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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

List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

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

List entry Number: 1022339


The three chest tombs stand on the south side of a footpath to the south of the south aisle of the Church of St Michael

The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.


District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Kington St. Michael

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: II

Date first listed: 29-Feb-1988

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Aug-2013

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 315946

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

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

Reasons for Designation

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.


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.


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.

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: ST9039577178


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End of official listing