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Wiltshire Community History

Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

The church at Great Wishford is dedicated to St. Giles and has been known as such since 1386. There was a chapel at Great Wishford in 1207 and it is likely that this was the predecessor of the current church.

The church has a chancel, north vestry, nave with south porch, and a west tower. It is built of chequered chalk and flint. The font is Norman, lined with lead and decorated on the sides with carved columns. The nave was rebuilt in the 19th century, replacing a 12th century original. The chancel dates from the 13th century and the south aisle and possibly the tower were built in the 1300s. The tower was extended in the 16th century.

There was a dispute as to the holder of the advowson at the start of the 13th century, for the abbess of Wilton and lord of the manor, Henry Daubney, both claimed it lay with them. The abbess gave up her claim to the advowson in 1208 "except for the ancient pension which the church of Newton is accustomed to receive from the chapel of Wishford." The advowson therefore went to Daubney. The manor descended in moieties (the manor was split in two) and the advowson was given in turns to each moiety until 1576. The advowson remained with the manor and now belongs to the earl of Pembroke, although there were a few exceptional presentations in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The church holds a monument to Sir Richard Grobham, lord of the manor, who died in 1629; this also commemorates his wife, Margaret. Upon the monument is his coat of arms, showing a lion on a shield. There are also monuments within the church to Nicholas and Edith de Bonham, who died in the 14th century.

There was an extensive restoration of the church in 1863 and 1864. A document of that time stated: "The ancient church yielded insufficient accommodation to the inhabitants". Changes were to the designs of architect T. H. Wyatt while the work itself was carried out by T. Miles of Shaftesbury. The chancel arch, the nave and north south aisles, some windows and the porch were all rebuilt, but in a 14th century style. The church interior was widened, allowing more people into the church. Some 224 people could now be seated, compared with the previous number of 140. The chancel had a new roof and the tower was rebuilt with many embellishments. The cost of the rebuilding is reported to have been £2,141.6.6d.

The new church was opened on 22nd September 1864 at 11.00 a.m. by the Bishop of Salisbury. After the ceremony there was a celebratory dinner and that evening 143 gallons of beer and 28 bottles of sherry were drunk.

A rectory was built in the early 17th century. Parts of this survives in the current building which dates from the beginning of the 18th century. The interior was changed at the beginning of the 19th century. This building remained as the vicarage until 1976 when it was sold for use as a private house and a new building to replace it was erected to the north of the church.

The churchyard was enlarged in 1710 with land granted by Sir Richard Howe, who was the great-great-nephew of Sir Richard Grobham. The churchyard wall was rebuilt to accommodate this new land. There is a sundial below the east window, which was installed at the start of the 20th century, having previously been positioned to the north of the window.

There were two bells in the church in 1553. By the 18th century this had been increased to five; in 1887 (Queen Victoria's Jubilee year) the number four bell was recast. The bell tower was restored and repaired in 1978, after years of not being able to ring the bells, as it was too dangerous to do so. The five bells were taken to Taylor and Co. at Loughborough where the work took place. By October of 1978 the tower had been restored and the bells rang out once again. The cost of the tower's restoration was £15,000, much of which sum came from fundraising in the parish. A rededication ceremony took place on 28th January 1979, led by the Bishop of Salisbury, with the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire and Lord Pembroke also in attendance.

The Victorian organ was bought for the church in 1855 for £105. It was enlarged and improved in the 1864 restoration of the church. Behind the organ in the church is the symbol and emblem of the Oak Apple Club. In the churchyard are "Bread Stones", which recorded the price of bread from between 1800 and 1971. In 1800 the cost was "3/4d per gallon". There are two war memorials in the church; one showing the names of 13 men who died during World War One and the other showing the two names of the men who died in World War Two.

Registers of baptisms, marriages and burials date from 1558 (with a gap in marriage records between 1747 and 1754) other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre at Chippenham.

Church Search Results

There were 24 items found.

Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford
Church of St. Giles, Great Wishford

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


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