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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Sandwich Churches, St Peter's

St Peter's Church, like St Mary's is a redundant church situated in the heart of the town. It is a Grade 1 listed building, and is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.

Looking at the church from the South, the bricked up arches show where the south aisle used to be. Mary Bax is buried here somewhere. 

The Church was built in the late 13th Century, and is used for many public events, including the annual Christmas Tree Festival.

An old photo taken inside the church, the flags have been changed now.

Sun shining of the ancient walls. 

The Church is situated in Market Street, almost opposite the Library where I work, so is very handy for me to attend any events held there. 

The lovely interior of the church.

The original tower of the church collapsed in 1661, destroying the south aisle, which was never re-built. The site of the south aisle has been for many years a beautiful 'secret garden', used by those who know it is there, me included, to eat their lunch in the summer. George, the local gardener and others, have kept this garden in tip top condition, making it a wonderfully peaceful place to enjoy.

The 'secret garden' in the south aisle.

The tower was re-built by 'The Strangers', Flemish refugee weavers, who first settled in Sandwich in 1565. Examples of Flemish Architecture can be seen through the town.

The re-built tower .

In 1973, the remains of a black or plague rat was found by workmen doing repairs to the church. The rat is believed to have been there since the tower collapse of 1661, when cases of plague were still being found in East Kent. The remains of 'Roland' the rat can still be seen in the Guildhall Museum.

The lovely old Fire Engine, which used to live in the church. This was moved to the transport museum in Whitfield a couple of years ago. You don't expect to find a fire engine in a church, but I miss seeing it there.

This memorial lived in the Churchyard for a very long time, which explains its rather battered appearance, however the carving on the arm of the chain mail is still in remarkable condition.

A very old wall painting.

The tiny, but gorgeous crypt. I was lucky enough to see this on a Heritage Weekend, back in 2011. I don't think this is now on view to the public.

The church tower silhouetted against a morning sky.

The next, and last blog in this series about the lovely town of Sandwich will show the town from the top of St. Peter's Church tower :)

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