I can see the obvious connection between a church and holy orders – it’s how the clergy are ordained after all – but calling ‘last orders!’ for those drinking in the nave, is a new one on me.
In fact, those supporting this community-enhancing adventure at Swainswick in Bath reckon theirs in the first church in this region to become a pub – if only on the first Friday of every month!
Last night was the second time l had ventured out to join others enjoying real ale, wine and mince pies at the back of the nave.
Ironically this village has, historically, never had a central public house – that is until St Mary the Virgin decided to take up the challenge.
I asked church warden, Susanna Watson, how this parochial pub came about.
Pub Swainswick is open for business on the first Friday of every month from 6.30 to 8.30 pm. That’s January 4th and February 1st to put in your diary!
While you are there, look out for the last resting place of two Georgian gentlemen whose architectural legacy lives on as some of Bath’s most iconic showpiece period buildings.
Before you leave the chapel, you will spot the burial slab of John Wood the Elder (1704-1754), architect and developer of Georgian Bath, including the Circus, Royal Crescent and Prior Park. His son, John Wood the Younger, also an architect in Bath, is buried beside his father.