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Easton Royal

Church of the Holy Trinity, Easton Royal

Church of the Holy Trinity, Easton Royal Date Photo Taken 2014
Uploaded 05/11/2014 10:25:12
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Map Latitude 51.342365821576585 : Longitude -1.7042286694049835
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

17th century graffiti on inner column of porch doorway.

A new parish church was built in 1591 for Sir Edward Seymour, Early of Hertford and dedicated to the Holy Trinity by 1763. It was built of rubble and consists of an undivided sanctuary and nave, with a south tower incorporating a vestry and with a north porch. The body of the church and the porch survive from 1591. A wall of presumably the west tower fell in or shortly before 1668. By 1806 the tower had been removed and replaced by a bell turret above the west bay of the nave. In 1852-3 the bell turret was removed, the nave was extended towards by one bay, the south tower was built, and the church was generally restored.

In 1536 the bells in the priory church belonged to the parish. There were three in 1553. The bells hung in the new church in 1591, presumably the same three, were replaced by a tenor cast by John Wallis in 1607, a bell cast by John Danton in 1663, and a treble cast by Robert Wells in 1764. The treble was removed from the church in 1984, and not replaced. The other two bells hung in the church in 1995. The tower was added by Wyatt in 1851. A tablet was placed here in 1950 to remember the Esturmy family of 1245-1427 and Sir John Seymour.

Three Powell brasses of the 19th century and one Great War brass are on the south side. In the churchyard on the west side a chest tomb in limestone dates to the 19th century. A coffin tomb dates to 1707, a plain table is raised for Mary Francis, died 1758 and her daughter Elizabeth, died 1796. Three chest tomb on the west side date to late 18th or early 19th century, two on the east row and the third on the west row.

The oak pulpit, sanctuary rails and pews date to the 19th century whereas the font, a small, limestone bowl on stem, date back to the building of the church in 1591. The white and grey marble wall tablet on the north wall dates to 1820. Also on the north wall is a raised chest with anchor, cross and chain over dedicated to David Llewellyn who died at sea in 1864 in the American Civil War when he was surgeon on a Confederate war steamer, the Alabama, and, refusing to endanger the wounded, went down with the ship when it was sunk by the Federal steamer Kearsage off Cherbourg,. The memorial slab erected in 1950 is a memorial for Sir Geoffrey Esturmey who died in 1245, later family and successors including Sir John Seymour who died in 1465. The other tablets and slates are dedicated to various persons including Mary Cooper and William Butcher.

The register was probably stolen when the church was robbed in about 1550, and in 1553 was not being kept. Registers from exist from 1580 and are complete, entries from 1580-1603 being transcripts, and all, apart from those in current use, are held at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham.

The inventory of articles belonging to Easton Church 1894 include: a prayer book and hymn book on the Prayer Desk; a prayer book, brass cross and two brass candlesticks on the Communion Table; a Bible presented by Rev. Vaughan and a Bible on the Reading Desk; a prayer book presented again by Rev. Vaughan, A Bible and frontal cloth on the pulpit; a Ewer on the Font; an oil stone, 11 large lamps, two small lamps on the organ, one small lamp on the pulpit, one ladder and one Turk's head in the vestry; a silver plate (1728), a silver cup (1682) and one wine flagon (1891) kept for the Holy Communion.

The church was restored and re-seated in 1855 and repaired in 1879; in 1884 it was altered and decorated at the expense of Ernest, 4th Marquess of Ailesbury. The living was united with that of neighbouring Milton Lilbourne in 1929 and in 1991 this benefice was united with Pewsey and Wootton River rectories.

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