St Peter

The first Christian converts were baptised in the River Derwent in 627 AD by St Paulinus, one of the second batch of Roman missionary monks sent by Pope Gregory to convert Britain.

Norton on Derwent, Yorkshire

Opening times

Open daily.


Langton Road
Norton on Derwent
YO17 9AE

Norton's first place of worship was sited on the river bank near to the baptism place and dedicated to St Nicholas, often invoked as patron saint of fords and bridges.

Today it is difficult to find much trace of the ancient church. A medieval building was replaced by a Georgian one in 1816 and this in turn was demolished in 1900. Anyone visiting the local swimming baths can see the foundation platform of the old church when they look to the right when crossing the pseudo-bridge at the entrance of the building. There is still a St Nicholas Street in the parish and the short road near the baths is still Church Street.

The foundation stone (behind the pulpit) for present day St Peters was laid on 16th October 1889 by Archbishop Thompson. The church was dedicated on St Peter's Eve 28th June 1894. The new dedication came about because the Archbishop was the patron and he felt at least one of the four churches in either town should be dedicated to an Apostle.

The stone font is a massive and impressive piece, probably 12th century, but because of some damage is mounted on a modern base. It is known to be the font of the medieval church, thrown out in 1814 but kept by someone as a garden ornament. It was returned to St Peters in 1894.

Norton is unusual in that it has no war memorial and all plaques of names are in the memorial chapel. The lovely atmosphere is enhanced by the beautiful windows by CE Kempe. The east window, again by Kempe and unusual in that it is a memorial to those involved in the Boer War. The donor's son was killed at Ladysmith. The tiny window on the south side of the Sanctuary (Kempe again) is in memory of two young men of the Black Watch killed in Turkey in 1916 and 1917 respectively. The west window is a World War I memorial.

In the tower are 8 bells, reckoned to be among the best peals in the country and the enthusiastic and knowledgeable come from far and wide to ring them.

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Leonard

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Wesley Centre

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The building was erected in 1811 to a design by the Revd William Jenkins, one of John Wesley’s itinerant preachers who combined preaching with chapel design.