The church is the parish church of Stock Gaylard. It is not known precisely when it was built but it existed at the time of the Crusades since a Crusader, believed to be Sir Ingelramus de Waleys, was buried here and his effigy still exists, which dates the church back to the 12 or 13th Century.
The church was restored in 1884, in memory of Mr and Mrs H.F. Yeatman by their children, Bishop Huyshe Walcott Yeatman-Biggs of Worcester, and his brother and sister. There is a small photograph in the vestry of the condition of the church before restoration.
The alterations made to the ancient structure were the following:
Otherwise no major structural changes were made but the work revealed a stone chamber 4’x 1’6’’ x 1’, beneath the figure of the Crusader. In this chamber was found a complete but dismembered skeleton and fragments of red leather.
It is to be surmised that some 700 years previously the body of the Lord of the Manor, killed in the Holy Land, had been dismembered and placed in a bag and brought home by packhorse for burial in his native place. There it remains, for in 1884, with restoration work completed, the bones of the Crusader were laid in a new wooden coffin, bearing the red Knight Templar’s Cross and were re-committed to their resting place.
Today there are regular monthly services in the Church, usually the 4th Sunday in the month. Rev. William Ridding is the vicar and the Churchwardens are Mrs Janet Minikin and Mr Mike Williams.
Stock Gaylard Estate Office, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT10 2BG
Tel: 01963 23511