St. Peter's Aldwincle Church History

The Abbot of Peterborough was probably responsible for the building of St. Peters Church in the reign of Richard 1st. In the 12th Century the church had no side aisles. Firstly the North aisle was added and the West cylindrical pier in that aisle is probably late Norman and is dated around 1190. Next the South aisle was added in approximately 1250 and the North aisle was rebuilt in 1290. The Chancel was also rebuilt in 1375 by William de Luffwyck. In the early 14th century the porch, spire and c1erestories (upper row of windows above the level of the aisle root) were added. The Chancel was restored again in Victorian Gothic style in 1860, and the main body of the church and the North Aisle were restored in 1876 - this time at the Rev. Ward's expense. 

Notable features 

Note some of the following stone embellishments: the string course is carved with grotesque heads, animals and birds clinging with their heads hanging downwards. Some of them look like knights, and one looks like a Bishop. Some of the heads in the body of the church are probably Green men as they are surrounded by ivy leaves.

Green men did not appear in England until the 12111 century, but they had been in existence throughout the Roman kingdom since the 1st century A.D.

The four piers and capitals in the North and South arcades are all of different designs. The two in the North arcade are dated 1190 and 1290 and the ones in the South arcade are approximately 1240.

Note the carved wooden roses in the roof of the side aisles. 

South Aisle 

The windows in the West and East walls and the window to the west of the Porch are 13111 century. The one next to the East window on the South side has "14* century tracery. The people of Aldwincle celebrated the year 2000 with the design of St Peter with the disciples by Benjamin Finn, The glaziers being Bryant and Sharman.

The piscina near the door has a fluted bowl and the one near the East window has a trefoiled and ogee - head and a moulded basin.

There are two Image brackets near the East window. The font is 13111 century.

North Aisle 

Two windows are Victorian and they have contemporary glass. The other ones are re-used older ones.

Several previous rectors of Aldwincle are a commemorated by slabs in this aisle. 

The Nave 

The east end of the nave was re-ordered in 2014 so cater for modern worship styles, concerts etc. The font was moved into this area at the same time.

The four square plinths holding the piers may have been the corners of the original building.

Note that if you stand by the bell tower and look towards the altar the chancel goes off at an angle to the left This was because in the 12th century it was thought that the devil would try to spoil perfect things - therefore the architecture had to be imperfect so as not to attract the devil'

In the year 2000 a time capsule was placed in the nave.

The Clerestories - this upper row of windows above the aisle are 14th century.

The pulpit and pews are Victorian or later.

The oak screen and the lectern are in memory of Canon F. G. Hodgson. Rector 1891 - 1919. The Jacobean table, cross and brass ornaments in the South Aisle were brought from All Saints, when it was deconsecrated. 

The Chancel

 

On the South side, you can see St. George labelled at base in Lombardic letters S(AN)C(T)E GEORGI (1310-30). The face, part of the body, niche and border have mostly been replaced.

And St Christopher is standing in a river full of fish, holding a staff and the Christ Child (Who is extensively restored as is much of the background and much of the niche and border). Note the border of the white hounds chasing yellow hares (1310 - 30.)

The lower window is Victorian.

The East window shows two figures of past Rectors. Roger Travers (19th century copy of original (1372 - 80) and Wil1iam de Luffwyck, who is kneeling in prayer dressed in a cassock, dark brown shoes. The Lombardic inscription reads ORATE PRO VIT A WIL LUFFWYK RECTORlS ISTIUS ECCLESIE.(1335 - 80).

There are several censing angels, parts of which are also from the 14th century. The most interesting one holds the spear of Christ's passion it has a surrounding border of Bipeds with tails and beaks and two large cinquefoil flowers (much of the border has been restored)

In the S.E. corner to the right of the Altar is a memorial to Margaret Davenant (Thomas Fuller's grandmother) who died in 1613.

The low doorway on the North side leads into the Vestry which once had two storeys.

The Tower window (Victorian) commemorates Thomas Fuller (1608 - 1661).

The five bells were hung and then dedicated by the Bishop of Leicester in 1903.

 

Outside 

On the West front of the Tower is an ogee - headed window and up above a round “turning wheel" window.

The tall column in the churchyard is a cross shaft which was found in 1930, and later it was placed in an upright position in the churchyard. 

Tower and Broach Spire 

These are 14th century. Wakeling Dry said that St. Peter had "the finest broach spire in the county", and L G.H. Lee stated that "St. Peters is a church of excellent proportion and design, giving a picture of quite exceptional charm and one of complete satisfaction - a model of an English village church and churchyard."