Upton Lovell, St Augustine of Canterbury Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 15th century effigy of a knight
Five generations of the Lovell family held the manor here, but after the Lovells backed Richard III in the lead-up to the Battle of Bosworth, it was seized by Henry VII.
In 1619 Thomas Hickman became rector. Hickman was a staunch Royalist, and when the Civil War broke out he formed a mounted troop at his own expense, and sent the troop off to fight, with his son, Samuel, in charge as captain. The younger Hickman died at the Battle of Newbury, hit by a cannon ball. Reverend Hickman was deprived of his living under Cromwell. In 1645 he was brought to trial, his possessions seized, and he was thrown in prison for a month. When released he had to pay £100 to have his possessions returned. Despite several petitions to Charles II after the Restoration of the Monarchy, the family was never recompensed for their losses.
In 1794 the rector, John Crouch, gave the interest on £500 to hire a schoolmaster to teach 6 poor children. The children attended lessons every day, except at harvest time, and were expected to learn reading, writing, and on Sundays, their religious catechism. The school was held in the maste's house, but in 1847 rector William Gray released glebe land beside the rectory as space to erect a school building. A school house was built in 1871 and later became a 'National School' under the auspices of the National Society for Promoting the Poor in the Principles of The Established Church. It is now the village hall and stands almost immediately opposite the west door of the church.
The slender font is 12th century, made of Tisbury stone. On the south side of the chancel is a worn effigy of a knight, his armour in a style used from 1380-1430. On the effigy's left arms the date 1422 is carved. We do not know who the knight is meant to represent, but it may be John, the 5th Lord Lovell (d. 1408), or his son John (d. 1414).
I loved St Augustine's; the interior is full of historic interest, and the setting is idyllic. The little village hall (the old schoolhouse) was a delightful Victorian counterpoint to the medieval church.
About Upton Lovell
Address: Up Street, Upton Lovell, Wiltshire, England, BA12 0JW
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Beside the village hall, on Up Street, off the A36. 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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Nearest Accommodation to Upton Lovell: