St Peters Church, St Albans.

Most people who visit St Albans will have a look at the Abbey and possibly  the Roman Verulamium site. However this little parish church on the edge of the town is well worth a look.St Peters church, St Albans1

According to the 13th century chronicler Matthew Paris, there was a church on the site as far back as 948, when Abbot Ulsinus of St Albans Abbey set up three churches on the edges of the town. They were St Peter’s, St Stephen’s and St Michael’s. This one, St Peter’s is on the northern edge of the town.

This early Saxon church has been replaced and there is now nothing dating back to that time. One of the earliest remnants is  now to be found in the corner of the site and is right beside the pavement on St Peter’s Street.St Peters church, St Albans18 I have walked past it hundreds of times and not realized it was there. Not surprising because it is almost invisible and almost covered with Ivy.

This is part of what was known as the Charnell chapel and dates back to at least 1400. I took some photos of it and pedestrians passing by gave me some odd looks. Not surprising really but this is what it looks like now. St Peters church, St Albans2The church yard has lots of information boards which adds to the interest and this is a close up of one of them with information relating to this chapel.

The graveyard, is more than a graveyard, it has a peaceful area where you can sit and contemplate or eat your sandwiches.

It has some ‘wildlife’ areas with wild flowers to attract insects and birds. There is an orchard area, some magnificent old trees, especially Yews. There is an area where lots of children were buried back in the 18th century.St Peters church, St Albans3

The church itself  has been restored, enlarged, and rebuilt at various stages throughout its history. The doorways still date back to the 13th century although the door itself does not look quite that old to me.St Peters church, St Albans6

Inside  there are some fine stained glass windows.St Peters church, St Albans4

and this is the other end.St Peters church, St Albans5

Opposite the church are some Alms houses, these were built in 1627 by one Pemberton, the High Sheriff of St Albans. He is buried in the graveyard of St Peter’s.  Evidently  he built them because he ‘accidentally’  killed an old lady with an arrow from his bow!???? So this was his way to seek forgiveness from the almighty. You will notice there is an arrow at the top of the arch above the doorway. St Peters church, St Albans8

So that is it. The church has a web site so if you wish you can find out more at http://www.stpeterschurch.uk.com/

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