Nine men, resident in Leigh Woods, with business acumen and money formed a committee in November 1890. (Equal rights for women had a way to go!.) The members also included Thomas Davy ( tobacco), Edward Burrow Hill (shipbuilding) and Edward Swann (solicitor and banker), who gained the support of the Bishop of Bath & Wells. By the end of the month enough funds had been pledged and land given by the Leigh Woods Company to proceed to plans. It was also recorded that they were not only building to the glory of God but that a Church built locally would increase the value of their property.
By 1891 John Medland FRIBA , who was an assistant to Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, was appointed architect. Instructions were that ‘the church should be of a rustic and picturesque character of stone or red brick with a tile roof, small spire, rustic porch and in keeping with the surroundings, as contrasted from the formal architecture of a city church’. There should be ‘a bell of good tone, ornamental tiled flooring, heating apparatus, an organ chamber, clergy and choir stalls, gas pipes, a lightening conductor and a weather cock’. His plans were later altered as he wildly under priced the project…………….
To read full article click here: Church of St. Mary the Virgin
With grateful thanks to Dr. Michael Marston who made all his historical research available