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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Somerset

by Peter Kessler, 19 June 2020

SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 24: Churches of Rockwell Green & Wellington

Rockwell Green Christian Fellowship, Rockwell Green, Somerset

Meetings at this particular building have a somewhat complicated history. They seemingly began as Union Chapel (Congregationalist), a sister of the church at Wrangway. That Congregationalist membership had evolved to form Rockwell Green Baptist Church by the start of the twentieth century, if not earlier. When that meeting closed in 1983, the present Rockwell Green Christian Fellowship took over the building in 1996, part of the Barnabas Fellowship of Churches.

Wellington Cemetery Mortuary Chapels, Wellington, Somerset

Wellington Cemetery Mortuary Chapels stood close to each other, about halfway inside the cemetery, on the south-eastern side of the Hilly Head slip off the Exeter Road. The two chapels consisted of a nonconformist one to the south and an Anglican one to the north. They were built when the cemetery opened in 1875 but were demolished at some point in the later twentieth century. Some foundation and low level details may survive in this re-used space.

Holy Trinity Church, Wellington, Somerset

Holy Trinity Church sat on Mantle Street's south side in western Wellington, immediately west of the modern medical centre on a plot which is still marked out by old stone walls and an elaborate gateway. Revered Thomas erected this 'elegant chapel' at his own expense in 1831. It was quickly adopted by 1833 and was a modern building of stone, in the form of a Latin cross. Made superfluous by All Saints (see links) it closed in 1936, and was demolished in 1966.

St John Fisher's Catholic Church, Wellington, Somerset

St John Fisher's Catholic Church sits on the north side of Mantle Street, about twenty metres west of the Champford Lane junction. In the early and mid-1600s a recusant family, the Porters, lived at Old Court, Mantle Street. They took services from a priest who masqueraded as their gardener. Before the present church opened, mass was celebrated in the old town hall. In 1936 the Popham Almshouses were vacated and the premises converted into the present church.

Mantle Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Wellington, Somerset

Mantle Street Wesleyan Methodist Chapel sits on the north side of Fore Street, about ten metres west of the opposite junction with Bulford Lane. Records with South West Heritage Trust suggest that the chapel opened around 1838, seating 350, and survived until closure in 1985. However, the Taunton Methodist Circuit was created in 1771 and that included Wellington, suggesting a congregation existed before that date, possibly meeting in Scott's Lane Chapel (see links).

Fore Street Presbyterian Chapel / Wellington United Reformed Church, Wellington, Somerset

Fore Street Presbyterian Chapel stands on the east side of the street, just south of the access lane to North Street car park. It opened in 1730, replacing the former The Three Cups Inn Meeting House (used since 1689). The new chapel evolved into one of Independents and then Congregationalists. It was enlarged in 1748, rebuilt in the Gothic style in 1861, and extended in the late 1800s to seat 700. In 1972 it became Wellington United Reformed Church.

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 Somerset extensive urban survey: Wellington, Archaeological assessment, and Kelly's Somersetshire Directory 1889.

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