St Cyriac's Church

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St Cyriac's church, viewed from the south-west, 2009

St Cyriac's Church is a 14th-century Church of England church, located in the village of Lacock, Wiltshire.


The Norman architecture base to the current church, funded jointly by local landowners Edward of Salisbury of Lacock and William II, Count of Eu of Lackham, may have been built on the site of a previously established Saxon church. It is dedicated to Norman saint, St. Cyriac. The interior is full of later monuments to local land owners, including the Baynards, Bonhams, Crokes, Sharingtons, Talbots and Awdreys.[1]

The church was part rebuilt in the 14th century, with a decorated tracery in a north transept window. But with Lacock a prosperous market town on the Bath, Somerset sheep droving route to London, a more extensive 15th century rebuild was undertaken from the greatly flowing local tax revenues. This created the perpendicular church on a traditional cruciform plan that exists today, and included the addition of a two-bay east chapel funded by the Bonham and Croke families, which includes an east chancel arch window of 6 lights.[1]

In 1604 the recessed octagonal tower was rebuilt followed later by the "cottage" or south annex, comprising two storeys and an attic was built in a rusticated style, described then as the "new Yle" in 1619. After his death in 1636, a series of brass plaques were placed in the church floor commemorating the life of Sir Robert Baynard. These were stolen in mid-2004, but quickly returned after a national appeal by police.[2] The chancel was rebuilt in 1777, in a style out of keeping with the main late-medieval church.[1]

In the late 1800s, the new owner of Lackham House the Baynard family had the then named Lackham chapel, now the Lackham or Baynard, chapel completely rebuilt. A new roof was put on and the transept, which was filled with north facing pews for the Baynard family and their estate workers. In 1861, again funded by the Banyard family, A.W. Blomfield undertook restoration work on the church, including: raising of the transept roofs; a new front; breaking up of the high box pews; taking down the galleries and organ at the west end; breaking in half of ledger stones from the floor. In 1902, Sir Harold Brakspear remodelled the church in a way sympathetic to his friend and local resident, the photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot.[1]


In recent years, has been subject to a series of improvement programmes, funded through both public donation, private subscription and funding from national bodies. These have been co-ordinated by both the Friends of Lacock Church and the Lacock Parochial Church Council (LPCC), and have included:

  • 2006: re-roof the Nave and South Transept[3]

Lacock Cup[edit]

Main article: Lacock Cup

Until 1962 when it was leant to the British Museum, the church was home to a medieval silver chalice, known as the Lacock Cup. Dating from the mid-15th Century, the cup has been described as "one of the most significant pieces of secular English medieval silver".[4] In 2009, LPCC had the cup valued at £1.8M.[5] After approval of the cup's sale by a Consistory court in December 2012,[6] it was sold to a joint bid by the British Museum and the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes.[4] With the funds being invested to raise income to allow restoration of St Cyriac's infrastructure,[7] as part of the sale agreement two replicas will be made: one for liturgical use at the church; one to go on display at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum, when the original is not on display.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Church of St. Cyriac, Lacock". Wiltshire County Council. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Stolen plaques returned to church". BBC News. 30 November 2004. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Church cash bid to fund repairs". BBC News. 27 March 2006. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c "Wiltshire church sells silver medieval chalice for £1.3m". BBC News. 24 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Cash-strapped church's £1.8m cup". BBC News. 28 September 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "British Museum to acquire £1.3m Lacock cup from church". BBC News. 24 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Press Statement: Sale of the Lacock Cup". Corham & Lacock Churches. 24 December 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°24′57.26″N 2°7′14.67″W / 51.4159056°N 2.1207417°W / 51.4159056; -2.1207417