Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II*

List Entry Number: 1074029

Date first listed: 05-Jan-1950



Ordnance survey map of PARISH CHURCH OF ST PETER
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: City of Leicester (Unitary Authority)

National Grid Reference: SK 59286 07156



GV II* DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT: Parish church of C12-C15, with restoration by E. Christian (1860), W. Gillett (1861-67) and G.G. Scott (1877).

MATERIALS: Local rubble stone, including sandstone and red granite, lead roofs except for sheet-steel chancel roof and tile roof to north transept.

PLAN: Aisled nave with west tower, north and south porches, north vestry (now parish room) and long chancel.

EXTERIOR: The three stage tower is C12 in its lower stages, with big diagonal buttresses and upper stage added in the C15. An inserted west doorway has brick jambs, wooden lintel and ribbed door. In the second stage is a small round-headed south window and a north clock face in a lozenge slate panel dated 1760 (clock hands are missing). The bell stage has two-light Perpendicular openings with louvres, beneath an embattled parapet. The nave is four bays long, with segmental-headed two-light clerestorey windows with Y-tracery. Aisles have plain C19 parapets. The south aisle has two-light plate tracery windows which are copies of medieval windows. The embattled south porch is in castellated style, with turret-like clasping polygonal buttresses which are panelled above impost level, and four-centred entrance with carved spandrel and angel corbel to a central polygonal turret. Inside is the re-set C12 south doorway, which has two orders of nook-shafts and striated decoration to capitals and arches: an outer order of interlace and inner order of intersecting arches. The north aisle has C19 Y-tracery windows, and three-light west window with intersecting tracery. The north porch has big diagonal buttresses and segmental-pointed entrance with niche above. The Decorated-style three-bay chancel incorporates a cornice decorated with a frieze of ballflower and heads. It has C19 two-light south and north windows, and five-light east window. There is a segmental-headed south doorway and small, low two-light square-headed window further left. The vestry has a two-light north window, blocked east window and added clergy vestry on its east side.

INTERIOR: The four-bay arcades have piers of quatrefoil section, and double chamfered arches, although the north arcade is slightly earlier. Capitals are moulded, except for one south capital and a respond with foliage decoration. The tower arch is c1200 in origin, evidence for which is provided by nook-shafts and tentative stiff-leaf capitals, but it was modified in the C14, with an inner order on foliage corbels, on one side sprouting from naturalistic heads. The taller chancel arch is double-chamfered. The nave retains a late medieval king-post roof, which has painted shield-bearing figures on the corbelled brackets, and tracery above the beams. The C19 chancel roof is also king-post, on plainer corbels but with richer tracery above the beams. Arched-brace aisle roofs are 1861. Restored piscina and sedilia have crocketed ogee heads. The sedilia have detached shafts and little vaults. There are also three stepped sedilia under cusped heads, and piscina with similar detail, in the south aisle, perhaps moved from the chancel when the chancel was enlarged in the C14. Walls are plastered. The chancel has black and white stone paving. Plain tiles are in the nave, with parquet floors below seating.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The C13 font has a round bowl, and stem with attached shafts and vertical band of dog-tooth. It has a tall C19 canopy with pinnacles. Benches of 1938 have simple curved tops. Pulpit and chancel screen are by E. Turner, of 1883. The polygonal pulpit has blind tracery; the screen an equally conventional design of blind panelled dado, open tracery to main lights, cornice and brattishing. In the chancel, stalls of 1903 have poppy heads, tall back to the upper tier, with blind tracery. One late C15 priest's stall, taken from a large set, has a misericord. There is a panelled dado around the sanctuary, and 1872 reredos by Scott. It shows Christ in a central gabled niche, flanked by symbols of Evangelists in quatrefoils, but its quality is obscured by C20 painting. There is an early C19 Hanoverian Royal Arms. There are three memorials of special interest: a late C12 coped tomb slab in the chancel; a Renaissance wall monument framed by Ionic pilasters (harshly painted, and all much restored) with strapwork, to Ambrose Belgrave (d 1571), and a 1914-18 war memorial with a roll call over 4 panels, flanked by sculpted infantrymen in niches. The east window is by Mayer of Munich (1881), a chancel south window is by H. Hughes (1866) and the north aisle east window is by Kempe (1890).

HISTORY: Belgrave was a small village subsumed by the expansion of Leicester in the late C19. The lower stages of the tower and the re-set south doorway survive from the C12 church. It was enlarged in two phases the C13 when aisles were added. The chancel was enlarged in the C14 and the clerestorey added in the C15, possibly at the same time as the tower was heightened. The tower retained a wooden spire until at least 1824. The south porch was built in 1826 by William Bradley, and the north porch was built in 1911. Restoration 1861-67 was by William Gillett, who restored the tower and the nave roof, built new aisle roofs and renewed the window tracery. The chancel was substantially restored in 1860 by Ewan Christian (1814-95), who inserted the present east and probably the other windows, and raised the roof pitch, and again in 1877 by Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-78), who added the north vestry. This was extended by addition of a clergy vestry in 1908.

SOURCES: G. Brandwood, The Anglican Churches of Leicester, 1984, p 23. G. Brandwood, Bringing them to their Knees: Church Building and Restoration in Leicestershire and Rutland 1800-1914, 2002, p 76. N. Pevsner (revised E. Williamson), The Buildings of England: Leicestershire and Rutland, 1984, p 267. VCH Leicestershire, iv, pp 420-28. Incorporated Church Building Society Archives.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St Peter, Belgrave, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * It is a substantial parish church with significant architectural features of the C12-15, including C12 doorway, C12-C15 tower and C13 arcades. * It has a fine late-medieval nave roof. * Fittings of special interest include the C13 font, C13 and C14 sedilia, C12 grave slab and C16 wall monument. * The church is an integral component of a strong historical group with Belgrave Hall and Belgrave House, both of the C18, and other associated listed items, forming the nucleus of the former village.

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 26 October 2017.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 188610

Legacy System: LBS


War Memorials Online, accessed 26 October 2017 from
War Memorials Register, accessed 26 October 2017 from

End of official listing