1980 the church was formally declared redundant and the ruins consolidated by Bedfordshire County Council in 1982. £28,000 was spent to make the Grade 1 listed building safe.
You can view the 1981 survey document by Kevan J. Fadden & Brian D. Lazelle of the church here (visit link)
And the timeline of the church here (visit link)

Being saved from complete ruin and demolition this ancient church holds a strong connection with the landscape and people attached to it. In fact it also holds a connection with us as relatives are buried here and the graveyard is still in use today.

Access to the church and churchyard is via a public footpath in Church Lane, Ridgmont or there is room for a few cars to park at the end of the single track road leading to the church.
Type: Ruin

Fee: Free

Hours:
Anytime in sensible hours


Related URL: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
Original photographs showing additional views of the Ruin/Remnant or even just its current condition are encouraged. Please describe your visit, especially if no additional photos are available. Did you like the Ruin or Remnant? What prompted you to see the Ruin or Remnant?
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log  
SMacB visited Segenhoe Church - Ridgmont, Bedfordshire, UK 12/14/2019 SMacB visited it
Norfolk12 visited Segenhoe Church - Ridgmont, Bedfordshire, UK 2/10/2012 Norfolk12 visited it

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