Churches & Abbeys

Old church with graveyard and flowers in the foreground

Churches and abbeys are great places to find out about local history as well as being beautiful and fascinating places to explore.

Peterborough Cathedral

With its dramatic West Front entrance and magnificent interior, Peterborough is one of the finest Norman Cathedral’s in Europe. It’s 13th Century painted Nave ceiling which is unique in England. Henry VIII’s first wife, Katharine of Aragon, is buried here. It is the cathedral for the Peterborough Diocese, which includes Northamptonshire within its boundaries. Entry is free (donations invited; groups please book in advance).

Peterborough Cathedral, Minster Precincts, Peterborough, PE1 1XS

01733 355315 
Peterborough Cathedral

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Photo: Matthew Roberts

St. Peter’s Church, Raunds

In the reign of Henry III the Church was probably a plain cruciform Norman one, and from this was built the inspiring church of today.  Built largely of local limestone in the Early English style, the rebuilding was started about 1220. Walking into church through the impressive south porch one’s eye is immediately caught by the unique 15th century wall paintings.  The series of paintings forms one of the most complete and important painted interiors in Northamptonshire, if not the whole country.

Raunds Parish Church, Church Street, Raunds, NN9 6JB

01933 389457
Visit Raunds Church website

St. Peter’s Church, Irthlingborough

St. Peter’s obtained a licence to become a collegiate church in the 1370’s and the tower is linked to the main body of the church by the remains of the college building. Remarkably, the tower was taken down and carefully rebuilt identically between 1889 and 1893. Open all year round, Thursday and all day Sunday.

48 College Street, Irthlingborough, Wellingborough NN9 5TX

 Visit St Peter’s Church website

St. Mary’s Church, Higham Ferrers

St. Mary’s Church, Rushden

Open all year round with it’s 172ft tower and spire, St Mary boasts a 14th century oak pulpit, one of only 35 left in England. Its strainer arch is also remarkable, one of the few examples of this architecture known in England.

St. Mary and All Saints

Open all year. This famous Perpendicular style church is a small part of a once great Collegiate foundation dating from 1411. Striking features include the octagonal lantern tower, the two storey north porch and the pinnacles and flying buttresses along the length of the nave.


Friends of Fotheringhay Church

St. Peter’s Church, Oundle

There has been a church in this town since at least 709, when a Saxon saint called Wilfrid died at his church in Oundle. Since then the building has changed and adapted to the needs of every generation. St. Peter’s Church has the highes spire in Northamptonshire (210’). As you enter through the church porch there is a hidden room above you. In that room William Laxton was educated nearly 500 years ago.  He moved to London, became Lord Mayor and left his money to found Oundle School. The pictures in the porch tell you a little bit about the life of St Peter’s today.

North Street, Oundle PE8 4AL

 Visit St Peter’s Church Oundle website