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Kilmington is a rural village, which was in Somerset until very early in the 20th century, when it became part of Wiltshire. There was a settlement in Saxon times. With a strong farming tradition, the village has eight working farms (dairy, arable and beef). In past times, Kilmington was on the main route for drovers taking sheep from the southwest to Salisbury or London. Livestock would graze on Kilmington Common or be placed in the sheep pound in Cote Lane, which has been restored recently. The River Wylye rises in Kilmington, and the village enjoys a beautiful setting with views over Long Knoll and White Sheet Down.
St Mary’s Church was originally built in 1338, but was substantially rebuilt in 1867. It is a Grade 11* listed building. The 60 foot tower is said to have been built in 1420 by an architect (Sir Richard Bray) who may have been a relation of Sir Reginald Bray, the architect who designed Henry VII’s chapel in Westminster Abbey. The tower was restored in 1906, and the church’s history includes being the setting for the infamous Hartgill Murders in 1557. The organ was fully restored in September 1997, and many concerts have been held in the church.
Services are held monthly, normally on the second Sunday of the month. The parish website is www.upperstour.net. The church is normally locked, but a notice on the gate noticeboard gives contacts where a key can be obtained from very nearby.
The church is available for baptisms, weddings and funerals. Initial enquiries should be made to The Rev Graham Perryman, The Rectory, Portnells Lane, Zeals BA12 6PG, tel 01747 840221, email: [email protected],
or to either of the Churchwardens:
(Chris Reeves 01985 844894/[email protected], or Celia Cotton 01985 844613/ [email protected])
Kilmington’s population of around 300 is a mix of families with young children, and of retired people, the self employed, and those working within and outside the village. Active fundraising regularly brings the village together, and events in aid of the church are very well supported by churchgoers and non churchgoers alike.
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