Chisbury Chapel sits high upon the steep
Chisbury Lane, which climbs for about a kilometre from the north-west
corner of Little Bedwyn. The chapel, a manor house and farm buildings
were all built within the boundary of an unremarkable hill fort. The
chapel was constructed by the early thirteenth century, presumably by
the lord of Chisbury manor. It was known as St Stephen's Church
in 1496, and was served until 1547, when the chaplain's tithes passed
to the Crown by Act.
The chapel later became a barn and by 1998 was in
a semi-ruinous state, although it has since been preserved. The building
is rectangular, built in rubble with ashlar dressings. Old rendering
survives inside and outside, and the scars of a screen between the
chancel and the nave can be seen on the rendering inside the building.
The north doorway survives from the thirteenth century, the south
doorway is nineteenth century, and the roof has largely been rebuilt.
St Michael's Church, Little Bedwyn, lies
at the northern end of Church Street, which itself is at the northern
end of this small village, adjoining School Lane. The parish, which now
includes Chisbury, was apparently part of a large estate called Bedwyn,
which in the early Middle Ages was held by the kings of Wessex and
England. Chisbury was separated from the estate in 778, and Little Bedwyn
in the twelfth or early thirteenth century. The church dates from
By 1405 it was known as St Michael's, and was built
with flint rubble and ashlar. It consists of a chancel with north vestry,
an aisled and clerestoried nave with south porch, and a west tower with
stone spire. The narrow nave and the arcades were built about 1200. The
chancel and nave were reroofed in 1841, and the church was extensively
restored in 1868, at which time the vestry was added. The spire was
dismantled and rebuilt in 1963 after being struck by lightning.