Whilst sorting through a box file full of old negatives I came across some of these photos, which was a surprise as I thought I only had one of this lovely old church. This was my parish church during my formative years and, belonging to a church-going family, it was here that I was baptised, became confirmed, sang in the church choir and also later became a sunday school teacher. This takes me back a bit as I've since lived in Devon for most of my life, but I'm very glad to be able to add photos and some personal history to a place that has changed a lot in the meantime.
The photos were taken sometime during 1966. The reason I can be so sure is that other events were recorded on the same set of negs, which made them easy to date.
Situated on a hill overlooking the Arrow valley, St Peter's was quite isolated apart from Ipsley Court and the nearby Old Rectory. The present building was built during the 14th century, although there may have been an earlier Saxon church there according to mention of a presiding priest in the Domesday Book. Built in red sandstone in the decorated style, it comprises a western tower, nave and chancel. Originally including a south and north aisle, these were taken down during the 19th century when extensive refurbishment took place. The turreted Bell Tower has a modern gantry of six bells which are rung mainly at weddings.
Interesting original features include a 14th century septagonal font, lectern with brass eagle, a Jacobean pulpit and alabaster slabs containing effigies of the Hubaud family of Ipsley Court, which are situated to the north of the altar. Unfortunately, I don't have any interior photos from the time I took these...maybe a future visit is in order!
The south entrance consists of double oak doors studded with iron. A wonderfully quirky wrought iron archway is still in situ, according to recent pics that I've seen whilst researching online...once used to house a lamp above the gateway.
As well as services at the church on sundays, I remember that we used to attend the annual church fete at the old rectory. A rather eccentric lady still used a pony and trap as conveyance, and she used to transport local people who didn't own a car, including us, which was rather wonderful. In the grounds of the rectory there was a light gauge railway giving rides for us children, a pig roast, as well as the usual tombola, bran tub and other stalls. There was also a long, duck weed filled pond in the grounds, which used to give me the willies.
Looking at recent developments, I see that there is now a church hall built to the north of the church.
Similar to the first pic, I've included the one above as I've only got these few. And, below, a gorgeous old yew tree, which is still there according to recent photos that I've seen online.
These same photos can also be viewed in the Photo Gallery album.