We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Peter, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire

(52°39′51″N, 0°9′42″E)
TF 463 096
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Cambridgeshire
now Cambridgeshire
  • Ron Baxter

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=8997.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

The earliest fabric suggests the existence of a late-12thc., six-bay aisled nave with a W tower and a chancel of unknown form. Towards the end of the 13thc. the church was almost doubled in width by widening the N aisle and replacing the S aisle with a second nave, as wide as the first, and equipped with its own chancel and S aisle. At the same time or slightly later the original chancel was enlarged in both length and width, so that it was now wider than the original nave, to which it was linked by a diagonal bay. An open arcade separated the two chancels. Around 1500 the W tower collapsed, taking the 12thc. S arcade with it. The arcade was replaced and a new tower built, detached from the church at the NW and bearing the arms of Bishop Goodrick (1534–54). Remains of the original tower survive in the form of its N and S arches and the E arch bases. The church therefore consists of a double nave with aisles to N and S, and arcades of (from N to S) c.1200, c.1500, and c.1300; a two-storey 14thc. S porch; a double chancel; W tower arches but no W tower, and a detached NW tower of the 1530s. Construction is of ashlar, that on the S of roughly coursed stones. The tower is of regular large blocks. Romanesque sculpture is found on the capitals of the tower arches and the N nave arcade.



Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches



The nave pier system has a complex rhythm, with extra arch decoration at the E end. The form of the original arch to bay (i) and the original E respond are unfortunately not known, but it must be remembered that the nave to which this arcade originally belonged had a narrower, and presumably a shorter chancel, and liturgically the E bays might well have formed part of the choir.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Cambridgeshire, Harmondsworth 1954 (2nd ed. 1970),