A Brief History

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The Beginnings brief history of the church3

The history of the church begins with the coming of the Saxons in 449. They called themselves "Sons of Tew" and worshipped the god Tew. The site of their shrine became that of the later Christians church when they became Christians in or about AD 604 shortly after the coming of St Augustine.   It is thought that the North Wall of the church was part of the North Wall of this earlier Saxon Church.

Norman period
After the Norman conquest the Normans restored the ruined church in about 1086 AD The Norman parts (Nave and Chancel) were built by Peter de Valoignes to whom William the Conqueror had granted the Castle of Hertford, its estates and the manor of Tewin. It was at this time that the church was dedicated to St Peter.

Early English period
The lancet windows of the Chancel and South Aisle as well as the arches dividing the Nave from the South Aisle were built in the early English period (about 1266).

Perpendicular period
In the Perpendicular period (1377-1547) many changes were made, including the east windows of the Chancel and Aisle, the South Porch with its inner door and the Tower.

Later restorations
There were restorations of the church in 1864 and more notably in 1903. This final restoration was carried out at the expense of Lord Cowper whose memorial is situated on the South Wall of the Chancel. A new Vestry was built, the entire church was fitted with new oak pews, pulpit and reading desk, together with the candelabras.


For a more in depth history of St Peter's Church see our Visitors' Guide to St Peter's Church.

St Peter’s is a Grade 1 listed church.  You can see the full listing on the Historic England’s Page here.