Around Bemerton

Local Places Associated with George Herbert

While St. Andrew's Church and the Old Rectory are the sites in Bemerton most closely associated with George Herbert, there are other buildings in the local area with strong connections.

St. John's Church

St. JOHN'S, LOWER BEMERTON

St. JOHN'S, LOWER BEMERTON

St. John's, completed in 1860, was built because St. Andrew's had become too small to accommodate the parishoners. Finance to build the church came from the 12th Earl of Pembroke, and many American donors also contributed. The architect was T.H.Wyatt, and the foundation stone was laid by Elizabeth, wife of Sidney, 1st Lord Herbert of Lea. On the West wall is a brass plaque, with an inscription in Latin and in English, recording the dedication of the church in memory of George Herbert. The font is of stone and marble; the base is believed to be part of the old font from St. Andrew‘s. The brass lectern was presented to the church by the then Prime Minister, William Gladstone.

St. John's was closed for regular worship in 2010 and has been converted successfully into a local community centre. The centre, now called St John's Place, was opened in June 2016.

St. Peter's Church, Fugglestone

St. PETER'S, fUGGLESTONE

St. PETER'S, fUGGLESTONE

St. Peter's was the main church of the parish of Fugglestone-cum-Bemerton in George Herbert's time. The chancel dates from the 13th century. The belfry is almost certainly a 15th century addition. The Church was greatly restored in the 19th century, and it was then that much of the existing woodwork was installed. St. Peter's originally stood on the lane between Wilton and Bemerton. That lane has now gone, much of its route enclosed within the park walls of Wilton House, and the church now sits beside the busy A36 main road. Today largely unused, although monthly communion and occasional services are still held there.

Wilton House

WILTON HOUSE

WILTON HOUSE

Wilton House, seat of the Earls of Pembroke, stands on land surrendered at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, and then given by King Henry VIII in 1541 to William Herbert, the 1st Earl of Pembroke and a distant cousin of George Herbert. Building of the original house was completed in 1550, but it had been considerably enlarged by Herbert's time. Following a fire, it was rebuilt by the 5th Earl in the 1650s and it is from this period that the famous Double Cube Room originates. The present park was first laid out by the 9th Earl in the 1730s, and the Palladian Bridge dates from this time. George Herbert was a frequent visitor to Wilton House and is said to have acted as chaplain to Philip Herbert (the 4th Earl) and his wife Lady Anne Clifford.

Salisbury Cathedral

The Cathedral building was begun by Bishop Richard Poore in 1220. The main body was completed in only 38 years, using the stones brought down from Old Sarum. The spire, which was added 100 years after its consecration, rises to 404 feet (123 m.) and is the tallest spire in the UK.

SALISBURY CATHEDRAL FROM THE NORTH EAST

SALISBURY CATHEDRAL FROM THE NORTH EAST

Salisbury is one of the few Cathedrals built in the shape of a double cross with the arms of the transepts branching off on either side. The cloisters are larger and older than any other English cathedral. The Cathedral houses the best of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta (1215), and the oldest working clock in Europe (1386). In 2008, Salisbury Cathedral celebrated the 750th anniversary of its consecration in 1258.

Music has always played an important part in the Cathedral's worship, a tradition of worship that contiues to this day with boy and girl choristers singing daily services. One of George Herbert's greatest pleasures was listening to the Cathedral musicians of his time, and making music with them.

HERBERT STATUE

HERBERT STATUE

George Herbert is commemorated in stone by one of the many statues on the Cathedral's West front. It was crafted by the Cathedral's Head Carver, Jason Battle, and a service of dedication was held in September 2003. There is also a George Herbert memorial window at the East end of the North Quire Aisle, illustrating his poem 'Love-Joy'.

DETAIL - HERBERT MEMORIAL WINDOW

DETAIL - HERBERT MEMORIAL WINDOW