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Wiltshire Community History

Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

The parish church of Collingbourne Ducis, positioned just southwest of the village street, was originally dedicated to St. Mary but was changed to St. Andrew in 1786. It is built of flint with stone dressings and comprises a chancel with vestry and north-side organ chamber, nave with north and south aisles, a porch, and a western tower topped with crenulations and pinnacles.

Its present appearance is a product of extensive and, by all accounts, fairly ruthless 19th century restoration. Hutton in 'Highways and Byways of Wiltshire' describes the church as “pretty” but that the tower was “thoroughly spoiled”. Ponting, the architect, antiquary and a native of the village, is more complementary in his 1924 detailed description of the church in WAM. It was the decision of the newly appointed Rev. W. C Lukis in 1856 to rebuild and narrow the chancel and build the vestry with the architect G. E. Street. Further renovation work continued with the architect Sir Arthur Bloomfield in 1877 when the nave, aisles and chancel arch were restored and a new porch added, replacing a brick porch dated 1791. The leaded roofs of the naves and aisles were also replaced by tiles and a new organ chamber was built. Also around this time, the west window, which features Jesus blessing children, was given to the church (accompanied by a bequest to maintain it) by John Mackrell in commemoration of his ancestors. The tower was later restored in 1902 using money from a previous incumbent, Charles Francis, whose 1821 bequest contributed towards church repairs.

Despite these modifications it is still possible to piece together the shape of the church through the previous centuries. The ailsed nave and arcades made up of three bays, date from the early 13th century, or even a little earlier. Pevsner states that the current chancel seems to represent a 13th century style and a pre-restoration description of the chancel arch would seem to correspond with this date. Three of the chancel windows which were reset after the chancel was modified are also of this period. Therefore by the early 13th century, the church consisted of an aisled nave and chancel. The north aisle appears to have then been rebuilt around the 14th century and the south aisle during either the 14th or 15th century.

The perpendicular tower was a later addition. Its current design points to the 15th century but its oblong plan and the style of the tower arch suggests it was rebuilt at this time and that the original tower was built around the late 14th century. An interesting feature of the tower (as it was rebuilt in the 15th century) is that it incorporates a large dovecote for the rector's doves. The inner walls of the middle stage of the tower were once honeycombed with around 174 nesting boxes. The later addition of a brick chimney flue destroyed many of the boxes however, but the entrance and landing platform on the south face of the tower are still very much visible. The tower has 6 bells dating from the early 16th century onwards.

It is presumed that the present church stands on the site of a Saxon predecessor. The Domesday Book mentions a church valued at 10 shillings but described it as impoverished and dilapidated. The church owned half a hide of land in 1086. Its tithes went to the priest Gerald of Wilton. Sometime before 1228 it was granted to Wherwell Abbey where the Abbesses drew a pension of £8 from the church. Wherwell presented rectors until 1539 when their house was dissolved. The advowson, the right to present rectors, was then given in a manorial grant to Edward Seymour in 1536. This right passed periodically in and out of the hands of the manorial lords: the Dukes of Somerset and later the Ailesbury family. One of the Seymour family is buried at the church: Edward Seymour, fourth son of William Seymour (Earl of Hertford and later Duke of Somerset), who died in the parish April 28th 1631 aged only 11 months old. A brass in the church commemorates his death. The right of advowson was finally returned to the church in 1957.

In 1671 the cultivable land owned by the church had increased to 60 and a half acres scattered around the parish. Fifty-five acres of glebe land still belonged to the church in 1975 and were farmed along with Hougomont Farm. Although in 1553 the parishioners retained their old silver chalice (with 17oz of silver being sent to the king), all the plate currently used is from the 19th century with several pieces given by past rectors.

In 1676 the rector recorded that there were 170 conformists within the parish. In 1783 the rector complained of low attendances to services despite the fact that there were no dissenters listed in the parish. The quarterly Holy Communion was said to be attended by less than 20 people. On Census Sunday in 1851, 100 churchgoers were listed at the morning service and 90 in the afternoon, however the average attendance by 1864 was nearer 50. The church has been united in a benefice with both Collingbourne Kingston and Everleigh in the past but is now part of the Savernake Team.

The parish registers from 1653 (christenings and burials) and 1654 (marriages), other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre at Chippenham.

Church Search Results

There were 15 items found.

Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: 2010
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis
Church of St. Andrew, Collingbourne Ducis

Image Date: c.1907
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


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