Aldbourne, Wiltshire, St Michael's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Elizabethan Goddard tomb and early 17th century Walrond Monument
The Walronds were probably related to the Goddard family, and in the south transept is an even grander monument to unknown members of the Goddard family. There are six kneeling figures on the Goddard monument, but they appear to have been added after the monument was erected, so they were perhaps not even the family the monument was intended to remember. Set into the floor near the memorial are late medieval brasses to Richard and Elizabeth Goddard of Upham House. Richard Goddard is thought to be the man responsible for financing the 15th century rebuilding of St Michael's.
One historical feature which you will probably miss if you didn't already know it was there is a mediebal wallpainting, half hidden in the dark shadows above one of the south aisle arches. This is a simple decorative pattern of rosettes and curving lines. Close by are the royal arms of Queen Anne. You will note that the arms feature the lion of Scotland, so we know it must have been painted after the Act of Union in 1707 and before Anne's death in 1714.
One unusual feature - or should I say two - is a pair of wooden fire engines, nicknamed Adam and Eve, kept in the church for safekeeping. These were purchased in 1778 after two damaging fires in the village. They were purchased from John Bristow Engine Maker in London. For many years they were lodged in a specially built Engine House close to the church.
The font is 17th century, and the finely carved pulpit is Jacobean, brought to Aldbourne from Speen church.
Summing up St Michael's
Aldbourne's parish church is an absolute delight. The location, for a start, is simply wonderful, and the combination of long village green and historic cottages make a marvellous picture, with the church looking out across the green and the old cross. The interior furnishings are splendid; the Goddard memorial is full of fanciful detail, the Stone tomb is one of the best examples I've ever seen, and the Walrond monument is beautifully preserved. All in all, Aldbourne is well worth making a detour to see.
About Aldbourne, St Michael's
Address: Crooked Corner, Aldbourne, Wiltshire, England
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: The church is at the far end of the end of the village green. Parking around the green and on side roads.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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Ashdown House - 4 miles (Historic House)
Lambourn, St Michael's Church - 4.2 miles (Historic Church)
Lambourn Woodlands, St Mary's Church - 4.4 miles (Historic Church)
Ashbury, St Mary Church - 5.7 miles (Historic Church)
Seven Barrows - 6 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Wayland's Smithy - 6.1 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Nearest Accommodation to Aldbourne, St Michael's: