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Gallery: Churches of Somerset

by Peter Kessler, 1 May 2020

SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 18: Churches of Curland, Staple Fitzpaine & Corfe

Church of All Saints, Curland, Somerset

The Church of All Saints, Curland, lies opposite Lane End Farm, almost a kilometre to the south-west of Curland as the crow flies. An earlier church (details unknown, but possibly of the seventeenth century based on surviving elements) was demolished so that this version could be built in 1856 by Benjamin Ferrey. It consists of local stone and ham stone dressings. Lack of use meant it was declared redundant a few years ago and now serves as a private residence.

Church of St Peter, Staple Fitzpaine, Somerset

The Church of St Peter, Staple Fitzpaine, sits at the south-west corner of New Road and Staple Hill, immediately south of the almshouses. Norman in origin, the chancel was built in the fourteenth century, followed by the north aisle in the fifteenth century when the windows were renewed. The notable, ornate tower was added in the 1400s. The south doorway is notable for being overwhelmed with decorative zigzags, small heads, diaperwork, rosettes, oxen, and birds.

Church of St Peter, Staple Fitzpaine, Somerset

It consists of a large, high nave with a chancel at the east end and a tower at the west. The decorated doorway was repositioned from the nave wall when the south aisle was added in 1841. The windows from the south nave were also repositioned and the south porch and north-east vestry were added. The church was re-seated and restored in 1894, and re-roofed in the mid-1900s. Access to the three-stage tower's chambers is via a vice turret on the north side.

Corfe Baptist Chapel, Corfe, Somerset

Corfe Baptist Chapel sits inside a rough stone wall on the eastern side of the main north-south street through the village of Corfe, just fifty metres or so north of the Pitminster Road junction and the White Hart Inn. The date on the frontage (visible above the modern porch) reads 1897. The chapel remained open after the Second World War but numbers clearly dwindled to the point of closure. Today the chapel is a much-altered private residence known as Chapel Cottage.

Church of St Nicholas, Corfe, Somerset

The Church of St Nicholas, Corfe, lies within its walled churchyard on the eastern side of the main street (B3170), with Mill Lane on its northern flank. The building is Norman in style, the original having been built in the twelfth century. Its condition in the early 1800s has to be wondered at because it was rebuilt in 1842 by B Ferrey. The nave arcade is neo-Romanesque, as is the chancel arch, with both claimed as being based on those of the original building.

Church of St Nicholas, Corfe, Somerset

The south aisle (visible to the right in the previous photo) was added in 1858 by C E Giles, and the tower with its pyramid cap was rebuilt at the same time. The chancel was restored in 1969. Construction is of squared and coursed blue lias, with ham stone dressings (common to many local churches). The building consists of a four-bay nave and south aisle, chancel, and west tower. Original features from the 1100s are the font and two corbels (reset in the north nave wall inside).

All photos on this page by P L Kessler. Former Taunton Deane area church names and locations kindly confirmed by South West Heritage Trust.


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