St. Peter’s Church

Gaze up at the iconic spire of the founding church of Bournemouth, where the writer of Frankenstein was laid to rest.

St. Peter’s Church is a 19th-century structure of Gothic revival design. Its interior is particularly ornate with Gothic features and is home to impressive stained-glass windows and frescoes. One burial vault is the final resting place of the famous Shelley family, who made a huge mark on English literature. Meditate in the tranquil surroundings of the church and explore its pretty gardens.

Walk through the spacious nave and appreciate the Gothic art decorating the walls. Take a closer look at the stained-glass windows and frescoes created by the Clayton and Bell workshop in the late 1800s.

Visit the Shelley family vault that contains the remains of some of the biggest names in literature. Feminist travel writer Mary Wollstonecraft and philosopher William Godwin lie beside their daughter, Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, and the recovered heart of her husband Percy.

The church is proud of its ring of eight bells, which is the oldest and heaviest in the city. Capture photos of the impressive church that include its 200-foot (62-meter) spire, which you can see from many parts of the city and beyond. The church is made from Purbeck stone and Bath stone.

Note the Harrison Organ, which dates back to 1914 and was renovated in the 1970s. Attend choral services on Sunday to hear the exquisite mix of boys’ and girls’ choirs with adult altos and tenors.

The church took three decades to build, between 1844 and 1879. Visit it any day for prayer or a quiet walkthrough.

St. Peter’s Church is near the Bournemouth Lower Gardens in the center of the city. Stop at some of the other popular sites in the area, such as the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre and the Central Gardens. Use one of many bus stops near the church. From here, walk to the beach in just a few minutes.

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