Uppingham Parish Church


Some of the most recent archaeological research work from 2003 suggests that there is not any evidence for a late-Saxon church, although pot fragments of middle-Saxon, as well as Saxo-Norman Stamford wares, have been found in Uppingham. However, during the restoration of the church in the 1860s, a number of discoveries were made within the building which suggests that a church existed on the site before 1200. This included a number of sculptures from the twelfth century that were subsequently incorporated into the walls of the north aisle, whilst a coffin lid from the thirteenth century was found in the south aisle.

uppingham parish church plans

The research also discussed The Rutland Magazine and County Historical Record who reported that one of the earliest pioneers of county history, John Leland, had visited Uppingham in 1540 and referred to it as ‘a very meane churche’, with little indication as to whether he was referring to the condition or size. Furthermore, in 1639 the churchwarden’s records indicate that the Lord Bishop of Peterborough had dedicated a number of items to Uppingham Church, including a chalice with a silver and gilt cover, bible, common book of prayer, flaggons, alter cloths, tassels, cushions, a tippet, a surplice and black hoods lined with tafferty sarcenit.

The significant restoration in the 1860s reflected the fact that the church parish had a population of around 2,100, with the church only able to seat a maximum of 507 adults and 93 children.

The photos below show some of the extensive works conducted in the church during the 2000s from an archaeological report on the Church. uppingham font

 

In March 2003, a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Dr John Eaton, submitted a report on the failure of the spire of SS Peter and Paul in Uppingham. A storm had blown over the top section of the spire on the 27 October 2002. Stonework became unseated, with the weather vane was left dangling and forming the principal loose hold on the stonework, none of which thankfully fell to ground.

uppingham cock uppingham spire1 uppingham spire2
An inspection of the spire following the storm found that stones around the base of the tower and roof were in a dangerous condition required remedial works, alongside the corrosion of some supporting ironwork. The report established the problem with the spire to be a complex issue relating to the overall structure of the Church.