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Gallery: Churches of Somerset
by Peter Kessler, 6 September 2019
SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 8: Churches of
Rowbarton to Wellsprings
St James Chapel-of-Ease in Rowbarton lies
on the western side of Kingston Road, immediately north of The Grove.
The history of the various denominations in Rowbarton is somewhat
complicated but perhaps surprisingly it was the Anglican church that
was first to be active here following the building of the railway.
It opened this chapel probably in the 1850s or 1860s. It served its
purpose well until replaced by the newly-opened St Andrew's Church
In 1869 the Congregationalists and Baptists built a
joint chapel on Kingston Road. The Baptists later withdrew and used St
James until 1888, when they concentrated on Albemarle Baptist Chapel.
The Wesleyan Methodists were last to arrive in Rowbarton, and they also
started by using St James following the Baptist withdrawal. In 1893
they built their own chapel. St James, no longer required, was
eventually sold. Today (2019) it serves as a used car showroom.
Oakwood Church occupies a large building
on the western side of Obridge Road, overlooking Lansdowne Road.
The building was constructed in 1958 to serve as the Somerset County
Records office. Increasing use of the records and increasing numbers
of records meant another move, leaving the building free to be
purchased by Oakwood Church which had been meeting at the Albemarle
Baptist Church for twenty years. They arrived here in August 2012
amid some publicity.
St Theresa of Lisieux's Catholic Church,
Priorswood, is on the eastern side of Eastwick Road in northern
Taunton, overlooking the junction with Lyngford Road. With St
George's Catholic Church already firmly established in Taunton,
in 1959 this second Catholic church was opened to serve a rapidly
expanding post-war town. Previously, in 1954, Taunton had been
twinned with Lisieux, providing the dedication for this church.
The relics of St Teresa of Lisieux visited in 2009.
St Peter's Church Lyngford sits back on
the southern side of Eastwick Road, overlooking the junction with
Selworthy Road. It lies just a short way north-west of St Theresa's
Catholic Church (above). It was originally built to serve a large
post-war development to the north-east of central Taunton which
became known as 'Lyngford' to parishioners and 'Priorswood' to
most other locals, creating some confusion when it came to keeping
records. The building is moderately sized.
Wellsprings Chapel is on the western side
of Quantock Road, immediately north of the junction with Wellsprings
Road. Built at a point between 1950 and the 1970s, the chapel has
long held its doors open for the local community with its 'Cafe
Connect' project. Having received unconditional planning permission
by the start of 2019, a major extension to the premises was begun,
adding a new wing onto the northern side, with the work being
completed by December 2019.
All photos on this page by P L Kessler. Former
Taunton Deane area church names and locations kindly confirmed by
South West Heritage Trust.