St Peter’s Church

2467 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel


Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

This is one of the few surviving Saxon churches in England, with Saxon tower and baptistry surviving from a church built in the late 10th or early 11th centuries.

After the Norman Conquest, Barton became a flourishing regional centre and the Saxon chancel was replaced by a much larger Norman building. The Norman nave survives but side aisles were extended in the C15th as the population continued to grow, a clerestory added to the nave and the chancel rebuilt. The church was restored in the C19th and font, pews and pulpit date from this time. The church is now redundant and in the care of English Heritage.

The church was built on the site of an earlier Saxon cemetery. This continued to be used for burials until Victorian times. At the end of the C20th there was a major excavation of the cemetery and over 3000 bodies exhumed. These gave insight into changing burial customs as well as health of the population. There is now a major exhibition in the nave with information boards and displays of human skeletons, coffins and some grave goods.

The Saxon tower is built of limestone rubble with gritstone corner stones, door and window surrounds. and has decorative pilaster strip work. The base is Saxon although the top story was added by the Nomans. On the south wall is a typical narrow round topped Saxon doorway. On the north wall is a blocked triangular topped doorway. Windows are typical Saxon windows with either round or triangular tops and a central column. They are very different to the Norman windows above.

At the west end is a small and very tall baptistry with small round topped windows.

The nave is tall with a clerestory. On the sides are lower battlemented side aisles and long, battlemented chancel.

Inside it is a big church, feeling even bigger as the nave is empty. The exhibitions are in the side aisles.

Octagonal pillars, some with carved capitals with green men support transitional arches and separate nave and side aisles.

At the west end a Saxon archway leads into the tower, still with wooden ladder giving access to the bell chamber. Another round topped Saxon doorway leads into what was once a baptistry but is now empty.

The font is Victorian and stands by the south door. It has carved roundels with either flowers and foliage or faces and stands on a plinth covered with brightly coloured Minton tiles. On the wall above is a big benefice board.

The carved wood pulpit is also Victorian.

At the end of the north aisle is a small, nicely carved wooden altar with a stone top. On the wall is a medieval piscina with a green man underneath.

The beautifully carved rood screen with fan vaulted canopy is C15th and leads into the chancel. This has more heavy Victorian choir stalls which are very uncomfortable to sit on. There would be no chance of the choir dozing off during long sermons. At the far end is a carved wood altar and reredos with patterned tiles on the wall on either side.

This is a very attractive church. We went mainly to look at the Saxon work, although the display on a thousand years of burials was also interesting.

The church is open weekends in the summer. There is some parking below the Old Vicarage. It is accessible for disabled visitors.

Visity website

Silver Travel Advisor

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.