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St. Mary's Church

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Sketch by Michael Beaton

Holford Church, St Mary the Virgin

Links to Photos by David Cronin from West Quantoxhead of the stained glass windows in St. Mary's Church on Flickr.  His other photos are well worth looking at too.
There has been a church on this site in Holford for over a thousand years. St Mary's church records go back to the 13th century The tower and nave are understood to date back to the 12th century but were rebuilt in the 16th Century. The North porch was rebuilt between 1842- 4 and the nave and chancel were restored in the 1870s. A vestry was added in 1888 and new bells and bell cage added in 1951. The Lych Gate was built in the 1920s.   Restoration work continues to this day. The bells are still rung regularly by an active group of local campanologists.
Until 1978, St. Mary's was run alongside the church in Dodington and they were jointly called 'Holford cum Dodington'. In 1901 Mr. WA Rixon, who at that time lived at Alfoxton, gave an additional piece of land in order to extend the churchyard. This was duly consecrated in Febuary 1902.
Vestry Meetings notes show that a fete was held to raise funds for a lych gate and organ. In 1929 it was reported that JJA Hayman had designed a beautiful lych gate and supervised its erection. It is thought the gate was made by Harry Paul, like the one erected at Dodington in 1926.
1934 - Electric lighting installed
1949 - Bells rehung and a futher two added
1952 - Ringing Gallery installed
1955 - Electric Heating System installed
1981 - Screen in the ringing chamber erected in memory of Alan Ninnes
1988 - The West window in the tower was installed in memory of Joan & George Grandage (dedicated in 1991)
Tony Andrews, who lived at Woodlands Cottages from 1937 - 45, said '' Jo Moxley, who was the gardener at Woodlands taught us a lot.  Reg and I used to mow the churchyard grass and clip the graves, attend to the boiler at weekends and pump the organ on Sundays. Jo looked after the rose gardens.  Manure was easy to get, it was passed over the wall from the Bartons where Mr. Mantle kept his cows. We did a lot of work in the gardens as well, for 3d (old pence) an hour. When Rev. Holme gave us a rise to 6d, we felt rich.''
An avenue of trees and an associated stone tablet commemorate WWI
Early Rectors & Curates
John Dickinson, rector 1530–44, acted for Thomas Cromwell during a visitation of Athelney Abbey in 1538. 
Thomas Withers, the first known graduate rector of Holford when appointed in 1544, probably came from a Stogursey family.
Richard Bodley, rector by 1558 until his death in 1586, was reported in 1576 for not preaching the regular quarterly sermons and for not reading the services distinctly.
Henry Cox, rector from 1586, lived a little distance from the parish, but in 1593 was reported to have preached monthly.
John Gibson (d. 1609) was suspected of being a drunkard.
John Slater, rector 1610–11, had been at Eton and a fellow of King's College, Cambridge.
Michael Pollard, rector 1663–7, combined the living with Dodington.
The rectors in the later 18th century were absentees who left the parish to curates.
Willian Chilcott, rector 1776–88, combined the living with Stogursey. At the beginning of Chilcott's tenure of Holford there were 28 communicants.
George Buxton, rector 1788–1832, lived at Dorney (Bucks.).
In 1815 the curate was John Audain of Nether Stowey, who also served Dodington.
From 1816 John Hole was resident curate until Buxton's death
Henry Prentice, rector 1867–87 and a former curate of an Eton living
1962 H.E.J.T. Patterson
Courtesy 'Parishes: Holford', A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 5 (1985), pp. 2-6. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=117125
Cox, unknown1596LibcCurate
Gibson, Johannes1598Appt (Institution)Rector
Gibson, Johannes1606LibcRector
Gibson, Johannes1610Vac (natural death)Rector
Sclater, Johannes1610Appt (Institution)Rector
Sclater, Johannes1611Vac (resignation)Rector
Browne, Thomas1611Appt (Institution)Rector
ffryer, Johannes1614Appt (Institution)Rector
Fryer, Johannes1615Appt (Institution)Rector
Fryer, Johannes1620LibcRector
ffryer, Johannes1639LibcRector
Mackbeth, Abraham1714SubscRector
Mackbeth, Abrahamus1714Appt (Institution)Rector
Marshfield, Johannes1714Vac (natural death)Rector
Macbeth, Abraham1723Vac (cession)Rector
Sanderson, Wilhelmus1723Appt (Institution)Rector
Sanderson, William1736Vac (Death)Rector
Verrier, George1736Appt (Institution)Rector
Stephens, Henry1746Appt (Institution)Rector
Verrier, George1746Vac (Death)Rector
Stephens, Henry1746SubscRector
Holme, John1753SubscRector
Holme, John1753Appt (Institution)Rector
Stephens, Henry1753Vac (Death)Rector
Chilcott, William1776Appt (Institution)Rector
Holme, John1776Vac (Death)Rector
Chilcott, William1788Vac (Death)Rector
Buxton, George1788Appt (Institution)Rector
Verelsh, William1811Appt (Licensing)Curate
Audain, John1814Appt (Licensing)Curate
Audain, John1814Appt (Licensing)Stipendiary Curate
Parkhurst, Fleetwood1815Appt (Licensing)Curate
Hole, John1816Appt (Licensing)Stipendiary Curate
Hole, John1816Appt (Licensing)Curate
Buxton, George1832Vac (Death)Rector
Barnwell, John1832Appt (Institution)Rector
Courtesy of Clergy of the Church of England Database
Original Plan of St. Mary's Church in Holford. HAND-COLORED.  P. M. Johnson, Architect. From the American Architect and Building News, March 26, 1892. Work was never carried out.

Subpages (1): Holford Burial Records