Worcester St Peter the Great is an Ancient Parish in the county of Worcestershire.
Parish church: St Peter
Parish registers begin: 1686
Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Wesleyan Methodist Association.
Is of considerable extent within the city, but much more so without, to the south and east, in which it comprehends Widintun, or Wittinton, with its chapel, anciently belonging to St. Helen’s, and the fee of the bishop. Wittinton appears to have been a large tract of land ; and as it is not found that the manors of Battenhall, Barnes, or Timberdine, lying also within this parish, are recorded in Domesday, Dr. Nash suggests, that those subordinate manors were comprehended in it, especially as it had a fishery of considerable value, and probably, therefore, extended to the Severn, as Timberdine now does, where there was an ancient wear. The principal property here belongs to Richard Ingram, Esq. of the White Ladies, Worcester. The chapel was dedicated to St. Philip and St. James, and, with Norton, is now served by a stipendiary priest; at what time it was annexed to St. Peter’s does not appear.
The manor of Batenhale began from the south wall of St. Peter’s church, and extended itself from thence more than a mile east and south. It was anciently of the franchise and soke of the bishop’s manor of Northwick. Whitington was its parochial chapel. Here was an ancient park, now destroyed, which formerly served for the retirement of the priors of Worcester monastery.
The manor of Barneshall is said to have been given to the priory of Worcester, by Richard de Bickerton and John de Braunceford, A. D. 1327. At the dissolution, it was granted, together with Battenhale, to Sir John Bourne, from whom it passed to Lord Chancellor Bromley, by whose descendants it was sold to Thomas Andrews, Esq of Worcester, and from his heirs it has lastly been purchased by the Rev. Treadway Nash, D. D. 1767.
The manor of Timberdine was also belonging to Worcester priory. It extends, westward, from Barnes to the Severn, where was a noted fishery, which, with its other possessions, was confirmed to it by Simon, Bishop of Worcester, 14 kal. Feb. 1148. (Reg. 1. Dec. et Cap. p. 10.) Sir John Bourne, who was one of the principal secretaries of state in the reign of Queen Mary, had this manor also granted to him at the dissolution. His son sold it to Lord Chancellor Bromley; and, after passing through several private hands, it is now the property of Joseph Berwick, Esq. of Worcester.
Within the walls of the city, the parish of St. Peter is bounded, on the north, by those of St. Helen and St. Martin ; and on the west, by St. Michael’s parish, the cathedral precincts, and the Severn. The number of houses it contained within the city, as stated by Mr. George Young, in his accurate survey of it, published in 1779, was 262, and of the inhabitants, 1277 ; and without the city, 23 houses, and 124 inhabitants. The principal streets comprehended within the limits of this parish, and within the walls of the city, are Edgar-street, Hightimber-street, Frog-lane, leading to Diglis Bowling-green, and to the meadows of that name, south of the city; King-street, Church-street, and the whole of Sidbury, from Friar-street to the end of Church-street, where, after passing the site of the ancient gate of its name, it continues as a suburb ; from which, on its south, a branch of it leads on the road to Gloucester, whilst the main road continues its course, eastward, to London.
The church of St. Peter, a vicarage, in the presentation of the dean and chapter of Worcester, is situated at the southern extremity of the city, the wall of which to that quarter forms the boundary of its cemetery. It was appropriated by Bishop Wakefield to the abbey of Pershore, who were its patrons till the dissolution. It was at first dedicated to the saints Perpetua and Felicitas ; but on the 25th of April, 14,20, the parishioners obtained a faculty to alter the same, and their wake was afterwards kept on the Sunday after St. Philip and St. James. The fabric of this church is ancient and small; it is, however, neat in its appearance, but contains little more noticeable than the irregularity of its seating, and the monument (if it may be so called) consisting more of painting than of sculpture, put up as a memorial of William Bachelor, a member of the corporation, A. D. 1608, and a benefactor to the poor of this parish. For an account of the other monuments in this church, see the Appendix, No. XXI. p. ci.
In the south ile, near the door, is the family vault of the Wyldes, (ibid. p. cii.) long resident at the Commandery, in this parish ; at whose expence that ile of the church is kept in repair. The family of the Ingrams, as impropriators of the great tithes, keep the middle ile in repair, from its east end to the cross arch of the ile. A south east view of this church is given in a Plate annexed. Its tower, which has an embattled top, contains but four bells. The first incumbent, according to Bishop Giffard’s Register, f. 291. b. was “Magister Petrus de Piriton, 17. kal. Dec. A. D. 1287.” The present is the Rev. William Faulkner, M. A. ordinary to the castle.
Source: Green, Valentine. The History and Antiquities of the City and Suburbs of Worcester. London, Printed for the Author by W. Bulmer and Co. 1796.