History Files

Please help the History Files

Contributed: 175

Target: 400

Totals slider

The History Files still needs your help. As a non-profit site, it is only able to support such a vast and ever-growing collection of information with your help, and this year your help is needed more than ever. Please make a donation so that we can continue to provide highly detailed historical research on a fully secure site. Your help really is appreciated.



Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of Somerset

by Peter Kessler, 26 September 2020. Updated 11 December 2020

SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 31: Churches of Holywell Lake to Greenham

Holywell Lake Church Room, Holywell Lake, Somerset

Holywell Lake Church Room, Holywell Lake, is on the east side of The Holloway, about forty-five metres south of the junction with Farthing Down. The building is shown on late Victorian OS maps but isn't labelled. The OS 1:10,560 combined map of 1949-1969 does indeed label it as a church room. Kelly's Directory of Somerset 1902 confirms its status. Today it is a private residence named Home Farm, which looks far more like a rural cottage than any form of religious building.

Holywell Lake Baptist Chapel, Holywell Lake, Somerset

Holywell Lake Baptist Chapel is on the eastern side of The Holloway, about fifty metres south of the junction with The Farthing Down. There was a holy well at the northern end of the hamlet which was still being marked on OS maps of the early 1900s and which gives the hamlet its name. The chapel was built in 1841 to seat 100 persons (possibly extended by 1902 for an extra twenty). It later closed and was converted into a pink private residence called 'Chapel House'.

Holy Cross Church, Sampford Arundel, Somerset

Holy Cross Church, Sampford Arundel, is at the very west edge of this hamlet. Although there was almost certainly a church on the site in the 1100s, Holy Cross was substantially rebuilt in 1867 when the aisle walls and chancel were taken down. Previously the nave and chancel had been under the same roof but, with the restoration, they were given separate roofs. The west tower, thought to be thirteenth century, was raised and a new bell chamber added on the first floor.

Wrangway Congregational Chapel, Wrangway, Somerset

Wrangway Congregational Chapel was located where the middle of three houses now stands (as photographed), on the south-east side of the road just thirty metres west of the entrance to the Higher Woodford estate. The chapel may have been erected around the same time as its sister, Rockwell Green Union Chapel (see links), around 1830. It was restored and enlarged in 1882, and afforded 200 sittings. It closed post-war and was later demolished.

Sampford Moor Baptist Chapel, Sampford Moor, Somerset

Sampford Moor Baptist Chapel stands on the southern side of the lane that connects a scattering of houses, at the southern end of the hamlet, sixty metres west of The Blue Ball public house (seen in the far distance here). Kelly's Directory of Somerset 1889 states that it was erected in 1871 with sittings for eighty. Mrs Hall and Mrs Nicholson were the chief landowners. It was still operational post-war but later closed and was converted into the private residence, 'The Copse'.

Greenham Barton Chapel, Greenham Barton, Somerset

Greenham Barton Chapel was once part of the Tudor manor house that lies on the northern side of the Greenham Barton lane, about a hundred metres east of the Bishop's Hill junction. There existed a round-headed gateway on the north-eastern side of the courtyard which originally also contained a detached chapel and lodgings. Its fate is unknown, while the house was built in the early fifteenth century with later additions in the sixteenth and twentieth centuries.

All photos on this page kindly contributed by Huw Thomas 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 by Huw Thomas, Chris Webster at SWHT, and from Kelly's Directory of Somerset, 1889 and 1902.

Images reproduced


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