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Charlton (Vale of Pewsey)

Church of St. Peter, Charlton

Church of St. Peter, Charlton Date Photo Taken 2013
Uploaded 06/02/2014 15:15:53
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Map Latitude 51.30354436360893 : Longitude -1.8333274126052856
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Original Media Location: Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre


Top stage of tower with creellated parapet and corner pinnacles.

Stonework in the plinth of the south wall of the church indicates that a church stood on the site in the 12th century. The first record of an appointment of a vicar to the church, however, dates from 1306 and was made by the abbot of the house founded at Upavon by the French priory of St. Wandrille de Fontenelle. The Charlton church's attachment to an alien religious foundation led to the assumption of rights over the benefice and advowson by the Crown during the 14th and early 15th centuries. In 1423 these were granted to Ivychurch Priory, Alderbury; however, the Church resumed the rights in 1456 and passed them to Eton College in 1459, although they returned to Ivychurch Priory in 1461. The Priory continued to appoint vicars until the Dissolution.

In 1546 rights were granted to Christ Church, Oxford and these continued to 1920, when Charlton parish was united with Rushall, and the right to appoint vicars was assumed alternately by Christ Church and Merton Colleges, Oxford. Charlton and Rushall were disunited in 1939 and Charlton then united with Wilsford, when the right to appoint passed alternately to Christ Church and St. Nicholas Hospital, Salisbury. In 1956 the united benefice of Charlton, North Newnton and Wilsford was created.

St. Peter's Church building itself comprises an undivided nave and chancel and a chapel built in 1523 on the north side as a chantry chapel for William and his wife Marion Chaucey, where a brass memorial is dedicated to their memory. Also on the north side at the western end of the nave, is a stone tower, the ground floor of which acts as an entry porch to the church; this too is dated to the 15th -16th centuries. Dedication of the church to St. Peter is recorded in 1308.

The nave and chancel, whose dimensions are a further indication of an earlier building on the site, date principally from the church's restoration in 1858 by John Loughborough Pearson. Memorial tablets and brasses are dedicated to members of the Pinckney and Fowle families.

In 1553 three bells were recorded as hanging in the tower; of these only one medieval bell from a foundry in Salisbury remains.
Parish registers, other than those in current use, date from 1695 and may be consulted at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre at Chippenham.
In 2014 Charlton St. Peter is part of the Vale of Pewsey team of parishes.


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