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Wiltshire Community History

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Church of St. Peter, Manningford Bruce

Church of St. Peter, Manningford Bruce Date Photo Taken 2013
Uploaded 07/08/2014 14:54:40
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Map Latitude 51.321123313419825 : Longitude -1.8009907007217407
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

The church was built in the late 11th or early 12th centuries but the first mention of the church is in 1291 and this is when it was dedicated. The first presentation of a rector was made in 1341 by Mary de Breuse. In 1783, services in the Chapel were held once, alternatively in the morning and the afternoon. In 1812, there was still only one service, and there were 30 to 40 communicants. In 1864, the format for Sundays had changed with there being an afternoon service every week and alternate morning services.

The building dates from the 11th century. Nave and chancel date from this era, and include two windows in the chancel, the chancel arch, a window to the north of the nave, and the north and south doorways. The south porch is of 13th century origin and alterations such as the enlargement of the south nave window and the western bell tower are 15th century. The building was restored in 1882, when the nave and the porch were rebuilt, the roofs were all replaced, and the bell turret, with wooden spire, was added. The external plasterwork was removed to reveal the flint walls. This restoration work revealed a wall painting of the Last Judgement beneath the plaster of the north wall of the nave. The community here never grew in size and was not particularly prosperous and so the church has remained much as it was in the 12th century.

The church has possession of a chalice from 1553, and another of the late 16th century; and a paten, which was a gift from the Bliss family, is hallmarked 1881. There were two pewter plates and a flagon marked 1727, but only one of the plates survived until 1971.

The rectory, which was called Manningford Bruce House in 1971, contains part of a timber framed building and is probably a restoration of the rectory mentioned in 1678.

The church registers are preserved today and are held in the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham. Baptisms are recorded from 1657 to 1916, marriages from 1660 to 1983, and burials from 1658 to 1986.

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