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Wiltshire Community History

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Codford

Church of St. Peter, Codford

Church of St. Peter, Codford Date Photo Taken 2011
Uploaded 26/07/2012 15:13:40
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Map Latitude 51.158625557613405 : Longitude -2.050115615129471
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


9th century Saxon cross shaft.

The church originates in the Norman period but it contains a 9th century Saxon cross shaft, about four feet high. This depicts a man with a mallet or rattle holding aloft a stylised branch from an alder tree. His head is thrown back and he is wearing dress typical of the period, a full smock and a short cloak. Several theories have been advanced as to the meaning of this picture. One suggests that this is a dancer in a ceremony confirming local peoples' rights in the produce of the low lying marshland. It would appear to be a non-Christian symbol but one of great importance to be incorporated in an early church, which may have existed in Saxon times.

The present church of west tower, nave, south porch, chancel, north aisle and vestry dates from the 13th century. In the 15th century the gabled south porch and the Perpendicular west tower, of which the lowest part survives, were built. The gabled vestry was added in the 19th century and a substantial restoration took place in 1863 under T.H. Wyatt. The Norman chancel arch was moved and Saxon sculpture was found in the walls. The church contains the royal arms of George I (1716) and an 18th century communion table. The square font is 12th century and is carved with stars and crosses, while the font cover is 17th century. The registers dating from 1597 (baptisms and burials) and 1619 (marriages), other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.


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