The former Jubilee Baptist Chapel sits on
the southern side of the Stoke St Gregory road, about 110 metres west
of the Stathe Road junction. It was built in 1887 (the nearer building
in this shot) while the extension (on the chapel's eastern flank) is
the Sunday School building of 1928. It is shown on the OS 25-inch map
of 1892-1914 as Jubilee Chapel (Baptist) and was still active right
after the conclusion of the Second World War. Today it is the Old
Stoke St Gregory Baptist Church stands on
the northern side of Curload Road, on the western side of Meare Green.
The chapel was erected in 1825 as Stoke St Gregory Bible Christian
Chapel. A Baptist meeting here was begun by members of North Curry
Baptist Church who themselves had been planted by members from Silver
Street Baptist Church in Taunton (see links). They bought the chapel
in 1869 and formed a church membership of their own in 1894.
St Gregory's Church,
Stoke St Gregory, occupies a generous churchyard on the southern
side of Woodhill, about fifty metres east of Huntham Lane. The
church is medieval, although available sources seem not to be
able to mention a date. The register dates from 1561, but much
of the building must have been in place prior to that date
(although not all, judging by some of the stonework in this
photo). A pretty broad general construction period of 1628 to
1828 has been given.
The church is of a cruciform shape, in the
Early English and Perpendicular styles. Of the Early English church
only the lower stage of the tower and its supporting arches survive,
along with the walls of the transepts and chancel, and the south
transept's east wall windows. The building was restored in 1886-1888,
when much of the original fabric was replaced or repaired and new
oak stalls added. The central octagonal tower with lead-covered spire
contains five bells.
The Church of St Peter & St Paul,
North Curry, lies between Moor Lane, The Fosse, and Church
Road in the northern reaches of North Curry. A church was erected
here in the ninth century, around the time at which Athelney Abbey
was founded (see links). It seems likely that Athelney's monks
built North Curry's church, probably a very simple timber structure
with a single aisle. Around the year 1100 the timber church was
rebuilt in stone, and some parts survive today.
Norman dog-tooth carving can still be seen in
the north doorway arch, but that second church was rebuilt around
1300 to supply the present imposing church, nicknamed 'The Cathedral
of the Moors'. The octagonal tower is unusual albeit not unique
amongst Somerset's churches (nearby Stoke St Gregory's church also
has one - see above). While its lower section was built along with
the rest of the church, the upper section was only completed later
in the century.
All photos on this page by P L Kessler. Former
Taunton Deane area church names and locations kindly confirmed by
South West Heritage Trust.