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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Somerset

by Peter Kessler, 6 September 2019

SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 6: Comeytrowe to Norton Fitzwarren

Comeytrowe Baptist Chapel, Taunton, Somerset

Comeytrowe Baptist Chapel is the only detached property in the middle of a row of houses on the southern side of Comeytrowe Road, in the short east-west stretch of this street before it reached the New Road junction. The chapel is marked as such on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914, and was still there in the 1940s-1960s period. Now known as Chapel House it is a private dwelling of three bedrooms that appears to have undergone very much external alteration.

St Michael the Archangel Church, Galmington, Taunton, Somerset

The Parish Church of St Michael the Archangel, Galmington lies at the south-western corner of the junction between Pitts Close, Roland Close, and Henderson Close. The very modern-looking church was built in 1986 as part of the Comeytrowe Centre, to provide for the growing population of this area on the southern edge of Taunton, a little way to the north of Trull. The building is described as being bright and welcoming, also serving for community functions.

Galmington Lane Chapel, Taunton, Somerset

Galmington Lane Chapel used to lie on the western side of Galmington Lane, around thirty metres north of the junction with Galmington Road. Interestingly perhaps, these seems to be no information at all on this chapel. OS six inch and 25-inch maps of the 1890s-1910s show it as a very small building with a footprint no deeper than the modern house that replaced it (nearest the camera). It was still there in the 1950s. Even SW Heritage lists it simply as 'Victorian church site'.

Taunton Deane Crematorium, Taunton, Somerset

Taunton Deane Crematorium 'Memorial Chapel' sits at the eastern centre of Taunton Crematorium, on the south side of Wellington Road in south-western Taunton. The post-war chapel sees its share of use in a crematorium that still has plenty of space, unlike its crowded sister cemetery in the town of Wellington. St Mary's Cemetery, which lies virtually opposite Taunton Deane crematorium, is also largely full, but may be expanded pending local council agreement.

Living Light Christian Church, Taunton, Somerset

Living Light Christian Church can be found on the western side of Gypsy Lane, between Mountway Road and Highfield in Bishop's Hull on the western edge of Taunton. A group of church leaders in Taunton started meeting together for prayer and fellowship in 2003. This grew during 2005 and 2006 to such an extent that the group took on the name of B1 after a prayer in John 17:1. This group now extends to include fourteen church leaders from different backgrounds.

Bishop's Hull Congregational Church, Taunton, Somerset

Bishop's Hull Congregational Chapel sits on the eastern side of Bishop's Hull Road, about sixty metres south of the junction with Shutewater Hill. Today's Taunton United Reformed Church has its roots firmly placed in the late 1600s when local dissenters would meet in the town. In Bishops Hull, Nathaniel Charlton established a congregation and in 1672 his home was licensed as a Presbyterian meeting. The chapel followed in 1718, but seemingly closed in 1972.

St Peter & St Paul's Church, Bishop's Hull, Taunton, Somerset

The Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul Bishop's Hull is on Bishop's Hull Road, opposite Malthouse Court. The earliest mention of the village itself comes from AD 750 where it is called 'Hylle'. The Assize Roll of 1327 calls it 'Hulle Episcopi' - the 'hill of the bishop' [of Winchester]. In 1120 Bishop Gifford transferred the tithes to Taunton Priory. The earliest part of the church - the base of the tower - dates to the 1100s. Its octagonal upper section was added in the 1200s.

St Peter & St Paul's Church, Bishop's Hull, Taunton, Somerset

In 1308 the bishop of Bath and Wells ordered the prior to appoint a secular priest. A permanent living for the priest seems to have appeared by 1447/8. The church originally consisted of a nave with north and south aisles, side chapels, and tower. The side chapels may have been chantries. In the early 1500s the church underwent a major refurbishment. A new chancel was added in 1522, and possibly the north chapel in 1530. In 1827 the building was enlargened.

All Saints Church, Norton Fitzwarren

All Saints Church, Norton Fitzwarren, is at the northern end of Garden Close, with Hilly Part to its west and Norton Fitzwarren School alongside it to the east. Lying at the centre of this former village on the western edge of Taunton, it dates from the late 1200s and early 1300s. It has a late thirteenth century three-stage tower made of squared and coursed sandstone with ham stone dressings, plus a three-isled nave and slate roof over this and the chancel.

All Saints Church, Norton Fitzwarren

Inside is a handsome 3:5 bay rood screen with double doors. It is long, relatively low, fan vaulted, and canopied, adorned with long projecting cornices to hold the loft. The nave contains several fine, richly carved bench ends, and the stained glass windows depict various saints. The church underwent restoration work in 1851-52, with porch and chancel being rebuilt and a vestry being added in 1866. The churchyard's south-west corner is reputedly a former gypsy burial ground.

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.

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