About this church
Looking like a cathedral in miniature, St Peter & St Paul's sits very grandly in the flat landscape, with its battlements and row of great Perpendicular clerestory windows. These extend to the transepts, which have aisles as in the nave. Evidence of a Saxon church has been found here, and some Norman works survives.
The present building dates from the 13th to the 15th centuries and was sensitively restored by the Squarson, Basil Beridge in the 1850s, with Victorian decoration and stained glass carried out by some of the greatest names of the day. The medieval and Victorian work are not always easy to tell apart.
The exquisite decorated chancel was carried out by Pugin, JG Crace, and RC Carpenter. Crace’s reredos are superb and very rare. The chancel scheme, which is almost complete, was the last commission for both Pugin and Carpenter. The glazed scheme, which fills the church with its glory, was the work of Hardman, and Clayton and Bell, commissioned by Beridge, who chose the imagery to give a complete and cohesive vision of Anglican faith. The building offers a beautiful but fragile Victorian vision of medieval majesty.
The tower is 13th century, with a short leadwork covered spire of 1850.
There are medieval stone effigies, including one of a priest, and a stone in the churchyard is reputed to mark the grave of the Mercian earl, Algar, after whom the village is named. He is said to have died in battle in 870.