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St Mary's church, Timsbury

The ancient church fell into disrepair in the 1820s and it was pulled down and rebuilt in the Gothic style in 1826. Side aisles were added in 1852, when the square benches, side galleries were taken away. The tower follows the Norman design and houses a peal of six bells above the ringing chamber.

From The Oxford University and City Herald of Sat 20 Dec 1823 p4:

The following occurrence proves that the abrogration of the late unpalatable Marriage Act will tend to encourage the act of marriage:-On Saturday last four couples walked into Timsbury Church by pairs, as of old they entered the Ark; each lusty peasant leading in his sinewy arms his obedient captive; moving along with a sort of unwilling willingness, a kind of subdued cheerfulness, to the Altar of Heaven. After the ceremony, they all departed in like manner, with a long trail of attendants; the bells ringing merrily, the ribbons streaming in the wind, and the Clergyman, who officiated at the request of the Vicar, exclaimed on seeing the four happy pairs departing- Felices ter, et amplius!

(The account does not specify which Timsbury; there is also one in Hampshire. The Felices ter et amplius is a quotation from Horace Ode I-13 which, in full. is: Happy three times over are those who enjoy uninterrupted union, and whose love, unbroken by evil complaints, shall not dissolve until the last day.)

From the Bath Chronicle of Thu 21 Oct 1852 p4:

CONSECRATION OF TIMSBURY CHURCH.― The parish church of Timsbury, having been enlarged by the erection of a chancel and transepts, was consecrated on Wednesday, the 15th inst., by the Right Rev. George Trevor Spencer, D.D., late Lord Bishop of Madras, who officiated for the Lord Bishop of the Diocese. The proceedings of the day were announced by merry peals from the church tower. The children of the national school, and the principal inhabitants of the parish assembled at the Rectory at half-past ten, and walked in procession with the Bishop and Clergy to the church, where a large congregation, including a large number of strangers from many miles around, had assembled.

The Shepton Mallet Journal of Fri 2-Jul-1886 p4 noted in its summary of news ‘Timsbury Church is being restored’.

The Bristol Mercury of Sat 19-Jun-1886 carried an advert of ‘all the seating, framing, floors, joints, beams &c. (over 300 feet super) removed from Timsbury church’. beams &c. (over 300 feet super) removed from Timsbury church’.

As with other villages in the area, a proportion of the workers worked in the coal mines. On the 6 Feb 1895 five parishioners lost their lives in a mining accident – an explosion at the Conygre colliery -  and their funeral at Timsbury church was reported in the Shepton Mallet Journal of Fri 15 Feb 1895 p8. All the employees of the Upper and Lower Conygre pits met at the Temperance Hall and then processed to the churchyard. The committal was performed by the rector and Rev C W Shickle (Bath), ‘one of the colliery proprietors’ and among those attending the funeral were ‘Messrs. Woolrich, Rees-Mogg, and S.S.P. Samborne, with Mrs Samborne, representing the colliery company, the under manager, bailiffs, and many parishioners.’

Timsbury Cemetery gate

The Bath Chronicle of  Thu 13 Apr 1899 p8  carried a brief report that ‘At Timsbury, a new churchyard had been consecrated.’ The burial register has its first reference to a new burial ground in a burial on 20-Jan-1899.


At Somerset Heritage Centre:

  • D\P\tims/2/1/1 Baptisms, marriages, burials 1561-1662, 1665, 1674-1679 Deaths 1654-1880
  • D\P\tims/2/1/2 Baptisms, marriage and burials 1679-1740
  • D\P\tims/2/1/3 Baptisms, marriages and burials 1741-1797
  • D\P\tims/2/1/4 Baptism and burials 1798-1812
  • D\P\tims/2/1/11 Burials 1813-1846
  • D\P\tims/2/1/12 Burials 1846-1872
  • D\P\tims/2/1/15 Burials 1872-1904

The registers for 1904-1948 and 1948-1992 and 1993- are with the parish.

The parish also has:

  • Grave indexes (two for Section D of the cemetery and one for the churchyard)
  • A typed transcript of historical registers by the Rev C W Shickle
  • A schematic map of the churchyard (not to scale)
  • A map of the old part of the cemetery giving a numbering scheme
  • A map of the new part of the cemetery showing the arrangement of plots and their numbers
  • A typed page of history of the church
The Avenue, Timsbury, Bath BA2 0LG
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