Pett – St Mary and St Peter


The present church stands on a new site within the mediaeval churchyard, where some C18 tombs remain.  Its predecessor had a nave, chancel and belfry and a round-headed north window in the chancel, which is visible on the Burrell Collection drawing (1784) and a C19 photograph in the present church, looks C11 or C12.  A blocked round-headed south doorway in the Sharpe Collection drawing (1797) could be of either date, but harder to interpret is a triangular-headed arch further east which could even be pre-Conquest.  Sir Stephen Glynne (before 1840 and probably in 1826) (SRS 101 p217) mentions a plain pointed chancel arch and a square-headed two-light south nave window, suggesting alterations in both the C13 and C14 or C15.  Everything else was post-Reformation, including a west gallery of 1824 (Horsfield I p470).  The Burrell drawing shows a broach spire, which had changed to a pyramid by 1797, the date of the Sharpe drawing.

The new church of 1864 by B Ferrey (B 23 p52) is built of dark brown stone with lighter bands and plate tracery, except for lancets in the chancel.  At the east end is a triplet contained in a single arch with carved medallions above the side lancets.  The nave windows have trefoil-headed rere-arches and the chancel arch has polished granite shafts with big foliage corbels, like the smaller ones supporting the arch-brace roofs.  There are shafts also at the entrance, at the base of the north west tower.  This has an octagonal upper stage with gargoyles at the corners and a shingled spire.  During repairs to the church in the 1950s particular attention was paid to the roof (information from Anne Willis).

Fittings and monuments

Decoration:  Bands of incised ornament in the chancel and remains of stencilling on the east wall, designed by Ferrey (church guide).
Font: White marble.  Octagonal with a shallow tapering bowl, dated 1753.  It was replaced in 1864 by a plain one (in turn ejected and now in the churchyard).
1.  (East window) C A Gibbs, 1865 (BN 12 p91) (Ann Young).  Individual figures set in patterned quarries.
2.  (South nave, first window) Heaton, Butler and Bayne, no date (Company catalogue 1902).  This is presumably the glass by the company mentioned in their catalogue of 1932 which previously could not be identified (Bayne p126).
3.  (West window) Lavers, Barraud and Westlake, dated 1869 ( retrieved on 18/3/2013).
4.  (North chancel, first and second windows) Cox and Sons, c1870-76 (ibid).
5. (Vestry) Madonna by P W Cole, c1920 ( retrieved 31/3/2014)
6.  (North nave) L Lee, 1962 (Church website) (St Nicholas and Lifeboat man).
Monuments: (Transferred from old church)
1.  (Over doorway from chancel to vestry) Cordelia Sayer (d1820), ears of corn and a sickle, attributed to ‘Westmacott’ (presumably Sir R Westmacott) (BE p579, not in Roscoe and the attribution is treated with some scepticism by Nicholas Antram (BE(E) p578)).
2.  George Wynch (d1836).  More conventional with urns with trials of foliage around the inscription.  By S Nixon (Roscoe p885).
Pulpit: 1864 and closely related to the chancel arch with granite and carved foliage.

My thanks to Nick Wiseman for all the photographs except that of the exterior from the south