St Peter's Church, Ampney St Peter

Recent Photograph of St Peter's Church (Ampney St Peter)

Is this a delightful little church, or is this a delightful little church?

The church dates back to Saxon times, but the Normans rebuilt it, leaving just the Saxon arch of the tower, and one wall of the nave, which has a single deep window, a blocked-up doorway, and the usual mass of rough masonry. There are two carved ‘sheila-na-gig’ figures, one on the outer wall of the nave, and another inside, which Arthur Mee's Gloucestershire describes as “a queer little woman with a smiling face bigger than her body, which is cut short at the knees”.

The same source tells us the Normans built the Chancel, the font is 15th century and the reredos is modern. There are traces of red (wall) painting in a recess near the chancel. The church has three sundials, one on the tower and two older ones scratched on the stones. Two stones on the tower are engraved with ancient crosses, and there are the remains of an old cross in the churchyard.

Whilst the porch with the castellations enhances the church's impression of uniqueness, in relation to the rest of the church it must be (relatively) modern. Mee doesn't mention it, but it seems likely to me it's medieval.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Image contributed by Alf Beard on 13th May 2002.
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