St Mary's and St John's Churches

stjohns outside outsideview


In 1899 Field Marshall Sir John Linthorn Simmons, G.C.B., G.C.M.G, R.E., in fulfilment of a wish made by members of his family, set aside a portion of his land in Langford to build a church and parsonage.   The church was completed on 6th October 1900 as shown on a stone placed on the outside of the West wall.


The roof of the chancel is of oak and that of the nave of pitch pine.  The octagonal font of Ham Hill stone with a Maltese Cross on four faces stands inside the entrance door. The pulpit is of oak on a stone base.


Originally there was a small lean-to vestry but this was enlarged in 1902 to accommodate the organ which was brought from Barley Wood in Wrington.  The West end has three tall lancet lights; the South side five smaller lancets, one of which is in stained glass; and in the North wall are three similar ones, that nearest the pulpit being in memory of William George Iremonger and his wife. The Reverend Iremonger was priest-in-charge from 1913 until 1950.  In the chancel and sanctuary there are three stained glass windows above the altar and three in the North wall in memory of Sir John and his family.


In 1903 the Field Marshall died and in July of that year a portrait of him in uniform was incorporated in the oak overmantle in the dining room of the parsonage with the inscription:  'Eleanor Julia Linthorn Simmons elder daughter of Field Marshall Sir John Linthorn Simmons bequeaths this portrait by Henty of her father to be hung in perpetuity

in this house as a memorial of his having built and endowed the Church and Parsonage of St. Mary the Virgin Langford'.


The stone of which the church is built is interesting. It is dolomitic conglomerate and is a desert stone of the Triassic period - about 200 million years old. Small stones from the surrounding hills and mountains fell down to the desert floor and eventually became compacted in the sand. The interior walls are wrought with chiselled tooling and the small stones can be seen clearly. Similar stone was used in many other local buildings.



IMG_1090 IMG_1093 Field Marshall