St James’s Church

Grade I listed. Built on the site of an earlier church in the middle of the 15th century, it is one of the oldest buildings in Trowbridge. The tower and spire are thought to remain from the previous church. The spire is itself the second-highest in Wiltshire, after Salisbury Cathedral. The nave ceiling, decorated with angels, is also thought to be original. It was taken down during the interregnum and then restored after 1660. The church was extensively altered and restored in 1848. The poet George Crabbe became rector of the church in 1813 and was buried in its sanctuary in 1832. There is a memorial tablet to him in the chancel.

In St. James’ churchyard, itself can be found the grave of Thomas Helliker. Helliker was a figure in early English trade union history who was hanged, aged 19, for his alleged role in machine-breaking at a woolen mill at Semington, near Trowbridge. More information can be found about Helliker by clicking the link above.

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