t. James church at Draycot Cerne is set in a private estate and is in a most beautiful setting beside a lake. The church is now termed as redundant and is maintained by The Churches Conservation Trust
. The church is kept locked, but the key can be obtained from a local resident, whose phone number is displayed on the church door and is given on the CCT website page for Draycot Cerne; it is advisable to phone prior to a visit to make sure someone will be available to unlock the door for you.
The church of St. James is a Grade II* listed building - more information about the listing can be found at the British Listed Buildings
website. More information about Draycot can be found at the Wiltshire Online Parish Clerks
We have been inside St. James twice to take photographs and both times we have been given a very informative guided tour – our thanks go to Mr. & Mrs. Couzens for their welcome and their time. On one visit we were even treated to an organ recital! Wonderful.
The church has a couple of services each year but there are not enough members to warrant having a service each week. The CCT keep the building in good repair, no doubt with the help of Mr. & Mrs. Couzens.
There are some wonderful sketches by Edward Kite in the John Aubrey book 'Wiltshire Collections' of objects in St. James as they appeared in the 1660s. On our first visit we were hoping some were still in existence and looked forward to seeing them. We were not disappointed. The brass of Sir Edward Cerne is in wonderful condition. The tomb of Sir Thomas Long does look worn, but then it is 500 years old! Even so, there is still plenty of detail to be seen.
Any information given on these pages is taken from either Wiltshire Collections or the history leaflet, written by Tim Couzens, which is available at the church. Tim has also published a book about the history of Draycot House and the people who lived there - all copies have now been sold but he is happy to take any enquiries about the owners and the estate etc, via email; please email us (using the link) and we will forward it on to Tim.Please note
: we have been rather confused by some of the surnames on memorials - mainly concerning people's titles and multiple-barrelled names. If you spot an error, please inform us so we can put it right. Bearing this in mind, if you are using the 'names search' for a particular person at this church, you might like to look through all the surnames listed not just for a particular one in case we have got it wrong.