St Leonard’s Church, Marston Bigot
St Leonard’s Church
2 miles west of Frome signposted off the A361 BA11 5DE
St Leonard’s Church, Marston Bigot is in one of the finest settings in our parish, looking over wide fields and woods. It stands on the edge of the lawns of Marston House, a Grade II listed building with a magnificent sweeping façade. St Leonard’s is the parish church for the civil parish of Trudoxhill which includes Marston Bigot, and is now part of the wider parish of Postlebury.
Despite its somewhat isolated position, the church has an enthusiastic community of worshippers and friends. On the third Sunday of the month at 9.30 am, there is Holy Communion as well as seasonal services at Easter, Harvest and Christmas.
For many people, Christmas begins each year with Marston’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols when the church is filled to capacity, including the minstrels’ gallery. The feast day of St Leonard, patron saint of prisoners, captives and slaves, on November 6th is celebrated in the service closest to that date.
Couples embarking on marriage are understandably drawn to St Leonard’s Church, a place of beauty in a unique setting. Open to all who have a qualifying connection to the Parish of Postlebury – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Beyond regular worship, the church has launched successful flower festival services and exhibitions and is becoming increasingly popular as a gathering place for musical performances, with its fine pipe organ, gallery and acoustics. See www.marstonmusic.co.uk for the latest news.
In recent years a number of significant improvements have been made including installation of a fully-accessible lavatory, a kitchenette, an efficient heating system, the restoration of the stained glass windows, the rebuilding of large parts of the graveyard wall and an extended car park with the best view in the parish.
St Leonard’s is the headquarters of The Postlebury Bellringers, who funded and installed an additional pair of bells in 2001, making a total of eight.
Churchwardens: Mrs Angela Yeoman AYeoman@btinternet.com Assistant Churchwarden: Jane Norris 07776 208531
The histories of both church and house have been closely connected through many generations and changes of ownership. The present building was constructed in 1786, replacing a 12th century church which had fallen into disrepair. The tower was added in 1809 by the owner of Marston House, the 8th Earl of Cork & Orrery, and when his youngest son became the rector, the cruciform chancel was added in 1844 to permit the use of the full ritual. This last addition was to the design of Edward Davis, the Bath City Architect, who also “Normanised” the remainder of the church. The outstanding treasures of the church are the beautiful stained-glass panels of the east window, created in Flanders and the Rhineland in about 1500; the three nave windows on the north side date from the mid-19th century and were designed by the then Rector’s wife, Eleanor, of the Boyle family. The minstrels’ gallery is a significant feature as well as the pipe organ, a classic example of the Victorian period built by Thomas Robson in 1856 and restored and rededicated in 2008.
Two former places of worship are within the parish: St Michael’s at Gare Hill was built as a chapel-at-ease c.1857 for the Duke of Somerset and is now a private house. A Congregational Meeting House was established in Trudoxhill in 1699 but is currently on the market for residential use.
Marston Bigot was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Mersitone-tora. The full name came into being when William the Conqueror gave the land to Robert de Bigod. It is now in the civil parish of Trudoxhill and includes the settlements of Gare Hill, Smythwick and Nunney Catch, as well as numerous farms and individual houses. The population is largely employed in agriculture and its supporting industries. Many have ties with the church and parish going back for generations. In common with other parishes, current residents include commuters working in nearby towns and cities and those working from home. Most of the facilities are in the adjoining villages of Trudoxhill and Tytherington.
Phone: 01373 837337
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