About this church
Its history explains all: it was founded as a monastic church in 1351 by a local man who attained national importance both in the church and as a royal administrator. William of Edington had become Bishop of Winchester in 1346 and was planning a new nave and west front for the city's great cathedral so he was no stranger to grand churches.
The other priory buildings have disappeared, but the church is as fine as ever. It is a wonderful setting for the sacred music of the Edington Festival. This has taken place every August for more than 50 years and hosts cathedral choirs and other distinguished performers.
The date of this beautifully proportioned cruciform church is remarkable: it was built very shortly after the Black Death, a time when church building had suffered along with many other aspects of community life.
A second unusual fact is that the church, completed within a mere 10 years, encapsulates the change from the Decorated to the Perpendicular style, incorporating features from both. Compare the styles of the windows and stonework in different parts of the church and note the distinctions.
The structure is basically unaltered since it was built, and there is even some original 14th century glass remaining, but the interior had a 17th century refit when the pink and white plaster ceilings of the nave and crossing were installed, along with some fine woodwork including the pulpit, font cover and communion rails. These improvements were probably funded by the Lewis family, who lived in what then remained of the priory. The 17th century monument in the chancel is to Sir Edward Lewis and his wife Lady Anne Beauchamp.