St Margaret, Knook, St Margaret, Wiltshire

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Feature Sets (4)


This small church consists of a chancel, a nave, and a large double-storied N porch, that was meant to carry a tower (Pevsner, 282). The 19th-century timber chancel arch sits on short shafts with reset 12th-century capitals. The nave, though restored in 1874-6, is Norman in origin, with an early 12th-century S door. A slab that is now part of the altar is also Norman.


At the time of the Domesday Survey estates at Knook were held by Alweard Colling and Leofgyth, whose husband held land there before the Conquest. There was a mill, 5 acres of meadow and a pasture.


Exterior Features


S Doorway

This blocked doorway is set in a tall projecting gabled block 2.37m wide and approximately 3.7m high. It has a single roll-moulded order and a single shaft on the jambs.

The capitals are cushion capitals with eroded, shallow carving within the curved field on the face of the capital. The decoration on the W capital is too eroded to describe, while the E one has foliage similar to ivy. The W capital is 0.17m wide and 0.25m high including a 0.04m high neck, while the E capital is 0.18m wide and 0.24m high.

The tympanum is decorated with shallow relief carving with two creatures set within curling tendrils reminiscent of Anglo-Saxon carvings or contemporary manuscript decoration. The door probably dates from late 11th or the early 12th century.

Height of opening 2.33m
Width of opening 1.13m

Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Chancel Arch

The 19th-century timber chancel arch, effectively the westernmost truss of the chancel roof, is supported on short shafts with reused late 11th- or early 12th-century cubic capitals. The main face of the S capital is 0.33m wide and the side faces are 0.20m wide. It is 0.18m high and has a 0.035m high neck. It does not retain its abacus. Some evidence of a plaster covering survives. The main face of the N capital is 0.32m wide and the side faces are 0.20m wide. It is 0.21m high and has a 0.035m high neck. It does not retain its abacus. Its surface is badly scraped and gouged as if a layer of plaster has been scraped off this capital. Both capitals are decorated with swirling patterns of tendrils with classical foliage forms.



Altar slab

The top edge of the altar is decorated with a band of elaborate interlace. Most of it appears to be a 19th-century creation but the fragment at the left side is older and may be the blueprint for the whole design.

Height 0.18m
Length 0.375m


The chancel seems to have been restored or rebuilt in the 19th century.


  • F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications or England’s Patron Saints, London 1899, III, 173.

  • DCMS Listing Description.

  • N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, Buildings of England: Wiltshire. Harmondsworth 1975, 2nd edition, 282-3.

Exterior from SW.
Choir, E and N wall.
Interior from W.
Choir, N side, window.


Site Location
Knook, St Margaret
National Grid Reference
ST 936 418 
now: Wiltshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Wiltshire
medieval: Old Sarum
now: Salisbury
medieval: St Margaret
now: St Margaret
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Allan Brodie 
Visit Date
1 May 2004