Marden is a small village about 6 miles SE of Devizes; the church lies to the NW of the village and is built of sarsen rubble with freestone dressings. The building consists of a chancel (enlarged in the 14thc and repaired in 1556), nave, S porch and Perpendicular W tower added in the 15thc. The S doorway and the chancel arch indicate that the body of the church dates from the second half of the 12thc.
The Domesday Book records that Wynsi held the manor in 1066, which passed to Walter of Rivers and Hugh son of Baldric in 1086; it valued £10. Before 1205 the ownership passed to Robert de Bonezboz. William de la Ferté held the manor in 1205, which passed to Ralph Gernon from 1216. The church was first mentioned in 1205, when the king granted it to John de Wells. Marden was held as of the honour of Leicester by Margaret, countess of Winchester. In 1229 the church was granted to the Basset family and became a possession of Bradenstoke Priory (Wiltshire).
The church features a very elaborate S doorway of two orders with various types of chevron and geometric decoration dating from c.1175. The tympanum is plain but presumably had a painted scene on it originally. Around it there is a narrow band of shallow chevron and a thin roll moulding. The lintel is decorated with a band of beaded chevron. The label is decorated with an embattled motif with large beads set in the rectangular fields.
|Height of abaci (second order)||0.15m|
|Height of capitals (second order)||0.15m|
|Height of tympanum||0.76m|
|Width of opening||1m|
It is a quarter-circle in plan and is decorated with diamond-shaped, eight-lobed leaves with a small hemisphere in the centre. Around this order there is a narrow beaded band. The order is continuous. In form, though not its detail or quality, it resembles the shape of the jambs of the S porch at Malmesbury.
The arch features a single line of lateral-to-the-face chevron consisting of a roll and a hollow chamfer. The jambs have a single shaft with capitals. Both capitals are cushioned in form with beaded and swags on the faces. The abaci have small beads on the hollow chamfered lower section and a series of simplified, multi-lobed leaves on the vertical face.
|Height (from ground to abaci top)||2.23m|
|Height of abaci||0.15m|
|Height of capitals||01.7m|
|Width of opening||1.99m|
This order has three lines of frontal-to-the-face chevron with lines of beads between. It consists of three roll mouldings with two lines of frontal-to-the-face chevron between. It features attached shafts with simple scallop capitals.
It has two lines of diagonal-on-the-face chevron.
DCMS Listing Description.
Victoria County History: Wiltshire, vol. X, 119-25.
J. Buckler, Unpublished album of drawings. Devizes Museum, vol. VIII, pl. 72.
N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, Buildings of England: Wiltshire. Harmondsworth 1975, 2nd edition.