I thoroughly enjoyed my guided tour of Corsham with Simon Williams on the Saturday afternoon. Even though I have lived so close to the town all my life and thought I knew a great deal about the town centre and its buildings, one hour with Simon ensured I learnt a little more. I can now use this information to pass on to my visitors when I show them around the town.
On completing the walk, I drove next to Monks Lane and visited Monks Chapel. If you read Nikolaus Pevsner’s book on Wiltshire buildings he says this about the chapel:
‘Congregational Church, probably a ‘five-mile chapel’. C17, a plain oblong, with two-light windows and one five-light dormer-like upper window placed under the eaves, which curve up from it. The interior is intact, with a gallery on three sides, box pews, and the pulpit’.
This building is a complete gem and is beautifully kept by the members and friends. I have spent many hours sat in the box pews, as a child, listening to my father preaching on a Sunday afternoon. I am privileged to have a number of recordings of his services made by the members for distribution to people unable to attend the service due to ill health. I remember ascending the steps to the pulpit to read the lesson for my father, especially in his later years, when he was able to sit down and have a short rest.
During my visit Pat Britton made me a cup of tea, which was very much appreciated, while Geoff Knapp and I took turns in remembering the names of people who used to worship there, such as Janet Gale and Mr Tilley. Janet used to play the harmonium and I think on one occasion I played it for her. If you have never visited this delightful listed church, do contact Geoff Knapp, he will be delighted to help you.