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St Peter, Leicester, Belgrave, Leicestershire

(52°39′30″N, 1°7′34″W)
Leicester, Belgrave
SK 592 071
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Leicestershire
now Leicester
medieval Lincoln
now Leicester
medieval St Peter
now St Peter
  • Richard Jewell
05 August 1990

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The former village of Belgrave is now a suburb of Leicester, and the church lies on the E bank of the River Soar. The building consists of chancel, extended in the 14thc, a nave, S and N aisles added in the 13thc, and a W tower, which lower stages date to the 12thc, while the upper one was added in the 15thc. The S porch built in 1826 and a N porch was erected in 1911; the N vestry date to 1877. The church was restored in 1860 by Ewan Christian, in 1861-67 by William Gillett, and again in 1877 by George Gilbert Scott. The surviving Romanesque sculptures is found on the reset S doorway and in the tower arch.


The village was formerly called 'Merdegrave' and at the time of the Domesday Survey was held by Hugh of Grandmesnil and his wife Adeliza. It valued £5. Hugh granted the church to the abbey of Abbey of Saint-Evroul in Normandy, and this gift was confirmed by William the Conqueror, whose Charter to the Abbey dated 1082, notices particularly the "ecclesiam de Merthegrave, que nunc alio nomine, viz. Belle-grava dicitur": the name of the village already changes into 'Belgrave'. In the 12thc, during the reign of Henry II, the Earl of Leicester inherited the Lordship of the manor by marrying Hugo's daughter and gave lands there to William de Belgrave.


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Tower/Transept arches

The S doorway dates the third quarter of the 12thc and can be considered one of the finest Romanesque examples in the county.

The dating of the tower arch is rather problematical: the arch itself and the capitals appear to have been carved around 1180, whilst the Gothic corbels date to c.1250. However, there are no obvious signs of alteration.


N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland, rev. by E. Williamson, London 1960, 168.

A History of the County of Leicester: the City of Leicester, ed. by R. A. McKinley, vol. 4, London, 1958, 296.