In years gone by Rode was divided into two parts. The area west of the west side of Lower St. (the local brook marking the boundary) and the area broadly north and west of the present Rode Hill were in the County of Wiltshire, the Diocese of Salisbury and the Parish first of North Bradley and then of Rode Hill. The remainder, ‘Road’ was in the County of Somerset and under the Diocese of Bath and Wells.

Rode Hill Church.

Christchurch, Rode Hill was built because the people had to walk to North Bradley, two and a half miles away, to go to church. The church owes itself to the Rev. Charles Daubney, Archdeacon of Sarum and 12 years vicar of North Bradley who gave the following benefactions according to a stone plaque in the church.

  • The parish church and chancel was repaired throughout and the East end rebuilt. Nearly the whole of the Vicarage was built and the premises greatly enlarged (1778)
  • The asylum was built and endowed – £3,000 (1810)
  • The Rectory was converted into a residence for the Curate and nearly rebuilt. (1814)
  • The Vicar’s poor house was built which included the purchase of the ground. The cost was upwards of £800 (1817)
  • Christchurch was built costing the Vicar £4,600. (1821)
  • When the Rev. Daubney died he gave £2,000 to support the asylum. £70 per annum for the poor house, £10 per annum for the church and £10 per annum for the Vicarage. (1827)

All throughout the church there are plaques in memory of the Daubneys who all lived in Daubney House next to the church. There is a fifteen pipe organ presented by a Frome gentleman. Also there is a smaller organ with no pipes and a piano. The lectern was given in 1908 in memory of Sophia Dunn.

There is a bell tower but the bell has long since fallen down (this bell has since been reinstated). There Is a disused balcony for when the church had many more people for congregation but now the seats have been taken out. All the doors have eight knobs on but only one opens the door as the others are just carved.

For more information, see “A History of the Established Church in Rode” by Brian Foyston, 2007

[NB: The United Benefice of Rode and Rode Hill was made by an Order in Council of King George V on 16th, March 1923, placing it in the Diocese of Bath and Wells. Finally on 1st May 1937 the two civil Parishes of Rode Hill and Rode were united as ‘Rode’ in the County of Somerset.]

The Memorials in the church are shown, together with their inscriptions, here:

Various church records can be downloaded here:

Images of Christchurch from the 19th and 20th centuries:

Christchurch Choir photos:

Above: Christchurch Choir c1930

Key to Photo

Back Row from left

Edwin Woolley, —- —-, Frank Woolley, Mr. Pugh (schoolmaster), —- —-, —- —-, —- —-, Charles Rose (Tom’s father)

Second Row from left

Edwin (or Bert) Woolley, Edmund Woolley, young boy, Rev. —- —-, Rev. —- —-, —- —-, Frank Trollope

Third Row from left

—-.—-, —-.—-, —-.—-, —-.—-, —-.—-, —-.—-

Front Row from left

—-.—-, Jack Cray, —-.—-, —-.—-, —-.—-, —-.—-

Above: Christchurch Choir c1950

Key to Photo

Back Row

—– ——-, Ken Harrison, Mr Bridges, Sylvia Paradise, Bernard (Bump) Huntley, —– ——-

Third Row

Mrs. I Sherldan?, Myrtle Sheppard, Nurse Jacques, —– ——-, Mrs Davis/Kathleen Stacey?, Jean Newman, Edna Applegate, Janice Barnett

Second Row

Eileen Harper, Fred Bridges, John Huntley, Peter Gifford, Michael Couch, —– ——-, Ann (Bunty) Perrett

Front Row

Janet Harrison, Tony? Moger?, Donald Hobart, Brian Harper

The Christchurch Bell and Organ


A single bell was installed in the south tower of Christchurch when it was built in 1824. It was hung “dead” and was chimed by a small hammer, operated by a cord. The internal diameter of the tower was only 69 in. and, as that of the bell itself was 33 in., there was no way in which it could have been rung in the traditional way. The bell weighed 5 cwt 3 qtr 18 lb and it bore the inscription:


After the church was declared redundant in 1995 the bell was taken down, unfortunately not before the new owner of Christ Church House had spent a considerable sum on converting the lower part of its tower into part of his living accommodation. The bell was passed to the Keltek Trust, a charitable organisation helping churches acquire surplus and/or redundant bells to be hung for English-style full-circle bell-ringing. It was found to be cracked and was repaired, ready to form part of a new peal to be installed in almost any church in the world that needed a peal of bells.

Peter Harris was surprised to receive the following message from a contact in Australia whose ancestors had lived at Church Row, in the cottages between the Bell Inn and Church Farm:

“I ventured out to the church in Menangle yesterday where the old bell from Christ Church, Rode now rings. The church of St. James is 60 km. SW of Sydney and is high on a hill. It’s a very historic church, built by the granddaughter of John MacArthur who is a pioneer of the colony and the man responsible for starting our wool industry. His granddaughter built the church in the late 1800s. It was always built with a bell tower, but the bells were only installed recently and come from a variety of places. The warden told me to go for my life and see what I could find, so I climbed up the bell tower and he told me to use the ladder standing on the wall to open the hatch door in the ceiling to see the bells. But alas I was thwarted in the very last stage of my escapade – the key that he had given me wouldn’t open the hatch! But I now know that the bell from Rode is the bell which is dedicated to St Andrew (see image below):

It is a decent size and is used in the peal as the B note. It was lovely to be out there and see the church. I just think it’s such an odd coincidence that the bell from the village where my ancestors came from is now ringing in a small Australian church, high on hill in the middle of nowhere!”

The weight of the bell is now 5 cwt 1 qtr 10 lbs, possibly reduced to achieve the note B, the second lowest in the peal of eight bells. One of Peter’s contact’s ancestors, Elizabeth Fussell, was baptised in Christchurch and would have heard the bell ring out many times before she emigrated to Australia.


From various records it would appear that pre 1876 the organ was in the west gallery. In 1876 it was moved to the centre bay of the north aisle. In 1897 a new organ was erected in the east bay of the north aisle.

Christchurch Monumental Inscriptions


61 memorials, 1817 – 1989

(Queries checked with Parish Registers 1827 – 1982, at Somerset Record Office. Recorded by Pat Jenkins, 1996, and Sir Mervyn Medlycott, 2007,typed and indexed by Sir Mervyn Medlycott, 2007. Copies to: Somerset & Dorset Family History Society (MI Index. Electronic copy only); Somerset & Dorset Family History Society (Library). [Somerset Record Office, Taunton, Frome Library, Society of Genealogists Library, London, Incumbent and PCC of Rode, Sir Mervyn Medlycott.]

SURNAME INDEX (numbers refer to the ref number of the memorial, described lower down the page)



DAUBENEY (Daubeny): 1, 3, 4, 8 & 11; DUNN: 10


GABB: 56; GILES: 46; GODDARD: 35 & 41; GOULTER: 44; GRAY: 15; GUMM: 25


JAMES: 25; JUPP: 51




NICHOLDS: 54; NOAD: 13 & 53




SARGEANT: 20; SAUNDERS: 43; SKIDMORE: 59; SPAREY: 57; STOKES: 14, 31 & 61


(for most post-1837 memorials exact wording is not given on stones, but genealogical abstracts, giving all information in a concise form. Exact wording is however given for all pre-1837, and some other memorials, which are in double inverted commas, in most instances with obliques ‘/’ indicating the ends of lines).

Christ Church, Rode Hill was built in 1824, as a chapelry in the parish of North Bradley, Wilts. It became a separate parish, in the diocese of Salisbury, and county of Wiltshire in 1852. In 1933 it was linked with the ecclesiastical parish of Woolverton, and transferred to the diocese of Bath and Wells, although still in Wiltshire. In 1936 it was transferred from Wiltshire to Somerset, and became part of the combined benefice of Rode and Rode Hill. In 1972 both were transferred to the benefice of Rode Major, which included Farleigh Hungerford, Tellisford and Woolverton (since further combined with other parishes in the benefice of Hardington Vale). In 1995 this church was declared redundant and in 1996 converted into a house and offices. The church in 2007 was occupied by Andrew Hooker Violins although also Mr. Hooker’s private residence.

This church is not exactly orientated east/west, as it is parallel to the road, but is slightly south of east / north of west. However, for clarity it is treated here as east/west, which is standard for other churches.

Mervyn Medlycott surveyed churchyard memorials in July 2007, omitting those post-dating 1960. In January 1996, Pat Jenkins, of Wells, as her swan-song in copying monumental inscriptions, mostly around Wells (although in 1995 she copied those at Woolverton, also declared redundant) came here and recorded the interior memorials just before the building was converted. Pat Jenkins died later the same year.

At the same time as Mervyn Medlycott was making his survey here, Peter Harris, in August 2007 placed on the Hardington Vale Benefice website ( his own compilation from monumental inscriptions at Rode Hill to the present day, with churchyard plan. Mervyn Medlycott ruefully noticed that Peter Harris had made some errors, omitted some people, and left out two legible memorials, given here as nos.46 and 49. He also omitted two church interior memorials recorded by Pat Jenkins, given here as nos.8 and 9, presumably vanished since 1996, and the inscription on a brass eagle lectern, no.10, since transferred to the church of St. Lawrence, Rode. Although Mervyn Medlycott is very grateful to Peter Harris for photographing surviving church interior memorials, from which photographs he was able to make slight corrections to Pat Jenkins copies, he could not however adopt Peter Harris’s numbering system, as given on his plan, as this gives no less than four different numbering sequences, three in the churchyard, and one for the interior, and arranges all the people in the form of a database. The requirements of the “Somerset Monumental Inscriptions Index” on the website WWW.Familyhistoryonline, followed here, is that people should be arranged by memorials, and that memorials need to be given in one continuous numbering sequence. A separate surname index is given.


This is Pat Jenkins’ copies of January 1996, with some amendments from Peter Harris’s photographs. Some lines of eulogy have been omitted from the first memorial. The last item, the brass eagle lectern, no.10, was recorded in 2007 inside the church of St Lawrence, Rode, having been removed from this church before Pat Jenkins’ visit. Clearly interior fitments were in process of being removed when Pat Jenkins came here, as she mentioned that the organ had been dismantled, leaving a framed inscription taken off it, no.9, since lost.


1). Slate on white marble Monument on south wall (with coat of arms) (note: Pat Jenkins recorded the full text, but I have omitted long eulogies). Archdeacon DAUBENY / died / 10th July 1827 / aged 83 / Elizabeth Daubeny / died / 13th January 1823 / aged 68 / Rev: H.W.B. Daubeney / died Oct: 2nd 1850 / aged 37 / Sacred to the memory of / the Rev: Charles Daubeny, LL.D., Archdeacon of Sarum / Fellow of St Mary’s College, Winchester / and 52 years: Vicar of North Bradley and Southwick / descended from Giles, Lord Daubeny, K.G. / whose noble ancestor accompanied the Norman Conqueror / (6 lines of eulogy) / He was the projector and founder of Christ Church in Bath / the first free church ever erected in these / kingdoms, and likewise of this church and glebe / (10 lines of eulogy) / He delivered / a charge to the clergy, and a sermon to his flock / in this church, within the last week of his life / which terminated on the 10th July 1827, in the 83rd / year of his age after a very few hours illness / (2 lines of eulogy) / The remains of his most beloved wife, exhumed / from the Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Paul in Bath / were re-interred on the same day and in the same / tomb with her husband, beneath the chancel / of this church / This tribute to their memory was erected by / Lt: Col: Daubeny and Elizabeth his wife / eldest daughter of the deceased.

2). Stone Tablet on south wall. “In ever loving memory / of the / Revd: Edward PEACOCK, M.A., J.P. / Vicar of this parish / 1850 to 1874 / died 14 January 1903 / aged 82 years / Also of / Eleanor / wife of the above / died 21 March 1897 / aged 69 years / This tablet is erected / by their children”.

3). Marble Tablet on north wall. “Sacred / to the memory of / Mary BARNSTON / eldest sister / of Elizabeth, wife of / Archdeacon DAUBENEY / who died / on the 12th February 1817 / aged 74 years / and lies buried / in the church yard of / the mother church (ie. North Bradley) / Also of / Elizabeth / the beloved wife of / Major General Daubeney, K.H. / eldest daughter of Archdeacon Daubeney / She died at Florence / the 3rd April 1844 / aged 61 / Also of / the Revd: Henry W.B. Daubeney, B.A. / Rector of Kirk Bremwith, county of York / second surviving son of / Major General Henry Daubeney, K.H. / Col: of H.M. 80th Regiment / who died at Filey, county of York / the 2nd Octr: 1850, aged 37 years / Also of / Lieut: Genl: Henry Daubeney / Knight of the Hanovarian Guelphic Order / and Colonel of H.M. 80th Regiment of Foot / who died at Rome / on the 10th April 1853 / aged 74. / Also of / Charlotte Sophia Daubeney / sister of the above Lt: General Daubeney / who died at Exmouth, Devon / 30th Jany: 1859, aged 69 / Also of / the Revd: George William Daubeney / eldest surviving son of / Archdeacon Daubeney / He died at Seend, Wiltshire / 5th June 1860, aged 75 / Also of / Elizabeth / his wife, daughter of / the Revd: Charles CRAWLEY / Rector of Stowe, Northamptonshire / She died at Seend / 3rd January 1884, aged 92”.

4). Marble Tablet on north wall (with coat of arms). “Henry Arthur Phoenix DAUBENEY / Lieut: in H.M. 55th Regiment / son of / Colonel Henry DAUBENEY and Elisabeth his wife / born on board the “Phoenix” Indiaman / died at Secunderabad in the East Indies / Aug: 24, 1837, aged 22 years / The last offices and pious duties / were performed by his beloved brother at Secunderabad / A monument to his memory has been erected in / Christ Church, Bath / by desire of his brother officers”.


5). Brass Plaque on south wall. “In loving memory / of a beloved husband , the / Revd: W.H.R. BRICKMANN, M.A., F.S.A. / for 18 years / Vicar of this parish / who died June 9th 1891”.

6). Brass Plaque on north wall. “In loving memory of / Susan KINTON / for over 40 years / faithful & much loved / teacher in the Day and / Sunday Schools of this / Church / died October 12th 1926”.

7). Marble Tablet on north wall (exactly the same inscription is given on a brass plaque over the west end door). “In memory / of / George Randall ORCHARD, clerk / 23 years / Perpetual Curate / of this church / obiit: 21st June 1850, aetat: 57 years / Seymour Portman Orchard / obiit: 23rd Augt: 1837, aetat: 7 weeks / Austin Harding Orchard / obiit: 23rd May 1840, aetat: 16 years / Also of / Eliza, wife of the above / obiit: 8th April 1860, aetat: 66 years”.

8). Painted wooden Board on north wall. “The Rev: Charles DAUBENY, D.C.L., Archdeacon of Sarum and 52 years / Vicar of North Bradley, gave the following / BENEFACTIONS: / 1778. The Parish Church and Chancel (ie. of North Bradley) was repaired throughout and the / east end rebuilt. Nearly the whole of the Vicarage House built / and the premises greatly enlarged / 1810. The Asylum was built and endowed £3,000 / 1814. The Rectory was converted into a residence for the Curate and nearly rebuilt / 1817. The Vicars Poor House was built, which included the purchase of the Ground, cost upwards of £800 / 1824. This church, called Christ Church, built and endowed and the / Ministers Manse erected which, exclusive of the sums subscribed / generally, cost the Vicar upwards £4,600 / 1827. By his Will bequeathed £2,000 Consols, half the dividends / to be applied to the further support of the Asylum / £10 per annum towards repair of this Church / £10 per annum towards the support of the School of this Church / £10 per annum for the relief of such dwellers in the parish / of North Bradley who shall regularly attend / divine service in the church”.

9). Framed inscription, taken from the dismantled organ. “In memory of / Mabel HASKELL-BULL / born 9.5.1875, died 13.5.1966 / a donation was made towards the repair of this organ by her daughter / in 1968, commemorating a long association with this church and with / the village of Rode over a lifetime”.

10). Inscribed on brass eagle Lectern (this is now in use in the nave of St Lawrence church, Rode, where it was recorded in 2007). “In loving memory of Sophia DUNN / the gift to Christ Church of her brother, 1908”.


Memorials were recorded in two areas, first around the church in a clockwise direction, starting north-east of the church, and then in the extension burial ground, north of the church (opened in about 1935), recorded in rows from east to west.

Around the church

11). Coped Stone (inscription around the edge). Revd: George William DAUBENY, LL.B, of Seend, Wilts, died 5 June 1860, aged 75. And his wife, Elizabeth Daubeny, died 3 Jan 1884, aged 92.

12). Kerb. John H. PUGH, died 14 Oct 1941. And Florence J. Pugh, died 10 Dec 1950.

13). Kerb. Walter Randolph NOAD, died 15 July 1920, aged 34.

14). Sloping Stone and kerb. Annie STOKES, died 20 Dec 1934, aged 70. And John Stokes, died 26 Nov 1946, aged 84.

15). Kerb (with recumbent cross). Virtue GRAY, died 28 Jan 1920, aged 75.

16). Cross and kerb. Matilda Mary, wife of John Alfred REEVES, died 14 Feb 1916, aged 52.

17). Kerb. Georgena (sic) WINDELL, died 6 July 1929, aged 69. And Edward Windell, died 5 Jan 1936, aged 83.

18). Cross (shaft broken off, leaning against the base). Henry J. PROSSER, died 24 Sept 1915, aged 70.

19). Headstone and kerb. Charles WILTSHIRE, died 1 Aug 1928, aged 52. And his wife, Florence Annie, died 22 March 1960, aged 80.

20). Kerb. Gilbert Matthew SARGEANT, born 13 Sept 1874, died 21 April 1931. And Ethel Lily Sargeant, born 4 April 1882, died 25 Feb 1978.

21). Open Book. Herbert O. CRAY, died 29 June 1906, aged 4 years. And Dorothy Cray, died 6 Dec 1909, aged 17.

22). Sloping Stone (in the form of a scroll). Edward CRAY, of Langham Farm, “churchwarden for 27 years”, died 6 Feb 1920, aged 61. And his wife, Mary Jane, died 17 July 1945, aged 80.

23). Headstone. Jacob CRAY, died 25 June 1912, aged 79. And his wife, Jane, died 3 Nov 1903, aged 68. Also their son, William, died 2 Jan 1909, aged 42. And their son, John, died 25 Dec 1885, aged 13 years.

24). Headstone. Bessie HUMPHRIES, died 24 Jan 1925, aged 33.

25). Cross (shaft broken off, leaning against the base) and kerb. Florence Maud Mary, wife of Arthur JAMES, and second daughter of Albert and Agnes GUMM, died 29 June 1909, aged 27. And Lillie Agnes, second wife of Arthur James, died 2 Feb 1922, aged 43.

26). Kerb. Henry PIKE, died 15 Feb 1927, aged 91. And his wife, Martha, died 13 March 1904, aged 60. Also their daughter, Agnes Annie, died 13 July 1950, aged 72.

27). Headstone. James MARSHMAN, “28 years Sexton at this church”, died 27 Nov 1915, aged 78. And his wife, Emma, died 12 Aug 1922, aged 89.

(Here we go past the entrance gate, in the south-west corner of the churchyard)

28). Service Headstone. 972195 Sergeant T. HILLIER, Royal Air Force, died 26 Nov 1943, aged 24.

29). Flatstone and kerb. Ralph HILLIER, died 20 Jan 1940, aged 55. And his wife, Winifred, died 30 Jan 1984, aged 93.

30). Cross. Frances F. WATKINS, died 5 Dec 1936, aged 77. And her husband, George, died 20 Jan 1957, aged 90.

31). Cross (shaft broken off, leaning against the base). George W. STOKES, died 30 Jan 1936. And Annie M. Stokes, died 23 Oct 1936.

32). Cross and kerb. Sarah Ann, wife of William LANE, of Westbury, Wilts, died 19 Feb 1901, aged 53. And William Lane, died 7 Aug 1923, aged 72.

33). Headstone (lying on the ground, face upwards) and kerb. John CRADOCK, died 30 Dec 1894, aged 73. And Joseph Cradock, died 19 Jan 1896, aged 67.

34). Cross (shaft broken off, leaning against the base). Richard BORLAND, died 14 Oct 1886, aged 71.

35). Headstone. John GODDARD, died 27 July 1888, aged 38. And his daughter, Ella Ann, wife of John WINDELL, of Laverton, died 9 June 1913, aged 28.

36). Headstone. Henry HODDINOTT, died 14 Nov 1874, aged 42. And his wife, Jane, died 3 Feb 1898, aged 63. Also their only son, Henry Edward, died “on the same day as his mother”, aged 23.

37). Coped Stone. William FREEMAN, “upwards of thirty years teacher in the Sunday School connected with this church”, died 10 March 1877, aged 65? (damaged). And his wife, Ann, died 20 April 1887, aged 71.

38). Small Flatstone. Frank WOOLLEY, 1866 – 1939. And his wife, Amelia, 1868 – 1953.

39). Headstone (surmounted by a cross, lying on the ground face-upwards). William FOWLES, died 21 March 1866, aged 25. And William Osborne Fowles, died 30 July 1866, aged 2 months.

40). Cross. Alfred LEGGATT, died 16 Jan 1894, aged 78. And his wife, Letitia Leggatt, died 25 Jan 1894, aged 82.

41). Headstone (surmounted by a cross). Ann GODDARD, died 14 Jan 1894, aged 81. And her husband, John Goddard, died 7 Jan 1900, aged 80.

42). Headstone and kerb. Thomas BENGER, died 24 March 1891, aged 77. And his wife, Sarah Benger, died 30 May 1894, aged 76.

43). Coped Stone. Henry SAUNDERS, died 14 Jan 1882, aged 53.

44). Small Cross. Rebecca GOULTER, died 8 May 1881, at the Vicarage, aged 58.

45). Headstone and kerb (with iron bollards and chains). Miriam Eliza WARLOW, of Pembroke, died 17 March 1872, in this parish, aged 19.

46). Headstone (badly flaking, odd pieces reassembled on the ground) and kerb. First person, ?..ES? being last two letters of surname, died ?. 1863. And second person, is ?. of the above?, died ? Dec 1862, aged 67 (identified in PR: as respectively William GILES, buried 3 April 1863, aged 63, and Ann Giles, buried 23 Dec 1862, aged 67).

Extension Burial Ground

47). Kerb. Frances Kate COLLETT, died 25 June 1935, aged 48. And her husband, William John, died 16 Jan 1962, aged 73.

48). Sloping Stone and kerb (recorded together). Matilda BABER, died 15 Jan 1936, aged 74. And her husband, James, died 30 Sept 1941, aged 81. Also husband, dad and grandpa William H. Baber, 1900 – 1988.

49). Kerb. Augusta CABELL, eldest daughter of Robert Cabell, died 27 Feb 1942, aged 91.

50). Kerb. “Wife and mother” Elizabeth Ann WEBB, died 14 Oct 1942, aged 63. And “our father” Edward Webb, died 2 Nov 1969, in his 90th year.

51). Kerb. Edward JUPP, died 20 July 1950, aged 66. And Beatrice Jupp, died 14 March 1953, aged 70.

52). Kerb. Wilfred BARNETT, died 6 June 1950. (PR: as Wilfred Worthy Barnett buried 9 June 1950, aged 54. Peter Harris said his age was given on the kerb, but on rechecking it is clear it isn’t. He must have obtained the age from the burial register).

53). Kerb. Arnold John NOAD, died 4 May 1950. And his wife, Elsie Louise, died 17 Feb 1971.

54). Kerb. Blanche Gertrude NICHOLDS, died 18 Oct 1947.

55). Kerb. Ethel, wife of George FRANCIS, died 19 June 1947, aged 54. And George Reginald Francis, died 23 Dec 1987, aged 90.

56). Cross and kerb. Mary Stewart Frere GABB, died 30 Jan 1947, aged 79. And her husband, Herbert Marsh Gabb, died 26 June 1954, aged 80.

57). Flower Holder. Henry Thomas SPAREY, 1873 – 1951. And Agnes Lily Sparey, 1881 – 1979.

58). Kerb. Sidney J. HUMPHRIES, died 3 Jan 1952, aged 72. And his wife, Kate, died 10 Aug 1959, aged 77.

59). Kerb. William SKIDMORE, died 16 June 1952, aged 75. And his wife, Eliza Frances, died 15 March 1956, aged 76.

60). Kerb. Albert HUNTLEY, died 23 April 1954, aged 72. And his wife, Violet Jane, died 19 May 1963, aged 79.

61). Headstone. Florence I. STOKES, died Oct 1957, aged 56. And Harold E. Stokes, died May 1975, aged 81. Also Daisy L. Stokes, died Aug 1989, aged 93.

10 January 2024
Last Updated
17 March 2024