St Peter

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This Georgian church and its bucolic setting hasn’t changed significantly since it was shown in Turner’s view from Richmond Hill of 1820.

About this church

The earliest record of this village is that in 666AD certain lands here were endowed to the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter's at Chertsey. From the Domesday Book of 1086 we learn that there was a church in the village at that time, but of that Saxon church nothing now remains.

Surprisingly, the name Petersham is not derived from St Peter. In Saxon times it was called Piterichesham which means a home or enclosure of Patricius or Patrick. However, by the 16th century the village was commonly known as Petersham.

In 1266 a Norman church was built of which only part of the chancel is left. In 1505 the church was rebuilt except for the chancel, and in about 1600 small transepts and a north gallery were added.

Early in the 17th century north and south transepts were built and also the tower at the west of the church. The gallery in the north transept was added shortly afterwards. In 1790 the west porch and vestry were added and the upper half of the tower rebuilt. The gallery at the west end was probably erected about 1800 and originally used by the musicians.

In 2019 the church created much needed meeting spaces, WC and catering facilities. A gap between the church and the new building is connected by a minimal glass link. The single new window facing the churchyard is screened with triangular honeycomb tiles to minimise the sense of overlooking. The entrance, into the glass link, is covered with a pierced metal screen bearing the words ‘All Are Welcome’.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven

Visitors information

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

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