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Church of All Saints, Enford

Church of All Saints, Enford Date Photo Taken 2012
Uploaded 18/12/2013 15:23:13
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Map Latitude 51.26368807229764 : Longitude -1.8001645803451538
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

West door and window in the tower.

The existence of a church at Enford is implied in the Domesday Book when it refers to a priest; mention of a priest was somewhat rare in Wiltshire in the 11th century and of all the county's villages documented in Domesday Book, only five have priests, although it is thought that they existed elsewhere but without lands and so were not recorded in the survey. The church, situated at on the west bank of the Avon, is made of flint rubble and ashlar.

A vicarage was first mentioned in 1588. In 1783 it was showing its age and had become run down. It was restored by James Boyer, vicar between 1782 and 1793. It was slightly enlarged the following year. Service quarters and outbuildings were added in the 19th century.

In 1676, Sarah Methwold sold the advowson (the patronage of presenting a vacant church position to a new incumbent) to Christ's Hospital in London.

The church at Enford is dedicated to All Saints. There are sections of an earlier church, such as walls and remnants of a church arch, but the current arch is Norman.
In the 13th century, the north aisle, north wall of chancel and octagonal sacristy were all built. The bells of the church date from the 16th century. There were originally four bells but a fifth was added in 1619. In 1913, all five were recast by a Mr John Taylor of Loughborough and a 6th was also added by him. The only peal ever rung on these bells was on 29 September 1956 for a wedding reception. Local writer Fred Phillimore was one of the team of six who completed the peal in three and a half hours.

In 1817, the spire fell, damaging the south porch and doorway. The spire was not replaced, unlike the original sundial which was damaged in the accident. The sundial was replaced by a clock. It had no face and probably only struck the hours. A face was added when it was repaired in 1846. Prior to this repair was a period of restoration between 1825 and 1830. A gallery was built to hold 12 singers, 50 children and an organ. (However, this gallery was removed in 1892, while the font was moved, the pulpit replaced and the whole church given a new ceiling.) The present organ was made by J.S. Eagle of Hackney Road, London, and was installed in 1859.

Vicars at Enford were assisted by curates in the 18th and 19th centuries. Weekday services were very rare. Congregations averaged 160 on Sundays in 1864. In 1973, Enford was combined with Netheravon and Fittleton. From 1976, the vicar for All Saints lived in Netheravon.

The parish registers from 1631 (christenings) and 1633 (marriages and burials), other than those in current use in the church, are held in the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre at Chippenham.

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