Close sidebar

Our Heritage

Standing proudly at the head of Market Hill in the heart of Sudbury, with wealth of heritage dating back to the 14th Century.

Sudbury Arts Centre, formerly St Peter’s Church

This beautiful Grade I listed building and former Anglican church is vested into the care of the Churches Conservation Trust since being declared redundant 50 years ago. Read below for key dates in the history of St Peter’s and the Sudbury Arts Centre heritage.


A previous church on the site was mentioned, but the building we see today grew slowly during the 14th and 15th Centuries, funded by the local Guilds and Townsfolk.


Perhaps the finest feature of the building externally is the superb tower. In a Will dated 1376, reference is made to handing the Great Bell in St Peter’s Chapel.


Henry Pleasant, the local bell founder, made the first clock. The present four-faced clock uses the mechanism installed by Messrs, Gillett and Bland of Croydon in 1874. It is the third clock installed in the tower and is now electrically driven.


Due to a diminished congregation, St Peter’s was declared redundant as a place of worship.


On 29th May 1976, the building was vested to the body now known as The Churches Conservation Trust. Around the same time came into being the Friends of St Peter’s Sudbury, a registered charity with the two aims of preserving the building and providing facilities in the interest of social welfare for the recreation and leisure time occupation of the inhabitants of Sudbury and District.


St Peter’s closes for a major £2.5M project to repair and regenerate the building. The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership and Local Authorities, community organisations and individual benefactors fund the work. It reopens in Autumn 2023. Its future is secured!


Sudbury Arts Centre is unveiled as the new brand for St Peter’s. The new brand name of Sudbury Arts Centre was chosen after a six-month consultation process led by Sudbury-based business consultancy The Mackman Group.

The exercise included input from the CCT, the Friends of St Peter’s, and The Bridge Project charity, as well as feedback from community groups.