Belgrave Hall
Conservation Area Society

St. Peter's Church

The oldest building within the Conservation Area, St Peter's dates back to the 12th Century and is grade-II* listed. The oldest parts of the building that can be seen from the outside are the base and middle sections of the tower. The 12th Century doorway is now behind the castellated South porch which was added in 1826. It is presumed that the present building is on the site of an earlier Saxon structure, but there is nothing now left to support this theory.

The North and South aisles were added in the 13th Century with the Chancel being enlarged in the 14th Century. The original three-place Sedilia and Piscina were moved to the South aisle and more decorative ones were installed. They are believed to copy those that are at Beverly Minster. The clerestory was added in the 15th Century and around this time the height of the tower was increased and finished with a small wooden spire. Unfortunately due to a fierce gale that struck the area around 1824, the spire was badly damaged. It remained in this state for some considerable time until it was eventually removed.

Inside can be seen the 12th century tower arch and green-man carvings. The font is believed to be of 13th Century origin with a finely carved 19th century canopy. On the West wall is the Hanoverian Arms of George III and also a number of interesting wall tablets including a Tudor monument to Ambrose de Belgrave. If you look at the Coat-of-Arms that are on it, you can see some quite heavy impact damage to one of the shield quarters. It is unlikely that this was done by accident and one can theorise that it may have been done by a Civil War soldier using it as target practice. Certainly there was military activity in the area of Thurcaston Road Bridge.

The carved Reredos is by Sir G. G. Scott (who also designed St Pancras’ railway station). The East window is by Meyer of Munich. The tower holds a full peel of bells, four of which date to 1631 and were cast by Hugh Watts II of Leicester. Another was added sometime between 1709 and 1795 but was re-cast in 1871 when they were all re-hung. In 1888 a further three were added by Taylor’s of Loughborough.

The original organ was a modest two-manual instrument by Joshua Porritt. However, despite a number of restorations and rebuilds during the 20th century, it eventually became un-playable and was replaced in 2005 by a three-manual electronic computer organ built by the Allen Organ Company and was originally installed in Bath Abbey.

In 2010, the church was closed for regular worship and we are now engaged with the Diocese to find an alternative use for this very special building. These plans include use as a Heritage Centre to tell the story of Belgrave, a small concert venue for recitals, family history studies, a small community library and a "quiet space", where people may just sit in peace and quiet away from the pressures of the modern world.

On a number of occasions throughout the year, the Diocese kindly give permission for us to open the church to visitors. These dates are usually advertised on the church notice board and in Belgrave Hall. Also see the "diary" section of this site.

St. Peter's Church Gallery