Located in the centre of the town St Peter’s church offers both locals and visitors alike a place in which to pause and draw breath while they reflect on the past, present and future of Sandwich.
Take a journey through the ages as you ascend the stairs of the medieval tower of St Peter’s. The tower is open to visitors, providing magnificent rooftop views across Sandwich. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of France!
Open 10am to 3pm daily, you'll find stalls selling gifts, bric-a-brac and preloved items and books, and there is a pop-up cafe with seating in the courtyard. Entry to the church is free but there is a small charge to climb the tower.
The history of St Peter's
There was once a Norman church on the site and traces of masonry from this building can still be seen at the west end. The present church dates from the late 13th-early 14th centuries, when Sandwich was at the height of its prosperity. The atmospheric crypt – open by arrangement – was once a charnel house where bones from the graveyard were stored to make room for new graves.
Much of today's building dates from 800 years ago, though it has been altered many times. The handsome tower with its distinctive onion dome top is a 17th-century addition - built by Flemish protestant refugees, in the style of their homeland churches.
Inside, the church is spacious and airy and you can easily appreciate the impressive size and proportions of the lofty interior. The medieval roofs, handsome decorated windows and the magnificently carved tomb recesses and effigies to local benefactors reflect the wealth and importance of the town and its people.