St Peter’s was built in 1222 just a few short years after the Magna Carta was signed and has been here for the people of Berkhamsted through the centuries, witnessing a siege at Berkhamsted Castle, the Crusades, two World Wars including soldiers arriving at Kitchener’s field to train at the trenches, the growth of a bustling market town and so many life events – baptisms, marriages and funerals – for past residents of our popular town.
Read on for a potted history of our church…
Before 1222: Until St Peter’s was built, the parish church of the parish of Berkhamsted was almost certainly what we now know as St Mary’s Northchurch
St John’s Chantry, St Catherine’s Chapel, the clerestory and the great west window were added to the church and new and larger windows were put into the transepts and the Lady Chapel
Fifteenth Century: New windows were put into the north and south aisles
Sixteenth century: The upper stage of the tower was added – the gift of John and Alice Phyllyp..
1809: Cannon hoisted onto the roof of St Peter’s and a salvo fired to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of King George III. This must have been quite an occasion!
The Town Celebrates the 700th Anniversary of St Peter’s Church with a historical Pageant Play in Berkhamsted Castle
Restoration and re-ordering of St Peter’s at a cost of £24,000 (£480,000 in today’s money). A new roof, the one we see today, replaced one of late medieval age – decayed beyond repair.
Restoration and re-ordering of St Peter’s at a cost of £225,000 (£618,750 in today’s money). New heating, new lighting, new organ, redecoration, cleaning and repair of external stonework.
The Parish of St Peter’s Berkhamsted celebrates 800 years at the heart of Berkhamsted, and looks forward to the future with hope.
Read more about the rich history of St Peter’s Great Berkhamsted:
Find out how you can take part in the town’s 2022 celebrations fort the 800th anniversary of St Peter’s Berkhamsted