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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Somerset

by Peter Kessler, 15 November 2019

SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 10: Churches of Cheddon Fitzpaine to Adsborough

The Parish Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Somerset

The Parish Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Cheddon Fitzpaine, lies on the western side of Maidenbrook Lane, at the south-western corner of this hamlet. It was erected in the thirteenth century in red sandstone and blue lias random rubble, with hamstone dressings and a slate roof. The somewhat slender west stone tower is also thirteenth century, but may have been added later in the century. The nave was rebuilt in the fifteenth century and early sixteenth.

The Parish Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Somerset

During the rebuild the porch and south aisle with three bays were added while the tower remained untouched. The church underwent restoration in 1861, which is when the north aisle with three bays was added by Edward Jeboult. The manor and advowson was held by the Percys, dukes of Northumberland, in the mid-1500s to mid-1600s and much of the church was built by them, as commemorated by their arms and insignia decorating the fabric and bench ends.

Greenway Chapel, Monkton Heathfield, Taunton, Somerset

Greenway Chapel, Monkton Heathfield, sits on the western side of Greenway, about sixty metres south of the Sidbrook Orchard junction and the former Sidbrook Farm. Wessex Archaeology notes a 'post-medieval' mission hall about here by around 1904 (unconfirmed as being the same building). It was used as a school for evacuees during the war, by which time the present building appears on OS maps (although it is not marked as a religious site).

St Augustine's Church, West Monkton, Somerset

St Augustine's Church, West Monkton, lies on the southern flank of Court House, within its grounds which reach south to Boome Lane and north to Church Lane, on the eastern edge of West Monkton. Its earliest parts are dated to the thirteenth century while the tower is fourteenth century. Pevsner suggests that the tower arch may date to 1300 and therefore could be part of an earlier building on this site, although there seems to be no other reference to it.

St Augustine's Church, West Monkton, Somerset

The south aisle is also fourteenth century, while the clerestoried nave roof, north aisle, and south porch all date to the 1400s. The vestry was added around 1820. The west door under the tower became the main entrance in 1821, while in 1883-1884 both north and south aisles were extended by the length of one bay. At the same time the west gallery was removed, and the church was reseated and refitted. All is in red sandstone random rubble, with hamstone dressings.

Adsborough Unionist Chapel (Nonconformist), Somerset

Adsborough Unionist Chapel (Nonconformist) stands on the western side of the village's only lane, hard against the verge, and about 110 metres south of the West Newton lane junction. A group of nonconformists met at Adsborough in 1701. Thurloxton is mentioned in 1833 as a preaching station, although this could be an error for Adsborough. Adsborough Congregational Chapel was built in 1868. It was Unionist post-war, and with a congregation of two by 1982.

All photos on this page by P L Kessler. Former Taunton Deane area church names and locations kindly confirmed by South West Heritage Trust. Additional information from Archaeological Assessment, Land at Hartnells Farm, Monkton Heathfield, Taunton, Somerset, Wessex Archaeology (Ref 87580.02, November 2012).

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