718/17/157 BRAUNSTONE PARK
CHURCH OF ST PETER
(Formerly listed as:
CHURCH OF ST PETER)
Church. Tower probably C13 the remainder of the church probably also C13 with an C18 S porch. Remodelled and restored in the C19 and enlarged in the C20. 1885 restoration by E. Turner. Stone rubble with freestone dressings; red brick porch, slate roofs. Plan of W tower, nave and chancel. The 1930s N extension is transeptal and aisled with a N porch.
EXTERIOR: Y-tracery windows throughout. 2-bay buttressed chancel with diagonal E buttresses. 3-light E window with intersecting tracery and 2-light N and S windows. The nave has a diagonal SW buttress, 2-light windows and a very pretty Flemish bond red brick porch, with a moulded brick and stone cornice, the gable treated as a pediment. The porch has a round-headed outer doorway with a tile-repaired keyblock. The porch has a pair of pretty timber gates with ramped top rails and ramshorn finials. Steeply-pointed arched inner doorway. Squat 2-stage W tower with secondary diagonal buttresses. One buttress records that the steeple was rebuilt in 1704, the tower restored 1938, the church damaged by fire in 1975 and restored and rededicated in 1976. The tower has a 3-light W window under a segmental arch and a low pyramidal roof. The 1930s transept has a plain parapet, the nave gabled to the N, the aisles with coped parapets and Y-traceried windows. The shallow gabled N porch has a wide, cranked, chamfered arch.
INTERIOR: Plastered and painted. Chamfered medieval chancel arch. Chamfered tower arch with octagonal responds. Common rafter 1885 nave roof with straight braces to the collar and ashlar pieces. The 1874-5 chancel roof is arch-braced with decorative tracery above the collar and toothed decoration to the braces. The braces descend as posts on to carved stone corbels. Medieval Perpendicular chancel screen, much repaired with probably C19 coving and panelling, but the main structure with square-headed openings, is original. The chancel has a trefoil-headed piscina and C19 timber reredos with blind traceried panels in a frame that sweeps up to a central gable. c. early C20 communion rails with bobbin-turned balusters. Unusual font, perhaps C17. Richly-moulded octagonal stone bowl on a circular stem with a roll moulding. The N side of the nave has a 1970s wall blocking the first bay of the 1930s addition, with the octagonal 1930s piers buried in it. Round-headed doorway to the E into the 1930s transept. This has a 3-bay arcade on the E side and a 2-bay arcade with wider bays on the W side.
Braunstone is located to the South-West of Leicester. Prior to being subsumed into the City in 1929, Braunstone village comprised a main street with the parish church of St Peter and a manor. The manor's parkland became a metropolitan public open space still in use today. The church has C13 origins and the tower is probably of this date. However, the church was restored and enlarged in the C19 and C20. In the C19, all windows were replaced. The chancel was restored in 1874-7, and the rest of the church restored by E. Turner in 1885. In 1936 there were plans to remodel the church on a North-South alignment and a North extension, probably designed by E.D.O'Connor, was started but not completed as planned. The extension served as the nave of the church until 1973 when it was altered to form a hall and offices. The tower was remodelled in 1938. In 1975, the church was damaged by fire and restored and rededicated in 1976.
Brandwood, G., The Anglican Churches of Leicester, 1984, 23-34
Pevsner, Leicestershire and Rutland, 1984 edn., 269
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANCE:
The Church of St Peter is principally a medieval structure, with C18 alterations which add interest. It was sympathetically remodelled in the C19 and enlarged in the C20. For a place of worship, the assessment for designation and grading lies in the age and rarity, intactness of both fabric and fittings and architectural and artistic quality of the building. The special interest of the Church of St Peter lies in its medieval fabric, including the tower and chancel arch and screen, and in the C17 font and C18 south porch. The modern enlargement does not contribute to the architectural and historic interest of the building, and there has been removal of fixtures and fittings but overall the church of St Peter survives as a building of special architectural and historic interest that has served as a focal building for the local community since the C13.
listing NGR SK5552502883