The Anglo-Saxon kings had a significant effect on the history of the tiny village of Limpley Stoke, for it was during their reigns that the church came into being. It was King Alfred who divided his kingdom up into 'hundreds'. This village, with a number of surrounding villages, formed a hundred, with the town of Bradford at its centre. He also founded Shaftesbury Abbey, with his daughter as the first Abbess. Another significant ruler was King Edgar who was crowned on the border of Wessex at nearby Bath Abbey in 973 AD. He had two sons and a daughter who shaped the destiny of Limpley Stoke and its church for centuries to come.
Edith, the daughter, was born to Wulfthryth in 962 AD. Her mother was Abbess of Wilton, near Salisbury, who later became a saint. Edith herself was also canonised after an untimely death at the age of 22, when a number of miracles were recorded. She also became the patron saint of the church at Limpley Stoke and remained so for some 500 years. It was only in the l6th century that the church became known as St Mary's.
The crowning of King Edgar in 973 AD at Bath Abbey
Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
King Alfred
King Aethelthred II
King Egbert
King Edward had been ruler for only three years when he was murdered at Corfe Castle. It is believed that his stepmother and stepbrother were accomplices to the act. Later, when Aethelthred took the throne, he gave a number of estates to Shaftesbury Abbey, where Edward was buried. Finally, in 1001 AP, Edward became a saint and, with worries of invasion of Shaftesbury by the Danes, he gave the Abbey the Hundred of Bradford with its own abbey as a place of refuge for the nuns. Among the Bradford Hundred is the village of Limpley Stoke.