About this church
St Peter's stands in a pretty grass churchyard in Northampton town centre, beside the buried remains of a Saxon palace. This 900 year old Norman church is filled with glorious carved treasures. Inside, great Norman arches of plain and banded stone rise and flow with zig-zag waves.
They are supported by beautiful carved capitals, each overflowing with foliage, scrollwork, birds and beasts. Look for the man being swallowed by (or emerging from) a monster. These carvings were plastered over in the 17th century and were carefully unpicked with a bone knife in the early 19th century by local antiquarian Anne Elizabeth Baker, a labour of love lasting 11 years. Other highlights include a handsome brass lectern and carved wooden pews and monuments, including the bust of William Smith, the father of British geology.
Outside, strange half human faces glare out from under the eaves, together with cruder, timeworn figures. There are other delights to be found include the 14th century font, a 12th century grave slab with astonishingly clear relief carving and some fine Victorian stained glass.