Here we have Urchfont St Michael and All Angels, a substantial church with fine features. The Wiltshire village of Urchfont sits at the eastern end of the Vale of Pewsey and from this parish flow the headwaters of both the Bristol and the Christchurch Avon's. The name Urchfont (of which there are reputed to be recorded 101 local spellings and pronunciations) derives from the Saxon name for a local spring. The use of 'funta' suggests that evidence remained of Roman development around the spring-head, just part of the evidence for Romano-British occupation in this parish.
(Urchfont, the church of St Michael and All Angels from the South East)
Like its neighbouring parishes in the vale of Pewsey the parish extends up onto the escarpment of the Salisbury Plain as well as encompassing fertile low land on greensand and clay.
It is suggested that the church of St Michael and All Angels is built on the site of an earlier Saxon church, though extant proof would seem to be slight. The chancel arch and perhaps some of the nave dates from around 1200. The church was extensively rebuilt in the 14'th century following complaint of its poor state of repair. From this period comes the transepts and the chancel, the chancel boasts a fine stone vaulted ceiling, rebuilding also encompassed the North and South arcades. The tower dates from the 15'th century. Like many churches in Wiltshire its 19'th century renovation was done by C.E Ponting.
(Urchfont, the church of St Michael and All Angels, showing nave, north and south arcades and chancel arch)
(Urchfont, the church of St Michael and All angels, chantry chapel in South transept)
(Urchfont, the church of St Michael and All Angels, Chancel and stone vaulted ceiling)
Whatever the details, and this account only sketches in the dates, the result is an impressive church replete with both fine details and some impressive monuments.
Though visible from a distance, the church itself is very discrete about its location as you draw closer, though the aptly named Church Lane just to its North provides the visitor with a clue as to where to find the stone steps leading upto it. The Church sits in a reasonably sized flat graveyard towards the northern edge of the village.
Photographed in August 2010 for theChurchPhotographer by Nick Temple-Fry, this church is usually open.