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The plan below is believed to be the layout of the church before the rebuild in 1846. There are some significant changes compared with the church as it now stands. Apart from the reconfiguration of the pews, the South Porch Door has gone, as too have the Hagioscopes. The pulpit is now repositioned to the far side of the vestry door although the Font seems to be still in its original position. The screen (rood) which dates from about the 15th century is retained in its original position, and at some time an organ was installed in the west end of the church


The plans drawn  by James Thomson and also his  report in the esteemed Builder publication of 1845 shows that St Giles had a double Hagioscope. Little evidence of them now remains, but they are clearly shown PP and QQ on the plan of the church at that time.


A Hagioscope or squint is an architectural term for a small splayed opening or tunnel at eye-level to enable worshippers in  side chapels or private chapels from which the altar was not visible to have a view. It would appear that the angle of the two Hagioscopes at Alderton required some external construction in each corner.


One of the Hagioscope external structures would have been in the corner that is now occupied by the door and spiral staircase to the belfry.

The History of St Giles

St Giles Church, The Street

Alderton SN14 6NL

Administrator: Lorraine Mackie   

01666 825019

stgilesalderton@outlook.com

Community Church

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Hagioscope

Hagioscope

St Giles now has six bells and (despite the size of this small village),  a bell ringing team that rings for all appropriate services and events. Practice is on Thursdays. For those who like the technical stuff. A specification of the bells is below.



Alderton, Wilts St Giles Bells
 

 

Bell Weight Nominal Note Diameter Dated Founder Canons Turning

1 4-2-11253.0 D 28.50" 1865 John Warner & Sons R  

2 5-2-0 1122.5 C# 30.38" 1844 Charles & George Mears R  

3 6-1-4 1010.0 B 32.50" 1843 Charles & George Mears R  

4 6-0-24 943.0 A# 33.50" 1843 Charles & George Mears R  

5 7-1-4 847.0 G# 35.25" 1844 Charles & George Mears R  

6 8-3-24 751.5 F# 39.00" 1844 Charles & George Mears R



                     Source: Walters, CB Wilts; David Kelly; GAD NBR; Chris Pickford


Plan of the church before restoration and showing the two Hagioscopes

Plan of the church after restoration and more or less as it is now

External view of the Hagioscope - north side

The door to the Belfry is now in the place of the north Hagioscope

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