Church of the Holy Cross


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:
Church of the Holy Cross, High Street, Ramsbury


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Statutory Address:
Church of the Holy Cross, High Street, Ramsbury

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 27382 71592


SU 27 SE 10/207

RAMSBURY HIGH STREET (north side) Church of the Holy Cross


I Anglican parish church. C13, early C14, C15 and 1891. Flint with limestone ashlar dressings. Chancel roughcast. Lead and slate roofs.

Originally cruciform plan, but aisles lengthened in C13-C14 into transepts. Nave, aisles with south porch, chancel part detached north chapel and west tower.

Chancel, lengthened C15. Six-light transomed east window and four- and three-lights on south. Aisles rebuilt 1891 by Doran Webb, two-light with pointed segmental heads. Nave clerestory three-light Tudor arches. Tower, massive, with corner buttresses and south east stair and three-light intersecting tracery over circa 1400 west door having consecration crosses on jambs. Two-light bell openings and crenellated parapet. South porch of 1892, elaborately detailed with knapped flint flushwork and inscription. Sundial on south wall.

Interior: Nave of four bays, two chamfered orders pointed arches on wave moulded piers, the two west arches and piers more elaborate. Early C14. Wide tower arch with three wave mouldings, all amply proportioned. Chancel arch simple chamfers expanded to string moulding as capitals. Low pitched roof of five bays, C15, cambered moulded ties bracketed to wall posts. Carved bosses and corbels. Aisles, rebuilt 1891, wide, with eight-bay roof arcaded against outer wall and with stone carved corbels. C14-C15 north door.

Chancel: North wall with close set blocked lancets and door, C13. Plaster vault. Chancel arch terminates in bell capitals and commences deep trefoiled wall arcade. Raised sanctuary. Trefoiled piscina and second on north side. Darrell Chapel: almost detached. Niche in north east corner, and smaller niches in jambs of east window, nodding ogee and crocketed canopies. Piscina with bracketed credence shelf, possibly C19.

Fittings: Font, good goblet bowl of C12 with overall lozenge pattern, raised on stem of 1842 carved with scenes by Thomas Meyrick. Organ in north aisle, 1838 painted case, some work by England, restored c1960. Pulpit, readers desks, communion rail and choir stalls all of limed oak, elaborately Gothic of 1892-1893 and good. Screen to south aisle, also limed oak and also good, of 1943. Brass lectern.

Monuments: Chancel: Fine Purbeck wall chest tomb of C15, with four panel bays, with solid canopy having nine-foil arches and swirling fan vaulted soffite, supported by network columns, solid to east. Monument to Sir WILLIAM JONES, attorney-general to Charles II, 1682. Marble chest with cartouche and inscription. Sir WILLIAM, periwigged, half reclines on chest, holding scroll. Behind a sarcophagus with gadrooned black marble top and square crest with book over skull. Painted shield and urn finial. WILLIAM JONES, 1775, by L.F. Moore of London, black, white and red marbles. Tablet and above, on wide black obelisk, a bust with medallion and drapes held aside by putti. Above a sarcophagus and crowning pediment.

Wall tablet to MARY BURDETT, 1797 by King of Bath. White and grey marbles. Fluted bell below, above, a scene with sheep, vase and wilting lily, all on grey marble arched panel and poem. Tablet, 1840, to WILLIAM JONES BURDETT; Tablet, 1844, Sir FRANCIS BURDETT; M.P. Oval plaque. 1892, Marble, to Colonel Sir FRANCIS BURDETT; Dame FRANCIS BURDETT, 1948; Major Sir FRANCIS BURDETT, 1951.

On north side Tablet, 1694 to ROBERT HILLMAN, Marble, oval with small garlanded urn. Before altar, floor slab with Norman French inscription, to WILLIAM ST. JOHN, 1322.

Nave: Tablet, 1830, to EDWARD MEYRICK. Tablet, 1839 to Reverend EDWARD MEYRICK by C. H. Smith of London.

South Aisle: Various wall tablets of grey and white marble: 1705/6, to HENRY READ and family, curved pediment and apron; 1756, to HENRY READ, pedimented tablet and apron; 1786, to HENRY READ, by van Gelder, a weeping figure holding urn with grey marble pyramid background; 1801, to FRANCIS READ also by van Gelder, projecting panel with draped urn over, mounted on grey pyramid. (Pevsner notes transition between Baroque-Roman classicism to Greek classicism); 1821, Lieutenant General HENRY READ, by Blore of London, half oval tablet with panel. Urn over, all on drapery background;1845, MARY ANN SEYMOUR; 1847, ANN COTTINGHAM; 1865, brass tablet on slate, to WILLIAM ROWLAND. North Aisle: Various white and black marble tablets; 1808, ELIZABETH BATSON, by Honeybone of Shrivenham, standing figure with cross over tablet; 1851, to ELIZABETH HAWKINS; 1856, to ALFRED BATSON, by Gaffin; RICHARD DAVIES; 1879, to LOUISE READ, a Gothic limestone memorial. 1977, BERTRAM EDE, slate. On east wall of aisle; 1745 to JONATHAN KNACKSTONE, exuberant cartouche with flying angels and garlands.

Tower: 1805, White marble tablet, to ELIZABETH BLACKMAN, draped urn, corn sprays below. 1845, Gabled aedicule to GEORGE TOWNSEND: 1783, Tablet to MARY READ, mourner over. Darrell Chapel: three main mutilated Purbeck marble chest tombs, formerly embellished with many brasses but removed during Commonwealth. All probably C15. One central and two wall chests with reredos.

West end of north aisle: Group of important Saxon and later fragments set on base; Cross shaft, C9, limestone, three blocks from two crosses, interlace to two sides. Biting beast on two sides of base and inhabited scroll. Parts of two C9 tomb slabs, one with chain interlace, second with interlace and cross bifurcating with recurring beast terminals. Fragment of third slab with relief cross in Ringerike style, and small fragment, probably a cross shaft, chain interlace with blank back. Also C13 cross slab with stepped elaborate cross and part of a second, with diverse other medieval fragments and terracotta pieces. Some encaustic tiles of C14-C15.

Furniture: C16-C17 panelled chest with good locks. C17 large bible box. Two brass chandeliers dated 1751; two tiers of six branches. Altar carpet, probably Persian. C19 with parallel tendril stripes. Church clock mechanism in aisle, by Robert Hay of London, 1866. Painting of Nativity in chapel.

Listing NGR: SU2738271592


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Crowley, B A, The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, (1983), 12
Kendrick, , Anglo Saxon Art to 900AD
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Wiltshire, (1975)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

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Date: 24 Jul 2006
Reference: IOE01/15777/27
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John Rendle. Source Historic England Archive
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