St Peter’s Church, Bardon Hill
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In October 1858 a lease for twenty-one years was granted to Ellis and Everard for the extraction of stone from Bardon Hill.  Breedon Everard was the Senior Partner.  The quarry prospered and a new lease in 1873 resulted in an expansion of the activities.  Much of this was the work of John Breedon Everard, Breedon Everard’s second son. In 1874 John Breedon Everard became a partner in Ellis and Everard, he was an architect as well as an engineer of some versatility.  By the end of the century John Breedon Everard had gone into partnership with architect S Perkins Pick and in 1905 the partnership was joined by John Breedon’s son, Bernard Everard.  The partnership they formed still exists as Pick Everard.


It was in the 1870’s that housing was built for the quarry workforce.  The Old Row and The Crescent together with a school house.  


At this time Bardon was within the ecclesiastical parish of St John the Baptist, Hugglescote and this is the churchyard where Breedon Everard is buried.  


With a growing population in Bardon Hill arrangements were made for the Hugglescote clergy to take services in Bardon village.  It was after many years of worship taking place in the old schoolroom that it was decided that a church for quarry workers and their families was needed. The three sons of Mr and Mrs Breedon Everard offered to build the church in memory of their parents; this fact is commemorated by a plate high up on the west wall, it reads:


"TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF BREEDON AND ELIZABETH ANN EVERARD, THIS CHURCH WAS BUILT IN 1899"


The Church was designed by John Breedon Everard, on land given by William Thomas Everard.


The foundation stone was laid on 6th June 1898 by Lady Mary Glyn, (wife of the Bishop of Peterborough).


The church was consecrated on 7th September 1899 by the Lord Bishop of Peterborough, Rt. Rev. Dr. Edward Carr Glyn.


Tradition has it that the choice of St Peter as its dedication was inspired by the dominical injunction: ‘Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.’


The church is built of stone quarried at Bardon Hill and Markfield with dressings of doulting stone.  The inside is lined with Ellistown red bricks relieved with Bath stone dressings from Corsham Down.  The building consists of a nave with a narthex, a small transept on the south side and an aisle on the north side, together with a chancel.  An organ chamber and a vestry are situated on the south and north sides respectively.  The nave measures 45 feet by 32 feet inside (including the aisles) and the chancel 25½ feet by 22 feet. There is a slender tower crowned by a fleche on a saddleback roof at the west end of the aisle which contains three bells cast and hung by John Taylor and Co. Loughborough.  They are a Treble weighing 4cwt 2qr 7lbs, Second 6cwt 1qr 16lbs and a Tenor 8cwt 1qr 17lbs.  They are inscribed: the Treble “To call the folk to Church in time I chime. W.T.E. 1898”, the Second “On holy love to set the seal I peal C.E. 1898” and the Tenor “when from the body parts the soul I toll J.B.E. 1898.”  The initials are of the three Everard Sons; William Thomas, Charles and John.


The Everards also donated the font in memory of two of their children who died as babies.  A brass plate bears the description to this fact. The font itself is made of a bowl of alabaster mounted on a polished Hopton wood stone base. Chiselled into the outside of the bowl are the words “Jesus said, suffer little children to come unto me”.


It was the Parishioners request to help with their new Church that set them the task of fund raising for an organ suitable for the building. This they did and Taylors of Leicester was engaged to build it at a cost of £290.


All the Everard graves are at the East end of the Church.


St Peter’s stayed with her Mother Church sharing the same Vicar until 1918 when Bardon Hill was constituted as a separate Ecclesiastical Parish on 4th March.   Rev’d. Edmund Pillifant was inducted on 22nd June. The Vicarage had already been occupied by the Curate-in-Charge since it was built in 1904. The link with Hugglescote was maintained and both churches shared a monthly magazine until 1925.  In 1927 Leicester became a Cathedral City and we broke our ties with Peterborough and became part of the Diocese of Leicester.


Following the consecration of the church the following major changes/additions have been:


1908:   Churchyard was consecrated.  

1920:   The Parish War Memorial was dedicated.  This stands on the southeast corner. The names of those who fell in the 1914-18 war are on the north and south sides, with those from 1939-45 on the east. .  

1930:   The stained glass window to the east was installed in memory of John Breedon and his wife Harriet Selby Everard.   It was designed by Mr Karl Parsons (1884-1934).

1934:   Electricity was connected - until that time lighting was by oil lamps on wrought iron brackets.

1949:   The vestry arches were glazed to celebrate the occasion of the Golden Jubilee.

1956:   Heating was updated to oil (previously heat was by hot air blown through iron gratings in the floor).  

1964:   A Garden of Remembrance was created to the south side of the church.  

1965:   The organ was updated for a pedal board and swell pedal plus cleaning and overhaul.

1978:    We became a Joint Benefice with Christ Church, Coalville.

1989:   Bardon village (Old Row, Crescent etc) was demolished to make way for the expanding quarry.  

1996:    The spire was stripped and rebuilt at a cost of £16,000.

2004:   Heating was updated to gas.

2010:   The new churchyard was consecrated.

2012:   Removal of wall between old and new churchyards.

2013:   Bell Tower project (read more on our ‘bell tower’ page).


An extract from a letter received from Rev Matthews (Priest in Charge 1971-1978) on the occasion of our 100th centenary reads as follows:


“The scene has changed considerably within a square mile or so of Bardon Hill Church since I lived in its Vicarage.  The Old Row, the School, Bardon Crescent and the sports field have all gone, and there is a vast business park on the other side of the main road (no longer the A50 but the A511). Yet Saint Peter’s Church still stands as a witness to the Christian faith, with the Word of God faithfully preached and the sacraments duly administered.”

This history is correct to the best of our knowledge.  Resources:  75th Anniversary of St Peter’s booklet produced by Rev Brian Matthews and reproduced with additional contents in 1999 for our 100th Anniversary.   History of Bardon Hill Quarry from www.aggregate.com.