The church dates from the 1450s and today, more than 500 years later, its external appearance remains very much as it was then.
Its imposing 90ft tower is built in perpendicular style and look out for the 40 stone ‘grotesques’ – scary and ugly stone faces that adorn the building. Half of the grotesques represent demons, the rest are possibly caricatures based on town and Winchcombe Abbey dignitaries from the 15th century.
From various points in the town you will see the gilded weather cock that takes pride of place on top of the church tower. Dating back to 1874, the weathercock is actually made of wood and measures a staggering five-and-a-half foot from beak to tail and is four-and-a-half foot high.
It originally adorned the roof of St Mary Redcliffe Church in Bristol, but became redundant when a spire was erected. The glittering bird was ‘loaned’ to St Peter’s and is now an integral part of the Winchcombe skyline.
If you visit the church, whether for worship or interest, there are many fascinating things to see.
More details can be found on St Peter’s Church website.
Stone coffins said to have contained the bodies of King Kenulf and his son.
An altar cloth reputed to have been embroidered by Katherine of Aragon – one of King Henry VIII’s wives.
The face of the Winchcombe Imp in the Rood Screen.
The East window (depicting a ship), which was installed when the vicar was a former Naval Chaplain who sailed in the Crimean Fleet.