WHCT Trustees met on Saturday 8th June 2019 and agreed 17 grants to churches in Wiltshire for vital fabric repairs, heating systems and community enhancements. See Grants
Friends Annual Reports
Each year the Friends of Wiltshire Churches publishes a compact report of the activities of the Trust and the Friends. These glossy booklets record the Friends Committee, New Members, Finances, Future Events, Trust Grants to Wiltshire Churches, the annual Ride & Stride and a comprehensive overview of the lectures, church tours and social events in a particular year. The booklets include high-grade pictures of beautiful churches and the varied activities of the Friends.
Friends Annual Report 2018
Please click the link below to read the Friends of Wiltshire Churches Annual Report 2018. Enjoy the overview of the contribution made by the Trust and the Friends and the vibrant annual programmes that are organised for the Friends.
Friends Annual Lecture 2019
Please click the link below to read the Friends Annual Lecture 2019, which was given by Julian Orbach.
Julian Orbach (pictured right) is an author and lecturer in architectural history. He was architectural adviser to the Victorian Society in 1975-7 and wrote the Blue Guide to Victorian Buildings in Britain, published in 1987. He worked on the listing of historic buildings in England until he moved to Wales in 1987 where he was similarly employed by Cadw. While in Wales he co-wrote three Welsh titles in The Buildings of Wales series, then in 2009 moved to Somerset to revise Pevsner’s volume on South and West Somerset in the Buildings of England series. He now lives in Bradford-on Avon, having moved there in June 2014 to begin revising the Wiltshire volume of the Buildings of England series.
Sir Nikolaus Pevsner’s picture is shown at the beginning of the lecture
St Mary, Lydiard Tregoze, is famous for its historic interiors, including the nationally significant medieval wall paintings, 17th Century monuments, ancient carved woodwork and star spangles ceiling. A wide-ranging conservation project will restore St Mary’s interiors amd make it more accessible to the public. This will include a welcoming interpretation and activity area.
Stage 1 of the St Mary Conservation Project was started in November 2018. The Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust contributed funds for the restoration of the rare medieval painting by Christmas.
Michael Hodges’s winter lecture to The Friends of Wiltshire Churches on The Church Monuments of Wilshire was so popular that he has published his historic research and pictures in the ideal booklet for anyone who is interested in the rich heritage of the church in Wiltshire.
The booklet will be available in October and can be pre-ordered now, as shown below.
The Church Monuments of Wiltshire
This booklet is the first comprehensive photographic guide to the church monuments of Wiltshire covering both those in Salisbury Cathedral and those in parish churches throughout the county.
It traces their history from various unknown Anglo-Saxon tombs in Ramsbury to that of Nikolaus Pevsner in Clyffe Pypard churchyard.
Salisbury Cathedral has a large collection of the tombs of medieval bishops. Effigies of medieval knights can be found there and elsewhere in the county.
The first evidence of the Renaissance is evident on the tomb of the 1st Lord Stourton at Stourton in 1536, and this new style was then further developed for later 16th century tombs at Lacock (Sir William Sharington) and Ludgershall (Sir Richard Brydges).
The 17th century saw a considerable number of “swagger” tombs at Lydiard Tregoze (the St Johns) and elsewhere.
Michael Hodges was educated at Eton and Balliol where he read history. He spent forty years as an investment banker. He is married to Veronica. He is a trustee of the Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a Deputy Lieutenant of Wiltshire.
Orders should be placed with and cheques addressed to:
Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust
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St Andrew’s Church in Castle Combe
St Andrew is a Grade I listed building. Part of the chancel is 13th-century while most of the rest of the building is from the 15th, reflecting the prosperity of the local wool and cloth industry. The tower was begun in 1434 and completed in 1576. In 1850–51 nearly all of the building, except the tower, was taken down and reconstructed to almost the same plan.
In recent years, the Churchwarden and PCC of St Andrew’s have been engaged in an intensive and comprehensive programme of projects to preserve the church fabric and its significant heritage. They have also taken the initiative to re-order and build new facilities to make the church fit for use by future generations. The Trust has supported this impressive initiative with grants for the repair of the church roof and for the restoration of the historic screen next to the knight’s tomb.
The St Andrew’s Church ‘Make History’ project was completed in August 2018. The Trust made a grant to fund the restoration of the carved , medieval oak screen adjacent to the knight’s tomb (Sir Walter de Dunstanville, d. 1270).
The restoration of this wooden screen by skilled craftsmen has returned it to its original design. This has opened up the oldest area of the church to create a small side chapel as a place for worship and quiet contemplation. This area had previously housed the vestry, behind a locked door, with plywood boarding and security spikes over the historic screen. The re-opening has revealed some of the Scrope family memorials and the details of a bequest ‘to pay the teaching of ten poor children to read the Scriptures.’ The magnificent Scrope stained glass window can also be appreciated in all its glory.
This significant work has been linked with the relocation of the vestry with a new kitchen and toilet into a purpose-built side annex of the church.
The Venerable Christine Froude, Archdeacon of Malmesbury, dedicated the new chapel and facilities in a ‘Make History’ Celebration and Dedication service on 31st August.