Parish Church of St Peter and Paul, Wisbech
Description: Parish Church of St Peter and Paul
Date Listed: 17 July 1951
English Heritage Building ID: 48473
OS Grid Reference: TF4629609556
OS Grid Coordinates: 546296, 309556
Latitude/Longitude: 52.6640, 0.1618
Location: Church Terrace, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire PE13 1HB
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The following previous listing date shall be added.
Page 115 Item number 6/267 17.7.51
6/267 Parish Church of
St. Peter and Paul
Occupying a central position in the town the development and
unusual plan of the church is of great interest. Built of
limestone with Barnack dressings, limestone and pebble rubble
originally plastered. Roofs of lead. The remaining Cl2 church
survives in the north aisle and the base of the west tower. The
chancel was rebuilt in the C14 with a south chapel. The south
aisle was also widened and provided with a clerestorey, another
aisle was added to the south and the north aisle widened both
enclosing the tower. Later in C14 a south porch was erected.
The west tower partially collapsed in C16 causing internal
damage necessitating the rebuilding of the south nave arcade.
Both nave and inner south aisle were reroofed with flat beamed
ceilings covered by one high pitched outer roof. A large window
was inserted into the west tower wall and the east arch
removed. The original stair turret was retained as a small
bell-cote. A vestry was added in the angle of the chancel and
south chapel. In c.1525 a free standing tower was erected to
the north west, providing a linked porched entrance to north
aisle. An extensive restoration by Mr. Bassett-Smith was
undertaken in 1856-8 when the chancel was reroofed and the C16
west end window replaced. South elevation; clerestorey of seven
bays with windows of alternate two and three lights. Windows to
outer south aisle, C16 of four and three cinquefoil lights.
Angle buttresses C14 partly rebuilt one with HP 1586 IB
inscribed. Two storey porch with angle buttresses. C14 moulded
label with continuous outer order, moulded two-centred arch
springing from moulded capital with attached shafts. Late C17
sundial with Roman numerals and gnome on moulded cill with
shaped pediment and serpent above. South doorway has deeply
moulded two-centred C14 arch. Chapel of three buttressed bays,
three, three light windows with moulded labels and defaced
stops. Priests door restored. Vestry with angle buttresses,
door to left hand in round-headed arch. Six-trefoiled-light
window; panelled, crenellated parapet with moulded cornice.
Tower of three stages, ashlar limestone, carving much
weathered. Angle buttresses of six stages capped by gables.
Plinth with band of quatre-foils and geometric designs. Similar
bands with shields at belfrey floor and parapet stepped to
panelled corner pinnacles with crockets. Lead spirelet with
patterned iron weather vane. Second stage and belfrey windows,
two-light with embattled transomes above two-centred north arch
with moulded caps and bases with spandrels of shields of S.S.
Peter and Paul. Carved panels above belfrey lights with arms of
Canterbury and Ely, the Wheel of St. Catherine and the chalice
and host. Moulded ceiling beams to first floor exposed in
porch. Interior. North nave arcade, C12 of five bays with
round arches, one with chevron ornament, two round piers. The
others clustered with square caps and acanthus decoration. In
two spandrels are sunk quatre-foils and one circle. The south
arcade of four bays has wide obtuse arches of two orders
springing from slender piers with engaged shafts with moulded
caps on their inner faces. Chancel arch C14, two-centred and
three bayed chapel arcade of two orders on clustered piers with
moulded caps. Plain square headed C14 piscena, C14 font
standing on clustered shafts. Some C15 painted glass in south
chapel and in nine clerestorey windows. Three stalls in
sanctuary with misericords. C17 altar table. Marble pulpit,
1904. Royal arms of James I, carved and painted. Brass of
Thomas de Braunstone, Constable of Wisbech Castle, 1401, one of
the finest in England. Brass in south chapel to Nicholas
Sanford, 1638. North wall of chancel, marble monument to Thomas
Parke, 1628, and Etheldreda his wife, and one to Mathias Taylor,
L633. Monument to E. Southwell 1787 by Nollekens (1731-1823)
with seated figure of Hope and other good C18 and C19 wall
monuments including one to Thomas Edwards by Edward Stauton
(1681-1734) to Mrs. Worral, 1795 by John Hinchliffe (b. c.1760)
and to James Smith 1835 by Samuel Andrews of Wisbech
VCH Cambs, p.247.
Pevsner, Buildings in England, p.494.
Histories of Wisbech, 1827, 1849, 1897, W. & F. Mus.
Photographs and prints, C18 and C19, W. & F. Mus.
Gunnis, British Sculptors, pp.18, 202, 279, 367, 1951.
J. Osborne, Stained Glass in England, p,152, 1981.
Listing NGR: TF4629609556
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.