St Peter's Church
St Peter's Church Chester
St Peters Church stands at the centre of Chester behind the high cross. It is at the junction of the four main roads.
Eastgate Street, Watergate Street, Northgate Street and Bridge Street. St Peter's was founded in A.D. 907 and is Chester's oldest church. It once had a large spire, the exterior has been restored several times.
The church is unusual because of its square form. It is constructed out of local sandstone and stands on top of the Roman headquarters building.
In A.D. 907 the church of St Peter and Paul was moved here by Ethelfleda from the site of St Werburgh's. In 1086 the church is referred to 'Templum Sancti Petri' in the Domesday Book.
Today the church contains a cafe and several points of interest including galleries made in the time of Charles I, Parts of a Fresco, Old Monuments. And a Quiet Room.
St Peter's Church Tower
Click for a closer look
There has been a clock on St Peter's church tower since 1579 when one was installed at a cost of 2/6d.
The clock was gas lit in 1736 and illuminated by the council in 1855.
The clock was changed from mechanical to electrical in 1973.
The main South Entrance Door
Inside the Church of St Peter's
The Quiet Room
The cafe is located at the back of St Peter's Tea and Coffee served 10am - 4pm, also cakes £1.
The High Altar
Items on display
This old version of the bible is called the 'breeches bible'. It is called so because Genesis Chapter 3 Verse 7 says breeches instead of aprons :
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked;
and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves breeches
In the north part of the church is a cafe and sitting area. While walking around have a look at the Charles I oak stalls.
From about 1288 to 1803 the Pentice stood in front of St Peters church. It was a wooden structure erected against the south wall of the Church and almost blocking the start of Northgate Street. It was used as a town hall and mayor's office. A drawing of the pentice exists by J. Turner done in 1783 showing a timber building with two three storey gables at each end. In the middle was a set of shops called the 'Shoeshops'.
There is a small court yard area behind the Church known as St Peters Church Yard. This can be accessed from Northgate Street or from Watergate Street North Row. From the court yard you can access the rear of the Victoria Pub. The Commercial Hotel is located in the square. More information in the Commercial Hotel can be found here More >>>
Chester cross is now situated in front of St Peters Church. More information can be found here More >>>
The start of four street start outside St Peters Church.
The start of Watergate Street. Click on the picture for more information More >>>
The start of Northgate Street. Click on the picture for more information More >>>
The start of Bridge Street. Click on the picture for more information More >>>
The start of Eastgate Street. This picture is taken from a little further along. Click on the picture for more information More >>>
Pre-roman The area was a place of importance ruled by the Druids who belonged to the tribe of Canavii
AD61 First permanent Roman garrison at Chester
C70 Deva, Roman fortress of the 20th Legion
C175 First suggestion of a wooden church dedicated to SS Peter and Paul
179 St Lucius , the first Christian King of Briton
314 Council of Arles. Bishops of York, London and Richmond present
410 The Roman departed
601 St Augustine met the Celtic Bishops at Chester
C616 At the battle of Chester the Northumbrians defeated the Welsh
660 SS Peter and Paul was on the site of the present Cathedral
689 Foundation of St. John's Church by King Ethelred of Mercia
707 Death of St Werburgh. She was a Mercian Princess, daughter of Walphere, King of Mercia
C797 Reign of King Offa. St Bridget's Church opposite St Michael's, was established. It was taken down in 1828 to make way for the Grosvenor bridge.
907 Ethelfreda, daughter of Alfred the Great, enlarged the Church into an Abby and rededicated it to St Werburgh. SS Peter and Paul was transferred to its present site. Ethelfreda also restored Chester and rebuilt its walls.
901-924 Reign of King Edward the Elder. He completed the bridge at Chester begun by his sister Ethelfreda.
Pre 1066 SS Peter and Paul was given, with other donations, to the Abbey of Ebruff of Utica in Normandy, by Robert De Rodelent, Baron of Rhuddlan, Flintshire. Robert was a cousin of Hugh, Earl of Chester.
1066 The Church was known as St Peter
1072 An ecclesiastical gift was received from Simon, Bishop of Exeter.
1075 At St John's, Peter became the first Norman Bishop of the united dioceses of Coventry, Lichfield and Chester.
1086 The Templum Sancti Petri was one of three Chester Churches mentioned in the Doomsday Book. Robert of Rhuddlan unsuccessfully claimed that the church stood on "Thegnland" (i.e. belonging to the manor outside the City and hence liable to military service rather than the customs of the city).
St. Agnes Memorial Window
Stained glass windows of St. Agnes. To the Glory of the Holy and Undivided Trinity and in memory of Agnes Lloyd Dyke.
With the deep affection of her daughters.
The East Windows