Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Fenland (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
TF 46296 09556


The following previous listing date shall be added.

Page 115 Item number 6/267 17.7.51


WISBECH TF 4609 6/267 Parish Church of St. Peter and Paul GV I

Occupying a central position in the town the development and unusual plan of the church is of great interest. Built of limestone with Barnack dressings, limestone and pebble rubble originally plastered. Roofs of lead. The remaining Cl2 church survives in the north aisle and the base of the west tower. The chancel was rebuilt in the C14 with a south chapel. The south aisle was also widened and provided with a clerestorey, another aisle was added to the south and the north aisle widened both enclosing the tower. Later in C14 a south porch was erected. The west tower partially collapsed in C16 causing internal damage necessitating the rebuilding of the south nave arcade. Both nave and inner south aisle were reroofed with flat beamed ceilings covered by one high pitched outer roof. A large window was inserted into the west tower wall and the east arch removed. The original stair turret was retained as a small bell-cote. A vestry was added in the angle of the chancel and south chapel. In c.1525 a free standing tower was erected to the north west, providing a linked porched entrance to north aisle. An extensive restoration by Mr. Bassett-Smith was undertaken in 1856-8 when the chancel was reroofed and the C16 west end window replaced. South elevation; clerestorey of seven bays with windows of alternate two and three lights. Windows to outer south aisle, C16 of four and three cinquefoil lights. Angle buttresses C14 partly rebuilt one with HP 1586 IB inscribed. Two storey porch with angle buttresses. C14 moulded label with continuous outer order, moulded two-centred arch springing from moulded capital with attached shafts. Late C17 sundial with Roman numerals and gnome on moulded cill with shaped pediment and serpent above. South doorway has deeply moulded two-centred C14 arch. Chapel of three buttressed bays, three, three light windows with moulded labels and defaced stops. Priests door restored. Vestry with angle buttresses, door to left hand in round-headed arch. Six-trefoiled-light window; panelled, crenellated parapet with moulded cornice. Tower of three stages, ashlar limestone, carving much weathered. Angle buttresses of six stages capped by gables. Plinth with band of quatre-foils and geometric designs. Similar bands with shields at belfrey floor and parapet stepped to panelled corner pinnacles with crockets. Lead spirelet with patterned iron weather vane. Second stage and belfrey windows, two-light with embattled transomes above two-centred north arch with moulded caps and bases with spandrels of shields of S.S. Peter and Paul. Carved panels above belfrey lights with arms of Canterbury and Ely, the Wheel of St. Catherine and the chalice and host. Moulded ceiling beams to first floor exposed in porch. Interior. North nave arcade, C12 of five bays with round arches, one with chevron ornament, two round piers. The others clustered with square caps and acanthus decoration. In two spandrels are sunk quatre-foils and one circle. The south arcade of four bays has wide obtuse arches of two orders springing from slender piers with engaged shafts with moulded caps on their inner faces. Chancel arch C14, two-centred and three bayed chapel arcade of two orders on clustered piers with moulded caps. Plain square headed C14 piscena, C14 font standing on clustered shafts. Some C15 painted glass in south chapel and in nine clerestorey windows. Three stalls in sanctuary with misericords. C17 altar table. Marble pulpit, 1904. Royal arms of James I, carved and painted. Brass of Thomas de Braunstone, Constable of Wisbech Castle, 1401, one of the finest in England. Brass in south chapel to Nicholas Sanford, 1638. North wall of chancel, marble monument to Thomas Parke, 1628, and Etheldreda his wife, and one to Mathias Taylor, L633. Monument to E. Southwell 1787 by Nollekens (1731-1823) with seated figure of Hope and other good C18 and C19 wall monuments including one to Thomas Edwards by Edward Stauton (1681-1734) to Mrs. Worral, 1795 by John Hinchliffe (b. c.1760) and to James Smith 1835 by Samuel Andrews of Wisbech (1801-1840). VCH Cambs, p.247. Pevsner, Buildings in England, p.494. Histories of Wisbech, 1827, 1849, 1897, W. & F. Mus. Photographs and prints, C18 and C19, W. & F. Mus. Gunnis, British Sculptors, pp.18, 202, 279, 367, 1951. J. Osborne, Stained Glass in England, p,152, 1981.

Listing NGR: TF4629609556


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Gardiner, F J, History of Wisbech and Neighbourhood, (1898)
Gunnis, R, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, (1953), 202
Gunnis, R, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, (1953), 279
Gunnis, R, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, (1953), 18
Gunnis, R, Dictionary of British Sculptors 1660-1851, (1953), 367
Osborne, J, Stained Glass in England, (1981), 152
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Cambridgeshire, (1970), 494
Salzman, L F , The Victoria History of the County of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely, (1953), 247
Walker, N, Craddock, T , The History of Wisbech and the Fens, (1849)
Watson, W, An Historical Account of the Ancient Town and Port of Wisbech, (1827)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 05 Aug 2001
Reference: IOE01/04957/08
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John Giles. Source Historic England Archive
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