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St. Peter's Stockerston - History

The history of St. Peter's Church begins with Sir Henry Murdac in the 13th century. The church was then much re-built in the 15th century. At this time a Norman church was built although nothing of such a church remains at Stockerston now. It is possible, seeing how early the history of the parish begins, that a pre-Norman or Saxon church existed.

The building of the present St. Peter's would have begun in Plantagenet times. Its development extended through to the times of Bosworth Fields and the Tudors with much reconstruction before the building appeared in its final form in 1500 century.

There are authenticated medieval references to the surrounds and in particular to a hermitage called Mirabel, both upper and lower. In about 1231 the Bishop of Lincoln excommunicated Elias a monk. A chaplain was admitted in his place to Mirabel Hermitage in Stockerston.

There are details of Roman remains and a haul of some 230 silver coins was found in Holyoke Wood in the Stockerston Parish. Holyoke Wood is near to the ruins of the hamlet of Holyoak which is no longer in existence.

St. Peter's has many items of special interest including the many brasses, at one time a great favourite for brass rubbings. The brasses include the headless figure of a man with a woman – Sir John de Boyville and his wife Isabella Cheiney. de Boyville built the tower and south Chantry Chapel. He also founded a hospital for a chaplain and 3 poor people with an income of £10.00 a year. He died in 1467. Another brass depicts part of a man in praying position, together with the skirts of a woman. These figures are John Southill and his wife Elizabeth Plompton. Southill died in 1493.

There are many Tombs and Monuments inside the church, together with ancient wooden pew ends bearing the arms Murdac, Boyville and Southill.

Some of the finest pieces of stained glass in the whole of Leicestershire can be found in St. Peter's Church. Originally 13 in total, their importance is evidenced by the fact that one whole section was displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2003 in their exhibition “Gothic Art for England 1400–1547”.