There are 4 Historic Churches in Sandwich. Three of them, St. Clement's, St. Mary's, and St. Peter's also give their names to the old parishes of the town. The United Reformed Church is one of the earliest of the independent chapels - the present building dating back to 1706.
St. Peter's Church Sandwich
This church probably stands on the site of an early Saxon church.
The Normans, who first built the churches of St. Clement's and St. Mary's, probably rebuilt St. Peter's also, as some Norman stones can still be seen at the west end of the nave.
It is believed that this church was destroyed during the French attack in 1216 as it was completely rebuilt by Carmelite monks from Normandy soon afterwards.
The aisles were originally lean-to, but were widened in the 14th century, when the north porch was also added; this explains the interior clerestory windows over the north arcade.
The central tower suddenly collapsed at 11:15pm. on the evening of Sunday, October 13th, 1661, after several services had been held in the church during the day.
Much damage was done, the south aisle being completely destroyed.
The church was repaired by Dutch refugees who were allowed to use the building for services.
Note the Dutch bricks of the tower, surmounted by a cupola, and the roof and brick gable of the small stone building adjoining the church at the south-east corner which was repaired at the same time.
This small building consists of an upper hail over a vaulted undercroft, supported by twin octagonal pillars.
This was built in the early 14th century, probably to house the priests of the Ellis Chantry which was in the church, and has been used for a variety of purposes since
The stone staircase which connected the hall with the undercroft in part remains, and can be seen through a modern window from the churchyard.
The curfew is still rung nightly here.
In the churchyard has been re-erected a window from the chapel of St. Thomas' Hospital
Click Here for St. Peter's Church Website
The dig is being run by Annie Partridge at Canterbury Trust and since work began on 22nd January they have discovered evidence of a glazed tile floor which is causing some excitement. Annie says, ‘’The floor in the church isn’t tiled so it poses some interesting questions about how it got into the demolition rubble of the tower collapse, and what the 12th century floor underneath might look like.
We still have high hopes of finding the floor intact underneath the demolition layer. Fingers crossed it’ll look like this (but probably not if a building fell on it in 1661!):
The dig continues every weekend until 19th February and volunteers are welcome to get involved.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07392 080 885.
Some Monumental Inscriptions of St Peter’s Church - Kent Archaeological Society
It was written some time ago but the history & places are still relevant also it's in English, French, German and Dutch.
Market Street, Sandwich, Kent
St. Peter's Church is open to the public every day.
The wooden west doors are opened on a voluntary basis as often as possible to enable people to enjoy the view into the church afforded by the inner glass doors.
Visitors are able to climb to the top of St. Peter's Tower and see a fine view of the town.
The Tower Tours currently run Tuesday - Sunday from 12-2pm
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