St John, Bishopstone – News from Seville

A few months after finishing our Church Record of St John Baptist Church in the summer of 2017, the Bishopstone village website was contacted by Martin, a student at Seville University studying for a PhD and investigating British people who visited Seville in the early 19th century. He had come across Reverend George Montgomery and his wife, and wondered whether there were any records of this in the village.

Our rector, Reverend George Augustus Montgomery from 1821 – 1842, did indeed travel to Seville with his wife, Cecilia, but we didn’t have any firm dates. From the research by Martin in Seville we now know that the Montgomerys were both there in 1838. He also produced some dated architectural drawings of churches and convents that Cecilia made during their visit.

During that time George Montgomery acquired many panels of wood from disused churches and convents. These have been transformed into the pulpit, reredos, lectern, vestry door and the backs to the chancel stalls.

On his visit here, Martin made some sketches from the woodwork in the church, and also saw the vicarage next to the church, which was built for the Montgomerys. So we were able to help him with his background studies!

Whilst here he visited the Wiltshire archives at Chippenham and was able to read our Church Record.

It was a wonderful moment for our church recording group to know that all our work is of continuing benefit to future researchers.

The Arts Society Sarum Church Recorders