St. Peter, Poulshot, Devizes
St Peter’s Church lies in the vale of Seend, to the north of the Salisbury Plain. To truly appreciate the tranquil, peaceful atmosphere present within the St Peter’s, it requires a visit. There is an air of still and calm throughout the church. It is a simple, not large, stone church set apart from the village in the countryside. This makes it a quiet place, being surrounded by fields. Unlike many other historic churches, St Peter’s is a light place, with lots of sunlight, giving it a life giving and open feel. It is a place particularly suited for the Celtic services held there once a month on a Wednesday evening. Its unpretentious nature and peaceful atmosphere make it ideal for quiet contemplation and prayer. Its simplicity makes it a place to concentrate the mind and to centre oneself in the still calm.
The oldest parts of the church, including the Nave, date to the 13th Century. It underwent considerable alterations in the 15th Century. A fire in the church in 1916 destroyed the main part of the nave roof which was subsequently rebuilt.
The church was built outside of the village and to this day remains set apart from the village. This was thought to be because of Plague fears, which link with the history of St Peter’s through the presence of Plague pits in the churchyard, denoted by the location of skull and crossbones set in the stone on one side of the church. This is a fascinating part of St Peter’s history, giving reason for why the main part of Poulshot is so distant from the church. The history of St Peter’s is also found in the presence of a dole stone in the corner of the churchyard on which alms and dole would have been distributed to those in need in the village.
The churchyard is a picturesque place, with grassy verges and snowdrops in spring as well as other wildlife throughout the year. Situated where it is, it also has beautiful views of Salisbury plain and the countryside around.
Standard opening times: 10 am - Dusk every day
Services: Every 1st Sunday 9:30 am Matins; Every 2nd Sunday 9:30 am Holy communion; Every 3rd Sunday Holy Communion 9.30pm; Every 4th Sunday 4pm/6pm Evensong; 5th Sundays are Benefice services held at one of the 5 churches in the Benefice.
The Celtic Service is on the 4th Wednesday at 5:00 pm.
Church Lane, Poulshot, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1SB, United Kingdom
Grid reference: ST966 589
By car: From Devizes, take the A361-Bath Road, turn left after ½ a mile where signposted Poulshot, drive through the village down to Townsend (south end of the village), then Church Lane, the church is straight ahead, with parking for about 10 cars with additional parking potential on the main road.
By public transport (rail/bus): Bus routes from Devizes town to Poulshot village include the: 87, 76, 77 and 273. More regular bus route the 49 to Trowbridge stops off at Poulshot corner, leaving a 30-minute walk to the church.
On foot: Various footpath routes can be found in the Ordnance Survey Maps: Explorer 156 Chippenham and Bradford-on-Avon, Explorer 143 Warminster and Trowbridge and Landranger 173 Swindon and Devizes. A route has also been mapped between Rowde, St Matthew’s, a Small Pilgrim Place, and St Peter’s which crosses the Kennet and Avon Canal, through fields and on bridlepaths.
The church is accessible, no steps, the gravel path is easy to navigate in a wheelchair. There are no toilet facilities on site, the nearest are at the Raven Pub, back in the village.
The churchyard is pretty, quiet, has a bench, grass verges ideal for picnics etc, graves, and there are far reaching views of the Vale of Seend, Roundway Down, and the idyllic countryside.
Refreshments are available locally at the Raven Pub
Two local B&B’s: Townsend Barn and Lodge Farm, plus a local Glamping site at Bellevue Farm.
Suitable for individuals and groups for meetings and meditation. (Portable toilets can been hired for group events where appropriate).
Hospitaller generally available
Mob: 07702 385181