Biddestone and Yatton Keynell

near Chippenham, Wiltshire

Photos by Hetty

A visit with Stroud U3A Church History and Architecture Group

Church of St Nicholas, Biddestone

Biddestone was a Saxon village; this church originated in the C12. It has a C13 bell-turret with a short C15 octagonal stone spire and C20 ship weathervane.

In the C14 south porch is a C12 south doorway with 2 columns with carved caps to plain arch framing stone tympanum with cross in beaded circle. The door is about 300 years old

The tall box pews  are from c1800. The west gallery was added for the people of Slaughterford, who were without a church – they had their own access via stairs through the window (now restored) . The church at Slaughterford was ruined in the Civil War by Cromwell’s men and not rebuilt until 1823.

There are two charity boards:

Dame James left money for clothes and coal for the poor.

William Little left money for bread and meat for 20 poor persons at Christmas

.C12 font with zig-zag ornament.

Near the church is the village pump

St Margaret’s Church, Yatton Keynell

The church was built in 1250, enlarged in C15 and restored in C19. The lower part of the tower is C13

It has an intricately carved C15 stone screen, restored in 2003

We found a cat in the foliage, but where is the mouse?


The cherubs on the bottom right still have rosy checks and golden wings

Link to more U3A church visits

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