St Anna’s, Thornbury

St Anna's Thornbury

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Information

  • Road Reference: Off B4214 (2 miles)
  • OS Grid Ref: SO 622 597
  • Parking available
  • Open Access
  • Disabled Access
  • Visit the website

St Anna’s occupies a unique setting at the head of the Frome valley, is overlooked by the Ancient British Camp and is central to the Thornbury Conservation Area. There has been a church here since Saxon times and despite a vigorous 19th century restoration, many ancient features still remain.

There is a Norman doorway in the North wall and evidence of the thickness of this wall can be seen when viewing the tiny Norman window from the inside. The Norman Font has a complex frieze of lozenges.

During the 13th century, the massive tower with its narrow slit openings was built. The blocked arcade once opened into a side aisle used as a Lady Chapel.

An original bell frame carries three bells of 14th/15th century.

During the 16th century, following the Reformation, masses for the dead were no longer approved and the Lady Chapel was demolished.

After the restoration in 1630, burial services were resumed and probably prompted the acquisition of the Bier in 1667.

A vigorous restoration programme in 1886 affected most of the church. The Chancel was rebuilt, under-floor heating was installed and a complete refurbishment took place. A new South Porch and an oak shingled spire were also added.

In 1912, the small Nicholson pipe organ was donated and in 1926 the St Anna stained glass was placed in the Norman window. The impressive armorials were installed as memorials in 1927-1928.

In 1955, because of the weight causing problems to the tower walls, the spire was replaced by a pyramidal roof.

Finally, a comprehensive refurbishment programme was carried out in 1997-1998.