St Peter and St Paul Parish Church

Welcome to the parish Church of St. Peter and Paul which is Grade I listed and the oldest building in Kettering. It is part of the diocese of Peterborough and has stood in the centre of Kettering for 800 years.

The architectural style is perpendicular which dates back to the medieval 15th century, built in local limestone and finished in ashlar. A few medieval parts still remain: a small segment of stained glass, a fresco of St. Roche in the north aisle and two wall paintings of angels depicting the Annunciation on either side of the chancel. St Roche was invoked against the plague which visited Kettering in 1665, during which time 80 people died.

There was some restoration in the 17th and 19th century but the basic tall elegant structure is largely unaltered. The tower was probably built before the Nave as buttresses appear inside the building. The spire is 179 feet in height and peregrines have been nesting on the tower for the previous two years.

Little is known of the origins of the church, its first known priest becoming rector around 1219 AD. The current incumbent is Rev. David Walsh who took up the post in 2016. The Church is named after the saints St. Peter and St. Paul as the patronal festival and traditional annual summer holiday of the town takes place on the Sunday nearest 29 June – the feast days of the two saints.

The gates at the end of the drive are the Roughton Memorial Gates commemorating five generations of doctors from 1887 to 1933. The last Dr. Roughton commissioned the Robinson car which can be viewed in the Manor House Museum when it reopens in 2022. The box at the back of the car was used as an emergency operating table.

The Church has 13 bells. The 13th bell, dedicated to Armistice Day, was installed in 2018. It’s not known when the bells were first installed but parish records refer to a repair of them in 1671 and in 1722 Thomas Eayre, a Kettering clockmaker and bell founder, was given an order for a new set in 1722.

For more information about the Church, opening and services:

Further reading on Kettering and the Parish Church:
‘A History of Kettering’ R L Greenall, Publ. by Phillimore & Co. 2003 ISBN 1860772544
‘A History of Kettering Parish Church’ Edited by D J Clinton, Publ. by Kettering Civic Society 1977
Available at Kettering and Northampton Libraries

Researched by Maura Bright

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