A new book about St Mary’s Church Great Bedwyn celebrates its 1,110 year history

Written by Tony Millett.

To mark the 1,110 years that the church of St Mary's has served the people of Great Bedwyn, a book has been published covering the history of the church, its architecture and principal monuments, with notes on the changes over the centuries to religion in Wiltshire.

The 80-page hard-back with colour illustrations includes a description of the church written in 1835 by the Rev John Ward - vicar of St Mary’s from 1826-1850.

There is a chapter on the architectural history by Anthony Henniker-Gotley, and of the Walker Organ by Andrew Hutchison. The section on illuminated manuscripts is by Graham Bathe and the notes on the changes to religion in Wiltshire by Alan Deboo.

Other chapters cover the Seymour Memorials (Sir John Seymour, father of Lady Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry V111), the Frances Devereux Memorial (Duchess of Somerset), the Tower, the Timber Screen, the Clock, the West Wall and Victorian re-building and the Font.

There are also descriptions of the Bells (dating back to 1625), the Stained Glass windows, the Churchyard, the Vestry and Rectors.  There is also a description of St Mary’s in Shakespeare’s time by Sue Challen.

Other contributors include Val Patrick, Bill Marchant Smith, David Harris, David Haines and David Zeke for most of the contemporary photographs.

The idea for the book was Anthony Henniker-Gotley’s, a former Warden of the church who compiled and designed it jointly with Mick Goss.

The book was edited by James Flecker and is sponsored jointly by the Friends of St Mary’s and the Bedwyn History Society. All proceeds go towards church fabric fund.

To order a copy (priced at £15) 'phone 01672 870 133 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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