St Peter

This is one of England's most celebrated parish churches, and for many church enthusiasts it is one of, if not the, best in the whole country.

About this church

What makes it so special is that as well as being an exceptionally fine building in itself, it is full of fixtures and fittings from many periods, and these include outstanding examples of their kind.

The earliest part of the church is the tower, dating from the 14th century, while the whole of the rest was built between the late 1300s and 1450. It is a very large building, with huge windows in the nave and chancel. These have clear glass, so that you can see through the building from the outside, and ensuring that it is flooded with light on the inside.

An unusual feature of the exterior is the passageway under the chancel. The reason for its being there is not entirely clear. Some experts wonder if it was part of a processional route, and others think it was to accommodate a right of way. It was certainly used at some point to secure horses during church services, as the tethering rings show.

The spectacular two storey south porch is almost a building in itself, with superb carving on the outside and excellent vaulting to its ceiling.

One of the things that makes the interior so unique is the amount of lovely old woodwork. First, there is the splendid west screen, made in about 1630. Then, there are ranks of 17th century benches in the nave. The painted base of the rood screen still separates the nave from the chancel, where the stalls have fine carvings from the 15th century. Best of all, perhaps, are the 15th century benches in the south and north aisles. Those in the south aisle are in tiers; all have a variety of carved panels on their backs and superb poppyhead ends.

Also of wood is the screen to the south aisle chapel, the font cover of about 1600, the poor box (inscribed 'Remember the poore 1639') and the 'hudd', a shelter made so that the parson and his vestments would not get wet when officiating at funerals.

In the nave is an enormous brass chandelier dating from 1701, and also made of brass is the early 16th century lectern. There are three endearing lions at its feet.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Social heritage stories

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

St John

St John's has an unusual looking exterior as it has a slim tower in comparison to the nave.

St Mary the Virgin

Before it became surrounded by a sea of modern housing and other developments, the impact of West Walton's huge detached tower in this flat landscape must have been genuinely awe inspiring.

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