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Gallery: Churches of Somerset

by Peter Kessler, 24 January 2020

SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 16: Churches of Slough Grn to Hatch Beauchamp

Slough Green Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Somerset

Slough Green Wesleyan Methodist Chapel stands close to the road edge on the eastern side of Higher West Hatch Lane, about eighty metres north of Prey Lane. The date stone above the door reads 1886, and which time it was the only standing structure to the north of Prey Lane. The chapel was closed for worship and for a time at least was (and perhaps still is) used as a scout hut. Great swathes of ivy that covered the frontage in 2006 have since been removed.

St Andrew's Church, West Hatch, Somerset

St Andrew's Church, West Hatch, stands at the northern end of a footpath which connects to Church Lane on the western side of the hamlet. It was originally built in the fifteenth century, presumably to ease the load either on St John's Church at Hatch Beauchamp (the name 'West Hatch' suggests that this hamlet is a western extension of the bigger village), or St Peter & St Paul's Church at North Curry (which fell within the same manor boundaries).

St Andrew's Church, West Hatch, Somerset

The manor of West Hatch, along with North Curry, was granted to the bishop of Wells by Richard I in 1189 and then to the dean and chapter of Wells Cathedral. Built in squared and coursed blue lias, with Ham stone quoins and slate roofs, it was extensively restored in 1861 when the north aisle and probably the vestry and organ bay were added by Benjamin Ferrey. More restoration work took place in 1907. The church was rededicated by Bishop Jim Thompson on 10 May 1992.

Wrantage Wesleyan Methodist Church, Somerset

Wrantage Wesleyan Methodist Chapel stands on the northern side of the A378, about eighty metres west of the Oldway Lane turning. It is shown as a Wesleyan chapel on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914, but a specific date of construction seems to be unavailable. It is now a four-bed private home worth over half a million pounds at 2019's prices. It was also here, in Wrantage, that work was started by casual labourers on the construction of the Chard canal in June 1835.

Meare Green Mission Room, Somerset

Meare Green Mission Room is shown on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914 as being located here, on the eastern side of the main lane through Meare Green, about twenty metres north of a connecting route to the short west lane. More formally known as St Peter's Mission Church, the building was opened for worship in 1896, presumably to meet the needs of parishioners for whom Hatch Green was too far away. It closed in 1992 and the building was sold in 1995.

Hatch Beauchamp (Methodist) Reading Room, Somerset

Hatch Beauchamp (Methodist) Reading Room stands on the western side of Higher Road, about seventy metres north of the centre of Hatch Beauchamp at the junction with Station Road. It was built by Mr Hardstaff about 1850 to provide a Methodist presence in the village, but was closed post-war and, towards the end of the twentieth century, converted into a private dwelling. It consists of rendering over rubble, pilaster quoins, and hipped slate roof with tall chimneys.

Five photos on this page by P L Kessler, and one photo copyright © David Smith, and reused under a cc licence. Former Taunton Deane area church names and locations kindly confirmed by South West Heritage Trust.

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