All Saints, Netheravon, Wiltshire

Feature Sets (2)

Description

A tall west tower with its lower parts dating from the mid to late 11thc. dominates the church and indicates that while Netheravon was obviously a significant place around the time of the Conquest, it later settled down to having a modest church.  The nave and chancel date from the 13thc. and the nave aisles were rebuilt in the 15thc.

History

In Domesday Book Nigel the doctor held the church and one hide of land; the church owned three manors from Hugh, son of Baldric. After this the church reverted to the king and in the early 12thc. Henry I granted it to the chapter of Old Sarum and the church became a prebend. It is very likely that the prebendaries already presented to a vicarage here.

Features

Interior Features

Arches

Tower/Transept arches

West tower

The west tower of the current church dominates the nave and chancel that lie to the east. However, originally this may have been a central tower, the current west arch that provides the entrance to the church having originally opened into a nave. There are small openings in the north and south walls, the north one now blocked, that probably opened into porticuses, while higher up in the walls of the tower there are small round headed windows.

Dimensions
Height of E arch to top of abaci 4.275 m
Height of W arch to top of abaci 3.3 m
E arch

The east arch of the tower is taller than the west arm. Each jamb has three shafts on each jamb and the capitals are plain, probably later replacements.

W Arch

This arch now serves as the entrance into the church but originally probably opened into the nave of the church. Both jambs have two semicircular shafts, each with a semi-circumference of 0.60 to 0.67 m. The capitals were too high to measure but elevations in Taylor and Taylor show that they are 0.375 m high and 0.50 m wide. The abaci are 0.20 m high.

Both jambs have paired cubic capitals. The right capital of the north jamb has been damaged but appears to have been plain. The left capital has a coarse volute with two rows of leaves with hollow surfaces and curved tops. Above these leaves there is a lion with sharp claws, a comic face and a long tail running along its back.

On the south jambs the right capital is damaged at the right corner, removing the volute. The rest of the capital is still intact. It has a large volute on the left side and a row of leaves along the top of the neck. Above this line of leaves, in the centre of the capital, there is a strange pair of shapes, similar to two raised fingers with the nails replace by spirals. The left capital is the most elaborate of the four It has these same strange fingers and a large volute at the left of the capital. Beneath the volute and at the other side of the capital there is complicated foliage, while along the top of the capital there are the remains of a figure, possibly a lion with a long tail. This pair of capitals has an abacus decorated with two lines of cylindrical billet.

Comments/Opinions

Pevsner describes the W end as a particularly telling case of the Saxo-Norman overlap.

Bibliography

  • N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, Buildings of England: Wiltshire. Harmondsworth 1975, 2nd edition, 253-254.

  • H.M. Taylor and J. Taylor, Anglo-Saxon Architecture Cambridge 1980, 456-9.

  • C. Thorn and F. Thorn (eds) Domesday Book, Chichester 1979, 65b, 18; 73b, 3

  • A History of the County of Wiltshire: Volume 11, Downton Hundred; Elstub and Everleigh Hundred, Victoria County History, London 1980, 165-81, esp. 178

Location

Site Location
Netheravon
National Grid Reference
SU 147 484 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Wiltshire
now: Wiltshire
Diocese
now: Salisbury
medieval: Salisbury
Dedication
now: All Saints
medieval: All Saints
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Allan Brodie 
Visit Date
6 October 1995