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Limpley Stoke Parish Church

Limpley Stoke, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

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Limpley Stoke church

Limpley Stoke church with the tomb of Joseph Clissild Daniel, inventor, in the foreground

The modern parish of Limpley Stoke is in an odd position, as a triangle of Wiltshire in what should really be Somerset. Likewise, its church is not at the centre of the parish, with its churchyard wall forming part of the border with Freshford in Somerset. It is possible that Limpley Stoke had once been part of the lands of the Abbey of Bath and was only added to the Manor of Bradford for the grant of 1001 by King Æthelred and so became part of Wiltshire, instead of Somerset. As part of Bath’s land, its position might make more sense and perhaps it was built by Bath rather than Shaftesbury.

The building consists of a nave and chancel with a square west tower that bears a short stone spire. On the north side is a porch with a round arch of the early 13th century. The church preserves some Saxon features, including its south door which became an internal arch when a south aisle was added in the 1920s. It is likely that much of the walling of the nave and perhaps tower is also of the Saxon period, but the windows are all of later periods.

It is said to have originally been dedicated to St Edith (Eadgyth), abbess of Wilton, but later and now dedicated to St Mary the Virgin.