Hidden history of Oundle Church is revealed

Rev Stephen Webster, vicar of St Peters Church Oundle, right with  Malcolm Winder, St Peters Church PCC project manager. The hidden staircase, right.
Rev Stephen Webster, vicar of St Peters Church Oundle, right with Malcolm Winder, St Peters Church PCC project manager. The hidden staircase, right.
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The hidden history of a church in Oundle has been revealed during a £200,000 modernisation.

A six phase building project is being carried out at St Peter’s Church for the benefit of the local community.

The tiny door at Oundle Church.

The tiny door at Oundle Church.

The aim is to develop, improve and enhance the church building as a place of worship and as a major venue for events.

The forgotten gems include a medieval room above the church’s main entrance.

Believed to have been built in the 1480s, the room - accessed via a tiny, narrow spiral staircase - deteriorated steadily across the centuries and had been completely mothballed owing to its instability.

Tree specialists have been able to trace the local woodland from which the room’s timbers were originally felled.

Medieval graffiti has also been revealed.

The improvements include new toilets, a crèche and a special choir balcony.

New kitchen facilities are also planned in the future.

Rev Stephen Webster said: “To be a church which welcomes everyone is at the heart of who we want to be at St Peter’s.

“This is what drives our desire to ensure that our building meets the needs of people in the 21st century; a building which helps us to serve everyone in our community, including those in our steadily growing church family.”

Other recent building work has included new wrought iron gates at the building’s west end, the transformation of the main entrance with automatic glass doors and new disabled access and the re-ordering of the Lady Chapel.

The Friends of the Parish Church have donated funds for this current project.

Other money has been given by East Northamptonshire District Council.

Rev Webster said their contributions underlined the recognition of St Peter’s as a growing and significant community space.