National Trust Heritage Open Days

St. Peter’s, Church Langton

Stonton Road, Church Langton, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 7SZ

Join our guided tour of the church, highlighting the architectural and historical features. St. Peter’s hosted the first performance of Handel’s Messiah in a parish church. 

St. Peter’s is the Mother Church of The Langtons, dating back to Norman times and was possibly an Anglo Saxon minster. This medieval church, of amazing proportions has so much heritage of interest dating from the late 13th and early 14th centuries with the tower, clerestory and nave arcades, the work of the 15th century.

Rector William Hanbury organised the first performance of Handel’s Messiah in a Parish Church in England in St Peter’s on 27th September 1759.

Victorian renovations resulted in the elaborate carvings on the pews and pulpit and a reredos in the chancel which is an alabaster representation of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.

Opening Times                                                                                              

Sunday 13th September: 14.00 Please note this has been cancelled 😦

Wednesday 16th September: 14.00 – There are a few places left, so book now 🙂

Booking Details

Numbers limited to 15, booking required.                                                           
Contact: Roz Folwell 01858 545160 or Maxine Johnson 01858 545745


No wheelchair access, uneven ground in churchyard.

COVID-19 Considerations

This event will run in line with local & national government guidelines at the time of the festival. Please WEAR MASKS and be aware of social distancingThere are no hand washing facilities but sanitising gel will be provided. Please do not attend if anyone in your family is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms.

Additional Information

No toilet facilities.
Printed Guide available for £1. Please bring correct money.                    
Maximum 15 people per tour. Tour lasts 95 minutes

Heritage open days

Saving and Celebrating Our Heritage: St Peter’s new Visitor Guide book, 2019

Available inside church – £1.00

We have a new guide book! Something that St Peter’s has needed for a very long time! The guides were funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of our project, ‘Saving and Celebrating our Heritage’  and give fantastic detail on all aspects of St Peter’s Church, tracing the course of its 800 year history, looking at its architecture and churchyard. 

St Peter's Guide book - front cover
St Peter’s Guide book – front cover

Use it as you walk around to discover important features, events and people involved with this lovely building over all these years. The influence of Rev. William Hanbury and his legacy which lives on to this day – and of course, the first performance of Handel’s oratorio, ‘Messiah’ in a parish church in England, as part of a Festival of Music held regularly at that time. Laurence Saunders our priest and martyr, who died at Coventry along with Polydor Virgil, priest to St Peter’s, Chancellor to Henry VII and author of a History of England

The Project Team is particularly grateful to the ‘Interpreting the Church’ Activity Group – Rosalind Willats (former Conservation officer for Harborough District Council), Anne Abbott (East Langton), Will Poulton (West Langton) and Maxine Johnson (Church Langton) – for producing the Visitor’s Guide to St. Peter’s. We are especially grateful to Rosalind Willatts for writing the text and Anne and Will for proof reading.  

Saving and Celebrating Our Heritage: Dedication Festival Service, 2019

Sunday 30th June 2019

On Sunday 30th June, a wonderful Service was held to celebrate the completion of work to the roof to replace the lead stolen by thieves in 2017; this being replaced with terne-coated stainless steel.

The work was made possible by a substantial grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and support from other grant bodies, fund raising and generous donations by friends, both local and further afield.

Poster for the Dedication Service June 2019
St Peter’s Festival Dedication Service Poster – June 2019

This Service also saw the launch of our Heritage Community Project, called ‘Saving and Celebrating our Heritage’ as part of the HLF stipulation for obtaining their grant.

The Service was conducted by the Revd. Martin Hathaway who has been a longstanding member of our visiting clergy team and a great friend to all of us at St Peter’s.

Villagers and invited guests were treated to a memorable time and to quote one attendee “Yesterday combined, I felt, the dignity of worship with the informality of a celebrating Church, glad to be there”.

This was followed by refreshments and socialising. The service was a wonderful way to mark the end of a long period of work following the lead thefts but celebrate the future knowing that we can resume work in a dry church, welcoming visitors and friends alike.