St Peter’s Framilode

Saint Peter's Church is one of the Severn's secrets, hidden at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac leading to Upper Framilode and more easily seen from the river than from the nearest main road.

It is the youngest of the five churches which make up the Severnside Group of Parishes.

In 1846 the inhabitants of Framilode were described as "watermen and their families in a most demoralized and unenlightened state". It is tempting to link this statement with the building of the Church which was consecrated in 1854. Unfortunately no later Victorian commentator can be found to learn if the building of Saint Peter's righted Framilode's wrongs.

Saint Peter's is a fine example of early Victorian church design - simple and economic as befits a country church but with just a hint of the exotic in its Italianate bell tower. A head carved on the front of the tower - Saint Peter himself, perhaps? - is one of the few pieces of external ornamentation. The architect was Francis Niblett, who was also responsible for another of the Group's churches, at Fretherne.

In keeping with the riverside location, the Church decoration incorporates nautical motifs - there is an anchor above the inner entrance arch and anchors appear in a number of places inside. The weathervane atop the tower is a salmon. Framilode's nautical links are commemorated in the graveyard, too. More than one headstone records a drowning, and not always locally.

Beside the entrance stands the font, restored as a memorial to those who served in World War 1.

The organ with its painted pipes - still in use - dates from 1860 and was made by Joseph W. Walker of London.

The painted ceilings are largely original, but the inscription on the wall below is of a later date.

The cross above the arch leading to the apse is unusual in being made of tin - and provides a link with one of the village's older industries, tinplate working.

The mystery of the missing saint…

Pause to look at the colourful stained glass windows, most of them donated by local people. Four of them commemorate Saints - you'll find Saint Luke, Saint John and even two of Saint Matthew… but whatever happened to Saint Mark?

…and of the Panama hat

The most colourful of the stained glass windows in Saint Peter's Church is opposite the entrance and depicts the Good Samaritan attending to the injured man. In the foreground lie the man's walking stick… and, looking just a trifle out of place, his Panama hat.

The Gothic style parsonage to the west of the Church was built in 1866 and is now a private house.

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