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Wolverhampton St Peter

"St Peter's Church, the ancient Collegiate and Parish Church of Wolverhampton, is pleasantly situated on elevated ground towards the eastern side of the town. It is a stately structure, consisting of a lofty nave, two side aisles, transepts, and a chancel, with a very finely embattled and richly ornamented tower, rising from the centre, to a height of 120 feet, and containing eight bells.
The rectory is in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield, and the rector is the Rev John Osmond Dakeyne, MA. The Rev George Cottom, MA, is the lecturer, and the Revs John Ford, MA, and Thomas Jacob Freeth, BA, are the curates."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]


'A Short Historical Account of the Collegiate Church of St Peter, Wolverhampton'
by Frederick Hall
Published 1865, London.

'The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Wolverhampton'
by Norman W Tildesley
Published 1970.

'An Historical & Descriptive Account of the Collegiate Church of Wolverhampton'
by George Oliver
Published 1836, Wolverhampton.

'The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Wolverhampton'
by John Cuthbert Berners Hall-Matthews
Published 1993, by RJL Smith, Much Wenlock.

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Wolverhampton Archives have placed on line a transcript of the St Peter's Monumental Inscriptions
These inscriptions were taken from the original St Peter's graveyard in 1936 before the site was cleared for the laying out of St Peter's Gardens.

Church History

St Peter's church, which was dedicated to St Mary until the reign of Henry III, is a cruciform building of stone in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles.
The church is supposed to have been founded about the year 996 by Wulfruna, widow of Aldhelm, Earl of Northumberland, and sister of King Edgar. The earliest parts of the existing church dating from the 13th century include the lower part of the tower and the south transept. The north chancel, or Lanes chancel, dates from the late 15th or early 16th century, and contains an altar tomb and monument to the Lane family of Bentley.
The piers and arches of the nave are 15th century, and the arcaded stone pulpit dates from 1480. The choir was fitted in 1544 with stalls taken from the dissolved monastery of Lilleshall. Parliamentary troops quartered in the church in 1642 mutilated the interior and destroyed the records. The chancel was rebuilt in the Classical style 1682 by the dean, Dr Francis Turner.
The church was extensively restored during the period 1852-65, including a new chancel by Ewan Christian and in 1886 two new vestries were added.

The church was, until 1846, a peculiar outside the juristiction of the Diocese of Lichfield. It was under the authority of the Dean of Wolverhampton, who had seven prebendaries to assist him. In the medieval ages the church was linked to the Deanery of Windsor , the two positions being held by the same person. Since 1846, the church has been a parish church in the Diocese of Lichfield and its incumbents entitled Rector of Wolverhampton.

An old postcard view of St Peter's Church.

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
The register of St Peter, Wolverhampton, commenced in 1538 but the earliest register to 1602 has been lost although some entries survived and are included in the Staffordshire Parish Register Society transcripts .
The original registers for the period 1603-1949 (Bapts), 1603-1948 (Mar) & 1603-1862 (Bur), and Banns for the period 1845-1860 are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts for the period 1799-1833 (Bapts & Bur) & 1813-1833 (Mar) are deposited at Lichfield Record Office.

Transcripts of the Wolverhampton St Peter registers have been published by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society as follows:
Part 1, Baptisms 1542-1659, Marriages 1538-1652 & Burials 1539-1652, published 1930
Part 2, Marriages 1660-1734, published 1952
Part 3, Marriages 1735-1776, published 1972
All 3 parts have been reprinted on microfiche by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

Wolverhampton Archives holds an index of marriages 1603-1837 indexed by male name only.

Wolverhampton Archives have placed on line indexes of the Wolverhampton St Peter registers covering Baptisms 1539-1875, Marriages 1539-1837 & Burials 1538-1862

Nonconformist Church Registers
Records of Nonconformist churches in Wolverhampton can be found on the Wolverhampton page.

Description and Travel

A transcription of the section on Wolverhampton St Peter from A Topographical History of Staffordshire by William Pitt (1817)

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[Last updated: 3rd September 2014, Mike Harbach.  © 1999 - 2014]

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