Keyston's church has an interesting history with bats

The village church of St John The Baptist dates back to the 13th Century.

The village church of St John The Baptist dates back to the 13th Century. - Credit: HUNTS POST

The village of Keyston has an interesting history as it has been built around a brook that runs through its centre. 

In the Domesday Book, the village was known as Chetelestan and the name Keyston means "Boundary stone of a man called Ketil." 

By the 13th Century, the village was known as Keston, and then Keyston from the 16th Century. 

Whilst close to the A14, Keyston is surrounded by farmland owned by Keyston Farms, who farm arable crops and also have a small herd of Highland cows, often visible grazing nearby.  

A number of the houses in the village are listed buildings, and like many Huntingdonshire villages, it retains its old red telephone box. 

Keyston still has its traditional red telephone box.

Keyston still has its traditional red telephone box. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Most of the listed buildings are in the part of the village that is designated a conservation area. 

Also within the village is memorial plagues to commemorate the lives of villagers lost in the First and Second World Wars. 

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The village church of St John The Baptist dates back to the 13th Century, with the present nave and aisles having been built in around 1250.  

The chancel then followed in around 1280 and the tower in around 1300. 

Since 2008, the interior of the church has suffered from a severe infestation of bats, the colonies are of Natterer's and Soprano Pipistrelli bats. 

They are a protected species and therefore require thorough cleaning before services and ceremonies can take place. 

The church is renowned for its oaken cadaver which is a memorial consisting of a wooden skeleton, taken from a 15th-century tomb, it is reputed to be one of only two such carvings in the country. 

The first is ‘Feare the Lorde 1592’, the second is ‘Remember the ende 1592’, the third is ‘Give God the praise 1592’, the fourth is ‘Thomas Rvssell of Wootton near X Bedford made me in 1733 Thomas Simonts churchwarden.’ 

The fifth is ‘William Marks churchwarden: . I: Eayre fecit. 1743 gloria Deo soli: . Francis [?] Clitherow Esquire.’ 

In 1552 there were four bells and a sanctus bell, but by about 1709 there were five bells but whether this includes the sanctus bell is not clear. 

The civil parish of Keyston was abolished in 1935 in creating the larger parish of 'Bythorn and Keyston', and the ecclesiastical parish followed a year later.

Keyston is a village with an interesting history.

Keyston is a village with an interesting history. - Credit: HUNTS POST




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