Categories of Special Interest
Archaeological, Architectural, Artistic, Historical, Social, Technical
In Use As
1810 - 1815
Detached three-bay single-storey Gothic-style former estate church, built 1813, with single-bay single-storey advanced transept to north, single-bay single-storey transept to south, single-bay single-storey lower chancel to east having single-bay single-storey vestry projection to south-east and single-bay two-storey entrance tower to west on a square plan having engaged corner turret on a circular plan and Irish battlemented parapet. Gable-ended and gabled roofs with slate. Clay ridge tiles. Cut-stone coping to gables. Cut-stone chimney stacks to gables to transepts. Ogee-profile cast-iron rainwater goods on eaves course. Roof to tower not visible behind parapet. Roughcast walls. Unpainted. Diagonal/clasping buttresses. Stringcourse to parapet. Irish battlemented parapet to tower and to turret. Square-headed window openings to nave (pointed-arch openings to transepts). Stone sills. Moulded hood mouldings over. Chamfered stone mullioned fixed-pane windows. Pointed-arch openings to tower. Stone sills. Moulded hood mouldings over. Louvered timber panels. Pointed-arch door opening to tower. Tongue-and-groove timber panelled door. Transept to south containing tombs of Aylmer family. Set in grounds shared with Donadea Castle.
Saint Peter's Church is an important building that continues a long-standing ecclesiastical presence on the Donadea estate, the earliest extant example of which is the Medieval abbey that survives in ruins to the south. The church is a fine example of an early Gothic style building and exemplifies the Georgian Gothic style, that is a symmetrical arrangement onto which Gothic motifs are applied - only the advanced transept and the off-set corner turret prevent this idea reaching full fruition. A compact building, Saint Peter's Church is composed on a simple plan and with simple elevations. Much of the original aspect has been retained to the present, including early features and materials, for example fenestration and a slate roof - the survival of these early salient items suggests that original internal features may also survive intact; it is known that an early hot air heating system remains in situ, once heated by the fire places but now no longer in use, and this is of considerable technical/engineering merit. The church, part of a larger integrated estate, is of social importance for its role as an ecclesiastical centre in the region. The presence of the Alymer tomb, patrons of the church, reinforces the link with the demesne in which it is situated, and with the house that is now derelict. The setting is also of interest and comprises an attractive enclosed graveyard - the grave markers are of considerable artistic interest, while the towers to the boundary wall are a striking and slightly unusual feature.