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Gallery: Churches of Somerset
by Peter Kessler, 6 September 2019
SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 5: Churches of Taunton
to Bathpool & Trull
Albemarle Baptist Chapel is in North Town,
on the north side of Albemarle Road, about twenty-five metres
west of Station Road. In 1869 the Congregationalists and Baptists
combined to build a joint chapel in nearby Rowbarton. The Baptists
later withdrew and used St James Chapel-of-Ease until 1888, when
they concentrated on Albemarle Baptist chapel, built in 1875. Today
the chapel houses the Taunton Family Church in the (1995)
converted Albemarle Centre.
Halcon Baptist Church occupies a corner
slot at the south-west corner of the pedestrian-only junction
between Crossway and Valley Road in one of the most
socially-deprived areas of Somerset. The church was founded in 1939
and celebrated its seventieth anniversary in 2009. Although it's not
clear from the attendant publicity that the present building is the
same one, the OS 1:25,000 map of 137-1961 does show a place of
worship on this already built-up estate.
All Saints Church Halcon is outside the
western end of Outer Circle, overlooking Roman Road. Its parish
covers much of the eastern side of Taunton and three housing
estates: the pre-war Lambrook and Halcon, and the post-war Lane
estate. The church was erected in the early 1950s, although the
frontage was remodelled in the 1970s with the addition of the
current doorway and striking stained glass windows on either side.
To the rear lies a hall and vicarage.
Bathpool Independent Chapel, in which
meets the Taunton Church of the Nazarene, lies on the
northern side of Bridgwater Road, opposite Yew Tree Lane. The Church
of the Nazarene is an international evangelical denomination in the
Wesleyan-Holiness tradition with worldwide bases. The current blue
information board and the text 'Welcome to Bathpool Chapel' appeared
around 2012. A Community Prayer Garden lies alongside the chapel
building, on the right here.
The former All Saints Church Bathpool can
be found behind its churchyard wall and iron gate, on the eastern
side of Bridgwater Road and the south bank of the Bridgwater &
Taunton Canal from which it is heavily screened by trees. This was a
mission church for West Monkton parish, dedicated by the bishop of
the diocese in 1897 and consecrated by the bishop of Bath and Wells
in 1959. It closed in 1981 and is now a private dwelling called The
Old Church House.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints is on the eastern side of Dean Gate Avenue on the town's
very eastern edge. A footpath entrance to Barrow Drive lies to the
immediate north-west of the building. The Latter-Day Saints were
founded in 1830, arriving in Britain in 1837. A Taunton branch was
formed in 1854, meeting in a private room in Princes Street. The
congregation gained this building in 2010, and a daughter meeting
commenced in Washford in 2014.
Riverside (New) Church, Lambrook, is at
the western 'wedge' inside the meeting point between Roman, Lambrook,
and Hamilton roads. In 1997 Riverside Church was formed on its old
site at Marshalsea House near the River Tone. In 2001 the church
purchased the old telephone exchange in Hamilton Road and kept the
name Riverside Church. Fountainhead Christian Fellowship which
formed part of it cannot be located - this group may have met in
a private house.
Lisieux Way Methodist Church is on the
eastern side of Severn Drive, about fifty metres north of Lisieux
Way itself and half-hidden from the approach road by a mass of
greenery. The church has a 1994 foundation stone dedication.
'Budding Marvellous', partnered by Somerset Wildlife Trust, started
in a strip of land behind the church when the Reverend Chris Brown
gave permission for Taunton Association for the Homeless to turn it
in to a community wildlife garden.
All Saints Church Trull lies in a
churchyard on the northern side of Church Road, flanked on either
side by Wild Oak Lane and Mill Lane. On 5 November 1308 Walter
Haselshaw, bishop of Bath and Wells, ordered that Trendle (Trull)
should have its own vicar as soon as a vicarage could be provided.
The original church is thought to have been built around the middle
of the 1300s. The base of the tower - the oldest part of the present
church - certainly dates from that period.
The south aisle (seen here) was added in the same
century and the north aisle a century later. The Victorians
undertook certain 'improvements' in 1863 which resulted in a good
deal of local dispute. It is probable that the pulpit, regarded as
one of the church's special treasures, was moved from the centre of
the church to its present position at that time. In existence by
1569, when the building's seating plan was recorded, its precise
origins are not known.
All photos on this page by P L Kessler. Former
Taunton Deane area church names and locations kindly confirmed by
South West Heritage Trust, with additional information from The
Chapels Society visit to Mid-Somerset, 28 September 2013, by
Peter Daniel, David Dawson, and Roger Thorne.