St Peter’s Church, Siddington.

What a fantastic village this is, I think the church is as big as the village and it is stunning. Sadly it had a huge padlock on the door so I could not go inside, but it is a fully working church. Some websites say ‘we think it is still operational’ well I can confirm it is.

I tried to check in on Facebook but the church was not listed, it is the first time I have created a location for others to check in on Facebook, not bad for an old man.

According to The Gloucestershire Village Book published by the Gloucestershire Federation of Women’s Institutes in 1987, Siddington Church was given to the Knights Hospitallers of Quenington about 1200. Also by the church is an ancient Tithe Barn, which they suggest was probably built by the Knights soon after they received the property.

Kelly’s Directory of 1923 records that St Peter’s consists of chancel, nave of four bays, north aisle, porch and south-west tower, with a spire containing 6 bells. There is a marble monument to the Hon. Benjamin Bathurst M.P. F.R.S. of Lydney, d.1767; and that the chancel contains two stained windows, a piscina, sedilia and a hagioscope. A hagioscope, or ‘squint’ was originally an opening in an internal wall of the church to permit the altar, and consequently the elevation of the host, to be visible from where it would be otherwise blocked by the wall.

The South Doorway is Norman, contemporary with the original building. The tympanum is generally said to represent Christ in Majesty; but Phil Draper observes that the central figure holds the keys, so he questions whether it could represent St Peter sitting in judgement on the 2 figures on either side of him, the one on the left of which has a halo.

Once upon a time, Siddington had two churches. The settlements, sometimes known as Siddington St Mary (or Upper Siddington) and Siddington St Peter (Lower Siddington), were united by an Inclosure Act of 1778; St Mary’s Church was subsequently demolished, and the parish of Siddington has been united with Preston since 1928.

It has also been known in the past as Siddington Langley, after the Langley family who were lords of the manor from the 14th century onwards.