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TitleST Mary's In St Andrews


This saga which started ten years ago is ongoing as bits of information turn up - more research is needed. However, the news so far is that, yes, there is a beautiful stained glass window near the main alter in St Andrew’s Church, Market Place, Chippenham, which boasts a detailed etching of ‘Bradenstoke Church’, Bradenstoke.

It is part of a window dedicated to the memory of Sir Gabriel Goldney, Bart, MP who was the benefactor of St Mary’s Church which he had built in 1865-6. At this time he owned Bradenstoke Abbey (however, not resident as his family home was in Corsham). The window also depicts ‘District Schools, Pickwick’, Corsham which he also funded.

What is so exciting about the etching of St Mary’s Church is that it shows the Market Cross actually with the cross on the top of the shaft – the only time we have seen it recorded. All old postcards and photos show it after the shaft had been rebuilt (it had been broken off half way down) but without the cross. It had always been a favourite piece of climbing apparatus for the village children. It is also interesting to note that at the time that this etching was done, the Market Cross had already been moved from its original position (near the roadside and in front of the Jolly Trooper) to it’s present position.

However, the three crosses on the church’s ridge are not visible as the etching is spread over two pieces of stained glass and, unfortunately, a strip of lead has hidden them.

Also shown is a portrait of Sir Gabriel, his family shield, and that of Chippenham with the motto ‘Unity and Loyalty’ (Used for the school badge of the former Chippenham Grammar School, I recall!). There is script on the glass stating that Sir Gabriel was Mayor of the Borough, MP for Chippenham, a Masonic Deputy Provincial Grand Master and, I think, Wiltshire High Sheriff and Grand Warden of England. More to follow.