Gunton St Peter
St Peters church is located in Gunton, a village in the suburbs of Lowestoft in Suffolk.
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Visiting Gunton St Peter
St Peter’s in Gunton is an open and welcoming church today, whereas at our first visits, it used to be locked with no keyholder shown. In a picture taken about 1898 this tower was totally covered with rampant ivy, as was the south porch, and the chancel’s east wall looked nearly derelict. In 1846 the tower was described as having no bells and being open to the elements, except for the lower portion which was ceiled and used as a pew. There was a change in fortune, and a major restoration took place between 1899 and 1903. Then the chancel’s east wall was totally rebuilt with a different form of window, and the vestry was added to the north of it. Also, the chancel’s roof was made continuous with that covering the nave, and all the windows were replaced. The lower part of the tower has been dated to the 12th century, and it has two stoned-framed slit windows facing west, the top one just below the belfry, and the other in the ground floor stage, which looks to have been altered. The top part of the tower was rebuilt in the 14th century and the four belfry openings have tracery with quatrefoils in the apex. At the very top there is a brick parapet, renewed in 1982. Both the north and the south nave doorways are 12th century, the north one being a bit more elaborate, with shafts supporting its rounded arch. Both doorways have roll mouldings and chevron patterns, but they are not identical. There is a blocked stone-framed 12th century window between the north doorway and the vestry, and another east of the vestry. The south porch is made of flint and red brick, possibly dating from the 16th century. In it stands an old font, discovered in the churchyard around 1900. It only has the lower part of its bowl. Next to it, at floor level, is a re-used, 12th century stone capital with a carved Mass Dial (a sundial indicating the time of the Mass).
The tower arch is rounded, made in the 12th century, and the space beneath the tower has been squared off, (perhaps for its use as a pew). All the woodwork in the church was renewed around 1900 and the organ was installed then. The font, standing in the north-west corner of the nave is probably the same date. It has carved quatrefoils round the bowl. Half way along the Church, in the north wall, are some steps. These formerly led to the top of the Rood screen, but that has long gone. There are a plain piscina and a dropped-sill sedilia in the chancel. There is 1960 glass in the east window, showing Jesus calling St Peter, and three smaller scenes of a sower, a reaper and fishermen.