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Church of All Saints, Yatesbury, Cherhill

Church of All Saints, Yatesbury, Cherhill Date Photo Taken 2009
Uploaded 16/06/2010 15:08:24
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Map Latitude 51.44242599011904 : Longitude -1.9102263450622559
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

The church dates certainly from the 13th century, when it was served by a rector, and possibly from the 12th. It remained a rectory until 1973 when it combined with surrounding benefices to form the new Oldbury benefice, as described above.

The church was apparently built on Westcourt manor and in 1291 the living was worth £10, in 1535, £17 and in c.1830, £455. In all of these cases the amounts were above average for livings in Avebury deanery. In 1428 the rector was paying 6s. 8d. per year to Kington St. Michael priory, although no further references to such payments have been found.

The church itself is built of chalk blocks and freestone; it has a chancel with north vestry, nave and aisles built in the 13th century, a south porch and west tower of the 15th century. Parts of a doorway date from the 12th century. The church was restored in 1854 and at this date the west gallery was removed.

Three bells hung in the church in 1553; the treble and tenor was replaced by bells cast in 1636 and the third by one cast in the late 17th century or earlier 18th. In 1773 a fourth bell was replaced and a fifth bell was added in 1931. In 1995 all five bells remained in place.

In 1613 the glebe land measured 32 acres and in 1839 27 acres. A house which stood on the glebe in 1613 may have been the rectory house standing south-east of the church in the early 19th century. Work on a new stone house 500m. to the west of the church began in 1832 and was completed in 1843. The old house was demolished. The rectory house was sold in 1951.

In 1662 the rector Nathaniel Webb, who had held the living since 1656, was ejected as a non-conformist. On Census Sunday in 1851 morning service was attended by 49 adults and afternoon service by 80 adults.

From 1951-1972 a rector served both Cherhill and Yatesbury churches and from 1973 by the team ministry of Oldbury benefice.

Registers of baptisms, marriages and burials from 1706 are held by the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre in Chippenham. Incomplete runs of Bishop's transcripts of registers from 1606 are also held at the Centre.

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