Longbridge Deverill, St Peter & St Paul Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Bath Chapel memorials to the Thynne family of Longleat
Thomas a Bomas, a big-bellied man,
He ate more meat than three score men
He ate a cow, he ate a calf
He ate a butcher and a half.
He ate the church, he ate the steeple,
He ate the priest and all the people.
The east window is by the famous Kempe studio, and is considered one of Kempe's best works. The window was installed in 1931 to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the church.
The undoubted highlight of St Peter & St Paul's is the Bath Chapel, which houses tombs to the Thynne family of nearby Longleat House and stands above the Thynne family vault. The Thynne's original manor house stood to the north side of the church, but the only evidence today is a stone wall running down to the River Wylye. Local legend says that if the wall falls down the Thynne family line will die out.
The striking Art Noveau font in the Bath Chapel is the work of sculptor Sir Alfred Gilbert, who crafted the famous statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus. The font is a memorial to JB Thynne, killed in a riding accident in 1882. It originally had a silver figure on top, but this was unfortunately stolen in 1902.
Also in the chapel is a marble 18th century memorial to Sir John Thynne, who actually died several centuries earlier, in 1580. There are marbles to the 2nd Marquess of Bath (d. 1837) and Elizabeth, Marchioness of Bath, who died in 1825.
On the west wall hang armour associated with the Thynne family. Among the armour is a helmet worn by Sir John Thynne at the Battle of Pinkie in 1547, where he served as Seneschal to the Protector Somerset.
The altar tomb in the centre of the chapel was brought here from Hill Deverill church when it closed in 1984. The tomb base is carved with heraldic symbols commemorating William Ludlow (d. 1478) and his descendants. One of those descendants was Edmund Ludlow, a Parliamentary soldier who signed the death warrant of Charles I.
Throughout the church are fantastic gilded screens in Baroque style, given by Canon John Brocklebank. There is a 16th century font with a later Jacobean cover.
About Longbridge Deverill
Address: Church Street, Longbridge Deverill, Wiltshire, England, BA12 7DL
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Immediately off the A350 at the north end of the village. Small paring area at the end of Church Lane. Usually open daylight hours.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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