Wilton, St Mary's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
St Mary's moment in the spotlight of history came in 1229 when Bishop Bingham of Salisbury was consecrated here, as the new cathedral at nearby Salisbury was still under construction. The church served Wilton for over 600 years - indeed at one point it was one of three churches on the Market Place - until a new parish church was built in 1845.
Most of the old church was pulled down, leaving only the medieval chancel and one bay of the nave. The church was in poor condition until Robert Bingham, American Ambassador to London, stepped forward in 1933.
Bingham claimed, perhaps with a healthy dose of wishful thinking, to be a direct descendant of Bishop Bingham. Whether true or not, the 20th century Bingham funded the restoration of the chancel, which has preserved it intact to the present day.
To the right of the altar is the oldest memorial in the church, that of Thomas Mell, whose epitaph proclaims that he was, 'Once servant to the Right Honourable William, Earl of Pembroke, afterwards to King James and King Charles, also mayor of the borough of Wilton. Died the 21st of March, Anno Domini 1625'.
The chancel features a very fine Georgian ceiling and a collection of historic wall monuments. The building is now under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust, and keyholder details are posted outside the door.
About Wilton, St Mary's Church
Address: Market Place, Wilton, Wiltshire, England, SP2 0HQ
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: On the A30 in the centre of Wilton, 3 miles west of Salisbury
Website: Wilton, St Mary's Church
Churches Conservation Trust
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Wilton Italianate Church - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
Wilton House - 0.2 miles (Historic House)
Old Sarum - 2.5 miles (Castle)
Mompesson House - 3 miles (Historic House)
Salisbury Museum - 3 miles (Museum)
Stratford Tony Church - 3 miles (Historic Church)
Salisbury Cathedral - 3.1 miles (Cathedral)
Heale Gardens - 3.7 miles (Garden)
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