St Michael’s Church East Peckham Kent UK
Canon EOS1000D RAW processed using Topaz Adjust in Photoshop CS5
In 961, Queen Ediva the Queen Mother gave the manor of Peckham to the monks of Canterbury. A church was in existence at the time of Domesday. The earliest surviving parts of the existing church are the north walls of the nave and chancel, which are of mid C12th date. The church at this time comprised the nave and a short chancel. The chancel was extended in the late C12th. By the mid C13th the south aisle had been built. In the late 13th century, a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary had been built to the east of the south aisle and south of the chancel. The tower was added in the early 14th century, and the porch in about 1500. The tower formerly carried a much taller spire than the current smaller spirelet. It was destroyed in a storm in 1704. The weathervane dates from 1928 and is a copy of the one erected in 1704. The remains of a sundial can be seen on the porch; it fell into disuse when a clock was installed in the church.
The vestry was added in the early 19th century. The church was restored by the Victorians in 1853 and 1863. St Michael’s was listed at Grade II* by English Heritage in 1959, and it was declared redundant in 1973.
St Michael’s has a ring of six bells hung for change ringing. The oldest (the fifth heaviest of the ring) was cast in 1747 by Robert Catlin. Two (the second and third heaviest) were cast in 1785 by William Mears of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry. The heaviest (the sixth, usually called the tenor) was cast in 1812 and the lightest (the first, usually called the treble) was cast in 1825 by Thomas Mears II and the remaining bell (the fourth heaviest) was cast in 1890, by Mears & Stainbank (all successors to Wiliam Mears at Whitechapel).