735.—St. Peter’s, Northampton.details

[Picture: 735.—St. Peter’s, Northampton.]
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735.—St. Peter’s, Northampton.

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Vast stone pillars and semicircular arches, with the characteristic Norman zigzag decoration, identify this as a Norman building and indeed it’s from the early 12th century, between 1120 nd 1140. Saint Peter’s is no longer used as a church, but you can visit it as one of the country’s more important Norman buildings.

There is little to be said of St. Peter’s of Northampton; it is peculiarly one of those beautiful and antique architectural works that must be seen to be appreciated. Anything more curious in most of its details seldom offers. (Fig. 735.) Its situation near the castle leads to the supposition that it owed its rise to one of the first Norman lords of Northampton, probably within fifty years after the Conquest. It was the privilege of this church, that a person “accused of any crime, and intending to clear himself by canonical purgation, should do it here, and in no other place of the town, having first performed his vigils and prayers in the said church the evening before.” (p. 203)

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