Building » Chippenham – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin

Chippenham – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin

Station Hill, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15

A small interwar church of traditional appearance, one of several in the diocese by Roberts & Willman of Taunton. The vaulted interior displays a slightly unusual treatment of the space and many of the original 1930s fittings survive. The church makes a modest contribution to the local conservation area.

In 1855 Bishop Errington opened the chapel of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in St Mary’s Place, Chippenham. The first resident priest was appointed in 1866. The site of the present church was purchased in 1869 but no building was erected there for many years. A presbytery was built on the plot in 1901. By the end of the 1930s sufficient funds had been raised for a new church and designs were procured from Roberts & Willman of Taunton. The foundation stone was laid on 19 June 1935 and the building was opened in February 1936. The total cost was £2,192, including the stone altar and other furnishings. The old church served for a time as the parish hall.


The church is a relatively low building in the Gothic style, with external walls of red brick laid in stretcher bond, dressings of Bath stone and roof coverings of clay pantiles. The plan comprises an aisleless nave and slightly shorter chancel, with broad transepts and a flat-roofed sacristy on the south side of the chancel. The bays and corners are marked by attached pilasters and the east and west ends are gabled with raised parapets. The west end has a three-light pointed window with simple tracery. The entrance is at the west end of the north side. Eastwards of it are two two-light windows with straight heads. The transept has a traceried window, with a carved stone crucifix is set into the parapeted gable above. A blocked opening at the side suggests a future intention to add an aisle. The chancel is windowed like the nave and the east end wall is blind.

The low interior is vaulted throughout and ceiled above the heads of the arches. It is not clear whether the vaults are plaster or concrete, although these architects had a liking for concrete. The walls are plain plastered, the floor covered in parquet. The nave has a west organ gallery with an enclosed lobby beneath. The windows are filled with tinted, with some recent semi-abstract coloured glass. There are side altars against the east wall of the transepts; these altars, the high altars and the communion rails appear to be original fittings. 

Heritage Details

Architect: Roberts & Willman

Original Date: 1936

Conservation Area: Yes

Listed Grade: Not Listed