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[Former] St Peter's Chapel - Castle Hill, Warwick, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 52° 16.937 W 001° 35.104
30U E 596521 N 5793378
Quick Description: The former St Peter's Chapel, that is now used for rental accommodation, sits atop the former east gate into the town of Warwick. Initially a place of worship it spent many years as a place of learning.
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/10/2016 7:29:41 AM
Waymark Code: WMR425
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 3

Long Description:

The Eastgate Warwick website tells us:

In 914 AD Ethelfleda, daughter of King Alfred the Great, fortified the town of Warwick in an effort to protect the borders of the Kingdom against the invading Danes. A ditch was dug around the town and a simple earthen wall constructed.

The town originally had three gates, Westgate, Eastgate and Northgate. Northgate was demolished in the early 16th Century.

Eastgate probably dates from the 14th Century and was partially rebuilt with the chapel dedicated to St Peter being built above it in around 1426. The Chapel was maintained by the Guild of Warwick and regular masses were sung.

In 1576 the Chapel, described as “ruinous and ready to fall” was acquired by the Corporation. Money was found for repairs and was used by King’s Grammar School. In 1788 it was rebuilt in the Gothic style by Francis Hiorn, a local architect and builder and three times Mayor of Warwick. He was also responsible for the rebuilding work on many churches, eg Tetbury. The main lines of the 15th Century building were followed and much of the building material was re-used, but various embellishments, such as tall pinnacles and crenellations were added. The present building resembles a miniature church, raised above the gate on a platform with an embattled parapet. The windows contain forking and intersecting tracery. The main part of the building is divided into two stories.

The building has been put to many uses throughout its life and many people have lived there. Records show that in 1677 the Chapel was let to a *Richard Bromley for 27 years at a rent of £1 17d. 6d per annum. He remained a tenant until 1700 when St Peter’s was converted into a schoolroom. It has remained a school for most of its life since then.

In the early 19th Century there were two schoolrooms on the lower floor and apartments for the master and mistress above.

For much of its life, the building has been used for educational purposes, until King’s High School terminated the lease in 2009.

St Peter's Chapel and the east gate are Grade II* listed with the entry at the Historic England website telling us:

Early C15, with later alterations. Now a part of King's High School for Girls. Lower part consists of the medieval masonry of the original town walls. This has 4-centred-arched opening, C15 which spans roadway between Jury Street and Smith Street and the structure forms attractive termination of vistas to these two streets. There is a small chapel, with clock tower built over the archway, of C15 origin, which was largely rebuilt in 1788 by Francis Hiorn, probably following the principal outline of the medieval chapel with the addition of some pinnacles and castellation.

The British History website tells us:

There were three main gates through the walls, on the north, east, and west sides of the town. The North Gate is referred to in 1272 but had been demolished by the early 16th century. The East Gate, probably reconstructed in the early 15th century, when the chapel of St. Peter was built above it, has a wide arch spanning the original roadway and a smaller arch for pedestrians to the north of it. The gate was again altered and re-faced in the late 18th century; it was probably at this time that the diversion of the roadway to the south was constructed. In 1576 St. Peter's chapel, having been described as 'ruinous and ready to fall', was acquired by the corporation. In 1788 the chapel was rebuilt in the Gothic style by Francis Hiorn.  A view from the west before this date suggests that the main lines of the 15th-century chapel were followed at the rebuilding, but that various embellishments such as tall pinnacles and crenellations were added. The present building resembles a miniature church, raised above the gate on a platform with an embattled parapet. The small west tower is surmounted by angle pinnacles and a wooden turret. The turret on the former tower was larger and had been given, together with a clock, by Fulke Weale by will of 1729. The present windows contain forking and intersecting tracery and the east end has a stepped gable flanked by pinnacles. The main part of the building is divided into two stories; in the early 19th century there were two schoolrooms on the lower floor and apartments for the master and mistress above. Another schoolroom to the north, evidently rebuilt in the Gothic style in 1788, may have formed a small transept to the original chapel. The buildings are now (1966) part of the Girls' High School.

Website: [Web Link]

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Alancache visited [Former] St Peter's Chapel - Castle Hill, Warwick, UK 10/20/2017 Alancache visited it
The_Senior_Crabbes visited [Former] St Peter's Chapel - Castle Hill, Warwick, UK 8/24/2016 The_Senior_Crabbes visited it

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