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A picture of Church of St Thomas a Becket
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The Parish Church of St Thomas a Beckett is next to the abbey. It is very visible when going into Ramsey. The church has had a lot of changes over the years. The original building was erected in 1180. Investigators of the Royal Commission on Historical Monuments suggest that the church was designed for a hospital, infirmary or guest house. The Commission on Historical Monuments investigators suggest this because of the small chancel, the long nave and the absence of a tower. In the 12th century stricter rules were used on the church and the parish. They had more elaborate church services and in particular the Sunday Procession. These services probably interfered with the monks lives. These stricter rules happened all over the country and not just in Ramsey.
In the late 12th century the building consisted of a chancel, there was a north and a south chapel, nave and aisles. The south chapel was destroyed about 1310. This is before or the time that the 14th century window was put into place in the south wall of the chancel. The north chapel was still standing in 1744. The aisles were rebuilt about 1500. Then there was a west tower built. This was built in 1672. There was formerly a south porch but was destroyed in 1843, which probably belonged to the period of the rebuilding of the south aisle about 1500.
The church was restored in 1844. Then in 1910 a new vestry was built on the site of the north chapel and can just be seen at the extreme right of the photo above. The vestry has a late 15th century north window in it. The old 12th century chapel vault stood in the vestry. The remains of the old vaulting shafts of the south chapel are still preserved on the south wall of the chancel. The 12th century chancel arch has a two-centred head, and responds have scalloped capitals and moulded bases. There was formerly a chancel screen stretching across the the nave and aisles at the first pier. This was taken down 1844.
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