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Chelwood

Status: 
Open
Number of Burials: 
718
Number of Memorials: 
99

An advertisement in the Bath Chronicle of Thu 21 Feb 1861 p4 invited builders to submit tenders for “the partial rebuilding of, and adding an aisle to the parish church of Chelwood”.

From the Bath Chronicle of Thu 19 Sep 1861 p8:

“The parish church of Chelwood, a little village situated near Pensford, Somerset, and containing by the last census returns, but one hundred and eighty-three inhabitants, was re-opened for Divine service on Tuesday last, after having undergone thorough restoration. From the previous dilapidated condition of the sacred edifice, this renovation has placed with the reach of the churchgoers of Chelwood a boon for which their best thanks are due to the generous donors towards the building fund.

. . .

The contractor for the work is Mr. E. Streeter, of Bath, who appears to have completed his task in a very satisfactory manner, from the designs and under the direction of the famous ecclesiastical architect, Mr. J. Norton, of Bond Street, London. The contract for the nave porch and new aisle was £420: for the works in the chancel, £115, and the partial rebuilding of the tower (irrespective of the painted glass), £85. We may here be allowed to state that the deficit in the building fund, previous to the collections at the re-opening services, was about £100. Among the principal subscribers was the Earl of Warwick, £100; and Mr. Popham, £100.”

(Chelwood was for some time owned by the Duke of Warwick’s estate but the eastern part passed to the Popham family who held the manor at Hunstrete.) The reopening was conducted by the Lord Bishop of Bath & Wells supported by Prebendary Ommanney, the rural dean, and over a dozen of the clergy from neighbouring parishes.

“After the service, the company, to the number of between three and four hundred, adjourned to a spacious marquee adjoining the rectory, where, by the liberality of the farmers and other friends in the locality, a cold collation was laid. The Lord Bishop presided. . . . The company then withdrew to make room for the schoolchildren, for whom tea had been provided, in further celebration of the event which will be ever regarded as a red-letter day in the annals of the parish of Chelwood.”

From the Western Daily Press of Sat 15 Aug 1903 p7: “The ancient bell belonging to Chelwood Church has been re-cast and re-hung as a memorial to the late rector. A bronze tablet inserted in the wall of the church bears the following inscription: “To the glory of God and in pious memory of James Benjamin Head Hawkins, R.D., Prebendary of Wells, and for 23 years rector of Chelwood, the ancient bell of this church was restored by many of his friends in the diocese in the year of our Lord, 1903.” A similar bronze tablet has been inserted in the wall on the opposite side of the tower, and records the Coronation memorial of last year as follows:- “To the glory of God, and to commemorate the Coronation of King Edward VII, the chimes were placed in this church by parishioners and friends.””

From the Western Daily Press of Mon 6 Apr 1931 p4: “Tomorrow the Archdeacon of Bath, Ven. S. A. Boyd, will dedicate three restored 15th-16th century two light windows of south aspect in the nave of Chelwood parish church. . . . It is not known how the common foreign glass came to be included in the west window but it is thought that some valuable fragments of early English glass found must have been part of the original windows existing before the Reformation.”

Limitations

The burial entry registers have been transcribed up to 1973. Names after this are limited to those on memorials.

Documentation: 

At Somerset Heritage Centre:

  • D\P\chel/2/1/1 Baptisms, Burials, Marriages 1720-1812
  • D\P\chel/2/1/3 Burials 1783-1794
  • D\P\chel/2/1/6 Burials 1813-1873

Photographs of the memorials are also at the Gravestone Photographic Resource website (up until 2014).

Documents: 
Location: 
St Lawrence, Chelwood BS39 4NW
Coverage in Index: 
1724-1973