Fulwood Chapel is immediately south of
Fulwood Bridge and farm, on the eastern side of the lane. Today it
is invisible behind a massive hedge but this older view shows it
just after becoming a private residence. Sometimes referred to as
Pitminster Congregational Chapel, it started as an Independent
meeting around 1709. A Pitminster meeting formed in 1732 and the
chapel was built about 1820, paid for by Thomas Welman of
Poundisford. It closed around 1956.
The Church of St Andrew & St Mary,
Pitminster, is at the southern end of a horseshoe-shaped diversion
south from the main east-west lane through the village. It was built
around 1300, replacing an earlier Saxon building of unknown form and
design - probably largely wooden. The main fabric was enlarged in the
fifteenth century, while the unusual tower was built in three
distinctive stages involving a square first stage, an octagonal
belfry, and a lead covered spire.
During a Victorian restoration in 1869, George
Gilbert Scott rebuilt the north aisle, south porch, and north-west
chapel. The clerestory windows were replaced and the chancel arch
was rebuilt. In 1937 the chancel itself was restored by W D Caröe,
and in 1979 the Lady Chapel was restored. The interior is
distinguished by effigy tombs of three generations of the Colles
family who were lords of the manor in the 1500s-1600s. Today the
church is a Grade I listed building.
The original Blagdon Congregational Chapel
was located on the northern side of Howleigh Lane. Its position was
where the small side lane (shown here) is flanked by low stone
walls, opposite the site of the later chapel (see below). As shown
on OS maps, it was still in use around 1914 (possibly as a Sunday
school), but by the 1949-1967 period it had been closed and
replaced. The building still stood at this time but was later
demolished to leave no trace of its existence.
The second Blagdon Congregational Chapel
sits directly opposite the site of the original chapel (see above),
on the southern side of Howleigh Lane, and at the south-west corner
of the Blagdon Hill road junction. It was built with chert random
rubble in 1837, perhaps with the original chapel as a Sunday school
which remained in use into the 1900s. The new chapel became
Blagdon Hill United Reformed Church following the union, but is
now a private residence.
Blagdon Mission Room, Blagdon Green, is at
the north-east corner of the main road through Blagdon Hill and the
junction with Curdleigh Lane. The building was erected in 1878 for
the benefit of parishioners who lived along the long, steep climb up
the Blackdown Hills to its immediate south. Judging by the sign
clipped to the doorpost, the building still serves an occasional
function as a meeting room, even though its main use has been given
over to a small business.
Five photos on this page by P L Kessler. Former
Taunton Deane area church names and locations kindly confirmed by
South West Heritage Trust.