St. Swithuns

The Parish of Sandford with

Upton Hellions


The Parish Church of St. Swithun, Sandford


St Swithun’s,Sandford; it is likely that there has been a place of worship on this site for 1,000 years. It probably began as a Saxon Chapel following with the present building as a Chapel of Ease in the early 12th century. Indeed strictly speaking it remained a Chapel until 1928 when it joined St Mary’s.


Above the north end of the gallery, there is a roof boss of a green man probably around the 15th century. There are box pews, many with richly carved bench-ends. A group from Sandford Heritage is trying to trace the history of these highly unusual carvings. To date we have learned a lot about the carvings and are awaiting the outcome of a dendrochronologist’s investigation. In 2012 the Sandford Heritage Group commissioned a new benchend using ideas from Sandford School children which will be placed in the church in the near future. We have a fine West Gallery (1657), a well restored chancel ceiling, a modern rood screen war memorial.


A rather unusual stone carving is of two children beneath a shelf attached to a pillar. It is said to depict a fight which took place within the church (circa 1127) and which resulted in its closure for a number of years.


St. Swithun's boasts

a fine collection of bench ends.

The Undergallery area completed in 2010 provides kitchen and toilet facilities

Carving depicting the fight that took place in 12th Century