The Quintet Group of Parishes

Cranborne with Boveridge, Edmondsham, Wimborne St. Giles and Woodlands Parishes

Wimborne St. Giles


A warm welcome to St Giles church, Wimborne St Giles.  We hope you enjoy our pages and that you will visit our church which is open during daylight hours.  If you have any questions or feedback for us please go to the People & Contacts tab above. 11 April 2017



St Giles’ Church, which has Grade 1 Listed status, is situated in the middle of the village of Wimborne St Giles, facing the village green and school  and adjoining a row of early 17C Almshouses. The church has a fine organ and a resident organist.  It is open every day to visitors.  The present building was constructed in 1732 on the site of the earlier mediaeval church and may have been designed by the Bastard Brothers, architects of Blandford.   Records indicate a church here in 1291 and some flint footings are visible which may belong to the earlier church.  It was probably a "modest" building which had been outgrown by the village and the needs of the Earls if Shaftesbury.  The 1732 church was in Early Georgian style, well constructed in greensand and flint.  It superseded both the earlier St Giles church and the sister church at All Hallows, about 1 Km south.  The church at All hallows was pulled down and there is no trace now although the churchyard remains.   A piece of dressed masonry under the tower at St Giles was reputed to be a part of the font at All Hallows but was most probably part of a capitol from one of the pillars.



The Earls of Shaftesbury

The country seat of the Earls of Shaftesbury is in Wimborne St Giles and the Ashley-Cooper family are patrons of the church.  There are many fine monuments and memorials to previous Earls and their relatives and many are laid to rest here in the family crypt.  St Giles House, some 400 metres from the church, is on the site of the earlier Manor House of Wimborne St Giles, home of the Ashley family.

This fine monument is to Sir Anthony Ashley Bt who died in 1627 and his wife Lady Jane.  The child kneeling at their bedside is their daughter Ann Elizabeth.  She married John Cooper uniting the Ashley and Cooper families.  The 1st Earl of Shaftesbury was her son.  His memorial is on the north wall of the nave  

Gothic Revival

The plain Georgian church was somewhat remodelled by the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury in 1852 and further changed in the fashion of the Gothic Revival by Harriet, wife of the 8th Earl, who in 1887 used GF Bodley as her architect.  This work included adding false Early English arches and closing off the East window.  Between 1908 and 1910, following a catastrophic fire, the building was enlarged and completely remodelled by the great Gothic Revival Architect Sir John Ninian Comper


Sir Ninian Comper

The Church is now regarded as one of Comper’s seminal projects and the test bed for his “Harmony by Inclusion” concept.   Given a free hand by the 9th Earl of Shaftesbury Comper attended to every aspect of detail, including the incorporation of the four fine windows in the North wall which were recycled from the chapel at Christ's College Oxford. 


 As well as the structure, ceiling, fine windows, font, Rood Screen and panelling, the church retains nearly all of Comper’s other original details.     


Music at St Giles

The music tradition is strong at St Giles (Handel is reputed to have visited St Giles House) and the church has a fine, two manual, pipe organ by Harrison & Harrison Ltd.  The west gallery accomodates the choir and the Quintet Group is fortunate to have a resident organist .


Scheduled performances in 2017 include the CALDICOT WELSH MALE VOICE CHOIR on Sat 15th July 2017 at 7.30pm.  Entrance by ticket at £12.00 which includes a glass of wine.  Tickets 01725 551258 or 01725 517613

Bells at St Giles

The tower was endowed with six bells before the fire of 1908 but these were lost when the bell frame gave way.  Six new bells were cast as part of the restoration and two more were added in 1926 to give a peal of eight, now in a steel frame .  There is an active team between St Giles and Cranborne towers and both are frequently visted by touring teams 


In 2014 a catastrophic failure of the clapper assembly on the No 6 Bell while being rung resulted in the bell being cracked beyond repair and the cast iron frames also being damaged.  The bell was re-cast by Taylors of Loughborough and the peel restored to full strength the following year.  The new bell was dedicated in memory of the dead of the Great War






Breakfast Church and Childrens Activities February 26th  (, coffee, tea, juice, bacon rolls followed by family service including a Holy Communion) was great fun.  A good congregation from across the Quintet, and plenty of children, great!


The Lent Lunch in the Village Hall on March 25th was popular, well attended and raised over £200 for the Sudan appeal - well done!


The PCC has voted to go full steam ahead  with the Toilet project!


Coming Up at St Giles


  • May 7th next Anglican High Mass for all-comers at St Giles.
  • May 7th Wonderful homemade Teas in the Village Hall in support of St Giles church, 1500-1700, all welcome

Works and Projects

We run a continuous programme of maintenance and repair to this Grade 1 Listed building and its contents.  Work completed in recent years includes : Restoration of the portico over west door, Cleaning and restoration of rood screen, Decoration and lighting in south porch ("The Farmers Door") and production of  scarlet riddel curtains and lectern falls .

Projects now started:

  • Provision of a toilet for the church
  • Installation of a sound system, including a hearing loop

Significant items being considered are

  • Fitting glass draft doors to the south and west entrances

If you would like to know more about this work (or contribute towards its cost) please contact the Churchwarden


Wimborne St Giles Village Website