For ten years St Peter’s Church was a chapel of ease to St James, West Malvern, but in 1875 the ecclesiastical parish of Cowleigh was formed from the former parish following the growth of the area from the 1850s. The church was designed by George Street and built of Malvern stone and sandstone in a late Early English style.
A brickworks was established in the parish in 1844 and the growing numbers of workers swelled the population to nearly 900 by 1891. During this time, the parish was the poorest in the district – in 1909 children came to fetch soup from a Soup Kitchen at the vicarage, 1500 pints of soup being dispensed in two winter months. Several clubs, including a Miniature Rifle Club at Cowleigh School were strongly supported, and are represented in the Roll of Honour.