Churches and Chapels of Stoke-on-Trent

St. Peter Ad Vincula - Stoke

| Index of Churches and Chapels | Index of Stoke Churches |


St. Peter ad Vincula Church


St. Peter ad Vincula Church


Minster Church of St. Peter Ad Vincula (St. Peter in Chains).

Built by 1826-1830 by Trubshaw and Johnson and renovated inside in 1888.  


Stoke Town Centre Heritage Trail

St. Peter ad Vincula Church


The name "Stoke" comes from an Old English word meaning "a place", signifying a holy place. A Saxon cross survives in the churchyard, suggesting that this was an ancient sacred site. The first wooden Church was replaced in the year 805. Early 19th Century illustrations of Stoke Old Church show a stone-built structure which mostly dates from the 13th Century, with the addition of a 14th Century tower. Gargpyles from this church were later incorporated in a terrace of houses in the adjacent Brook Street. 

By the 1820's Stoke Church was no longer large enough to accommodate its growing congregation. In 1826 the foundations were laid for the present Church, to be finally consecrated in 1830. The graves of Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) and Josiah Spode I (1733-1797) can both be found in the churchyard. 



St. Peter's in about 1893
St. Peter's - about 1893


from an 1893 journal on The Potteries:

"Parish establishment of St. Peter:  

First among the public buildings, which will attract the attention of the visitor are the churches, at the head of which stands the parish establishment of St. Peter. The old parish church of Stoke was situated in the immediate vicinity of Rykenield Street; and the present church, which was rebuilt in 1826-29, stands on glebe land, formerly attached to the old churchyard. It is a very handsome structure in stone, in the Early English style, built from designs by Messrs. Trubshaw and Johnson, of Haywood. It consists of chancel with vestries, rectangular nave, with quasi aisles, and an embattled western tower of four stages, with crocheted pinnacles, and containing a fine peal of eight bells. There are porches on either side of the tower and the interior is surrounded on three sides by galleries. The east window and four others in the chancel are beautifully stained.

The interior of the church is interesting from its many monuments, many of which were removed from the old church, erected to the memory of notable people connected with district. Chief among these is the monument to the memory of Josiah Wedgwood, F.R.S., F.S.A., with a bust by his friend, and former employee, Flaxman. 

Others commemorate the Very Rev. John C. Woodhouse, D.D., Dean of Lichfield, seventeen years rector of Stoke, and a great benefactor to the town and the church, d. 1833; John Tomlinson, patron of the living, d. 1838; Josiah Spode, Esq., d. 1827, and his son Josiah, d. 1839, with emblematic sculpture by William Behnes; John Poulson, twenty-two years sacrit, d. 1691, and Joan his wife, d. 1688, and to the family of Fenton, 1782-92, and many others.

In the churchyard are two stones which bear ample testimony to the salubrity of the neighbourhood. They are to the memory of Sibil Clarke, d. 1684, aged 112 years, and Henry Clark, also 112 years old. The registers of the church date back to 1630. Stoke enjoy the honour of having given its first suffragan-bishop to Shrewsbury, the right Rev. Sir Lovelace Tomlinson Stamer, Bart., D.D., of Trinity College, Cambridge, having been rector of Stoke since 1858. There are also in the neighbourhood other handsome churches, which have been made heads of ecclesiastical parishes by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners."




Ruins of earlier church (Arches) in the grounds of St. Peter Ad Vincula
Ruins of earlier church (Arches) in the grounds of St. Peter Ad Vincula
in the foreground is the grave of Josiah Wedgwood


St Peter ad Vincula, Stoke -  a Minster Church

St Peter ad Vincula, Stoke, was confirmed as a Minster Church.  In a public ceremony on Tuesday 17th May at 7:30pm the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill conferedthe title of "Stoke Minster" on the church.

The Rector of Stoke, Father David Lingwood, said: "We are extremely pleased with this decision.  The designation of St Peter's as a Minster is a way in which the Church can affirm the importance of the city today.  Stoke-on-Trent is a major conurbation in the UK and deserves this recognition.

"It is also an acknowledgment of the part played by all the faith communities in the life of the Potteries.  The churches and other people of faith are vital players in the regeneration of our North Staffordshire.

Rev Pauline Shelton, the Team Vicar at St Peter's added: "We look forward to St Peter's continuing to grow as it becomes a Minster - and especially we are looking forward to new choir members and bell ringers to expand our fine tradition in Stoke."

Background Information

Minsters were originally mother churches that covered a large tract of country. They pre-dated the parish system and acted as a base for worship, service and missionary work. They were served by a team of priests.

It is not known when the first church of St Peter ad Vincula was built in Stoke, but the Saxon Preaching Cross in the churchyard indicates a very early date. Perhaps St. Chad, the first Bishop of Lichfield preached here. One meaning of "Stoc" is a "holy place" and it is from this site that the city gets its name.

The medieval church, of which only ruins remain, dates mainly from the 13th century. The present church building was completed in 1830.

St. Peter ad Vincula is closely associated with the ceramic industry for which this city is rightly famous. Josiah Wedgwood and Josiah Spode are both buried in the churchyard and have family memorials in the church.

St. Peter's has been the centre of Civic services for decades.


The church and grounds of St. Peter ad Vincula
The church and grounds of St. Peter ad Vincula

to the left is Glebe Street and to the right is the A500 dual carriageway
In the top left corner is Stoke Town Hall and the Kings Hall
above the church is Brook Street



In the church grounds stands the headstone of Herbert Stansfield showing Masonic Symbols
In the church grounds stands the headstone of 
Herbert Stansfield showing Masonic Symbols

To the Memory of
who died January 17th 1799  Aged 64 Years

"Time was I stood as thou doth now
To view the Dead as thou doth me
In time thoul lie as low as I
And others stand and look on thee"


Fragment of a pre-Norman cross in the grounds of Church
Fragment of a pre-Norman cross in the grounds of the church

The fragments from the medieval (pre-Norman (1066) preaching cross 
were identified by the local architect Charles Lyman



The view of St. Peters through the sculpture 'Another Gift' on the corner of Kingsway and Glebe Street
The view of St. Peters through the sculpture 'Another Gift' on the corner of Kingsway and Glebe Street
the stainless steel sculpture was installed in 2005



related pages

Listed building details for St. Peters

Photos of listed buildings in and around St. Peter's grounds

Glebe Street (where St. Peter's stands)

Fragment of a pre-Norman cross in the grounds of the church

Sculpture 'Another Gift' 

Headstone of Herbert Stansfield 

Ruins of earlier church (Arches) 

The tomb of Josiah Wedgwood

also see..

Index of Churches and Chapels 

Index of Stoke Churches

Christian Heritage of Stoke-on-Trent