Westbury Churchyard History

When Henry VIII claimed the land which had belonged to the monasteries, he gave some belonging to Elstow to Sir John Wellesbourne, and it then passed through
several families until it came to the Price family.

The Yew Tree

The yew tree by the path was planted in the time of the Price family, who had "a good seat adjoining the Church, which was formerly the Rectoria/ house".

Roger Price built The Vicarage (now the Old Vicarage) 40 yds NE of the church in 1661, around the time the yew tree in the churchyard was planted.

  • 1907 the girth of the yew tree was 8'4"
  • 1913 umbrage 50 yds, height about 50'

The increase of 2" in 6 years means an increase of 33" in a century or 11" in diameter. Thus the tree was planted in 1660.

The Manor Gardens

The manor gardens were, in the old days, the Butts, where the villagers practised archery, and the target must have been fixed below the bank which runs along the south side of the church.

In Edward VI's reign it was enacted that every Englishman should have a bow, and that butts for the practice of archery should be erected near every village.

In a Brackley Hospital deed 1260-70 there is a grant from the Clerk of Westbury, son of Alexander the Vicar of Westbury, to William in the Willows of Westbury, for one half acre in the West Field of Westbury, near the land of Richard at the churchyard above the 'Bottes'.

The family of Barrington bought the manor in 1854.Percy, who succeeded in 1886 on the death of his elder brother the 7th Viscount, was a generous benefactor and he and his family took an active part in the life of the

He donated a piece of land to extend the churchyard.

How You Can Help Maintain The Churchyard

Please see our page about our churchyard working party and how you can help keep it in good condition for the viullage and visitors. Thank you.

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