St Peter's Church, Congleton

St Peter's Church, Congleton is in the town of Congleton, Cheshire, England. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building. It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Macclesfield and the deanery of Congleton. Its benefice is combined with those of St Stephen, Congleton, St John the Evangelist, Buglawton, and Holy Trinity, Mossley.Alec Clifton-Taylor includes it in his list of 'best' English parish churches.


The original church on the site was timber framed but by 1740 its structure had become decayed. A new church was built in the Neoclassical style and completed by 1742. The lower part of the 14th century tower was retained, the restoration of this in the Gothic style being completed in 1786. The architect was William Baker of Audlem.


The church is built in red brick with stone dressings, the roof is of stone slate and the west tower is of stone. Its plan consists of a five-bay nave, with side aisles continuous with a one-bay chancel. The tower is at the west end. The tower has a clock and on its summit is a parapet and pinnacles. Two coats of arms are carved on the western wall. The door is at the west end end is surrounded by a porch with Doric columns.


Internally there are galleries on the north, south and west sides, and Georgian box pews. The pulpit dates from the 17th century and, at the time Richards was writing, it was the only pulpit in Cheshire to be placed in front of the sanctuary in the middle of the nave. Between the nave and the aisles are square piers supporting Tuscan columns. The marble font dates from 1742 and a brass candelabrum from 1748. The reredos is dated 1743 and its panels contain the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Apostles' Creed. The east window is Palladian in style and it is flanked by mural paintings of Saint Peter and Saint Paul by Edward Penny of Knutsford. The royal coat of arms of William III dated 1702 are at the east end of the north gallery. The finest memorial is a wall tablet in memory of Sir Thomas Reade who died in 1849. This is by Thomas and Edward Gaffin and shows a Negro kneeling by a palm tree. The organ was built in 1824 by Renn and Boston and was rebuilt in 1911 by Steele and Keay. The ring is of eight bells. The oldest four were made by Rudhall of Gloucester, three in 1720 and one in 1757. The other four were cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, one by Thomas Mears and Son in 1806, and the others by Mears and Stainbank in 1867.

External features

The gates, gate piers and railings of the churchyard are listed Grade II. The gate piers are of stone with panelled sides and cornice caps. The gates and railings are in wrought iron. Over the gate is a wrought iron overthrow and a lantern.

Building Activity

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