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St Peter, Higham on the Hill, Leicestershire

(52°33′23″N, 1°26′13″W)
Higham on the Hill
SP 383 956
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Leicestershire
now Leicestershire
medieval St Peter
now St Peter
  • Biba Gonzalez
  • Ron Baxter
  • Jennifer Alexander
01 Jul 2013

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Feature Sets

Higham on the Hill is a village in the Hinckley and Bosworth district of SW Leicestershire, adjacent to the Warwickshire border and 2.5 miles NW of Hinckley. It consists now of a Norman W tower to which was added a nave by Henry Couchman of Warwickshire in 1791, a S aisle and porch by Ewan Christian in 1854 and a chancel by R. Jennings in 1870. It is clear from a large blocked arch in the W wall of the tower that this was originally central. It is an elaborate structure with corbel tables on all four faces, bell-openings and wall arcading.


Higham is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey, but was probably part of the holdings of Hugh de Grandmesnil (Nichols, 637) and descended from him to the Earls of Leicester. In 1220 the church was described as being in the patronage of the Abbot of Lyra (in Normandy).


Exterior Features


Exterior Decoration

Corbel tables, corbels

Pevsner's brief entry on the church includes the information that Norman towers are a great rarity in Leicestershire. The corbels, unfortunately badly worn, include grotesque beast heads, beakhead and rolls: a limited number of designs with several cases of repetition. In contrast, the bell-opeening capitals are (or were) all the same and the shafts of the bell-openings and arcading are almost all polygonal. The arcading capitals all (but one) have the same design of double scallop, so that the tower ornament has a curious look of being ordered off the shelf. A date in the mid-12thc. is suggested.


Historic England Listed Building, English Heritage Legacy ID: 188144

J. Nichols, The History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester, 4 vols, London 1795 – 1810-11, 4 pt 2, 637-43.

  1. Pevsner and E. Williamson, The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland, New Haven and London 2003, 175-76.