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Visitor information

location

Wickham Bishops
Maldon
Essex
CM8 3JD

OS Reference

TL 824 112

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Contact the office for access details: email us / call us: 0207 236 3934 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)

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St Peter’s is used as a studio by stained-glass artist, Ben Finn.

The manor of Wickham Bishops was recorded as belonging to the Bishops of London in the Domesday Survey of 1086 and it is possible that this church was originally constructed as a private chapel for the Bishops.

History

The church is built of  flint rubble, boulder clay, pudding-stone, septaria, and pillaged Roman tile and brick. It dates from the 12th century and consists of just a nave and chancel, the former having a 15th-century south porch.

By the mid-19th century the church was in a poor condition and badly sited for the community it then served, so it was replaced with a new building. This was built in 1850 to the designs of Ewan Christian. The font, holy water stoup and parish chest were all removed to the new church .

Although it remained as a chapel of ease to the new church, Old St Peter’s fell into decline and was threatened with demolition on more than one occasion. After 120 years of decay it was declared redundant in 1970.

We took this church into our care in 1975. It has taken years to haul it back from the clutches of decay.

Astonishingly, during our work, we discovered four different painted schemes of wall-painting were uncovered. The earliest dates to the 13th century, the last is dated 1637.

Since 1994, the nave of St Peter’s has been used as a studio by stained-glass artist, Ben Finn.

St Peter’s was one of our earliest and most difficult cases. It’s become one of our greatest success stories.

St Peter's, Wickham Bishops, Essex (1)
St Peter's, Wickham Bishops, Essex (1)

Highlights

  • Recycled Roman bricks and tiles in the walls
  • East window of Jacob’s Dream by resident glazier, Ben Finn
  • New sculpture and altar by Rory Young
  • Graffiti on the plaster in the chancel
  • Four schemes of wall-paintings from the 13th-17th century

Further reading

Please use these links if you would like to know more about the church and the surrounding area

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