St Peter’s Church
Dorset BH1 2EE
St Peter’s is a splendid Gothic Revival church in the heart of busy Bournemouth. Its very magnificence is a testament to Victorian confidence. It was designed by G.E. Street, who later designed the Royal Courts of Justice in The Strand, London, and was constructed between 1844 and 1879.
The interior of the church glows with colour and gilding from unusual wall paintings above the chancel arch and around the nave arches. The sumptuous chancel culminates in gilded ribs in filled with azure blue.
Jewelled light streams through the richly decorated stained glass windows and the church has a wonderful collection of alabaster sculpture by Thomas Earp.
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Percy Byshe Shelley
St Peter’s has long been associated with prominent Bournemouth residents and visitors, and the churchyard is crammed with the graves of famous people.
Most visitors come to view the family tomb of the Shelley family. In the family vault are buried Mary, author of Frankenstein, her son and his wife, and the remains of her parents William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. The heart of her husband, Percy Byshe Shelley, is also allegedly buried with her. In fact, Shelley's body was cremated in Italy where he drowned, but there may well be some of his ashes in the family vault.
Other interesting graves contain Sir Dan Godfrey who founded the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1896; Major-General Richard Clement Moody, co-founder of British Columbia; Lewis Tregonwell, founder of Bournemouth; and John Keble, professor of poetry at Oxford and pioneer of the Oxford Movement.
For more information about St Peter’s go to their official website:
Google Map - St Peter's Church, Bournmouth