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All Saints Church, Crudwell

All Saints Church, Crudwell Date Photo Taken 2006
Uploaded 25/10/2007 08:29:35
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, Chippenham

All Saints Church was so called in 1763, previously having been named All Hallows. It is made of rubble and ashlar with a chancel, north chapel, aisled and clerestoried nave with a south porch and aisled west tower. The nave was probably built in the 11th century, the narrowness of the nave suggesting its Saxon origins. It has a wagon roof and stone corbels with human faces. The tower was probably built c.1150 and the early 13th century saw the south transept built. The chancel was re-built in the later 13th century when the north aisle was extended east to form the chapel. The north aisle also contains a 13th century round-headed Norman or Romanesque door. The work was undertaken in the 13th century by William of Colerne. The south aisle was divided from the nave by a two bayed arcade with transept. Of this only the east wall survives, built in the 14th century when the tower was altered and clerestory built. The south aisle was the length of the original nave but was extended in modern times to form a Baptistery. In the 15th century the south aisle was extended and a two storied 'marriage' porch was built. A wooden rood screen was also put up in the north aisle at this time but was moved to the north chapel in the later 20th century. There are signs of a gallery which ran across the west end of the church. It was probably erected in the 17th century and pulled down when the organ was installed in 1871 by W. Sweetland of Bath. Other restoration work was undertaken mainly between the years 1868-1889. In the early 20th century the centre and west arches of the south aisle were renewed.

A glass window depicting the seven sacraments can be found in the north aisle. Only one other in the whole of England can rival it. Parts of the glass are missing, but in 1670 John Aubrey visited the church and made notes, including the missing wording and the names of the benefactors, John Dow and his wife Joan. Carved bench ends of the Royal Arms 1509-47 can be found in the church, but they were carved c.1593. The church tower contained five bells in 1821. Two were cast in 1633 and three were re-cast medieval bells. All were re-cast in 1858 by C and G Mears. An aumbry was included in the church wall of the north chapel. It is an inlet in the stone wall used for keeping three holy oils for Baptism, Confirmation and Extreme Unction. The thick oak door is now missing. The lynch-gate was erected as a memorial to local men who died in WW1 and is now part of the Imperial War Museum's national archive of war memorials. Stone was used from a quarry off Turners lane and oak was provided from Hankerton.

Baptism and burial registrations began in 1659, marriages in 1663. No burials were recorded for 1680-94. All registers, other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire & Swindon Record Office.

Crudwell Church was included in the Deanery of Malmesbury, but was transferred to the Diocese of Bristol from Salisbury.

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