St Mary's and St John's Churches

stjohns outside outsideview

History

In 1899 Field Marshall Sir John Linthorn Simmons,

G.C.B., G.C.M.G, R.E., in fulfilment of a wish made by members

of his family, set aside a portion of his land in Langford to build

a church and parsonage.

 

The church was completed on 6th October 1900 as shown on

a stone placed on the outside of the West wall.

 

The roof of the chancel is of oak and that of the nave of pitch pine.

The octagonal font of Ham Hill stone with a Maltese Cross on f

our faces stands inside the entrance door. The pulpit is of oak

on a stone base.

 

Originally there was a small lean-to vestry but this was enlarged

in 1902 to accommodate the organ which was brought from Barley

Wood in Wrington.  The West end has three tall lancet lights; the

South side five smaller lancets, one of which is in stained glass;

and in the North wall are three similar ones, that nearest the pulpit

being in memory of William George Iremonger and his wife.

The Reverend Iremonger was priest-in-charge from 1913 until 1950.

In the chancel and sanctuary there are three stained glass windows

above the altar and three in the North wall in memory of Sir John and

his family.

 

In 1903 the Field Marshall died and in July of that year a portrait of

him in uniform was incorporated in the oak overmantle in the dining

room of the parsonage with the inscription:  'Eleanor Julia Linthorn

Simmons elder daughter of Field Marshall Sir John Linthorn Simmons

bequeaths this portrait by Henty of her father to be hung in perpetuity

in this house as a memorial of his having built and endowed the Church

and Parsonage of St. Mary the Virgin Langford'.

 

The stone of which the church is built is interesting. It is dolomitic

conglomerate and is a desert stone of the Triassic period - about

200 million years old. Small stones from the surrounding hills and

mountains fell down to the desert floor and eventually became

compacted in the sand. The interior walls are wrought with chiselled

tooling and the small stones can be seen clearly. Similar stone was

used in many other local buildings.

 

 

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