All Saints Yatesbury


Yatesbury is the highest parish in the Benefice at 210m above sea level and has probably been the site of human habitation since the Romano-British times and a bronze age earthworks has been found in the southern corner of the parish, possible a cursus. In the 9th century Yatesbury was believed to have been held by the king and formed part of the royal estate but by the 11th century it is likely that Yatesbury belonged to Calne church. It is believed that in the early middle ages most of the demesne split away from Yatesbury manor and became two manors, each with their own buildings, one east of the village and one to the west. The western manor was known as Westcourt and Yatesbury Manor probably stands on the site of it's principal farmstead. Yatesbury airfield was in use during the first Wold War and again in1936. In about 1938 a large hutted RAF camp was built on the Cherhill - Yatesbury boundaryto the south east of the airfiled and a signals school was built south west of Windmill Hill. The station was closed in 1964 and by 1969 the buildings of the camp had been removed and by 1972 Wiltshire Council had restored most of the land back to agricultural use.

Yatesbury Church

Yatecbury church was standing in the 13th century and may even date back as far as the 12th century. It was served by a rector in the 13th century and remained a rectory until the formation of the Benefice in 1973. In 1305 the church was also served by a vicar although no reference of a vicar in the parish can be found after 1362. The church appears to have been named All Saints in 1763. The animal head stops in the recessed door way are 12th century and are the oldest masonary in the church. The present nave with north and south aisles was built in 14th century. In the 15th century the south aisle was demolished and just the central bay of the arcade was spared. The doorway bearing the 12th century stops was set into this remaining bay. The tower was also built at this time. In 1854 the church was restored and the chancel, which by then had a ceiling was rebuilt with the vestry and in a 14th century style the chancel arch was enlarged and the whole church was repaired and refitted. Three bells were hung in the tower in 1553, in 1773 a further one was cast and hung and the fifth was added in 1931.

In 1951 the parishes of Cherhill and Yatesbury were joined under the same Rector until 1972 before becoming part of the Benefice in 1973.

Please take a tour round this most pictureseque of churches by clicking on the You Tube link below.



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