People & Stories
Following is an excerpt from a long out of print booklet containing number of speeches given by the then Vicar of St Peter's in 1949. You can view a PDF of the entire booklet here.
This colorful discourse on the attractive village of Petersham aims to fill in some of the details of local history which would otherwise be overlooked. Written by a former vicar of the Parish, it chronicles the activities and eccentricities of some of the village's more famous inhabitants from the late seventeenth century to the late nineteenth century, some of whom composes what Lytton Strachey calls the most civilised society which has existed in English history. Little wonder then that creative talents such as Gay, Dickens and even Van Gogh found an audience in the village. This reprint should be welcomed by all those who have a keen eye for local history.
The history of Petersham is rich and varied. One has only to take a walk through the village to appreciate its aesthetic splendours. These are there for all to see. But the casual visitor often neglects to enquire who was responsible for leaving us this marvellous heritage. This booklet aims to fill at least part of that gap.
All the material herein is the work of a former vicar of the parish of Petersham, long since. dead, who took more than a passing interest in the history of the village. The Three Talks' which comprise the main part of the booklet were delivered as lectures during the summer of 1949. Later on in that year, they were privately published in the form of a pamphlet, but this has been unavailable for many years. 'The Unsung Visitor' which completes this booklet first appeared as two separate articles in the Petersham Leaflet, the local parish magazine, of November 1957 and March 1958 respectively. They too have long been unavailable. Together, the Three Talks' and 'The Unsung Visitor' provide an interesting in- sight into the history of the village, from the late seventeenth to the late nineteenth century. This reprint, therefore, should be welcomed by many. There is one other point to note. The spelling and punctuation in this booklet are of a highly original nature. The reader should be aware of this. However, there is only one error that is positively misleading. Sergeant Darnell did not live in Portland Lodge as is suggested on page nine, he lived in Rutland Lodge. The other errors and misspellings are unimportant.
Petersham in the Early Eighteenth Century
Early Nineteenth Century and the Berry Sisters
The Unsung Visitor
The Interior of St Peter's viewed from the north balcony
A front view of Douglas House
A front view of Petersham House
Click here for a PDF of the complete publication.