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St Peter's Church - Raunds

Raunds Church
St Peter's Church
The church of St. Peter is a noble edifice of stone, in the Early English style, with Decorated and Perpendicular insertions, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, south chantry, south porch and a western tower, with broach spire, containing a clock and 8 bells, two of which were presented in 1897 by J. Kingsmith in commemoration of the Diamond Jubilee of Her late Majesty Queen Victoria, 6 originally cast in 1732, the 5th and tenor were recast in 1878, the tenor again recast and augmented in 1898; the spire, 186 feet in height, having been struck by lightning 31 July, 1826, and severely injured, was taken down and rebuilt at a cost of £1,731; it was again struck by lightning 23 Jan. 1895, and restored at a cost of £111: the lower stage of the tower is groined and has a screen: the communion table of carved oak was the gift of Gilbert Negouse, buried here Aug. 3rd, 1630: the font is a curious circular example, on a moulded pedestal, and has a carved ram's head projecting from one side: there is a monument with brass and arms to William Gage esq. of Magilligem, county Derry, Ireland, ob. 1632, who bequeathed £10 anunally for 40 years to the poor of this parish; at the east end, in the sanctuary, on a large stone, are effigies of a man and woman in brass with an invocatory inscription commemorating John Tawyer, ob. 25th Jan. 1370, and Margaret, his wife, and below are figures of four daughters and a shield of arms; on an adjoining stone is the effigy of a woman, with those of four sons and five daughters, and a shield of the same arms: there is also a panelled altar-tomb, inscribed to John Wales, vicar, ob. 1596: in the chancel is a coffin slab of the 13th century ornamented with a rich floriated cross, and supposed to be the tombstone of the founder of the church: in the church are pre-Reformation wall paintings, and also the dial of a 15th century clock, bearing the inscription, "Pray for the soules of John Elen & Sara his wife." The church was restored, at a cost of upwards of £4,000, from designs by the late Sir G. Gilbert Scott R.A. and reopened in June, 1874: in 1893 a new organ was presented by Mr. John Kingsmith, at a cost of £1,200: in 1900 the chancel was renovated by the lay rector, H. L. Storey esq. of Lancaster: in the churchyard is the base of an ancient cross. The register dates from the year 1581. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £220, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Peterborough, and held since 1906 by the Rev. Herbert Kearsley Fry M.A. of Trinity College, Cambridge. The first authenticated incumbent was John de Twyford in 1254.
The church is dedicated to St Peter, but this post card is clearly marked St Mary's Church, Raunds.
[The same mistake was made in the 1914 Raunds directory]

Inside the church
Inside the church

Church and War Memorial
Raunds Church & War Memorial
A panel of the Roll of Honour
A panel of the Roll of Honour
Raunds Church by Willmott Photographic
Shrine 1920

Rushden Echo & Argus, 8th April 1932

Ancient Raunds Timepiece
The 15th century clock in the western arch of Raunds parish church. The dial is marked for twenty-four hours, but the present works are modern and the hands work on the customary twelve hours system.

the clock

Wellingborough News, 17th May 1884, transcribed by Kay Collins

Raunds - Confirmation—On Tuesday last the for the rite of confirmation, numbering 12 males and 29 females, were escorted to Stanwick by the Vicar (Rev. H. Bryan), and Mr. J. Partridge, the parish churchwarden, to be confirmed by the Right Rev. Bishop Mitchinson. After the administration of the rite, the candidates were entertained on their return home to an excellent meat tea in the Vicarage-grounds, the Vicar and Mrs. Bryan presiding at the table, assisted by Mr. and Mrs. Partridge. In the evening, at 7.30, service was held in St. Peter's Church, and a special address to those who had been confirmed was given by the Vicar.

Wellingborough News, 14th January 1887, transcribed by Kay Collins

CHOIR SUPPER—The members of the choir of St. Peter's Church were entertained at the National Infant Schoolroom on Monday evening to an excellent supper by the Vicar, Rev. H. Bryan. After the repast the remaining portion of the evening was very pleasantly spent in a variety of games and amusements, interspersed with music and dancing. An address was given to the choir during the proceedings. Before closing, it being the Vicar's birthday, hearty cheers were given for him and Mrs. Bryan and family. A pleasant social evening was brought to a close with the National Anthem.

Rushden Echo, 13th November 1908, transcribed by Kay Collins

Narrow Escape — Whilst some workmen were pointing the western front of the tower of the Parish Church a piece of the cross at the apex of St. Anthony’s window at the base of the spire fell, just missing the steeplejack (Mr. Dix), who was hanging in the chair, and passing within a few inches of a stonecutter (Mr. Patrick), who was cutting stones.

Rushden Echo & Argus, 30th April 1948, transcribed by Kay Collins

Ancient Cross is Restored
The late fourteenth or early fifteenth century churchyard cross at Raunds which for some time has been in a dilapidated condition, has now been restored.

The work has been done for Messrs. Marriotts, of Rushden, by one of the district's oldest craftsmen, Mr. W. H. Dobbs, of Bozeat.

The cross rises from a square base and consists of a calvary of two steps, the uppermost of which is enriched by quatrefoil panelling. Above is a socket stone weighing some three-quarters of a ton. Square in base, it is cut to an octagon about half way up, the angles thus formed having bold convex stops.

Northamptonshire is quite rich in these churchyard crosses and they, or what remains of them, can be seen in about forty parishes. Various theories have been put forward as to why they were erected, the most tenable being that they mark the spot where missionaries first preached the gospel to our pagan Saxon forefathers.

The cost of restoration has been met by local contributions collected largely by Messrs. J. W. Hall and L. G. H. Lee.

In 2011 fundraising to raise half a million pounds is underway to pay for underpinning St Peter's Church.
The recent dry summers are thought to have caused subsidence, and cracks.

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