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Church of St Peter, River

Description: Church of St Peter

Grade: II
Date Listed: 17 December 1973
English Heritage Building ID: 177811

OS Grid Reference: TR2905943480
OS Grid Coordinates: 629059, 143480
Latitude/Longitude: 51.1447, 1.2735

Locality: River
Local Authority: Dover District Council
County: Kent
Country: England
Postcode: CT17 0QA

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Listing Text

685/5/144 MINNIS LANE
17-DEC-73 (West side)

1831, architect unknown. 1876, reseating and new chancel: S S Stallwood of Folkestone and Reading drew the initial plans, Bingen and Reeve the final ones. N porch 1901. NW clergy vestry 1952. SW choir vestry 1953. Rooms at W end before 1991. S aisle added c1991. Church centre at W end 1992.

MATERIALS: Knapped flint with yellow brick details and freestone dressings. Slate roofs

PLAN: Nave, W tower, apsed chancel, S aisle, N porch, N organ chamber/vestry, NW and SW vestries, church centre to the W of all these.

EXTERIOR: The core of the 1830s church remains in terms of the nave structure and the W tower but expansion has taken place on all sides as the details given above show. Even the windows in the nave and tower are probably of 1876. The tower is tall and has three stages, the lower two of which have diagonal buttresses. The W face has a doorway, then in the second stage a Y-tracery windows, and then the belfry stage with single-light, uncusped windows: the tower is crowned with an embattled parapet. The nave still has what is, no doubt, the original, low pitch of the 1830s roof. It has four bays with, on the N, shallow buttresses with offsets. At the E end the chancel of 1876 has a three-sided apse and a lancet window in each of the faces. Below the windows is a decorative band of yellow brick forming lozenges and squares. A lean-to S aisle was added along the S side of the nave c1991 and is in keeping with the architecture of the 19th-century church in its use of materials and Y-tracery windows. The 1950s vestries N and S of the tower are entirely of brick and are plainly detailed (the windows have plain mullions). The brick church centre is a large structure under low, slated roofs (with a glazed skylight): the windows are triangular-headed and do not seek to imitate the architecture of the pre-existing church.

INTERIOR: The segmental plaster ceiling of the nave and the arch to the tower are the sole survivors of the 1830s church. The arch to the chancel is continuously moulded and is part of the 1876 restoration. On the S side is a four-bay arcade which is contemporaneous with the addition of the S aisle. Although Gothic in its general character it is distinctly unmedieval in its details, especially the treatment of the heads of the circular piers with their pair of rings beneath a square projecting abacus: the arches are four centre.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The oldest feature is the octagonal Purbeck marble font with pairs of slightly recessed round arches on each face of the shallow bowl, and a central drum support surrounded by eight plain shafts. It was purchased in 1875 and came from the ancient church of St Mary Magdalene in Canterbury. It dates from the 12th or more likely early 13th century although legend colourfully credits it with being consecrated by Archbishop Alphege in 1010. Over the N door is a very fine Stuart royal arms in high relief. The E end of the church is panelled and has a timber memorial reredos (date of death 1914) with carved tracery detail. There are a number of stained glass windows dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All the pre-20th-century seating has been removed.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: War memorial cross in the churchyard to SE of the church.

HISTORY: Moves to rebuild the old church were started with a meeting on 23 February 1829. The new church was dedicated at the end of 1831 (guide).

Peter Bowers, St Peter and St Paul, River, n d [c1990 guide].
John Newman, The Buildings of England: North East and East Kent, 1983, p 434.
Roger Homan, The Victorian Churches of Kent, 1984, p 84.
Incorporated Church Building Society papers, Lambeth Palace Library, file 7847.
Inscription over N doorway (re N porch 1901)

The church of St Peter and St Paul is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is of interest as an early 1830s church which has been successively extended in Victorian times down the late 20th century and shows changes in architectural taste over this period.
* It has some fittings of interest, notably the 12th or 13th century font and the Stuart royal arms.

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.