Friends of Old Wymering (FOW)

The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Wymering

Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul, Wymering

WM Church 1

Church of St Peter and St Paul, Wymering

WM Church 2


The Church of St Peter and St Paul, Wymering is a Grade II* listed building.

It is the earliest surviving church in Portsmouth, earlier than the Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury in Portsmouth. 1

The nave and north aisle are the earliest sections of the church. Stylistically the arcade has been dated to around 1180, when the manor was held by the Counts of Aumale (or Albemarle). 2 They also added the churchyard that surrounds the church. The south aisle was added in 1260. 3 The chancel was constructed in the 14th Century and the first service at the new High Altar was celebrated on April 15th 1400. It is probable that little further change took place until 1797 when a singing gallery was added to the west wall. A square tower constructed 3 years later housed the bells. A further gallery was built in 1804 for extra box pews. In 1861 the church reopened after a thorough renovation by G.E.Street, which removed the gallery, replaced the tower and removed the burials from under the nave and chancel floor.

The church has a web site.


Graveyard burials and church monuments

Sir Francis William Austen, brother of Jane Austen, his second wife Martha and his daughter Cassandra are buried in the graveyard. (Sir Francis was churchwarden at the time of the Victorian restoration.) There are also 11 18th and early 19th century tombs, which are listed as historical monuments. This is the largest collection remaining in Portsmouth. Inside the church a plaque records a parishioner lost with the Titanic.


Where is the church?

The church is situated on Medina Road at the corner of Old Wymering Lane. (map)

Secondary Sources
Katherine Hanna (ed.) The Cartularies of Southwick Priory (1988) I 3 shows already in existence by 1150. The same source at I 116 records the gift of land for St Thomas's Chapel in c 1180-6.
W. Page (ed.), Victoria County History of Hampshire, (London, 1908), vol. 3, 166.
Hannah op. cit, I 98