History of St Peter's Church, Rous Lench

 The Grade I-listed parish church of St Peter's dates from the 12th century, although there may have been a church on the same site since the 9th century. The current building is a mixture of Norman and late Victorian architecture: the church was extensively remodelled by the architect Frederick Preedy during the last decades of the 19th century.

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Images of St Peter's, Rous Lench

The nave is dominated by three Norman pillars and arches, leading to the north aisle, and the Norman chancel arch. Portions of the church were rebuilt and enlarged by Frederick Preedy (1820-1898) between 1884 and 1896, including the chancel and the north aisle with its Lady Chapel. An annexe constructed off the north aisle during this period contains memorials to members of the Rous family. These were originally situated in the chancel but proved too heavy for the walls, so were transferred to the newly-built annexe in 1886.

South doorway: "Christ in Majesty"

The entrance to the church is an elaborately carved doorway from the Norman period, probably the first half of the 12th century. On the outside wall, above the doorway, a sculpted figure from the same period, thought to be a representation of Our Lord, or Christ in Majesty, is depicted seated on a throne with his right hand raised in blessing. Like the doorway, the niche for the statue is also elaborately decorated.

The bells

The bell turret sited above the chancel arch replaces an earlier wooden bell tower that was removed in the late 19th century. The current turret houses a relatively small service bell. Two unhung bells can be found in the Lady Chapel: one has the inscription "GOD BE OUR SPEDE" and is thought to have been cast around 1600; the other is dated 1661 and bears the inscription "JOHN LUCAS WILLIAM HEMING SOLI DEO GLORIA PAX HOMINBUS".



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