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Wiltshire Community History

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Church of St. Christopher, Ditteridge, Box

Church of St. Christopher, Ditteridge, Box Date Photo Taken 2003
Uploaded 25/10/2007 08:29:35
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham

It is believed that this site was used as a travellers' rest, near to the Fosse Way, and this could have given rise to the dedication to St. Christopher, the patron saint of travellers. There is evidence that there was a Saxon church here although the present church dates from c.1100. It is sited at the northern end of a road formerly known as High Street and it is most likely that Ditteridge was more important in medieval times than it is now. The earliest part of the structure is the early Norman nave, 43 feet long by 15 feet wide and built of stone rubble. A chancel was added in the 13th century and a south porch in the 14th and that is the structure as it stands today. It is a charming and simple church that stands as a reminder of how many village churches looked in medieval times.

There is a fine Norman doorway with carved animals, including dragons, and foliage while there also is a Norman font and a Norman arch headed window to the east of the porch. A 13th century piscina can be found on the interior of the south wall and there is a scratch, or mass, dial on the exterior. As the centuries progressed the church gradually fell into disrepair with doorways and windows blocked and the walls covered with mortar and whitewash. In 1854 fragments of very good wall paintings, thought to be 15th century, were discovered but these were unfortunately destroyed by exposure to air. In 1860 the church was restored by E.W. Godwin and in 1865 the west window was replaced after being damaged. The church registers from 1584 (christenings), 1589 (marriages) and 1587 (burials), other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office.

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