We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

Holy Cross, Sherston, Wiltshire

(51°34′21″N, 2°12′48″W)
ST 853 860
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Wiltshire
now Wiltshire
medieval Old Sarum
now Bristol
  • Allan Brodie
3 June 2004

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=4693.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.


The church has nave, chancel, S aisle, S porch, crossing tower, N aisle and N transept. The N arcade of the nave survives from the 12thc. The crossing and N transepts are 13thc. and the chancel is 15thc. The tower dates to 1730. In 1876-77 the church was substantially restored by T. H. Wyatt. There are also 19thc. restorations by Ewan Christian. Romanesque sculpture is found on the N arcade capitals, on reused 12thc. corbels in the north transept and on a 12thc. figure, affectionately known as ‘Rattlebones’, which is set into the east side of the S porch.


The Domesday Survey mentions Sherston twice. Before the Conquest part of the land was held by God, and after the Conquest this was held by Robert of Ashton whose tenant in chief was Humphrey de l'Isle. A smaller unit of land was held by the abbey of St Wandrille in the Seine valley near Caudebec-en-Caux. This land included two churches. The tenant in chief was William I. No indication is given of who held this land prior to the Conquest.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration

Interior Features



The animal head corbels between the N transept windows are similar in form to Malmesbury Abbey but are considerably cruder in execution.

The style of the drapery of the figure of 'Rattlebones' also evokes that of the south porch of Malmesbury Abbey.

The Romanesque features are illustrated by Buckler (8: plate 60).


J. Buckler, Churches, fittings and monuments; bridges, market and village crosses; market houses; monastic remains, mansions, smaller houses. Wiltshire, 1803-11. 8: plate 60.

C. and F. Thorn eds., Domesday Book: Wiltshire, Chichester, 1979. 27, 24; 1, 23g.

N. Pevsner, B. Cherry. The Buildings of England: Wiltshire. 2nd ed. London 1975, 469.