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St Peter, Caversham, Berkshire

(51°28′7″N, 0°58′55″W)
SU 708 749
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Berkshire
now Reading
medieval Salisbury
now Oxford
  • Ron Baxter
16 September 2001, 26 February 2020

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A large flint and ashlar church with an aisled nave, the aisles extending some way along the chancel. The S aisle is an addition of 1878, and in this year the W tower was also rebuilt. The chancel has a N vestry and was extended in 1924–25 by Ninian Comper. There is a 12thc. S doorway under a porch, and the font might also be Romanesque. Finally the N aisle wall incorporates a variety of reused material including a stone carved with chevron.


Walter Giffards's 1086 holding of 20 hides in Caversham was included in the record for Oxfordshire. In addition to the ploughland there were 13 acres of meadow, woodland 1 league and 2 furlongs long and 1 league broad, and a mill. This land was held by Swein in 1066.


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration





Tyack (2010) describes the font as a round Norman Purbeck basin with raised spurs at the angles. It is more probably Sussex marble, and may well be neither Norman nor, in origin, a font. Mortars of this design were produced well beyond the medieval period, and their similarity to fonts has meant that many ended up in the local church. The reset doorway, with its heavy simple chevron rolls and chip-carved impost and label is likely to date from early in the 12thc, perhaps c.1120-30.


G. Tyack, S. Bradley and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. New Haven and London 2010, 479-80.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire. Harmondsworth, 1966, 110.