St Peter's Church, Sandwich, Kent

Address:
Market Street, Sandwich, Kent, CT13 9DA
How to find us | Access information
Opening times:
Open 12-4pm, Tuesday to Sunday
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Get a unique perspective on England’s most complete medieval town!

Take a journey through the ages as you ascend the medieval tower of St Peter’s. The tower is now open to visitors for the first time, providing views across Sandwich. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of France!

• Find local landmarks at the top of the tower, with our handheld guides
• Learn about the building’s 900 year history
• Treat yourself to tea & cake after your adventure!

Tickets can be purchased on the door. Prices: £3.50 adults, £3.00 concessions & groups of over eight, £2.50 children, £10 family ticket (2 adults & 2 children).

The history of St Peter's

St Peter's is the guardian of an ancient Sandwich tradition. Every day at 8pm the curfew bell rings out, signalling that the townspeople should cover their fires to make them safe for the night. This was once known as the 'pigbell', as it also informed people they could release their animals into the street.

This old Cinque Port church (Cinque Ports were the five harbour towns on the south coast which in medieval times provided the king with ships and men in exchange for trading and other privileges) is a local landmark. Much of today's building dates from 800 years ago, though it has been altered many times. The handsome tower with its distinctive onion dome top is a seventeenth-century addition - built by Flemish protestant refugees, in the style of their homeland churches.

There was once a Norman church on the site and traces of masonry from this building can still be seen at the west end. The present church dates from the late thirteenth/early fourteenth centuries, when Sandwich was at the height of its prosperity. The atmospheric crypt - open by arrangement - was once a charnel house where bones from the graveyard were stored to make room for new graves.

Inside, the church is spacious and airy with few furnishings allowing you to easily appreciate the impressive size and proportions of the lofty interior. The medieval roofs, handsome decorated windows, and the magnificently carved tomb recesses and effigies to local benefactors reflect the wealth and importance of the town and its people.

Comment

  • Access information
    St Peter's Church is located in town centre. Wheelchair access is possible into the church, although there are steps up to different areas within.
  • Facilities & Hire

    St Peter's Church is available to hire for performances, meetings and corporate events for up to 100 guests.  We offer catering packages and complimentary wifi.

    Please note, due to the heritage nature of the building, some surfaces may be uneven underfoot.

  • Directions
    In Sandwich town centre follow Historic Church signs on New Street, along No Name Street and Market Street.
  • Transport

    Nearest railway station:

    Sandwich (0.3 mile).

    Bus route number 13, 13a, 14, 14a.

  • History & Further Information

    History of St Peter's Church

    St Peter's is the guardian of an ancient Sandwich tradition - the town's curfew bell. Every day at 8pm, the curfew bell rings out, signalling that the townspeople should cover their fires to make them safe for the night. This was once known as the 'pigbell';, as it also informed people they could release their animals into the street.

    This old Cinque Port church (Cinque Ports were the five harbour towns on the south coast which in Medieval times provided the king with ships and men in exchange for trading and other privileges) is a local landmark.

    Much of today's building dates from 800 years ago, though it has been altered many times. The handsome tower with its distinctive onion dome top is a 17th-century addition - built by Flemish protestant refugees, in the style of their homeland churches.

    There was once a Norman church on the site and traces of masonry from this building can still be seen at the west end. The present church dates from the late 13th-/early 14th-centuries, when Sandwich was at the height of its prosperity.

    The atmospheric crypt - open by arrangement - was once a charnel house where bones from the graveyard were stored to make room for new graves.

    Inside, the church is spacious and airy with few furnishings allowing you to easily appreciate the impressive size and proportions of the lofty interior. The Medieval roofs, handsome decorated windows, and the magnificently carved tomb recesses and effigies to local benefactors reflect the wealth and importance of the town and its people.

    Guides

     

    Kent County Guide 2012

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

  • Volunteering Opportunities

     

  • Community information

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