All Saints, Marden, Wiltshire

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Feature Sets (3)


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).


Exterior Features


S doorway

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 2.12m
Height of abaci (second order) 0.15m
Height of capitals (second order) 0.15m
Height of tympanum 0.76m
Width of opening 1m
First order

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.

Second order

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.

Interior Features


Chancel arch

The chancel arch consists of three orders with a hollow chamfered label. The arch has a squashed appearance.

Height (from ground to abaci top) 2.23m
Height of abaci 0.15m
Height of capitals 01.7m
Height (overall) 3.2m
Wall thickness 0.92m
Width of opening 1.99m
First order

It features attached shafts with simple scallop capitals. Its impost has a plain chamfer decorated with small hemispheres scored to imitate limpets.

Second order

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.

Third order

It has two lines of diagonal-on-the-face chevron.


The church was restored in 1885 by Charles Edwin Ponting.


  • 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.

View from SE.
S porch.
Nave from W.


Site Location
National Grid Reference
SU 086 578 
now: Wiltshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Wiltshire
medieval: Old Sarum
now: Salisbury
now: All Saints
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Allan Brodie 
Visit Date
23 May 1991, 5 March 2005