St Laurence, Hilmarton, Wiltshire

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Feature Sets (2)


The church consists of a chancel with vestry on the N, a nave, N aisle, W tower and S porch. The nave has a late 12th-century, four-bay, N arcade with a mixture of trumpet scallops and a moulded capital.


At the time of Edward the Confessor, Hilmarton, then worth 15s, was held by Eskil. The Domesday Survey records it worth 30s and belonging to Enrulf of Hesdin. There was a mill, 6 acres of meadow, 1 acre of pasture and 6 of woodland. No church is mentioned. The church is first mentioned in 1291, when valued for taxation by Pope Nicholas (VCH, IX, 61).


Interior Features



Arcade Piers

The four-bay N arcade dates from the late 12th century. The piers are circular and the arcades are pointed chamfered arches with small labels.

East Respond

This is a corbel made from what appears to be a fragment with motifs derived from trumpet scallops. It is set above a Perpendicular door and seems to date from the 19th century.

Pier 1

This circular pier has a moulded capital.

Pier 2

This circular pier has a moulded abacus and no neck, a quirk of some west country late 12th century churches. The capital has trumpet scallops with wave motifs inside each mouth.

Pier 3

This pier has a circular moulded abacus and no neck. The capital has trumpet scallops with fleur-de-lys motifs between the mouths of each scallop.

West respond

The arch of the fourth bay is supported by a small corbel terminated at the bottom with a dog’s head, reminiscent of the heads in the nave of Malmesbury Abbey. The creature has oval eyes and pointed ears and a strong brow across its head. A beaded spine runs down the centre of its head. The head is 0.25m high, 0.15m wide at the top and 0.08m at the bottom. The corbel is 0.46m high and half octagonal in plan.


Like the rest of the church, the 12th-century arcade has been restored heavily in the 1840s and in 1879-81 by G. E. Street. The carvings of the E and W responds may date from the time of the 19th-century restorations.


  • F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 152.

  • DCMS Listing Description

  • N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, Buildings of England: Wiltshire. Harmondsworth 1975, 2nd edition, 270-71.

  • Victoria County History of Wiltshire, Volume IX, 49-65, esp. 61-4.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SU 020 753 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Wiltshire
now: Wiltshire
medieval: Old Sarum
now: Salisbury
now: St Laurence
medieval: St Laurence
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Allan Brodie 
Visit Date
11 Aug 1995