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St Mary’s Parish Church

Broughton Gifford, in the Hundred of Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Parish Church, Broughton Gifford

The parish church of Broughton Gifford, dedicated to St Mary, stands on a low hill overlooking a ford, now bridged, of the brook that gives Broughton its name. A charter of King John in 1200 confirmed that Shaftesbury Abbey was in possession of “the chapel of Broctone with its lands and tithes, given by Gundrada with her kinswoman Albreda de Bosco Roaldae”, perhaps a century previously. It has a battlemented west tower in 15th century perpendicular style with gargoyles, while the body is 13th century Early English gothic, with an arcade on the north of the nave. A south chapel was added in about 1300 and next to it the perpendicular style south porch, which originally had an upper room. The building was in poor condition in the early 19th century and work was carried out by architect Thomas Henry Wyatt (1807-1880) in 1850 and was further ‘restored’, or altered in 1878, by G.G. Scott (probably George Gilbert Scott jr (1839-1897)), also extending the north aisle towards the east, inserting the present east chancel window and rebuilding the roof timbers, at a cost of £2,000.

cross and Parish Church, Broughton Gifford

The monolithic stone in the churchyard near the chancel is probably the oldest thing still standing in Broughton Gifford. Bearing what seems to be a weathered carved pattern, it is thought to have been the base and part of the shaft of a cross and to date from the 12th century, which would place it at about the time of the first church’s foundation.