A Church Near You St Giles  Alderton Email: stgilesalderton@outlook.com The History of St Giles

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St Giles Church, The Street

Alderton SN14 6NL

Administrator: Lorraine Mackie   

01666 825019

stgilesalderton@outlook.com

Community Church

Our grade 11 listed church in the small village of Alderton is dedicated to St Giles an 7th century french Abbot, who gave much of his time to the care of lepers. It is thought that the church dates from about the 11th or 12th century, although there was an extensive rebuild in the 19th century when a spire was also added to the tower.

The church was largely rebuilt during the renovation of the 19th century (1844-45) undertaken by James Thomson using elements from the 12th to 15th century church. The original features that remained after this included pointed arches, the roof of the nave, the Saxon pillars of the north door and most of the tower.

Little is known about the church prior to the rebuild, and below in italics are the comments made by Thomson prior to the rebuild in 1844.

It is remarkable that there should exist no early historical record of Alderton Church Wilts, as there are strong indications that it must have been one of the most ancient ecclesiastical structures to be met with in an English village.

According to the parliament returns of 1811 the parish contained 29 houses and 153 inhabitants (today approximately 70 residents). This parish belonged for upwards of 300 years to the family of the Gores, several of whom were knights or persons of distinction, (hence the prominence of their tombs in the church). The Old Manor House which is still standing is situated to the north of the church. Thomas Gore, an antiquary and a political writer of considerable note in the 17th century was born at the manor house of the village in 1631.

Much of what we do know about this church before the rebuild comes from James Thomson and his research. His drawings of the church before the work was started are very valuable in this respect and seem to be all that exists. The original church had just a standard square tower and the spire element was added during the 19th century rebuild.

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History2

Spire was added in the 19th  century

Drawing made by James Thomson in 1843 before the rebuild

The Nave before the rebuild

The Saxon door drawn by Thompson before the rebuild