St Peter's Church, Northampton, Northamptonshire

Address: Marefair, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN1 1SR
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Currently open from 10.00am to 1.00pm Wednesdays and Fridays. If the church is not open a key can be obtained from the Ibis hotel nearby.
Keyholder information, accessibility and facilities

The most outstanding Norman church in the country

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.

Volunteers are needed at this church

 

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How to find us

To locate this church on a map, click on the 'View on map' link that appears below the address information at the top of the page.

Road directions

Northampton city centre location, south side of Marefair adjoining St. Peter's Way/Marefair junction. One way system.

Public transport information

Nearest railway station: Northampton (0.2 miles); buses from town centre. Bus route numbers 3/5/6/9/9A/19/21/22/22A/30/50/96/D1/D2.

OS Reference No.

SP 74971 60377

What’s on & news

What’s on

29/10/14 - 31/10/14 
Autumn Activities

News

16/07/14 Wendy Leaney impressed the judges with her skillfully sculpted creation made out of homemade lime and elderflower cordial

See more events and news

Nearby attractions

St Michael's Church,  Upton, Northamptonshire

St Michael's Church, Upton, Northamptonshire
Relic of a deserted Medieval village

Church of St Peter & St Paul,  Preston Deanery, Northamptonshire

Church of St Peter & St Paul, Preston Deanery, Northamptonshire
1,000 years of animals, both carved and real!

Althorp

Althorp
Heritage site

Canons Ashby

Canons Ashby
National Trust property

See more nearby churches & attractions

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

What’s on at this church

The list below provides brief summaries of events coming up at this church. You can find out more about each event by clicking on individual event titles in the summary list.

News about this church

You can find out more about each of the news items summarised below by clicking on the news title.

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Image gallery

Click on images to view larger

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Useful information

Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church and the CCT before you visit?

You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walk round guides we have for this church.





 

PDF iconA walk round guide for St Peter's Church, Northampton (PDF, 1.5mb)

This short, full colour walk round guide contains a floor plan of the church and highlights of things to see during your visit. You can purchase a printed copy of this from the church (50p) or download in advance (free/optional donation).

PDF iconWarwickshire & Northamptonshire County Guide (PDF, 4.5mb)

This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches CCT cares for in Warwickshire & Northamptonshire. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.

Nearby CCT churches

St Michael's Church,  Upton, Northamptonshire

St Michael's Church, Upton, Northamptonshire Relic of a deserted Medieval village Upton Lane, Upton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN5 4UX
See church page

Church of St Peter & St Paul,  Preston Deanery, Northamptonshire

Church of St Peter & St Paul, Preston Deanery, Northamptonshire 1,000 years of animals, both carved and real! Preston Deanery, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN7 2DX
See church page

All Saints' Church,  Holdenby, Northamptonshire

All Saints' Church, Holdenby, Northamptonshire A church that lost its village Holdenby Road, Holdenby, Northampton, Northamptonshire, NN6 8DJ
See church page

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Have you visited this church?

Why not share your experience with us?

Comments

  1. Kevin Simons (10 Apr 2011, 17:50)

    This has got to be the most unbelievable church of yours i've visited so far, the tower is really well adorned with some of the most unusual figures and grotesques. The different types of stones are an unusual feature, as for the rest of the outside it is in a rather peacefuk setting and the visitor wouldn't know it's in the centre of town. The inside is out of this world especially with the carvings on top of the columns, they're the most beautiful i've ever seen of any church. As for the stone slab near the chancel I believe it's of the saxon period. I certainly enjoyed my 1st visit on 2nd April 2011 and will probably make another visit.

  2. Rita hall(Loake) (06 Jan 2012, 12:39)

    I am a Northamptonian and first visited St Peters in the 1950's as a school project. I left Northampton in 1963 but always remember the story of St Peters and the building.

  3. Alan Grove (19 Sep 2012, 17:01)

    We have visited 150 CCT churches and this was the one I thought we would never get to. As good as it says with the interior stonework reminding me of the mosque at Cordeba in Spain. A great day in Northampton where all the historic buildings are within walking distance. Do visit 78 Derngate with the Charles Rennie Mackintosh interior.

  4. arkmitchell (08 Jul 2013, 19:20)

    We tried to visit St Peters church today Mon 8th of July, all the way from Cambridge, to find the church and the graveyard locked, We tried to find if someone had a key but no one, not even the nearby pub,knew.

    Then we found a very small notice board saying the church was opened by volunteers, only Wed-Sat in the summer.

    It strikes us that Northampton is missing out on a source of revenue by not having this famous Norman church available every day, and if not,then information where the key might be found should be known.

    Brixworth and Earls Barton are opened everyday ,so why not St Peter's? At least, we were able to visit them!

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Community information for St Peter's Church, Northampton

 

All our Northamptonshire churches are in CCT’s South East region.

About the Friends of Northampton Church

You can find out more about the Friends of St Peter's Church, Northampton on their website:

http://www.fostp.org.uk/

Facebook page for St Peters Northampton

Useful local links

Visit Northamptonshire tourism website

Northamptonshire History

Northamptonshire Family History Society

Northamptonshire Archaeological Society

Northamptonshire Historic Churches Trust

List of churches in Northamptonshire

Northamptonshire is in the Diocese of Northampton

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

St Peter's Church, Northampton, Northamptonshire

Keyholder

If the access information for this church is listed as 'Keyholder nearby', this means that the key is kept by one of our invaluable volunteer 'keyholders', who usually live just a short walk from the church and can give visitors the key; sometimes this is a nearby hotel, pub, library, art gallery or other venue. You will find instructions explaining how to get the key when you arrive at the church.

Disabled access

There is one very small step into the porch.

Facilities

Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating or running water meaning that they can be cold, and very rarely have toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor. We do apologise for any inconvenience the lack of facilities may cause.