There seems to have been a church on this site since Saxon times as the 1086 Domesday Survey entry for Petersham suggests that the church there then had been restored. In 1266 a Norman church was built, of which only part of the chancel is left. The oldest visible portion of the church today is the blocked 13th century lancet window in the chancel, which can be seen from outside the church. In 1505 the body of the church was rebuilt (except for the chancel) and possibly enlarged so that the building became rectangular in shape and measured 15 ft.6ins. by 43 ft. Small transepts and a north gallery were added in around 1600.
Early in the 17th century, north and south transepts were added, along with the tower at the west end. The gallery in the north transept was added shortly afterwards. In 1790 the west porch and vestry were added and the upper half of the tower rebuilt. The music gallery at the west end was probably erected about 1800.
More major alterations took place in 1840 when the south transept was enlarged to its present size and its galleries put in. The enclosed staircase against the west wall was built and many other repairs and alterations carried out. These alterations included new pews and the rearrangement of the old ones. The Georgian box pews are now very rare and none so close to London.
I was asked to give advice on appropriate colours and type of paint for the redecoration of the interior of St Peter’s, Petersham. Coincidentally I had recently been asked to assist with the decoration of the house next door to the church.
A slideshow of photographs taken during my visit can be seen here:
View Larger Map