The original Saxson Preaching Cross outside the ChurchThe original Saxon Preaching cross outside the Church

St. Peters Church 
Conisbrough, South Yorkshire

The official website of South Yorkshire's Oldest Building



The Church is built
Stonework pre 1200
First Alteration
The first Extension
Extensions 1450 ad
Extensions 1450 p 2
Features 1475
 20th Century
Early Tombs

Church Photos

Church Windows
Church Photos 2
Slide Presentation 1
Slide Presentation 2
From The Roof
Views From Luis
Altar and Features
Priest and Vicars
Church Group's
Mothers Union
History page 1
Meaning of Terms
Guest Book

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St Peters Conisbrough  


The first Alteration 1050ad

The first alteration occurred around 1050 ad , when the small chancel was demolished and a larger one built [ see plan 2  ]

During this time The Chancel arch remained small and was roughly square.

This is the shape of the Church at the time of the Norman invasion [ 1066 ad ] At that time Conisbrough was held by King Harold. After the conquest William the Conqueror gave Conisbrough and its extensive lands to William De Warrene, William was married to Gundred, who was the daughter of William the Conqueror and Queen Matilda of Flanders. Conisbrough remained with the De Warrene family until it reverted back to the crown in 1347ad.

Hamelin Plantagenet the half brother of Henry II built Conisbrough Castle c 1180 over four hundred years after the Church

1150 ad
With the growth of the Village at this time, the Saxon Nave was not large enough to accommodate the growing congregations. So circa 1150 an internal rearrangement added some extra space in the Nave. This was also attributed to Hamelin Plantagenet.

This work involved removing the lower part of the East Wall of the North Porticus and part of the North Wall of the Nave, and adding three arches to support the upper walls.

The two arches parrallel to the Nave remains today. On the North side of their column can be seen the start [ springing stone ] of the Third arch.



Twenty five years later [ 1175ad ] a fourth arch was added, and the whole of the North Porticus swept away. The line of the North lateral Chamber was extended through to the line of the West wall of the entrance Porch, giving a full North Aisle. Note that the first two arches have a similar span, where the fourth arch is higher and wider.

Also at this time a Hagioscope or squint was cut through the North West corner of the chancel, to allow a view of the Priest at the Communion table.

Evidence of the existence of the Lateral Chambers can be seen in [ 1] below, where a lintel and part Jamb of a sealed doorway is still visible. Also the two filled in North windows can be seen [ 11] . As can an internal ' window' on the North wall, which gave the Priest who lived in the upper room of the North Porticus a view of the Nave and anyone entering [ 111 ]

The Chancel arch was also widened and heightened circa 1175 ad. The workings to the edges of the Voussiors of this arch are attributed to the 15th century

Artists impression of the inside of the North Wall

Note also on the sketch above, the change in masonry at window head height, where the roof was raised in 1475. The left hand pillar , [ North West ][ a] had 'Heads' removed in the 'Iconoclasm' by the Puritans in the 16th and 17th centuries. An arch was also added to the entrance porch.



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Text this page Transcribed by Leanne Hughes of Australia

All content unless stated otherwise Šopyright Parish Council of St. Peters.

Formatting and transcription on this site Šopyright John Doxey.