St Peter & St Clare


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1 - 2  Exterior of the church (from n-w and w.) in evening light.


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3 - 4   Church from north and south


The Domesday survey mentions the presence of a priest at Fenny Compton, but the earliest part of the church dates from ca. 1320 - the Chancel arch. 

Earliest records confirm the dedication to St Peter, but during the reign of Henry I, Gilbert Bigot, who was then the Tenant of the Manor, gave the advowson to a house of Augustinian Canons at Kennilworth, who re-dedicated the church to the Blessed Clare of Montefalco, an Augustinian nun.  Since then both saints have been included in the dedication.

In 1733 the advowson passed to Corpus Christi College, Oxford.


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The porch dates from 1673, and is inscribed with the donors initials and the date over the door. (5)

The external door of the porch now houses a pair of doors (6) which may have hung within the north door-arch, and are considerably older than the porch itself.  These doors are well worn and show signs of having been damaged by musket fire at the time of the Battle of Edgehill in 1642.   

This battle was fought not very far away, as the village of Fenny Compton nestles under the western part of Edge Hill itself.  This was one of the decisive battles of the Civil War, leading to the defeat of Charles I and his eventual execution in 1649.


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Two views of the chancel arch (ca. 1320) and the chancel itself.


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9  -  10   Two views of the west end and the base of the tower.  There was once a gallery here.


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11  -  The old doorway to the gallery and belfry hidden by ivy and a second font; see below for details.


Some time during the 17th century the west end was sealed by the bricking up of the tower arch, and a gallery was built across the west end of the nave.  Access was maintained to the base of the tower and the gallery by the construction of a small door which was cut through the west side of the tower.  

The outline of this is still just visible behind the ivy, and immediately below the window in the west wall.  It is also partially concealed by a font, which  was found stacked on top of the other font which remains in the church.

In 1879 the arch was opened and the exterior door sealed.  Presumably this was also the end of the west gallery, although the church guide does not specify this.

The south aisle is relatively modern, having been constructed in 1862. 


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12  -  The old bier used for carrying coffins


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13  -  Part of the old bell frame, dated 1636



The bells:

[08/02/02] Fenny Compton, Warwick, SS Peter & Clare (GF), 3, 7cwt in Bflat. SP417522


Map reference

The church stands on the south side of what presumably was once the main street, but now a quiet side-road which apparently leads nowhere. The church was still open at the time of our visit at 5.30 pm.



Photographs: © Edwin Macadam



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