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Latitude: 54.9475 / 54°56'50"N
Longitude: -1.9246 / 1°55'28"W
OS Eastings: 404926
OS Northings: 561428
OS Grid: NZ049614
Mapcode National: GBR HC07.38
Mapcode Global: WHB2G.DXR2
Entry Name: Church of St Peter
Listing Date: 15 April 1969
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1044828
English Heritage Legacy ID: 239821
Location: Bywell, Northumberland, NE43
Civil Parish: Bywell
Traditional County: Northumberland
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Northumberland
Church of England Parish: Bywell St Peter
Church of England Diocese: Newcastle
23/60 Church of St.Peter
Parish Church. Nave and parts of chancel Pre-Conquest, possibly C8. Chancel
remodelled and south aisle built in early C13; west end shortened later C13
(probably after 1285 fire), tower and north chapel early C14. Alterations by
Benjamin Ferrey in 1849 included rebuilding of south aisle and porch, and
addition of vestry; further alterations 1873. Pre-Conquest parts squared stone
with megalithic alternate quoins, chancel and north chapel squared stone, tower
coursed rubble, C19 parts tooled squared stone. Leaded roofs to nave and
chancel, Lakeland slates to south aisle, porch and vestry. Nave with west tower,
4-bay south aisle with porch and 2-bay north-east chapel; chancel with south
chapel and north vestry.
Squat tower with chamfered set-back at mid-height on north and west. West wall
shows doorway with chamfered arch and hood; to right blocked upper door with
segmental relieving arch. Belfry openings are paired lancets except for crude
square-headed east opening. Embattled parapet on hollow-chamfered string.
Steeply-gabled porch has trefoiled chamfered arch, stone benches and built-in
cross slabs and sculptural fragments; chamfered doorway with part of moulded
reconquest arch re-set above.
South aisle (continued eastwards as chapel) has stepped buttresses, single and
paired lancets and older masonry in end walls with C19 windows. North wall of
nave has 2 similar windows, stepped buttress at west end, traces of blocked
openings and, at high level, 4 early round-headed windows with monolithic lintels,
the western altered. North chapel has moulded plinth and parapet; 2-light north
windows with Geometrical tracery under square heads; springings of unfinished
chamfered arches. Ends of chapel have stepped buttresses and similar 4-light
Chancel has chamfered plinth, sill band and traces of blocked south door. 3
lancets on south and triplet to east, all under hoodmoulds. Stepped clasping
buttresses and low buttress beneath centre eastern lancet. North wall shows
Lancet behind vestry and window further west of 2 trefoil-headed lights
(monolithic head is re-used cross slab). At west end of wall blocked early door
with inclined Escomb-fashion jambs and roof raggle of former gabled porticus
above. Coped gables with finial crosses.
South arcade has pointed double-chamfered arches on tall round piers with
moulded octagonal caps; hoodmould has crowned head as stop over central pier.
Round-arched piscina in chancel. C19 detail in keeping. Low-side window of 2
square-headed lights now opening into south chapel. Re-sited shouldered doorway
Interior of tower: west doorway of late C13 nave, with tall hoodmould, now
opens into tower. Remains of 2 buttresses and lancet window of late C13 west
front also visible.
Plain medieval font has circular bowl on moulded stem. C15 incised effigy of
knight under trapdoor in north chapel. 3 elaborate Baroque candelabra in
chancel. Late C19 glass in north chapel; series of saints, all to members of
Wailes family and perhaps by Wailes the glassmaker of Saltwell Park. Similar
glass in chancel.
Pre-Conquest church was of unusual size; partially-exposed footings suggest
attendant porticus and other structures. The incomplete arches to the north may
have been intended to link the church with monastic buildings. Bishop Egbert
of Lindisfarne was consecrated at Bywell, probably in this church, on 11 June
H.M. and J. Taylor, 'Anglo-Saxon Architecture' Vol I (1965) 122-126.
Listing NGR: NZ0492661427
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