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St Christopher, Ditteridge, Wiltshire

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Feature Sets (3)

Description

The church has an early Norman nave, including a surviving, small window in the south wall and the south door. The chancel dates from the 13th century and the south porch from the 14th century. The building was restored in 1860 by EW Godwin. In addition to the south doorway, the font also probably dates from the early 12th century.

History

Domesday Survey records the land at Ditteridge (Digeric in Domesday) as held by William de Eu.  Warner held Ditteridge of William.  TRE it paid geld for 1 hide and 3 virgates of land.  At the time of Domesday there was land for one plough, and 2 villans and 4 cotsets.  There was half a mill rendering 5s, 7 acres of meadow, 15 acres of pasture, and 17 acres of scrubland.  It was worth 30s. The abbot of Malmesbury leased i hide of this land to Aelfstan.

Features

Exterior Features

Doorways

South door

This door is of unusually high quality for a small parish church and is earlier in date than most small church carving. In style the animal figures and the heads suggest an early 12th century date.

This door has plain jambs with elaborate imposts and a 19th century outer set of jambs and arch. It has a lintel (0.44m high) with a cut out area above it (0.20m deep), as if a statue stood in a niche within the tympanum. The arch is decorated with a series of lyre-shaped foliate forms.

The front face of the west impost has a winged dragon with a long curling tail while on the side face there is a man's head with a beaded headband. The front face of the east impost is decorated with a horse with a forked tail and on the side face is a bearded man with a headband. The imposts are 0.32m wide and 0.23m high, while the heads on the side are 0.18m wide and 0.21-0.24m high. There are traces of paint on the lintel and on the head on the east impost. The door opening is 1.16m wide and 2m high. Buckler illustrated the door in the early 19th century (volume VIII, plate 68). 

Furnishings

Fonts

Font

The font bowl dates from the 12th century but its shaft and base are probably later medieval. This shaft appears in Buckler's illustration in the early 19th century (volume VIII, plate 27). The bowl is decorated with a band of cylinders terminated at the bottom with circles and at the top with semicircles. These are 0.25m high. At the bottom of the bowl there are a series of semicircles 0.06m high.

The font bowl has a circumference of 2.15m at the top and 1.72m at the bottom. It is 0.49m high. 

Comments/Opinions

Early Norman nave with an unusually early and high quality south doorway for a small parish church - likely to be early 12th century. Font also likely to date to the early 12th century. 

Bibliography

  • DCMS Listing Description.

  • J. Buckler, Unpublished album of drawings. Devizes Museum, vol VIII, plates 27, 68.

  • N. Pevsner,¬†Buildings of England: Wiltshire. Penguin 1985.

Location

Site Location
Ditteridge
National Grid Reference
ST 817 695 
Boundaries
now: Wiltshire
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Wiltshire
Diocese
now: Salisbury
medieval: Old Sarum
Dedication
medieval: St Christopher
now: St Christopher
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Allan Brodie, Liz Humble 
Visit Date
18 Aug 1995