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Church of All Saints, Netheravon
|Date Photo Taken 2011|
Uploaded 16/08/2012 10:19:26
Map Latitude 51.23446949038385 : Longitude -1.7895162105560303
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre
|Wall of the south aisle with 15th century three light windows. |
In late Saxon times Netheravon was a fairly populous and wealthy estate and it is likely to have had a substantial religious community pre-1066. By the early 11th century there was a cruciform church with a small chancel or apse on the site of the present nave, a central tower and a nave. Parts of the present church tower have been ascribed to the 9th century and there is also 11th century work, with an arch, doorways and other features. In 1066 the church and its lands were held by Spirtes the priest. By 1086 the church was described as ruinous and it, with three substantial manors worth £32, were in the possession of Niel the physician. The church was rebuilt in Norman times and surviving work includes the arch in the great west doorway, the tower, an 18 feet high arch between the tower and the nave, columns in the nave and a rood loft. Both chancel and an aisled and clerestoried nave were built in the 13th century, to the east of the old central tower. A new upper stage was added to the tower and the church by then had attained its present size.
Part of the roof was renewed aroud 1600 and cresting and pinnacles were added to the tower in 1626. Around 1694 the vicarage was destroyed by fire and a new one built some distance away to the north of the church. In 1793 this was exchanged for a new house in the High Street. A new vicarage was built around 1838. At some time after 1809 the north porch was demolished and the church was restored in 1839. In 1851 the average congregation was 150 in the morning and 200 in the afternoon. During a major restoration by C.E. Ponting in 1888 the church was closed for three months and services held in the schoolroom. The low leaded roof of the nave was replaced and raised, other areas re-roofed, the 13th century chancel arch replaced, and the pews replaced.
In 1931 the vicarage was held in plurality with that of Fittleton and in 1947 they were united. In 1973 the vicarage of Enford was added to create the benefice of Netheravon with Fittleton and Enford. In the early 1980s a major crack in the tower appeared and £50,000 was raised to allow repair work to be carried out in the late 1980s. There are six bells, the earliest of which is 1588; all were re-hung in a new iron frame in 1911. The pulpit is c.1919 and is a memorial to students of the 1913 course at the Cavalry School. The parish register from 1582 (births) and 1611 (marriages and burials), other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre at Chippenham.
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