History Guided Tour St Peters

A Brief History of St Peter's


The church of ST. PETER is built of stone and consists of nave. chancel. north aisle, west tower, and south porch. It stands in what was once the centre of the old village, right on top of the hill.
Of the aisle-less Norman church there remain the Jambs of the south doorway, the chancel arch, and the font At the end of the 12th C a north aisle was added to the nave and the chancel was apparently rebuilt.
The 3-bay arcade to the aisle, dating from c. 1170-1200. has semicircular arches of two chamfered orders. The piers are circular with nail-head ornament to the capitals and 'water-holding* bases. The church was in poor repair in the late 16th C and it suffered storm damage in 1714. Work ordered in 1720-1 included the removal of the porch, but if this was done a new porch. apparently of chalk and brick, was subsequently put up.


The church was also given a small brick tower, perhaps in the 17th or 18th C. The chancel was restored in 1831 and the south side of the nave refaced with brick about the same period; the north side was refaced with cobbles 'a few years' before 1892.


By the late19th C the porch and tower, and indeed the whole West End of the church, were ruinous and before 1897 both were demolished


The nave was restored during the last 20 years of the century, tiles replacing cobbles on the floor, box pews being removed, and walls being renovated or perhaps rebuilt.


By 1901 the porch had been rebuilt, too, and the raising of a new tower had begun.


By 1905 the tower was completed


The old chancel remained, but its brick floor was tiled in 1912. The tower retains a cobbled floor, either preserved or replaced. There were two bells in the tower in 1552. Of the present bells. one is dated 1675 and was made by Samuel Smith, the elder, of York, and both were recast in 1908.

The registers begin in 1559 and are complete. Reighton retained some dependence on the mother-church at Hunmanby and contributed towards its repair, for example, in 1662. Burials at Reighton were subject to the payment of a 'skin-penny* to the vicar of Hunmanby until at least the earty 18th century. The payment was apparently made reluctantly in 1720 and may have ceased soon after this date. Reighton churchyard was extended in 1924


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