Margaret Gilson writes:
The Parish Church
The Parish Church of St Peter and St Andrew was probably built on the site of the chapel attached to
King Edward the Confessor’s hunting lodge, and it is possible that it was the king who added his favourite saint,
Saint Peter, to an original dedication to St Andrew. Several synods or meetings of bishops took place here
in the early days.
After King John had been obliged to set his seal to Magna Carta in 1215, mercenary French soldiers came
through Old Windsor and destroyed the church, which may have been mainly built of wood.
The church was rebuilt in 1218 and had thick walls and small windows. During medieval times some of these windows were
replaced with larger ones.
In Georgian times, the church had a stone porch, in which weddings were sometimes celebrated, and on the tower was a small
cupola. An avenue of larch trees, of which some stumps can still be seen, led to the north door. As wealthy families moved into
the village, bringing their servants, there was not enough room in church and a gallery was built at the west end to
accommodate the children. However, as they were badly behaved it was necessary to appoint a beadle to keep them in order.
The church contained many large memorials.
By 1865 restoration was needed and the architect Giles Gilbert Scott carried out an extensive plan, removing the porch, the
gallery and the three-decker pulpit, and installing the rood screen, pews and choir vestry which we have today. The spire was
built to replace the cupola. Three extra bells were added to the five dating from 1775, to make the ring up to eight bells.
Subsequently, restoration campaigns have resulted in the replacement of much of the damaged stonework around the windows
and on the tower. The spire has also been re-shingled several times. The church suffered a serious fire on Easter Day 2008 but
has now been fully restored