Round Church, Cambridge

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    by MacedonianUK
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  • grayfo's Profile Photo

    Round Church

    by grayfo Updated Aug 17, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is one of only four surviving round churches in England and was built around 1130 by the Fraternity of the Holy Sepulchre. It started its life as a wayfarers' chapel but soon became a parish church serviced by the Austin Friars from the nearby Hospital of St John. Although no longer an active parish church it does house an exhibition about the history of the church and of Cambridge Christianity in general.

    Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
    Sunday: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

    Adults: £1.50
    Students: £0.50
    Children (Under 15): Free

    May 2012

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  • MacedonianUK's Profile Photo

    Round, but great fun

    by MacedonianUK Written Apr 11, 2009

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    It is so easy to find round Church. Everybody knows where it is. It is build in the middleages, and its unusual shape gave her her name.
    Now days its not a working church but museum. Kids love this place. You learn lots about history of the area and you can have turning youar hand in stamp rubbings. Good fun.
    Worth stopping and taking a look.

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  • stevemt's Profile Photo

    The Holy Sepulchre

    by stevemt Written Oct 22, 2007

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Holy Sepulchre in Cambridge, built around 1130, may be inspired by the original church in Jerusalem.

    The entrance of the church is on the west, through a round-arched doorway. The rotunda is supported by eight large round piers, and the ambulatory is vaulted with a gallery above. The piers support Norman round arches and there is Norman dog-tooth or zig-zag decoration throughout.

    This is a very distinctive building in Cambridge and well worth visiting. There are not too many of them around the world.

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  • SallyM's Profile Photo

    The Round Church

    by SallyM Written Oct 22, 2007

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    Light catches a carved head

    The Round Church is one of the oldest buildings in Cambridge. The round part was built c.1130 by the 'fraternity of the Holy Sepulchre'. It is one of only 4 round churches in England. They were all built after the first Crusade and the shape is probably influenced by that of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

    Originally a wayfarers' chapel, the Round Church became a normal parish church in the 13th century. In the fifteenth century, a heavy gothic tower was added, but this collapsed in 1841 and was replaced with a conical spire.

    The fine East Window is relatively modern, the Victorian one having been destroyed by bombing in World War II.

    The Church is now operated by Christian Heritage, who are turning it into an exhibition centre with displays about the history of Christianity.

    Admission is now £2.

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  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    The round church

    by Airpunk Written Oct 11, 2007

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    The round church
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    The church of the holy Sepulchre, commonly known as the “round church”, is one of the oldest clerical buildings in the United Kingdom and the second oldest building in Cambridge. Built in the 11th century, it is one of only four remaining round churches in England. Additions in the 14th and 15th century as well as during extensive rebuilding works in 1841, gave the church a new shape which is no entirely round anymore. Today, it is no longer a working church, but a museum of christian heritage. Entry is 1.00 pound (2007), although for special exhibitions an extra fee may be required.

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  • christine.j's Profile Photo

    A Museum, not a Church

    by christine.j Written Aug 17, 2007

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    This is one of the oldest churches in Cambridge, built in 1130. It Is no longer a working church, but a museum for Christian heritage.
    It is one of the very few round churches in the UK and was designed this way, when the crusaders came back from Jerusalem and wanted a church looking like the Church of the Holy Sepulchre there. The round shape as a circle was to symbolize life after death.

    I though the church was interesting, but not especially touching.My opinion only, I'm sure others will disagree.

    Entrance fee was one GBP, really cheap for the wealth of information inside.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Round Church-Church of the Holy Sepulchre

    by Dabs Updated Jul 1, 2007

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    Round Church
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    One of only four round churches in England, it was built in 1130 in the Norman or Romanesque style with thick pillars and rounded arches. The shape is believed to celebrate the resurrection. I couldn't find any website that listed the other three round churches in England.

    There was a small admission fee to go in (or perhaps it was a donation) so we just had a peek inside and carried on, it was lunchtime after all!

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  • BorneoGrrl's Profile Photo

    Really old church

    by BorneoGrrl Updated Feb 28, 2007
    Round Church & me

    The Round Church is also called the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and it is probably close 1000 years old, making it one of the oldest churches in England. It is called the Round Church, well because the building is round, unlike traditional chapels or cathedrals. It is a popular believe that the church was built by the Knights Templar

    You can enter this small Norman church and find some exhibitions inside.

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  • andrewyong's Profile Photo

    The Round Church

    by andrewyong Updated Apr 2, 2006

    This is reputedly the 2nd oldest building in the city (the sign outside said so...dunno which is the oldest though). Built around 1061, as a homage to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, this namesake of the other famous church was badly damaged during WW2. It was first built as a roadside chapel to serve those who passed by in front of it (the very road that fronts it today) on their way to the Crusades but was soon elevated to a parish church soon after. It has been modified throughout the centuries and still hold services albeit not that many times now because its congregation grew so large that they have moved to the larger St Andrew the Great by Lions Yard, its sister parish.

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  • nhcram's Profile Photo

    Round Church

    by nhcram Written Apr 15, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Round Church

    In the city centre is a lovely old church which is the second most visited place in Cambridge. It is a centre that helps people to understand the the relationship between the University and its Christian foundations without which it would not exist.

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    A Different View of Another Round Church

    by Elena_007 Updated Feb 23, 2005

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    A Different View of Another Round Church

    I decided to take another photo of the church, simply because I didn't care for the sign in front. At least the sign had the name of the place, though! Amazing design, as many of the buildings in England are spectacular. Ancient in America, is around 100 years, or at least where I come from. There are exceptions, of course, but there is no comparison to England's architecture, in my opinion. Of course, I haven't seen the rest of the world ... yet.

    St. Johns Church, pictured here is in Great Yarmouth, not Cambridge, but, it is round "ish", none the less. I will update these pages when I find out more about the other round churches in England. There are 142 round towers, but that is altogether different.

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  • Elena_007's Profile Photo

    Another Round Church

    by Elena_007 Updated Feb 23, 2005

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    Another Round Church

    I found this other round church located near the beach at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk County, in England. I am not sure of the exact location, but I saw it looking down a street on the main strip, Marine Parade. I just had to get a closer look. There wasn't much around it, as it seemed to be a neighborhood church. Could this be one of the other 3 round churches in England? I haven't a clue. So far, I have not been able to locate another photograph of this church, nor a web site containing any information, either.

    All I can tell you, is that it appears to be round, although it could be considered, possibly octogan shaped, instead? You decide. Regardless, I thought it was a beautiful church, and it clearly states St. Johns Church on the sign in front, although it takes away from the natural beauty, in my opinion.

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  • Elena_007's Profile Photo

    Round Church

    by Elena_007 Updated Feb 23, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Round Church, Cambridge

    Walking along in Cambridge, I noticed this round church. I had no clue of the name of it, or anything else about it, I just thought it looked interesting. I couldn't even remember where I had taken this photograph, until I noticed it on another VT Cambridge page!

    It is the Round Church (Imagine that!) officially known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and was built around the 11th Century. It is said that it is one of only 4 round churches in England. I wonder if the other "round church" I came across in Great Yarmouth is considered one of the other 3? So far, I haven't been able to find out with my research. I will update this page when I do.

    For a wonderful photographic tour of the Cambridge College scene, please see the following link. There is also another photo of this "Round Church." It is only 16 pics, but will give you the feel of walking around the city, near the colleges.
    Cambridge PhotoTour

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  • paradisedreamer's Profile Photo

    The Round Church

    by paradisedreamer Updated Oct 6, 2004
    The Round Church

    The Round Church was built around 1130 and was altered in the 15th century when windows were added, and again in 1841. Today the Round Church now houses the Brass Rubbing Centre. Tours of the church are free.

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  • AcornMan's Profile Photo

    Round Church

    by AcornMan Written Apr 25, 2004

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Round Church in Cambridge

    Built in the 1100s fraternity of the Holy Sepulchre’, the Round Church is one of the oldest churches in all of England. As you might have guessed, it gets its name from the fact that it is round, one of only five churches in England built in that shape. Why would anyone build a round church, you ask? So there are no corners for the devil to hide in, of course. Well, that's what the tour guide told us anyway. The official explanation is that the round shape is thought to celebrate the resurrection, as Constantine’s church in Jerusalem was built on the site of Jesus’ tomb and resurrection. Although not particularly large, the Round Church is the second most visited site in Cambridge, behind only King's College.

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