HISTORICAL FACTS ABOUT ST. PETERS
A FORMER ROOF LOFT: A glance at the Chancel arch shows a straight
piece of work about six feet above the capitals of the piers before the arch
begins. This was so designed to accommodate the once magnificent Roof-loft of
the 13th century. The Roof-loft was large enough to include an altar, and the piscina
can still be seen in the South wall of the Nave, a rare feature.
MOTHER OF A FUTURE KING: The Church may have been visited in the 15th century by Margaret of Lancaster, Countess of Richmond and Derby, and mother of Henry VII, who is known to have resided occasionally at the manor house in Maxey, formerly 'Maxey Castle', now Castle Farm. She was born in Bletsoe and Maxey Castle was part of the Deepings Estates owned by her father and mother, John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset and Margaret Beauchamp of Bletsoe. Records show that she would have a priest travel from Crowland Abbey to service her needs when in residence at the castle and that the family had a private chapel in Castle End road. Countess Margaret is shown below. On the death of her mother in 1482 the castle became the property of Margaret and she used it as the administrative centre for all her Lincolnshire properties.(p127 of The King's Mother)
VICARS OF MAXEY: The Vicars of Maxey can be traced back to 1220A.D., but there are reasons to believe that the first Vicar was instituted in 1191.A.D. Two former Vicars are buried in the Sanctuary, Edmund Gibbs in 1701, and Robert Bates in 1771. The Reverend Charles Cookson (1850-81) was a man of considerable private wealth, and he was responsible for much of the interior decoration and alteration during his time as incumbent.
THE ALTAR: The Altar is an oak table, and scribbled underneath it in pencil is 'John Francis Hardy made this table in December 1826'.
THE PULPIT AND CHOIR STALLS: The pulpit and choir stalls were placed in the church in 1892.
THE SWEETING MUSEUM: The small museum under the Tower was compiled by the Reverend W. D. Sweeting, Vicar of Maxey 1881-1901, who did much of the local historical research. It contains several interesting items that were used, or found, in the parish and elsewhere.
THE CHURCH FONTS: At the East end of the South Aisle is preserved the stone font of the Restoration period, dated around 1660. The present font, under the bell tower, was the gift of Canon and Mrs Argles in the 1870's, and in 1892 they gave the oak cover. This gift was in memory of Bishop Davys, Bishop of Peterborough, (1839-64). Canon Argles was Dean of Peterborough (1891-93).
THE ORGAN: The two manual organ was built by Messrs. Morton and Moody of Oakham, and installed in the church and then dedicated on Monday Feb 19th 1912. It cost £305, of which £122.10s.0d. came from the Andrew Carnegie Trust.
STAINED GLASS: There is very little stained glass in the church. The oldest glass is in the East Window of the South Aisle. Behind the Vicar's stall is a memorial window to Rifleman Gerard Talbot Sweeting (youngest son of a former Vicar), of the 9th County of London Regiment (Queen Victoria Rifles), who was killed on 14th March, 1915, at St. Ives, Belgium. It shows St. Michael and St. Gabriel. The three windows in the North Aisle contain six of our Lord's Beatitudes.
LIGHTNING STRIKE: The church was struck by lightning on the Feast of the Transfiguration (6th August) 1972, causing damage to the Tower and South Aisle roof. Hence the new stonework on the South East battlements of the Tower.
THE BELLS: The church has six fine sounding bells, three of which were recast in 1906. The Ringing Chamber was renovated and the bell mechanics overhauled in October 1999. Details of the bells and the work carried out can be found on the Ringers page.