The church parish system dates from Saxon times when most early churches were provided by the lord whose estate land coincided with that of the parish. A donative parish (or "peculiar") was one that was exempt from diocesan jurisdiction. There are several reasons for peculiars but usually they were held by a senior churchman from another district, parish or diocese. It could include the separate or "peculiar" jurisdiction of the monarch, another archbishop, bishop or the dean and chapter of a cathedral (also, the Knights Templar and the Knights Hospitaller). An archbishop's peculiar is subject to the direct jurisdiction of an archbishop and a royal peculiar is subject to the direct jurisdiction of the monarch.
Most peculiars survived the Reformation but, with the exception of royal peculiars, were finally abolished during the 19th century by various Acts of Parliament and became subject to the jurisdiction of the diocese in which they were, although a few non-royal peculiars still exist. The majority of royal peculiars that remain are situated within the Diocese of London.
- The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, commonly known as Westminster Abbey, and containing the Henry VII Chapel, which is the Chapel of the Order of the Bath.
- The chapels associated with the Chapel Royal, which refers not to a building but to an establishment in the Royal Household, a body of priests and singers to explicitly serve the spiritual needs of the Sovereign. Curiously, because the Bishop of London is customarily appointed the Dean of the Chapel Royal, the bishop typically has authority of these chapels as dean, but does not have authority over them as bishop even though they are geographically within the Diocese of London.
- The Chapel Royal, St James's Palace
- The Queen's Chapel, St James's Palace
- The Chapel Royal, Hampton Court
- The Chapel of St John the Evangelist in the Tower of London
- The Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula in the Tower of London
- The Queen's Chapel of the Savoy, inaugurated as a Chapel Royal in November 2016, is a private chapel of the sovereign in right of the Duchy of Lancaster. It is the chapel of the Royal Victorian Order. The number of members of the order in recent years has outgrown the available space in the Savoy Chapel so the service for those who have received awards is now held in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle every four years.
- The Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, the crypt of the former St Stephen's Chapel in the Palace of Westminster. The building is administered through the Lord Great Chamberlain and Black Rod and it has no dedicated clergy: by convention services were conducted by the Rector of St Margaret's, Westminster, a member of the Chapter of Westminster Abbey. In 2010, the Speaker of the House of Commons used his right of appointment to nominate an outsider, the Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin.
- The Royal Foundation of St Katharine founded in 1147 by Queen Matilda of England as a religious community and medieval hospital for poor infirm people next to the Tower of London.
- Temple Church
- St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, the Chapel of the Order of the Garter.
- Royal Chapel of All Saints (in the grounds of the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park)
Former royal peculiars
- St Michael's Collegiate Church Penkridge near Wolverhampton
- St Michael and All Angels Church Tettenhall Wolverhampton 1247–1548
- Canons of Dover Priory until 1130
- Holy Trinity, Minories, London, until 1730
- St Mary and St Alkelda, Middleham until 1845
- Wimborne Minster 1318–1846
- St Peter's Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton 1479–1846
- The Deanery of St Buryan comprising St Buryan's Church in St Buryan, St Sennen's Church, Sennen, and St Levan's Church, St Levan until 1850
- The Deanery of Bridgnorth until 1856
- Dorchester Abbey 1536–1837
- The Collegiate Church & Royal Free Chapel of St Mary the Virgin, St Mary's Church, Shrewsbury, until 1856
- St Mary's Church, Stafford
- St Mary-le-Bow, City of London
- The Parish of Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales
- The Parish of Southwick, Hampshire (St James, Southwick and St Nicholas, Boarhunt)[a]
- Charterhouse chapel, Islington, London
- The Peculiar (or Peculier) of Masham, North Yorkshire
- Church of St Mary the Virgin, Hornby, North Yorkshire
- Christ Church, Oxford[b]
- All college chapels of the University of Oxford
- Christ Church, Bath, Somerset
- Chapel of St Lawrence, Warminster, Wiltshire; bought by the townspeople in 1574, administered by feoffees
The following chapels of the Inns of Court are extra-diocesan, and therefore peculiars, but not Royal:
Related concepts in secular government
- The parish is unique in being a ‘peculiar’ parish (one of only two left in the country). The chaplain was not appointed by the bishop but by the squire who is officially the ‘Lay Prior, Ordinary, Patron and Rector of the Peculiar and Parish of Southwick’. This has been the case since the dissolution of Southwick Priory, in 1539. St Nicholas, Boarhunt dates from 1064, and St James, Southwick (officially St James-without-the-priory-gate), may also be pre-Norman Conquest, although it has less surviving original fabric.
- Christ Church is a joint foundation of a College of Oxford and the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Oxford. The Crown is the "Visitor" of the cathedral not the Bishop.
- Friar 2004, p. 309.
- Hey 2008, p. 532.
- "Peculiar". Encyclopædia Britannica 1911. Volume XXI. p. 36. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- "Church of England | Dioceses". Anglicans Online. 12 June 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "The Dean of Her Majesty's Chapels Royal". London: Diocese of London. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- "The Queen's Chapel of the Savoy". London: The Duchy of Lancaster. 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
- "The Chapel of St Mary Undercroft – UK Parliament". Parliament.uk. 21 April 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- Boffey, Daniel (27 November 2011). "First female Commons chaplain tells laddish MPs: grow up, boys". The Observer. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- "About Us". London: Royal Foundation of St Katherine. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- Inner Temple Library website (retrieved 10 August 2018)
- G. C. Baugh, et al. "Colleges: Penkridge, St Michael". In: A History of the County of Stafford. Volume 3, ed. M. W. Greenslade and R. B. Pugh (London, 1970), pp. 298–303. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
- "Tettenhall Royal Free Chapel". The National Archives. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
- Willam Page, ed. (1926). "Houses of Benedictine monks: The priory of Dover". A History of the County of Kent: Volume 2. Institute of Historical Research. pp. 133–137. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
- Tomlinson 1907, Chapter X.
- Atthill 1847, p. 28.
- "A Brief History of the Minster". Wimborne Minster and the Northern Villages. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- G. C. Baugh; L. W. Cowie; J. C. Dickinson; A. P. Duggan; A. K. B. Evans; R. H. Evans; Una C. Hannam; P. Heathn; D. A. Johnston; Hilda Johnstone; Ann J. Kettle; J. L. Kirby; R. Mansfield; A. Saltman (1970). M. W. Greenslade; R. B. (eds.). "Colleges: Wolverhampton, St Peter". A History of the County of Stafford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- Denton 1970, p. 116.
- Denton 1970, p. 109.
- Mary Lobel, ed. (1962). "Parishes: Dorchester". A History of the County of Oxford. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- Denton 1970, p. 122.
- G. C. Baugh; L. W. Cowie; J. C. Dickinson; A. P. Duggan; A. K. B. Evans; R. H. Evans; Una C. Hannam; P. Heathn; D. A. Johnston; Hilda Johnstone; Ann J. Kettle; J. L. Kirby; R. Mansfield; A. Saltman (1970). M. W. Greenslade; R. B. (eds.). "Colleges: Stafford, St Mary". A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 3. Institute of Historical Research. pp. 39–64. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- Hoskin, Brooke & Dobson 2005, pp. 159-160.
- "GENUKI: Hawarden, Flintshire". Retrieved 10 September 2018.
- "St James Southwick Parish Website". St James, Southwick. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "St James, Southwick Page on the Portsmouth Diocese Website". Portsmouth Diocese. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "Chapel Services". London: The Charterhouse. Archived from the original on 9 April 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
- Hoskin, Brooke & Dobson 2005, p. 2.
- McCall, H. B. (1910). Richmondshire Churches. London: E Stock. p. 58. OCLC 6723172.
- "Annual Report and Financial Statements" (PDF). Christ Church. 31 July 2017. p. 5. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
- "Christ Church, Bath website". Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- Historic England. "Chapel of St Lawrence (1193945)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
- "St Lawrence Chapel Warminster". Retrieved 29 October 2020.
- Briden 2013, p. 61.
- Atthill, William (1847). Documents Relating to the Foundation and Antiquities of the Collegiate Church of Middleham, in the County of York: With an Historical Introduction, and Incidental Notices of the Castle, Town, and Neighbourhood. London: Camden Society.
- Briden, Timothy (2013). Moore's Introduction to English Canon Law: Fourth Edition. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-4411-6868-9.
- Denton, Jeffrey Howard (1970). English Royal Free Chapels, 1100-1300: A Constitutional Study. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-0405-6.
- Friar, Stephen (2004). The Sutton Companion to Local History. Stroud: Sutton. ISBN 0-7509-2723-2.
- Hey, David (2008). The Oxford Companion to Family and Local History. Oxford: OUP. ISBN 978-0-19-953298-8.
- Hoskin, Philippa; Brooke, Christopher; Dobson, Barrie, eds. (2005). The Foundations of Medieval English Ecclesiastical History: Studies Presented to David Smith (Studies in the History of Medieval Religion). Woodbridge: Boydell Press. ISBN 1-84383-169-4.
- Tomlinson, Edward Murray (1907). A History of the Minories. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Deanery of Westminster – extra-parochial places
- Report of Review Group on the Royal Peculiars 2001
- The British Monarchy – Royal Victorian Order
- Listing and description from Anglicans Online