St Bartholomew's Church, Bathealton, is
on the north side of Watery Lane, to the south-east of the hamlet
itself. This is believed to be the third building on the site,
with the first being built early in the 1300s. That was followed by
an Elizabethan-era structure which benefited from the proceeds of a
will in 1542. The chancel was taken down and rebuilt in 1774,
followed by further extensive repairs until finally, in 1854, the
entire structure was demolished and rebuilt.
The Church of St Nicholas, Kittisford,
stands on the northern side of the lane at the centre of this small
hamlet. This small church was erected in the 1480s, chiefly in the
Decorated style and apparently as a rebuild of an earlier structure
whose history seems to be unavailable. The rebuild followed the
construction of the nearby Cothay Manor (see below). The north
chapel is dated 1659, with some fairly nice vernacular classical
details. The west tower has three bells.
The building was fully restored in 1875, which
included the full replacement of the now-tiled roofs. It consists of
a three-bay nave with a chapel continuing from the south aisle, plus
a south porch, the west tower, and a seventeenth century north
annexe (now the organ chamber), the latter thanks to Roger Wood of
Overtown, Kittisford, who stipulated in his will of 3 September 1657
that two hundred pounds should be donated for the building of a new
aisle in the church.
Cothay Barton Chapel is on the eastern
side of the manor buildings, one of the first to be seen when
approaching along the main drive from Piley Lane. The site is shown
on the OS 25-inch map of 1892-1914 as a monastery ('remains', but
such a monastery may not even have existed) and chapel - the chapel
is part of the manor house rather than a potential abbey. The manor
dates to the 1300s, but was restored in 1926-1927, while the chapel
was formed in 1947.
The Church of St Margaret, Thorne St Margaret,
is at the north-west corner of the t-junction which includes Bughole
Lane and the Kittisford road. With its dedication to St Margaret of
Antioch, patron saint of child-bearing, the church is built of hard
red sandstone in the Early English style, with seating for eighty,
with parts of that original building surviving a general restoration
in 1865. The font is of Saxon origin and is claimed to be one of the
oldest in the region.
Other parts from the original church include the
tower, the screen which forms part of the vestry wall, and some
windows (the church cottage of 1875 is shown here). Worth noting is
a brass plate from the old church (circa 1610) which has
engraved on it an effigy of John Worth and the coat of arms of this
local family. Prior to rebuilding, the church had no east window
until 1907 when the beautiful stained glass example was donated by
the Cross family of Wellisford Manor.
Five photos on this page kindly contributed
by Huw Thomas and one by Alison Day, all via the 'History Files:
Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group. Former Taunton Deane
area church names and locations kindly confirmed by South West
Heritage Trust. Additional information from Kelly's Directory
of Somerset 1902.