|Downton, Wiltshire History|
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An account of Downton's history wouldn’t be complete without sharing a few details regarding Charlton-All-Saints, a small hamlet in Downton Parish about 1 1/2 miles north of Downton.]
Charlton was founded in Saxon times but if it had a church then the site has been long forgotten. The village was probably a planned settlement in medieval times but did not have a church and the inhabitants would have worshipped at nearby Standlynch church or have travelled to Downton.
It was not until 1851 that the Church of All Saints was built, partly at the expense of Horatio, Lord Nelson, to serve the tithings of Charlton and Witherington. It is in the Early English style, in red and purple brick, and was designed by T.H. Wyatt. There is a chancel, a nave with a north transept that was added in 1891, and a south porch.
This was a perpetual curacy, in the gift of the vicar of Downton, and Lord Nelson's private chaplain became the first curate. By the 1860s the average number of communicants was 55. In 1969 the tithing of Witherington was transferred to Alderbury and the church served Charlton alone. The church is now part of the Chalke Deanery. The parish registers from 1851, other than those in current use, are held in the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office in Trowbridge. Earlier records are likely to be in the Downton registers.
In 1897 Charlton and Witherington were united with Standlynch to form the civil parish of Standlynch with Charlton All Saints in the north. The latter only lasted until 1934 when Charlton and Standlynch were re-united with Downton.
Acknowledgement: The Wiltshire County Council