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Wiltshire Community History

Church of St. Mary, Eysey

The church of St. Mary was a small building of stone in the Perpendicular style. It had a chancel, nave, south porch and a small turret on the western gable with just one bell. This would seem to indicate that there were never many people or much wealth in the parish. There were seats for 100 people. This church had been built in 1844 replacing a medieval one, which was doubtless in a ruinous state and had been demolished. The later church would seem to have been a copy of the early one with the addition of a bell turret. A church here was in use in 1195 and would have been here at an earlier date though unrecorded. The first recorded incumbent was one Nicholas in 1236. The registers, which date from 1571, end in 1947 and so it would seem that the church was redundant from that year although burials of local people would still have taken place.

The church, which was on a small hill, which gave it a considerable eminence in this flat Thames valley landscape, was finally demolished in 1953. The graveyard was surrounded by trees, which have now grown into a very dense thicket. This hill is covered by a series of banks and ditches, indicating a considerable settlement site above the low-lying ground. The parish registers from 1574 (christenings and Burials) and 1575 (marriages) are held in the Wiltshire & Swindon Record Office at Chippenham.

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