History
Architecturally, Wyton church is far more interesting than that of Houghton. The early 13th century north arcade is particularly fine and has deeply moulded arches, capitals carved with stiff-leaf foliage typical of the period and fine pillars. The priest's doorway of the same date has “dog-tooth" moulding on either side at the springing of the arch. Of particular interest is the 13th century north doorway which has excellent detail, rebuilt here at the time of the restoration. It has a pointed head, shafted jambs with carved capitals and on the modern door has been refixed remarkable strapwork which came from the original door. The carving at the chancel arch capitals includes a realistic leopard's head, the font is modern but the stem and base are 15th century. In the east window is some old glass, one piece with a “sun in splendour". On the chancel wall is the memorial stone of the Reverend Samuel Ainsworth (d. 1709) with a very long Latin laudatory inscription. Wyton church was closed in 1974 and declared redundant. It was sold into private hands in 1980 and is not open to the public. Nor is there a public footpath through its churchyard, although the public do have access to the extension to the churchyard which is still church land, and is available for the burial of cremated remains. The fittings of the church have been dispersed to various other local churches; a few are now in Houghton church. Houghton Chapel Retreat Houghton Chapel, C. 1878 This building formerly a Congregational Chapel and now belonging to the United Reform Church, stands down Chapel Lane next to the school. It was built in 1840 by the joint exertions of Potto Brown and Joseph Goodman. It is an excellent and typical example of “chapel" architecture of the period, unaffected by the "Gothic" revival. Simple in design, it is constructed of yellow brick and is rectangular in shape, with a slightly projecting pedimented entrance portico, round-headed windows in each wall and a flat-pitched roof. The interior has been recently reconstructed (1986) to create a 30 bed self-catering residential centre. The former pews used to slope gently towards a communion table and pulpit. Wood from these has now been made into fine refectory tables. The canted gallery at one end has been carried round three sides to house bedrooms, toilets and bathrooms. The dining area, which serves also for worship, incorporates the recess which housed the organ. The lounge keeps part of the coved and boarded ceiling with one of the full-length windows, in a very handsome space. A bronze plaque, mounted next to a new open fireplace is inscribed "In memory of Potto Brown and Joseph Goodman whose faith in God and zeal for Religion inspired the erection of this Meeting House in 1840 and who laboured unceasingly to further the cause of civil and religious liberty in the towns and villages of this County”. The former adjoining schoolroom, slightly extended, now houses a kitchen and further bedrooms, including full facilities for physically handicapped people. The grounds contain many inscribed memorial stones most now remounted along the side walls. Those commemorating the Brown and Goodman families remain standing behind refurbished railings and a space for off-road parking. THE CEMETERY When the graveyards of the two churches and Union Chapel were closed it became necessary to find a suitable piece of ground to take their place. In 1905, an acre of land was bought at the foot of Houghton Hill, which at the time was a somewhat isolated spot as no houses were near. It contains the village war memorial and besides those of villagers, graves of allied airmen of World War II and since. The Parish Council keeps it in order.
HISTORY Architecturally, Wyton church is far more interesting than that of Houghton. The early 13th century north arcade is particularly fine and has deeply moulded arches, capitals carved with stiff- leaf foliage typical of the period and fine pillars. The priest's doorway of the same date has “dog- tooth" moulding on either side at the springing of the arch. Of particular interest is the 13th century north doorway which has excellent detail, rebuilt here at the time of the restoration. It has a pointed head, shafted jambs with carved capitals and on the modern door has been refixed remarkable strapwork which came from the original door. The carving at the chancel arch capitals includes a realistic leopard's head, the font is modern but the stem and base are 15th century. In the east window is some old glass, one piece with a “sun in splendour". On the chancel wall is the memorial stone of the Reverend Samuel Ainsworth (d. 1709) with a very long Latin laudatory inscription. Wyton church was closed in 1974 and declared redundant. It was sold into private hands in 1980 and is not open to the public. Nor is there a public footpath through its churchyard, although the public do have access to the extension to the churchyard which is still church land, and is available for the burial of cremated remains. The fittings of the church have been dispersed to various other local churches; a few are now in Houghton church. Houghton Chapel Retreat Houghton Chapel, C. 1878 This building formerly a Congregational Chapel and now belonging to the United Reform Church, stands down Chapel Lane next to the school. It was built in 1840 by the joint exertions of Potto Brown and Joseph Goodman. It is an excellent and typical example of “chapel" architecture of the period, unaffected by the "Gothic" revival. Simple in design, it is constructed of yellow brick and is rectangular in shape, with a slightly projecting pedimented entrance portico, round-headed windows in each wall and a flat-pitched roof. The interior has been recently reconstructed (1986) to create a 30 bed self-catering residential centre. The former pews used to slope gently towards a communion table and pulpit. Wood from these has now been made into fine refectory tables. The canted gallery at one end has been carried round three sides to house bedrooms, toilets and bathrooms. The dining area, which serves also for worship, incorporates the recess which housed the organ. The lounge keeps part of the coved and boarded ceiling with one of the full-length windows, in a very handsome space. A bronze plaque, mounted next to a new open fireplace is inscribed "In memory of Potto Brown and Joseph Goodman whose faith in God and zeal for Religion inspired the erection of this Meeting House in 1840 and who laboured unceasingly to further the cause of civil and religious liberty in the towns and villages of this County”. The former adjoining schoolroom, slightly extended, now houses a kitchen and further bedrooms, including full facilities for physically handicapped people. The grounds contain many inscribed memorial stones most now remounted along the side walls. Those commemorating the Brown and Goodman families remain standing behind refurbished railings and a space for off-road parking. THE CEMETERY When the graveyards of the two churches and Union Chapel were closed it became necessary to find a suitable piece of ground to take their place. In 1905, an acre of land was bought at the foot of Houghton Hill, which at the time was a somewhat isolated spot as no houses were near. It contains the village war memorial and besides those of villagers, graves of allied airmen of World War II and since. The Parish Council keeps it in order.