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Group of three chest tombs standing on the south side of the footpath to the south of the south aisle of the Church of St Michael

A Grade II Listed Building in Kington St Michael, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4935 / 51°29'36"N

Longitude: -2.1397 / 2°8'23"W

OS Eastings: 390395

OS Northings: 177178

OS Grid: ST903771

Mapcode National: GBR 1QR.CTW

Mapcode Global: VH964.VQNG

Plus Code: 9C3VFVV6+94

Entry Name: Group of three chest tombs standing on the south side of the footpath to the south of the south aisle of the Church of St Michael

Listing Date: 29 February 1988

Last Amended: 6 August 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1022339

English Heritage Legacy ID: 315946

Location: Kington St. Michael, Wiltshire, SN14

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Kington St. Michael

Built-Up Area: Kington St Michael

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Kington St Michael

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

Tagged with: Chest tomb

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A group of three chest tombs of early C18, mid-C18 and mid-C19 date.


MATERIALS: the tombs are of limestone ashlar construction with the mid-C19 tomb having a C20 Pennant cap stone.

PLAN: the three tombs, which are all rectangular on plan, are roughly aligned in an east to west direction, with the early-C18 tomb standing at the east end of the group, the mid-C18 tomb in the middle and the mid-C19 tomb at the west end.

DESCRIPTION: from east to west, the early-C18 tomb, which is of unknown dedication, has shaped corner balusters, a moulded cornice and a gadrooned cap stone. The north and south faces have rectangular fielded plaques whilst the east and west faces have fielded end plaques. No inscriptions are visible.

To the west, the mid-C18 tomb is also of unknown dedication. Now (2013) half-sunk, it has a moulded cap stone, of which the north and south faces each containing two fielded rectangular plaques. The centre and corner piers are scroll-decorated with a floral motif. No inscriptions are visible.

To the west again is the mid-C19 tomb of the Barnes family. It has a chamfered plinth, shaped corner balusters and a C20 chamfered cap stone. On the north face there is a recessed plaque, flanked on each side by a carved relief of female figures in mourning. The plaque contains the weathered inscription: SACRED / TO THE MEMORY / OF ROBERT GOUGH BARNES / SON OF THOMAS & SUSANNA BARNES / WHO DIED OCTOBER 20 1848 / AGED 48 YEARS / [the inscription beneath is now (2013) illegible]. Traces of black colouring are still visible. On the south face there are two recessed plaques of which the plaque on the left-hand side contains the weathered inscription: In Memory / of THOMAS BARNES / who died February 10 1851 / Aged 78 Years / [Inscription below illegible] / ALSO / of SUSANNA Wife of / THOMAS BARNES / who died August 10 1853 /. The plaque on the right-hand side is blank. The east and west faces contain recessed end plaques of which that on the west face contains the weathered inscription: IN MEMORY OF / THOMAS GOUGH BARNES / who died / September [day and year illegible] / Aged 6 Months /. The plaque on the east face is blank.


The village of Kington St Michael is situated some 3 miles to the north of Chippenham. Its parish church, dedicated to St Michael (listed Grade II*), was founded in the Norman period, but its fabric is substantially of C13 and C18 date, with a mid-C19 restoration. The churchyard contains a number of noteworthy tombs of C18 and C19 date, the majority of which are listed Grade II. These include a group of three tombs which stand on the south side of the footpath to the south of the south aisle of the church. Two of the tombs, which are of early C18 and mid-C18 date, are of an unknown dedication. The third tomb, which dates from the mid-C18, is the chest tomb of the Barnes family. A postcard of 1907 shows the Barnes family tomb not only with a different cap stone to the one which now (2013) seals it but with black colouring applied to the plaques on the north and east faces.

Reasons for Listing

The three chest tombs standing on the south side of the footpath to the south of the south aisle of the Church of St Michael are listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architectural interest: as good examples of C18 and mid-C19 chest tombs, displaying ornate detailing and carving;

* Alterations: although the capstone has been replaced on the mid-C19 tomb, it retains the rest of its component parts, and the two C18 tombs survive intact;

* Group value: with each other and with other listed funerary monuments in the churchyard as well as the Grade II* listed Church of St Michael.

External Links

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