Alderbury – History

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On the site of a medieval church, the present Grade 2 listed building was completed in 1858. The church is sited on the edge of the village of Alderbury in a conservation area, commanding a beautiful view over the Avon valley.  The churchyard is in a rural setting adjacent to an area of woodland including several ancient yew trees. One tombstone dated before the eighteenth century survives in the graveyard, which covers approximately one acre and surrounds the church. There are four commonwealth war graves.

The current church was designed by the architect T S Teulon. The church is built of flint with free-stone dressings and designed in the ‘Decorated’ style.  The building consists of a north west tower, south porch, a 6-bay nave, north aisle, chancel and transepts with a north west vestry.

The main body of the church is fitted with Victorian pews. The balusters of the choir stalls are said to be early eighteenth century and probably came from the old church. When the new church was built many of the tombstones removed from the graveyard were used to pave the floor. The rest of the floor is paved with Staffordshire tiles. The screen behind the altar is in pink tiles with a mosaic vine decoration. The pulpit is of Bath stone.

The windows include examples of good late C19 stained glass including signed windows by Morris & Co Ltd in the north transept chapel, a fine east window in Pre- Raphaelite style to Countess of Radnor died 1879 and the south transept window glass by Clayton and Bell. Another, in the south transept is probably by Hardman of Birmingham and is unique in that it has a green flying snake representing the devil.

In 1911 there were several changes of note; the move of the organ from the rear of the church to the south of the chancel, the construction of an entry to the vestry from the chancel, the move of the font to the extreme west of the church and the conversion of the space beneath the tower to a choir vestry. In recent years, a toilet has been built in this space and an upper room created above it. The north transept has been walled off from the main body of the church to form a new choir vestry.

The altar rails have square wrought iron panels made up from Scott’s screen removed from Salisbury Cathedral in 1960. The altar frontal was created by Sophie Hacker in 2022 . The design focuses on the symbol of the circle, with Alpha on the left and Omega on the right. There is a wall tablet in finely carved slate on the south side of the chancel to Thomas Stringer of Ivychurch, who died in 1702. A tablet on the north side has the initials RGM below a shield with the date 1612. The shield had been housed in the previous church and relates to Richard Goldstone, the first recorded lay rector of Alderbury who lived at Witherington Farm, just outside the Parish of Alderbury and his wife Margaret. Both were buried in the chancel of Alderbury church.