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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Berkshire

by Peter Kessler, 22 November 2019

West Berkshire Part 4: Churches of Avington & Kintbury

The Church of St Mark & St Luke, Avington, Berkshire

The Church of St Mark & St Luke, Avington, stands on the eastern side of the Avington Manor Farm grounds, close to the Radley Bottom access road. This is an unspoilt Norman two-cell construction, with the only additions being a porch (1500s) and a vestry (1800s). The original dedication may have been to St Mark & St James. The west end originally had a bell tower but, damaged by lightening, it was removed in 1848 and 1863. The church was made redundant in 1977.

The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Kintbury, Berkshire

The Church of St Mary the Virgin Kintbury lies at the northern end of Church Street, at the connection with The Croft, to the north of the High Street. The village is a large one which lies immediately south of the former Great Western Railway line and the Kennet & Avon Canal. The church appears to have been erected in the twelfth century, complete with tower. Of this, perhaps only the south doorway, chancel arch, and west doorway are original survivors.

The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Kintbury, Berkshire

There is reference to the 'servants of God' and 'the holy place' in AD 931, making it likely that there was previously a minster or oratory here. The advowson seems to have been in the hands of Amesbury's nuns. Victorian rebuilding on the later church in 1859 stripped out almost all of the original features, following on from initial alterations in the 1700s. Most of the windows are modern, but some original stonework survives, while the tower was built a little later, around 1200.

Zion Primitive Methodist Chapel, Kintbury, Berkshire

The former Zion Primitive Methodist Chapel in Kintbury sits on the southern side of the High Street, set back a little from its adjoining buildings, about sixty metres east of the Titcombe Way junction. It was built in 1853 according to the plaque above the door, but the 1851 Census shows a date of 1839, with it 'adjoining a cottage' as it does now. An 1853 rebuild is more likely. It is shown on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914 but was shown as disused on the 1949-1968 map.

Kintbury Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Berkshire

Kintbury Wesleyan Methodist Chapel is on the east side of Inkpen Road, about forty-five metres south of the High Street junction. The present building opened in 1848, but that suggests that it replaced an earlier building, and the Primitive Methodists were certainly in the area by 1839 (see above). The chapel is shown on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914, but without the southwards extension that supplies the present entrance. Today it is Kintbury Methodist Church.

Christ Church Kintbury Crossways, Berkshire

Christ Church Kintbury Crossways stood at the north-east corner of Forbury Lane and Pebble Hill to the south of Kintbury. Built in 1867, the above lithograph shows a stone building with chancel behind and a south-west tower. The wooden framework must have been considerable though, as the presence of death watch beetle in the mid-1900s enforced closure and demolition. The churchyard has since been expanded into the dedicated Christchurch Cemetery.

Two photos on this page by P L Kessler, and two photos kindly contributed by Rex Harris, and Keith Guyler/British Methodist Buildings, both via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group.

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