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Church of St. Andrew, Boscombe

Church of St. Andrew, Boscombe Date Photo Taken 2012
Uploaded 02/05/2013 16:53:11
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Map Latitude 51.145931677325216 : Longitude -1.714642345905304
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swiindon History Centre

15th century Trussed Rafter and Plaster Vaulted Roof of Chancel.

Boscombe church is mentioned as early as the 12th century. By the mid 17th century it was suggested that it merge with Allington and part of Idmiston, but this suggestion was rejected. However, it did unite with Allington rectory by 1924 and then became part of the Bourne Valley benefice by 1973.
It was originally granted to St. Neots Priory in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire and was given in 1227 to the Bishop of Salisbury in exchange for a pension. Rectors included John Barnaby in 1564, Thomas Painter in 1584 and Richard Hooker in 1595 who wrote part of his 'Ecclesiastical polity' here, printed in 1594. James White, previous rector of Rollestone preached once every Sunday using the Book of Common Prayer, but did not observe feasts and thanksgiving days.In 1291 the rectory was worth £3. 6s. 8d., £14 in 1535 and £60 in 1650. By 1830 it was valued at £330 and was one of the richer livings of the Amesbury deanery. The rectory house was built in the15th century in the north-south hall style and now only the north end survives. An upper floor was added in the 17th century.

In 1851 on Census Sunday 73 people attended the morning service with 79 at the afternoon service. By 1864 the rector lived in the parish and services were held every Sunday for between 50 and 60 people. From 1891 H. W. Barclay was also rector of Allington and the first incumbent of the united benefice.

The church has been known as St. Andrews Church since at least 1763 and is built of rubble with ashlar dressings and has a chancel, a nave with north transept, and a west bellcot. It is possible that the thick walls that survive today are part of the original 12th century church. By the 15th century the roofs were rebuilt, nave windows were inserted and in the 17th century the transept was built and chancel windows made. In 1709 the floors were re-paved and box pews constructed. The 1623 pulpit was reset and a small south facing window inserted above it; all of these features still remain. In 1755 the east wall was rebuilt and in the 19th century the nave roof was reconstructed. The transept was screened in the 20th century using panelling to create a vestry and weather boarding on the bellcot was replaced by shingles after 1805.
In 1553 a chalice was left for the parish and a chalice, paten and flagon, hallmarked 1708 and given in 1709, are still at the church. In 1553 there were two bells recorded; one cast by Richard Florey in 1676 also hangs in the bellcot and an 18th century bell by William Tonier fell in the 20th century and was stolen in 1961. Parish registers survive from 1696 and can be viewed at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham.

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