St Peter's Church

St Peters Church. St Peter's church collapsed down the cliffs during storms around 1688 - 1702, which gives a time of submergence of 307-321 years. Between 1654 and 1690, the church was dismantled much like All Saints, and so what is visible on the seafloor are the ruins of ruins. The site lies some 337m from the present (2012 AD) cliff, to the north of St James Street at a depth of 8.2 metres and covers an area of approximately 934 m2. The ruins lie in a scoured trough on bedrock (clay), across which mobile banks of fine sediment periodically encroach into the ruins. The site is composed of three main groups of ruins which are thought to broadly relate to the church building (nave, aisles and chancel) and the tower. The area to the north lies c. 24m (c.72ft) north of the main tower fragments. Although of similar scale to the tower height of All Saints Dunwich (c.70ft) and St Andrew's Walberswick (c.70ft), the blocks are large and lie in a discrete group further west than the larger fragments of tower at the west end of St Peter's. The Agas map shows a group of three buildings in this area that were associated with the market place. It is possible, that these ruins are from one of those buildings, which if proven to be the case might identify the Town Hall or Market Cross (lost 1680-1717). The site is characterised by a series of blocks with concentrations of larger blocks at the western end of the site. The blocks vary in size up to 2.24m in length (based on the R2Sonic 2012 multibeam survey) and stand between 0.2- 0.8 m proud of the sea floor (confirmed by diver survey). Average block size is 1.10m by 0.87m, with a tendency to be symmetrical rather than elongated.

3D visualisation of the St Peter's church site based on 2012 R2Sonic Multibeam survey. Different areas of the church are shown including the possible position if a separate stone building.

St Peter's Church. Top left - 2012 Multibeam at 5cm resolution. Top Right 2012 Sidescan Sonar at 2cm resolution. Bottom left shows the Bathymetric change at the site between 208-2012. Erosion at the blocks is an artefact of the positional and resolution errors between surveys. Larger areas of sediment accumulation and erosion correspond with Sidescan images form 2009 and 2012. Bottom right shows location of the site.

DIDSON-DH images of St Peters church showing (TL) a field of small blocks and large cobbles and boulders, (TC, TR) large masonry rubble blocks from the tower. Note the scour pits around these blocks visible in the fine sediment, and the ripples on the sand covering the seabed.

(BL) figure shows a diver swimming over two of the large blocks from the ruins of the tower.

Images were taken by Frank Pope during filming for BBC Oceans in July 2010.