St Peter’s Church

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Things to do


Date of travel

March, 2017

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St Peter’s Church is in the heart of the shopping area next to M&S.

The church dates from 1180 and was built on the site of an earlier church which was destroyed by fire when soldiers destroyed much of the town during the civil war between Stephen and Matilda. It is claimed to be the oldest building still in use in the city. The tower and spire were completed in 1340. The spire would originally have been crocketted (nobbled) but these were removed in the C19th leaving the rather stark, characterless appearance of today. The north aisle was added in the late C14th. The clerestory and oak roof were added in 1480. The chancel was destroyed during the Civil War although the chancel arch survived. It was rebuilt after the Restoration, on a smaller plan. Both the chancel and north aisle were rebuilt in the C19th when the rood screen was added. The Georgian box pews were removed and the wood used to panel round the base of the nave walls. There was a further renovation in the C20th when medieval all paintings were discovered when old plaster was stripped but unfortunately they soon faded. The very modern altar painting dates from 2003 and there are modern stained glass windows.

The church is reached up steps from St Peter’s Gate and entry is either through the south door or the west door, beneath the tower. Look up to admire the painted wooden ceiling of Jesus in Gethsemane, dating from 1816, this was originally the reredos behind the high altar and placed here in 1963.

Inside it is an attractive church with an arcade of pillars which still retain some carved capitals and pointed arches. The wooden roof has painted bosses.

The west end is very simple with a tall archway leading from the porch beneath the tower into the church.

The War Memorial on the south arcade to the dead of the First World War has an alabaster statue of St George killing the dragon.

The wooden pulpit is modern, dating from 1957. The stone font at the back of the south aisle has a C17th carved bowl on a C15th base.

The beautifully carved rood screen with its plain cross and small angels along the top dates from 1899.

The chancel feels completely different to the nave with its painted plaster walls, painted wood ceiling and very modern reredos behind the altar. The choir stalls and organ are of light golden wood.

There is a small chapel to the south of the chancel.

There is some attractive modern stained glass in the church.

The church is an outreach and social centre working with all groups of people throughout the city. It has a small “coffee room”: (open 9-2.30) reached through the south door with a Traidcraft shop attached. Profits from this go towards the outreach work of the church.

The church is open daily between 9.15am to 5pm. There is no parking attached to the church. The nearest post code is NG 1 2NW and the grid reference is SK 573398.

There are more pictures “here.”:


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