A Brief History

A brief history of St. Matthew’s

The historical importance of St. Matthew’s Church is long recorded. A Saxon Church in Rowde was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. By medieval times there was a stone church, from which the chancel although altered remains. A tower was built in the 15th century and still remains as the west tower of the church. Much of the church we see today dates from the 19th century. In 1833, the nave was rebuilt. It is in cut stone with slate roofs and embattled parapets. Arcades and aisles were added in 1860.

The font, in the style of the 15th century, was given by Rowde born architect Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt in 1850, who went on to design Paddington Station. The north porch was built in 1871 and an organ installed in the north chapel. In 1901 the chancel walls were raised and a new roof provided. The registers from 1660, other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire & Swindon Record Office.

Changes that took place in the late 20th century, include the addition of a kitchen and toilet, a new bell platform, a children’s area and new boilers, which mean that the church is no longer damp.




Based on information taken from: history.wiltshire.gov.uk/comment/getchurch.php