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Wiltshire Community History

Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett

The site of any early church in Wootton Bassett is not known but one definitely existed in 1264 when Philip Bassett received permission from the Pope to build his own chapel at Vasterne as the parish church at Wootton was some distance from his house. It is believed that the parish church was built by Fulk Bassett, who died in 1259. It was probably a small, low structure with a tower. A window in the Decorated style from this church remains in the south wall of the present Lady Chapel. The list of rectors and vicars exists from 1266. The church was almost entirely rebuilt in 1470 and there are substantial parts of this church remaining, including the south and central aisles of the nave, the chancel, the porch and parvis (room over the porch), and the lower (40 foot high) part of the tower.

In 1710 the church was re-modelled to take account of the change in religious doctrines. This included the heavy oak screen dividing the chancel from the nave, the altar being moved, all pews being turned to face the pulpit on the south wall and a west gallery built. In 1823 there was further clearing and rearranging while in 1838 an east gallery was added. At the same an old wall painting of St. Thomas a Becket was found on the south wall. This seemed to have been plastered over at the same time as a coat of arms of Charles I, so presumably it was covered during the Parliamentary period. It remained visible for some years but in 1856 the incumbent, Thomas Hyde Ripley, allowed it to be destroyed.

Between 1869 and 1871 a major restoration and rebuilding project took place, which was underwritten by the trustees on Sir Henry Meux. The architect was George Street and he produced a church that was more in keeping with its 13th and 15th century predecessors. A new north aisle and sacristy were added, a taller tower built, the box pews and galleries removed and many other improvements made. More recenty the eastern end of the south aisle was made into a Lady Chapel in 1949. In 1977 it was found that there was serious damage in the roof and after much debate a costly restoration took place and the 18th century ceiling was splendidily repainted. This work was completed in 1985. The parish registers from 1595 (christenings) and 1584 (marriages and burials), other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham.

Church Search Results

There were 10 items found.

Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett
Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett

Image Date: 1907
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett
Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett

Image Date: c.1904
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett
Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett

Image Date: c.1913
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett
Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett

Image Date: c.1910
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett
Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett

Image Date: c.1905
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett
Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett

Image Date: 2003
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett
Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett

Image Date: 2003
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett
Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett

Image Date: 2003
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett
Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett

Image Date: 2003
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett
Church of St. Bartholomew and All Saints, Wootton Bassett

Image Date: 2003
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


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