The Church of St James is a plague church, originally constructed to serve the inhabitants of a hamlet called Little Stoke, in the coombe between Bratton Castle and St James’, but which was abandoned due to the Black Death, and its effects, during the 1340s-60s. It is nowadays an active church serving the nearby village of Bratton.
St James’ is largely of 13th Century origin, and is constructed in the Early English Gothic architectural style, with some later additions. It is open to visitors during daylight hours, and there are guidebooks, Spiritual Walks and activities for children to undertake.
Bratton Down as a whole is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is noted for rare chalkland plants, butterflies and moths. There are walks to St James’ Church from both the village of Bratton and from the White Horse/Bratton Castle area, passing through woodland and by the side of chalkland streams.
Also located on Bratton Down is a marker stone for the Battle of Ethandun in 878AD. This battle was Alfred the Great’s most significant victory over the Danes, which ultimately brought about the Treaty of Wedmore that year, and the establishment of the English nation.
Saint James the Great : Church Road, Bratton, Wiltshire, BA13 4SY