The Past

At the time of the Doomsday Book (1086) the population of the Manor of Newbold was some 120 people. This would indicate that there could have been an Anglo-Saxon church, probably on the present site; there is, however, no hard evidence for this.

Hunfridus de Hastang, who held some 600 acres within the Manor, is credited with building a church at the turn of the 11th and 12th centuries.  It is known that he transferred the Advowson of the church to the Priory of Nostell Abbey in 1121.  In 1344 the Advowson was bought for Queen’s Hall (now Queen’s College) Oxford and has remained with them to this day.

The name ‘Newbold’, meaning newly built or established, was very common and so, in 1278, William de Paci, who held the Manor, added ‘de Paci’ to distinguish it from the others.

Over the intervening years the population of the parish, which includes Ashorne, grew while the fabric of the church deteriorated.  About 1870 the decision was taken to build a new church on the same site; this would be funded from private donations; the first donation being received in November 1873.

At the same time the 1870 Education Act was passed which required parishes to provide schools for all children within the parish.  Despite the fact that there were two schools run by the Church of England and one by the Congregational Church witin the parish, another one had to be built. There were no grants from public funds and, again, the money had to be raised from private donations.  As the principal donors to both projects were largely the same people, it was decided that both projects could not go ahead at the same time, and so the rebuilding of the church was delayed.  The school cost some £500 (the land being given) and the church some £3000 at the prices of the time.

The Rebuilding

The present church was built on the site of the old one but was greatly increased in size, taking part of the churchyard on all sides but the east.  The height of the chancel was also increased.

The architect was a well known church architect, John L Pearson who, amongst other churches, designed Truro Cathedral.  The tradesmen were local people.

Materials from the old church were used, particularly the north and south doors, although they were transposed in the building. The Norman feature of having north and south doors was retained; in the Middle Ages it was customary on certain occasions for the clergyman to lead the  congregation out of one door, round the church and in at the other.

Sufficient funds had been raised during the building of the school for the architect to be employed and the bills of quantity drawn up. The faculty was authorised in full in 1880 and the new church was consecrated on June 6th 1881.  At the same time the graveyard was increased on the east side of the church by the donation of some of its tithe land by the Patron, Queen’s College.

After the consecration service some 200 parishioners sat down to tea provided by a local caterer.