St Peter's Church, Chester

St Peter's Church, Chester
St Peter's Church, Chester

Chester Cross showing St Peter's Church

St Peter's Church, Chester is located in Cheshire
St Peter's Church, Chester
Location in Cheshire
Coordinates: 53°11′25″N 2°53′30″W / 53.1904°N 2.8918°W / 53.1904; -2.8918
OS grid reference SJ 404 663
Location Chester, Cheshire
Country England
Denomination Anglican
Website Parish of Chester
Dedication Saint Peter
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Heritage designation Grade I
Designated 28 August 1955
Architect(s) John Douglas (restoration)
Architectural type Church
Style Gothic
Completed 1886
Materials Red sandstone
Slate spire
Parish Chester, St Peter with St John
Deanery Chester
Archdeaconry Chester
Diocese Chester
Province York
Rector Fr David Chesters, OBE
Assistant priest Revd Canon Tony Boyd
Reader Keith Allen
Churchwarden(s) Blair Wilson, David Rogers
Parish administrator Moira Wright

St Peter's Church, Chester is in Eastgate Street in the centre of the city of Chester, Cheshire, England, immediately to the north of Chester Cross. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building.[1] It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Chester. Its benefice is united with that of St John's, Chester.[2]



The church stands on the site of part of the Roman Praetorium and some of its fabric dates from that time.[3] A church is said to have been built on this site by Ethelfleda in 907. The present church dates from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, with modifications in the following three centuries. Formerly the tower had a spire which was removed and rebuilt in the 16th century, taken down in the 17th century, then rebuilt and finally removed[1] "having been much injured by lightning" about 1780.[3] In 1849–50 the church was repaired by James Harrison,[4] and 1886 it was restored by John Douglas, which included the addition of a pyramidal spire.[5]



The church is built of red sandstone and is approximately square in plan. Its floor is at the level of the adjacent Watergate Row and the church is entered by a flight of seven stone steps on the south face. At the west end there is an embraced tower which rises one stage above the roof, with a clock and a bell opening of two lights. The top is crenellated, it has crocketed pinnacles and a pyramidal slate spire.[1]


Inside the church is a continuous nave and chancel with four aisles. The west end is attached to and extends behind the backs of the adjacent buildings. Over the outer aisles and at the west end are galleries.[1] The baptistry lies below the tower. On the northeast pier is a niche which formerly contained a statue of the Virgin and Child, and surrounding it is the best preserved medieval wall painting in Cheshire.[3] On the south wall under the gallery are three corbels with medieval carvings of an angel, a woman and an old man.[6] The marble font is dated 1662. In the south aisle attached to a pier is a 15th century brass thought to depict a lawyer, and elsewhere in the church are memorials from the 17th century,[3] and two memorial boards by the Randle Holme family.[6] The stained glass in the east window dates from 1863 and is by Heaton, Butler and Bayne. Glass in a window on the southeast of the church is by Clayton and Bell, and there is a west window by Trena Cox.[4] The organ has two manuals and was built by Whiteley.[7] The ring is of six bells. Five of these which are dated 1709 are by Rudhall of Gloucester and the other, dated 1921, is by John Taylor and Company.[8] The parish registers date from 1559 and the churchwardens' accounts from 1626, although the volume dating from 1686 to 1803 has been lost.[3]

See also

  • List of church restorations, amendments and furniture by John Douglas


  1. ^ a b c d "Church of St Peter, Chester", The National Heritage List for England (English Heritage), 2011,, retrieved 28 April 2011 
  2. ^ St Peter, Chester, Church of England,, retrieved 27 August 2009 
  3. ^ a b c d e Richards, Raymond (1947), Old Cheshire Churches, London: Batsford, pp. 121–126 
  4. ^ a b Hartwell, Claire; Hyde, Matthew; Hubbard, Edward; Pevsner, Nikolaus (2011) [1971], Cheshire, The Buildings of England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 243, ISBN 978-0-300-17043-6 
  5. ^ Hubbard, Edward (1991), The Work of John Douglas, London: The Victorian Society, pp. 184, 256, ISBN 0-901657-16-6 
  6. ^ a b Morant, Roland W. (1989), Cheshire Churches, Birkenhead: Countyvise, p. 123, ISBN 0-907768-18-0 
  7. ^ Cheshire, Chester, St. Peter (D01243), British Institute of Organ Studies,, retrieved 10 December 2010 
  8. ^ Chester S Peter, Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers,, retrieved 10 August 2008 

External links

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