We needed to fiddle with the sat-nav and there was a steeple coming up on the left so we pulled off the A1 into a town that turned out to be Buckden.
Which is in the county that used to be Huntingdonshire but has since been absorbed into Cambridgeshire. Simon Jenkins- who is my guide in the matter of splendid churches- says the locals still think of it as Huntingdonshire so he does too- and gives the ghostly county its own section in his book. The bashing about of our historic counties- undertaken in the 1970s for the convenience of administrators- was an act of cultural vandalism I would love to see reversed.
Anyway, Buckden is beautiful.
The bishops of Lincoln had a palace there and the parish church benefited accordingly. Jenkins gives it one star out of a possible five- which seems a little parsimonious. Perhaps the sun wasn't shining when he made his visit.
I turned up ten minutes before the start of a Good Friday service and my style was cramped by my moves being watched and timed. I should have liked to have taken multiple photographs of the elongated musician angels in the roof- but didn't feel the vicar and gathering congregation would have loved me if I did.
This very angry little person is situated on the right hand side of the magnificent south porch.
The bishops palace is now a Roman Catholic retreat house. The two buildings- Tudor brick and late medieval stone- look very well together.