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Wiltshire Community History

Christ Church, Broad Town

The present church was built in 1844-1845 and is a Grade II listed building. At the time of building Broad Town was not a civil parish, but was split between Broad Hinton and Clyffe Pypard. It was proposed in 1843 that because of the distance people in Broad Town had to travel to get to church in Broad Hinton or Clyffe Pypard, a church should be built in the village of Broad Town.

The land was given by Horatio Nelson Goddard; he belonged to the Goddard family who were local landowners. Subscriptions for the structure totalled £664.6s.5d., which meant the building could begin. Eight members of the Goddard family gave money and a large amount of money was also given by the Marchioness of Ailesbury. The church is found at the north end of the main street running through Broad Town and was built to the designs of W. Hinton Campbell. The church was consecrated on 12th April 1845 by Doctor Davison, the Lord Bishop of Salisbury. It was at that point known as the Consolidated Chapelry of Broad Town in the parish of Broad Hinton.

It was hard to find a rector for the church as there was no real fixed income and no vicarage or parsonage house. The congregation had to wait for a year until Reverend William Farley arrived in late 1846. He stayed until 1853 when he resigned; he did however stay in the village until his death in 1866. The same problem of attracting a vicar remained; the Reverend Alex Morrison came to Broad Town in 1856, meaning for three years the villagers were looked after by the curate at Broad Hinton. Broad Town became a separate ecclesiastical parish, distinct from Broad Hinton and Clyffe Pypard, in 1857.

The first burial in the church graveyard was in June 1847, when Thomas Glade, a young boy, was buried. The second was Hannah Tuck on September 20th of the same year. She was 61. The vicarage was eventually built in 1857 on two acres of land on Pye Lane. It is now privately occupied.

There was a major reconstruction and refurbishment of Christ Church in 1937.
The church had fallen into a mild state of disrepair; the timber in the roof and walls had been eaten away by dry rot and woodworm and the glass in the windows had either disappeared or was broken. The church graveyard was also dangerously close to being full. The church was closed as it was considered unsafe. Services were held instead in the Village “Hut” or Vicarage when it was available. A new stone tiled roof was put into the church and electric lights were installed. A new pulpit and lectern were also built. It is thought that it cost around £1,000 to restore the church. The church re-opened on 20th September 1937 and there was a service given by the Bishop of Salisbury.

The church has a long connection with Wootton Bassett; in 1951 there ceased to be a vicar at Broad Town and the church was instead was allied with St. Bartholomew and All Saints Church in Wootton Bassett. The vicar of Wootton Bassett therefore was also was the vicar of Broad Town. The first was the Reverend Richard Sharp. However, this arrangement ended in 1974 when it was decided that Wootton Bassett needed more of the vicar's attention. In 1980, the benefice of Broad Town, Clyffe Pypard and Tockenham was created. Reverend John Hopkins was the first to oversee all three churches. Now, Broad Town is part of the Woodhill benefice, comprising Broad Town, Clyffe Pypard, Hilmarton and Tockenham.

The parish registers from 1847, other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham. Entries earlier than 1847 will be found in the registers of Broad Hinton and Clyffe Pypard, which are also at the History Centre.

Church Search Results

There were 7 items found.

Christ Church, Broad Town
Christ Church, Broad Town

Image Date: 1984
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Christ Church, Broad Town
Christ Church, Broad Town

Image Date: 2011
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Christ Church, Broad Town
Christ Church, Broad Town

Image Date: 2011
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Christ Church, Broad Town
Christ Church, Broad Town

Image Date: 2011
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Christ Church, Broad Town
Christ Church, Broad Town

Image Date: 2011
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Christ Church, Broad Town
Christ Church, Broad Town

Image Date: 2011
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Christ Church, Broad Town
Christ Church, Broad Town

Image Date: 2011
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


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