St Peter's Church Sandwich
Church / Chapel
Tel: +44 01304 614390
A landmark church that still rings a curfew
St Peter's is the guardian of an ancient Sandwich tradition. Every day at 8pm, the curfew bell rings out, signalling that the townspeople should cover their fires to make them safe for the night. This was once known as the 'pigbell’, as it also informed people they could release their animals into the street.
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. The dome would have been in place when American Founding Father Thomas Paine was married at St Peter's in 1759.
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.
We're currently working on an exciting project, called Haven Heights which will enhance the visitor expereince at St Peter's. As part of this major project, the tower of the church will be open for the first time for visitors to enjoy the view of 'one of the most complete medieval towns in England'. As you ascend the new stairs to the top level of the tower, you'll be able to learn about the history of the church through new and exciting displays.
The Haven Heights visitor experience opens to the public on Saturday 30th July. Book now to secure your place on a tour by calling: 01304 617295
- Regional and Miscellaneous - The Churches Conservation Trust 2013
- Regional and Miscellaneous - Tourism South East Member 2016
|2017 (1 Jan 2017 - 31 Dec 2017)|
* Open daily but occasionally closed at short notice for events; please telephone 01304 621554 in advance of your visit
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