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Wiltshire Community History

Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon

William of Malmesbury recorded that Aldhelm, bishop of Malmesbury, founded a church in Bradford. St. Aldhelm lived from c.640 to 709 and both the monastery and church are likely to have been built towards the end of his life, probably in 705. The church, as it now stands, appears to have been built in the reign of King Aethelred II (978-1016) and is of the late 10th century. It has a very small nave, 25 feet long, 2 porticus and a square ended chancel, which is 13 feet long. The whole church is very high in proportion to its width. There are 2 sculpted 'flying' angels on the east wall of the nave, but this is not their original position. It is believed that the remains of a Saxon cross above the altar is likely to be one of seven that marked the resting places of the body of St. Aldhelm on the journey from Doulting (Somerset), where he died, to Malmesbury Abbey. The church was lost for many centuries until it was rediscovered in 1856 by Canon Jones, of Holy Trinity Church, who had found the reference to it in the writings of William of Malmesbury. By his time it was completely hemmed in by other buildings, modern windows had been inserted, the chancel arch had been replaced by a chimney, built using stones from the arch, and there was a staircase in the porch leading to an upper room that was being used as a school. The chancel had been made into a three storey cottage. The church was restored although the marks left by adjacent buildings and inserted windows can still be seen.

Church Search Results

There were 8 items found.

Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon
Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon

Image Date: 2002
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon
Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon

Image Date: 2002
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon
Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon

Image Date: c.1900
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon
Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon

Image Date: c.1900
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon
Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon

Image Date: c.1900
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon
Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon

Image Date: c.1900
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon
Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon

Image Date: 2009
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon
Church of St. Laurence, Bradford on Avon

Image Date: 2009
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


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