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O.S. Landranger Map reference195-976143

Bradford AbbGussage 

All Saints

The church lies at the western end of this attractive settlement, which is one of three Gussages, all connected by a little stream. It sits charmingly in a grassy churchyard and without a hard path leading from the road.  At first sight, it looks as if it is yet another product of the Victorian era, but this would be very wrong.  It is early Decorated 14c with a tower that was built in three stages and finished in 15c. The first recorded vicar, Galfred de Wermondsworth, was installed in 1347 and the parish registers go back to 1560.

The interior is impressive with a very lofty feel.  This would certainly have been very attractive to the Victorians who nevertheless embarked on a programme of improvement.  The restoration by the architect, Ewan Christian, involved moving the original chancel arch to the north wall in order to form a frame for the organ.  The present chancel arch was installed by the eminent Dorchester architect, John Hicks, who had Thomas Hardy as a pupil before he rose to fame as an author.  The east window, by Bell & Beckham, was installed in 1909 in memory of Rev Waldey.

The most attractive one-manual 18c Walker organ was a gift from the incumbent, Rev Charles Waldey (1857-75), who was responsible for the church restoration.  The instrument, contained in a mahogany case, had originally been designed for use in a private house and was later used by Sir James Turle at Westminster Abbey for choir practice.

 

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©