Westwood: St Mary the Virgin, Westwood

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The church and neighbouring Manor House (NT) date back to the late 12th century. The nave was built in the 15th century in the perpendicular style, followed by the tower and chapel on the North side some 50 - 70 years later. The distinctive tower with its beautifully carved cupola can be seen from miles around. Similar to other churches in Wiltshire and Somerset it was probably built by the same group of masons. Its upper parts are richly decorated and grotesque gargoyles adorn the tower. Unlike others, the tower here has a spiral staircase that leads to the belfry, which hosts a peal of six bells.
The interior has some unique items worthy of note. The medieval glass of the chancel, believed to be 15th century, is a beautiful and striking feature. The panel of the East window depicting the Incarnation of Christ, is unusually symbolised by lilies and his crucifixion. The symbolism of lilies is exclusively English and it is believed that only seven instances exist. The angels holding shields bearing symbols of the Passion in the side panels of the East window and most of the glass in the lancet windows are believed to be of the same date.
The nave was rebuilt in the late 18th century and holds only a little of the original glass, although the circular crucifixion scene on the lancet window on the North side is believed to be by a 16th century Flemish artist.
The font is early 13th century and has an elaborately carved 16th century oak cover, a replica of the cupola on the turret of the tower. Above the font on the West wall is a carved winged demon which dates to the early 16th century. He is known as either "the old lad of Westwood" or "the devil of Limpley Stoke" and is gnashing his teeth at every new child baptised. Underneath is a faint inscription which reads "Resist me and I will flee".

The Parish has been part of the Benefice of Bradford on Avon Holy Trinity, Westwood and Wingfield since 2013, and for further information both about Westwood and the Benefice, please follow the link to the benefice website:  www.htboa.org.  We are a very friendly, welcoming and traditional village church, very much rooted in our community - and in a very beautiful setting.  And we are enjoying an increasing number of weddings and christenings, and so do please contact the Rector if you might be interested.  Just across the Churchyard are the newly refurbished 'Parish Rooms' (with accessible toilet) - which offer the perfect venue for a party afterwards. And the church is open every day, so we look forward to seeing you soon!                          

Parish boundary view Bird's eye view

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Revd Canon Joanna Abecassis
18A Woolley Street
Bradford on Avon
BA15 1AF
(01225) 864444 (Rector)

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  • Regular Services
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Family Service
Half hour service aimed at families with children.
Every first Sunday at 11:15 AM for ¾ hour
Family Friendly Refreshments
Parish Communion
Every second and fourth Sunday at 11:15 AM
Common Worship
Mattins (BCP)
Every third Sunday at 11:15 AM
Book of Common Prayer


Stained Glass
Church Open The church is open when Westwood Manor (NT) is open on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday afternoons between April and September
Other information
A Church Near You ID (venue number): 9666
Archdeaconry: WILTS (344)
Deanery: BRADFORD (34402)
Parish Legal Name: Westwood (340521 )
CofE Church Info: (634521 34/521)
Short URL: acny.uk/9666/
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The current editor is: Joanna Abecassis

This page was last updated on Tuesday 12th September 2017
Westwood: St Mary the Virgin : Farleigh Lane, Westwood, Wiltshire, BA15 2AF - Turn off the main street at the New Inn, and the church is situated next to Westwood Manor (National Trust)

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