Wymondham, Leicestershire – St Peter

The minor road brought us into the village of Wymondham, and I drove up to the church of St Peter’s, at SK182186. The church doesn’t seem to have its own website but there is a lovely one here. His photos are better than mine. There is a 36 page guidebook, and I was amazed how much there was in this church.

The lower stages of the tower are C13, the arches of the nave, chancel and the windows are C14, and the clerestory and some other details are C15. The six bells date to the early C17 – a hundred years ago the Gleaning Bell was rung every evening of harvest. The clock is by John Smith of Derby.

Entering the church, my eye was caught by the lovely brass rotating notice about the need to be a good giver.

Then I looked at the Nave, and looked up. Wonderful medieval carvings – enjoy!

An octagonal font, and an eagle under cover – I wonder if they have bat problems? The altar is C19, and I like the way they leave it uncovered – altar frontals can be lovely, but there are some hideous ones around. According to the guidebook, “Beneath the East window and rightly hidden in shame is a reredos of glazed tiles in appalling but typical Victorian bad taste”.

The East window is by Alexander Gibbs, and is also typical Victorian. A nice Sedilla too.

I like the costumes in this Victorian window.

The South Transept once held the Chantry founded by William Hamelin in 1290. An Inquisition held that year founded that it would not be to the damage of the King if William gave 2 messuages and 8 bovates of land in Saxby, Wymondham and Thorp Edmer to a chaplain to celebrate divine offices in the chapel of St Mary on the south side of the church of Wymondham “in pure and perpetual alms.” There is a large oak Jacobean cupboard carved with the Annunciation and Baptism, but no record where or when it came to the church. In a glass case is a recorder-like instrument once played by John Bursnall (1803-73) in the church band, before the organ was installed. You may know the lovely passage by Thomas Hardy, if not read the passage on this website. The brass is of Dame Margery Berkeley (died 1521), her husband Sir Morris has gone.

The guidebook describes this as “the once fine alabaster-topped altar-tomb of Sir Thomas Berkeley (died 1488) and Petronilla, his wife.

The effigy is of Sir John Hamelin. He was a crusader on three occasions. I wonder how far he travelled and what sights he saw. Did he reach the walls of Jerusalem? You can imagine him telling his stories when he return home. It is a rather lovely effigy.

A pretty amazing church.


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One Response to Wymondham, Leicestershire – St Peter

  1. Robin Peel says:

    Just a quick note to say how much I enjoyed your write up on your visit to Wymondham. I found your blog whilst doing some research on this church for my own website. Looking forward to looking through your other visits.
    Very best wishes
    Robin Peel Peterborough.

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