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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Warwickshire

by Peter Kessler, 18 April 2010

South Warwickshire Part 13: Churches of Wilmcote, Billesley & Binton

All Saints

All Saints, Billesley, lies beside the Hall, north of the Alcaster-Stratford road. Billesley appears to have been a relatively important Saxon settlement, but the Black Death of 1361 was especially severe in this part of Warwickshire, and this depopulated a community that was finished off by inclosures the following century. By 1450 the village had disappeared, and later even the church was in ruins. The lines of former buildings are still clearly visible in a field to its south.

All Saints

The church has a round apse, a south vestry, and west porch, and evidence points to a twelfth century origin, with remains of later medieval windows and a doorway. The building, in ruins by the sixteenth century, is said to have been rebuilt by Bernard Whalley in 1692, erasing much of the earlier structure, including any internal features. The roof is hidden by a plain flat plastered ceiling, while the bell cote has one small bell from 1721 by Richard Sanders.

St Peter

St Peter, Binton, is on the southern side of the junction between Church Bank and Main Road. The church is first mentioned in 1199 and consisted of a chancel with north and south transepts, nave, and south porch. The font was probably added in the fifteenth century and survives today, as does the communion plate which includes an Elizabethan cup with the maker's mark 'IF'. The windows and other fittings seem to have been replaced in the seventeenth century.

St Peter

The church was entirely rebuilt in 1875 and apparently contains no ancient structural remains save the font and cover, a chest, and some coffin lids. Only the tower may date from the original building work, although in a clearly modified state. There is one bell, by Matthew Bagley, which is dated 1669, while the village stocks used to stand on the bank outside the northern side of the churchyard, on the opposite side of the church from that shown in the previous photo.

All photos on this page contributed by Aidan McRae Thomson.

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