Herefordshire Places of Worship

St Peter's Church, Rowlestone (1) (28k) St Peter's Church, Rowlestone (2) (25k) St Peter's Church, Rowlestone (3) (47k) St Peter's Church, Rowlestone (4) (31k) St Peter's Church, Rowlestone (5) (24k) St Peter's Church, Rowlestone (6) (23k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
St Peter's Church, Rowlestone
St Peter's Church,
The Wigga, off A465 at Pontrilas,
Rowlestone, Herefordshire.


This Church has (or had) a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in 1130, and we understand it is still open.

The following information about the Church has been provided to accompany the photographs on the right. A list of people who have supplied the information is included in the Acknowledgements, below.

[Image 1] A simple church, with just nave and chancel, and south porch, dating from about 1130. The guide leaflet says it may also have had a semi-circular apse originally.[1]

[Image 2] The church comprises just a nave and chancel, there are no aisles. The rounded Norman chancel arch appears to be quite plain, but in fact it is decorated with a bird entwined in foliage, and two carved panels, which show St Peter to whom the church is dedicated. The one on the left shows him in prison, and the one on the right upside down, symbolising his crucifixion hanging upside down.[1]

[Image 3] The carving on the Tympanum above the doorway into St Peter's church shows Christ in Majesty. It dates from about 1170, and experts have assigned it to the local school of ‘Kilpeck Romanesque’. Whilst the details are difficult to see on this photograph, and even in situ, the information board in the porch tells us that his right hand is raised in blessing, in his left hand he holds a book, and he is surrounded by four angels, and “whilst the subject is not unusual, the way it is depicted here is probably unique”.

Again they are difficult to see, but the capital of the shaft on the left has a Green Man carving, and the one on the right the ‘bird-entwined-in-foiliage’ motif which is also found inside the church, on the right corbel of the chancel arch.[1]

[Image 4] In Memory of the / Kennedy Family /
Whose remains lie / in the Churchyard.

The window overlooks the graves outside of:

The Reverend James Martin Kennedy born 1815 died 1905
Margaret, his wife born 1840 died 1907
John, their second son, who died young, born 1874 died 1900.
Doctor James Buckley Martin Kennedy, their eldest son born 1867 died 1946.
Ada, his wife, born 1865 died 1945, and
Kathleen Margaret Buckley Kennedy-Davis, their dauguter, born 1907 died 1961.

Rev. James Martin Kennedy was born in Londonderry, in 1815. His Irish branch of Kennedy could trace their roots to the Kennedys of Castle Dunismure, and Castle Culzean in Ayrshire in Scotland, and he was a direct descendant of Sheriff Kennedy, who closed the gates of the town against King James II. He was presented to the living of Rowlestone-cum-Llancillo in 1864, retiring from there in 1892, after 28 years in the parish, and for the remainder of his life he lived in Hereford.

He is responsible for the restoration of the Church, which at the time of his arrival was in a dilapidated state. This was completed in 1866, and afterwards he purchased two meadows, and built the vicarage on the land. He contributed £2,000 of his own money for this work, but he was also assisted financially by his cousin Baron Martin of the Exchequer and other influential friends.

In 1866 he married Margaret BUCKLEY, of the Buckley family of Saddleworth in Rochdale, Lancashire. They had one surviving son, James, to whom the right hand side of the window is dedicated, together with his wife Ada (née BAILEY), and their only only daughter Kathleen.[1]

[Image 5] One of two Candelabra - this one on the north wall of the Chancel. The candle brackets are believed to date from the 15th century, and are made of of wrought iron, comprising two horizontal bars divided into 5 compartments each with a candle holder. This one has decorations representing swans, or peacocks.[1]

[Image 6] One of two Candelabra - this one on the south wall of the Chancel. The candle brackets are believed to date from the 15th century, and are made of of wrought iron, comprising two horizontal bars divided into 5 compartments each with a candle holder. This one has decorations representing cockerels, the symbolism being of the Bible story told of Peter denying Jesus three times before the cock crows.[1]


Now or formerly Church of England.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.


This Church is located at OS grid reference SO3738027118. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Rowlestone, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.


A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this web page:

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Information last updated on 4 Oct 2010 at 00:00.

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This Report was created 29 Jan 2020 - 16:51:13 GMT from information held in the Herefordshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 7 Feb 2019 at 13:34.

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