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Wiltshire Community History

Church of St. Michael, Atworth

It is probable that there has been a church on the site of St Michael and All Angels since 1001, when the Abbess of Shaftesbury was granted permission to build a chapel. It was completed c.1070. During the 12th century it was partially destroyed by fire and the nave had to be rebuilt. The first vicar was presented in 1298 by the Lord of the Manor and patron of Atworth church, Richard Cotel of Cottles House. In 1451 the church was rebuilt and enlarged by Thomas Beaushin of Cottles House. The existing tower is all that remains of this building.

By 1831 the condition of the church was causing concern. The building was both unsafe and too small. The new church was designed by Mr. R.E. Goodridge of Bath in the early Gothic revival style. The cost was met mainly by a grant from the Incorporated Society for Promoting the Enlargement, Building and Improving of Churches and Chapels. The whole of the building, except the tower, was demolished and replaced with a new nave and chancel. The inside looks like a chapel, having no aisles. The church is set a little to the south of the old tower and is joined to it by a short corridor. Seating was provided for 428 people. Some items, including the stone font and the four tablets, two on each side of the altar, were transferred from the old church.

Further improvements were made in 1881 when, as a result of public subscriptions and gifts the building was reseated. The new pews were built by Mr. F. Titt who ran a carpentry business on the site of the Village Hall. Other alterations included the removal of the organ console from the gallery to the east end and the construction of two raised platforms at the east end.

One of the items of interest is the East Window. It is a memorial to the widow of Major Sir John Fuller of Neston Park, who, by her second marriage, became Mrs Norah Forestier-Walker. She lived at Cottles House and was a great benefactress to Atworth. One of the three bells was cast in 1350 and claims to be the oldest bell in Wiltshire. Sadly, neither the bells nor the tower are currently in a fit state for ringing. The first organ in the church was a single manual instrument installed in 1889. This was replaced in 1974, and again in 1997.

In the 1980s the living of Atworth was combined with the ecclesiastical parish of Shaw with Whitley. The church registers dating from 1645 (baptisms and burials) and 1654 (marriages), apart from those currently in use, can be seen at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre at Chippenham.

Church Search Results

There were 11 items found.

Church of St. Michael, Atworth
Church of St. Michael, Atworth

Image Date: 2006
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Michael, Atworth
Church of St. Michael, Atworth

Image Date: 2006
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Michael, Atworth
Church of St. Michael, Atworth

Image Date: 2006
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Michael, Atworth
Church of St. Michael, Atworth

Image Date: 2006
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Michael, Atworth
Church of St. Michael, Atworth

Image Date: 2006
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Michael, Atworth
Church of St. Michael, Atworth

Image Date: 2006
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Michael, Atworth
Church of St. Michael, Atworth

Image Date: 2006
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Michael, Atworth
Church of St. Michael, Atworth

Image Date: 2006
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Michael, Atworth
Church of St. Michael, Atworth

Image Date: 2006
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Michael, Atworth
Church of St. Michael, Atworth

Image Date: 2006
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


Church of St. Michael, Atworth
Church of St. Michael, Atworth

Image Date: 2006
Image Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham


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