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All Saints, Somerford Keynes, Gloucestershire

(51°39′29″N, 1°58′36″W)
Somerford Keynes
SU 017 955
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Gloucestershire
now Gloucestershire
medieval Salisbury
now Gloucester
  • John Wand
25 August 2017

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Somerford Keynes lies on the county boundary with Wiltshire, between Cirencester, Swindon and Malmesbury. The parish was transferred from Wiltshire to Gloucestershire in 1897. The church, which was largely rebuilt in the early 13thc and restored in 1875 by Frederick Sandham Waller, is a rubble stone with flush quoins building; it consists of a chancel, a nave with a N aisle, a S porch and a W tower of three stages. There is an Anglo-Saxon doorway in the aisleless part of the N wall of the nave (Taylor 1969, 68-73), and some late Anglo-Saxon sculptural fragments (Bryant and Viner 1999, 155-8). The surviving Romanesque sculpture consists of the N chancel window, the font, and a fragment of voussoir.


In 685 a nephew of the King of Mercia made a grant of land to Aldhelm, Abbot of Malmesbury and Bishop of Sherborne; the Anglo-Saxon doorway might be the remains of a church founded by Aldhelm. The Domesday Survey records that Alweard held the manor of 'Sumreford' in 1066, and the Bishop of Lisieux held it in 1086. The manor valued £7. By 1211 the manor was held by William de Cahaignes, an ancestor of the Keynes family: Ralph de Keynes of Dodford acquired it during the reign of Henry I, and the village was named after him.


Exterior Features




Loose Sculpture


Historic England Building listing 1153987.

Anon., All Saints Church, Somerford Keynes, Private Press 2017.

F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications, London 1899, III, 258.

H. M. Taylor and J. Taylor, Anglo-Saxon Architecture, vol. 2, Cambridge 1965, 556-8.

H. M. Taylor, 'The Eighth-Century Doorway at Somerford Keynes', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 88 (1969), 68-73.

M. Salter, The Old Parish Churches of Gloucestershire, Malvern 2008, 124.

R. Bryant and D. J. Viner, 'A Late Saxon Sculptural Fragment from All Saints' Church, Somerford Keynes', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 117 (1999), 155-8.

R. G. Gibbon, 'Discoveries at Somerford Keynes Church', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 88 (1969), 208.

The Buildings of England, Gloucestershire I: the Cotswolds (3rd edition), London 1999, 615-6.

R. Bryant, Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Sculpture: the Western Midlands, vol. X, London 2012, 243-6.

A. Williams and G. H. Martin (ed.), Domesday Book. A Complete Translation, London 2003, 167.