St Peter

The most outstanding Norman church.

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.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches

All Saints

At All Saints you encounter a Wren city church in the provinces, of the highest quality.

Holy Sepulchre

From the outside the church initially presents itself as a confident 19th century rebuild of a medieval foundation. This is the outcome of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s restoration of the 1860’s.

St James

St James may be the finest late 19th century polychrome church in the county.

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