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A Brief History

Built in the 13th century, St Lawrence  Chapel was sold by King Edward VI, despite a petition sent to the King claiming 800 people took communion there.

In 1575 the people of Warminster bought the chapel and in 1592 an indenture was drawn up appointing 12, 10 or eight of the principal honest and discreet men of the parish to administer. These are known as feoffees and meet four times a year.

The Chapel is a non-Royal, Inter-denominational ‘peculiar’ chapel existing outside the control of any religious organisation. It was traditionally endowed by two maiden sisters named Hewett in the early 13th century.


It is now an independent foundation


Who was Saint Lawrence?

Saint Lawrence was a Christian martyr of Spanish birth ordained by Pope Sixtus II. When the Pope himself was arrested in Rome in 258, he ordered Lawrence, his deacon, to give the church’s treasures to the poor and when asked by the city’s prefect, Lawrence refused to give them up, so he was condemned to a roasting. 


Although Lawrence was probably beheaded, St. Ambrose of Milan and the Latin poet Prudentius, among others, recorded that he was roasted to death on a gridiron, remarking to his torturers at one point, “I am cooked on that side; turn me over, and eat.” 

A Patron Festival is held in the Chapel each year on the closet Sunday to his Feast Day of August 10th.

For more information on the life of St Lawrence click here

The History of The Chapel of St Lawrence

  • List of Feoffees and Nominated Trustees click here

  • Ray Shorto (Feoffee): Chapel history click here.

  • David Pollard (Former Feoffee):

    • Chapel history click here.​

    • History of the Bell Founders of Warminster click here.

  • Paul Tindalls: Article on Nelson Hall Scudamore Organ click here

  • St Lawrence Chapel and Curfew Cottage Architectural drawings:

       Click here

  • St Lawrence Chapel Grade 2 listing click here 

  • St Lawrence Chapel Grade 1 listing Scudamore Organ click here

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1764 Tilliam Rudd Chapel Clock

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