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Holy Cross, Ashton Keynes, Wiltshire, England


Ashton Keynes is a rather pretty village on the boarder of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, about 15 miles north west of Swindon.  The surrounding area is now a major source of aggregate and many of the former gravel pits have been turned into lakes which are now used for water sports - known as the Cotswold Water or Country Parks.

The parish church is called Holy Cross and was founded in the 12th century.  The building has been enlarged, altered and renovated at various times over the years, with major work being undertaken in the 1870's by William Butterfield, who also designed Keble College in Oxford.

Within the church it is possible to buy "a simple and brief guide for visitors", which is just what it says!  It guides you around the building, giving a short explanation of the various historical objects.  We have used this guide as our source when giving any details - ie dates - in these pages.  It is easy when visiting these old buildings to be carried away with its history and forget what they were built for - a place of worship.  The leaflet asks:  "Before you go outside please say a prayer for the Church in this village, that the building that you have visited may not just be of historic interest but a centre of worship for the people who are the Church in Ashton Keynes."  This sums up the attitude of its current congregation - it is a place of worship foremost, whilst appreciating and caring for its history.

We met with some of the congregation on a Wednesday after the mid-week service.  Thank you for your welcome and your interest in our project.

On a side wall of the church is a plaque listing all the vicars who have served at the church, it cites as its source "Institutiones Clericorum In Comitatee Wiltonice, ab anno 1297 ad annum 1810" (Baronetto Thoma Phillips 1825).  Also on show is an excerpt from "The Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine (June 1893)" which contains many more details about the church.
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Holy Cross
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South Porch
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War Memorial
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From the Seabrook family
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Inscription on bench
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This page was last updated on 1st January 2014
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