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Wiltshire Community History

Church of St. Andrew, Laverstock

There is the possibility that there was a Saxon church here that was rebuilt in the Norman period. If that is not the case a Norman church was the first church in the community. In 1225 Bishop Poore appropriated the church and its income to provide offerings to the priests present at daily mass in the new Lady chapel at the new cathedral. The first known incumbent is Johannes de Netheravon in 1305. In 1410 a fire at night destryoyed the church and the priest's house as well as nearby houses. The church and priest's house were rebuilt following an appeal by the Bishop. This church survived for over 4 centuries but in 1853 it was said to be 'very damp and ruinous and the walls and roof are pronounced wholly insecure'. It was said that there was accommodation for 128 adults and 28 children, mainly in the galleries. At that time there was still an Early English chancel and a 13th century doorway with traces of Norman work.

The church was demolished and all that remains is part of a buttress and some foundations in the churchyard to the west of the present church. The new church of 1858 was designed by T.H. Wyatt, cost £2,353, and used parts of the old church that were of architectural or historic value, including glass, parts of the porch and memorials. The west and south west windows now contain fragments of 13th century grisaille (greenish gray) glass from Salisbury Cathedral. This had been removed by James Wyatt in 1788, broken up and thrown into the city ditches. It was painstakingly collected by Canon Stanley Baker, vicar of Laverstock, who placed some of it in Laverstock church in 1933. He is buried in the churchyard here. The parish registers from 1726, other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office.

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Church of St. Andrew, Laverstock
Church of St. Andrew, Laverstock

Image Date: 1930s
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


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