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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Somerset

by Peter Kessler, 26 September 2020

SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 25: Churches of Wellington

Chapel of St Michael & St George / Wellington School War Memorial Chapel, Wellington, Somerset

The Chapel of St Michael & St George, Wellington School, is set back from the western side of South Street, about seventy metres south of the Bulford Lane junction. Shown here in 1929, during construction, it is also known as the Wellington School War Memorial Chapel. Construction was completed in 1931, with the chapel commemorating those 'Old Boys' who gave their lives in the First World War, at the instigation of the then headmaster, George Corner.

Chapel of St Michael & St George / Wellington School War Memorial Chapel, Wellington, Somerset

The chapel was designed by Plymouth architect, Charles Biddulph-Pincher. It is built in red brick with stone dressings and pinnacles, which were to surround a cupola, but this never materialised due to a shortage of money. The clear glass perpendicular windows were considered to be 'the finest of this generation'. The interior is richly decorated with finely traceried carved oak wood wall panels with elaborately decorated canopies made of plaster fibre, all painted and gilded.

South Street Particular Baptist Church, Wellington, Somerset

South Street Particular Baptist Church occupies the western side of South Street, with the chapel building about twenty metres north of the Scott's Lane entrance. It was built in 1833 to replace an earlier chapel on the site of 1731-1732. A former burial ground adjoins it. A large schoolroom was added in 1865 and the new chapel was enlarged in 1877, increasing its capacity from 450 to 600. The schoolroom was extended in 1907. Pews were removed in 2008.

Scott's Lane Wesleyan Methodist Chapel / Bethel Chapel (Bible Christians) Gladstone Terrace Salvation Army Barracks / King's Church, Wellington, Somerset

This chapel stands at the south end of Gladstone Terrace, which opposes Brooks Place and is crossed by Scott's Lane. It was built as Scott's Lane Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, but the Methodists moved to Mantle Street (see links). It was taken over in 1849 as Scott's Lane Bethel Chapel (Bible Christians), and they were here until 1899. Then until at least 1938, it was Gladstone Terrace Salvation Army Barracks. More recently it was King's Church.

Quaker Meeting House, Wellington, Somerset

The Quaker Meeting House is on the south side of the High Street, opposite the bus stop near the White Hart Lane junction, and through a brightly-coloured streetside facade. George Fox toured the south-west in 1663, holding meetings wherever he went. His return journey brought him through Wellington, giving rise to a Society of Friends meeting here later in the same century. Their meeting house was rebuilt in 1729 and 1842-1845, and had its own burial ground.

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, Wellington, Somerset

The town's Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses sat on the south side of the narrow White Hart Lane. During the 1930s this building was a clubhouse of some kind, itself replacing a carriage works. It became outdated and inadequate when it came to accommodating a growing JW congregation. That congregation joined the one at Taunton Vivary hall on the High Street, while plans in Wellington were approved in 2018 to turn the former hall into two private residences.

Four photos on this page by P L Kessler, one from the History Files collection, and one by On The Market. Former Taunton Deane area church names and locations kindly confirmed by South West Heritage Trust. Additional information from Kelly's Somersetshire Directory 1889, from Somerset extensive urban survey: Wellington, Archaeological assessment, and from The London Gazette, 1848.

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Images and text copyright © all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.