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Parish Church of St Peter, Benington

Description: Parish Church of St Peter

Grade: I
Date Listed: 24 November 1966
English Heritage Building ID: 159596

OS Grid Reference: TL2969223579
OS Grid Coordinates: 529692, 223579
Latitude/Longitude: 51.8957, -0.1166

Location: 5 Church Green, Benington, Hertfordshire SG2 7LH

Locality: Benington
Local Authority: East Hertfordshire District Council
County: Hertfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: SG2 7LH

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Listing Text

(north side)

11/8 Parish Church of St Peter


Parish church. Late C13 or early C14 nave and chancel, c1330 N
chapel and S porch, early C15 W tower before roof raised for C15
clerestorey. Restored 1889 by John Oldrid Scott. (Kelly (1914)
52). Flint rubble with stone dressings. Steep old red tile roof
to porch, chancel and similar roof, hipped at E, to N chapel.
Parapet hides low pitched nave roof and embattled parapet to the
Hertfordshire spike on the tower. A tall wide aisless nave lit
by windows at 2 levels, with a rood stair at the NE corner, and
covered by a 4-bay open timber roof. Cambered tie-beams, curved
braces from wallposts on corbels, and carved heraldic bosses,
painted. 2 early C14 2-light windows in N wall and S wall with
tracery. Blocked C14 N door. Late C14 oak S door with
contemporary pointed arch in square head. Large 2-light C15
clerestorey windows, 3 on each side. The lower windows have
moulded rear arches with hoodmoulds and head stops. 3 carved
stone brackets and piscina for former alter at SE. Mid C14
Barnack stone octagonal font with corbelled shafts on alternate
faces and C15 stem with panelled sides and base. Fragments of
medieval glass in nave windows and wall-painting of
masonry pattern with flowers at W end. Simple C15 oak
benches. Traceried oak screen of 1889 moved to tower arch in
1966. 3 inscribed brasses on wall at NE, C15 scroll, William
Clarke 1591, and John Clarke 1604. Narrower chancel with E wall
and roof, and much of S wall, rebuilt in 1889. 5-light E window
of that date with stained glass by Burlison and Grylls c1896
(Pevsner). In S wall pre 1300 Sedilia with stiff-leaf and
crocket capitals and cusped pointed arches. Piscina early C14
with ogee arch. 2 3-light C15 windows with flat or low-arched
traceried heads. Pointed C19 traceried window at SW. Small late
C13 S doorway with moulded jambs and straight-sided arch.
Chancel arch rebuilt wider in C15. Fine mortuary chapel at NE
c1330 with small N door, 2 C14 N 2-light windows with flowing
tracery, similar W window, C15 E window, and elaborate 2-bay
arcade on S to chancel. Quatrefoil piers with thin shafts in
diagonals and moulded bases and caps. Deeply moulded arches,
pointed in W bay but elaborately crocketed and ogee pointed in
next bay to E, flanked by panelled finials, which acts as a
canopy to the traceried tomb chest of Sir John de Benstede and
his lady with lifesize recumbent effigies. Small mutilated
figures remain in canopied niches along the S side. The wall to
the E has been pierced for a similar canopied tomb chest c1430 of
Sir Edward de Benstede and his lady. The underside of the 4-
centred arch is panelled with a central angel holding their souls
in a napkin. Ogee headed niches line the tombchest and the arch
has carved spandrels. Part of a C15 brass of a priest is fixed
to the pier between the tombs. 2-stage W tower with angle
buttresses and half-octagonal turret stair on S face dieing into
upper stage. Tall C15 arch to nave. 2-light bell openings with
quatrefoil in head under hood mould. Niche in NW buttress with
shield of arms. Gabled parapet and diagonal buttresses to S
porch, with a 2-light window to E and W and image of St Michael
in niche over entrance. Broken stoup by door. The church
stands on a prominent elevated site by the castle overlooking the
green. OOf outstanding interest for chapel and tombs. (RCHM
(1911) 50-1: VCH (1912) 75-7: Pevsner (1977) 93-4).

Listing NGR: TL2969223579

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.