St Peter

 

St. Peter's church was originally built in the 13th century and was extended in 1861 by London architect James Johnson. It is built of flint with stone dressings and is cruciform in plan with a single aisled nave, chancel, north and south transepts and inner and outer vestries in the northeast corner. These vestries were enlarged in the 1930's in style to match that of the church and in 2012 a further extension to the outer vestry, again in a matching style, now provides toilet facilities and a small kitchenette. The roof is covered with red clay tiles with decorative ridges and there is a wooden bellicose and a shingle clad oak spirelet on the west gable with three bells. 

Over the years, woodpeckers have pecked their way through the cedar shingles on the spire seeking the grubs on the inside face of the shingles, to such an extent that the holes are now big enough for the jackdaws to enter and nest in the spire causing great damage. There are holes around the broached base of the spire and towards the top where rainwater has been getting in. The bells had to be removed as a matter of safety in mid 2019 which enabled the surveyor to inspect the spire and belfry in more detail. It was noted that there were significant areas of timber decay inside the belfry at the base of the spire - particularly the bell-hangings. At this point, the architect strongly recommended that the church and churchyard should be closed as the spire was in imminent danger of collapse in a high wind which would pose great risk to anyone in the vicinity. After the timber repair is completed, the spire will be re-shingled to make it weathertight. This will include interleaving courses of oak shingles with stainless-steel sheets to protect them against further woodpecker damage and the use of oak in the place of cedar for longevity. 

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