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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Somerset

by Peter Kessler, 21 November 2020

SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 34: Churches of Wiveliscombe to Milverton

Sir Richard of Chichester Catholic Church, Wiveliscombe, Somerset

St Richard of Chichester Catholic Church, Wiveliscombe, is on the south side of Church Street, next door-but-one to St Andrew's Church on its eastern side (see links). A structure is shown on part of this site in the late Victorian period and right up to the post-war period, but is not labelled as a church of any kind. This building replaced the earlier St Richard's Chapel on Silver Street (see links), in 1967, although running water was not added until the twenty-first century.

Wiveliscombe Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Wiveliscombe, Somerset

Wiveliscombe Wesleyan Methodist Chapel stands on the eastern side of South Street (formerly The Cullet), about forty metres north of the junction with Russells Place. The area is also known as Lambrook(e), thanks to the nearby Lambrook House. The chapel was erected in 1845 to hold 250 persons. Closure must have been relatively early as the building also served as an art gallery, wine bar, café, and holiday let, before being converted into a stylish home.

Slapemoor Bridge Mission Room, Slapemoor Bridge, Somerset

Slapemoor Bridge Mission Room, Slapemoor Bridge, stood at the very northern end of Quakinghouse Lane, immediately south of the B3227, and nestled in a rural spot between the lane and Hillferrance Brook. Even today this area has a very small population, but it still warranted a mission room. Never more than a small hut-like structure, it is evident on late Victorian OS maps but is not marked as a mission room until around 1930. Today there is no sign that it ever existed.

Quakinghouse Lane Quaker Meeting House & Burial Ground, Milverton, Somerset

Quakinghouse Lane Quaker Meeting House & Burial Ground, Milverton, can be found on the western side of the lane, immediately south of Warren House and at the end of a very long, very steep climb from Slapemoor Bridge. The area to the immediate north of the burial ground is shown on early 1900s OS maps as Quaking House copse after the manor house a little farther away (today's Warren House). The meeting house itself stood at the front of the burial ground.

Warren House, Quakinghouse Lane, Milverton, Somerset

The Milverton meeting was founded in 1679 as an extension of that at Taunton (see links). A meeting house was registered in 1684. Internments were taken from 1688 (and continue today). The meeting house was abandoned in 1753 when a better site was found in Milverton itself (see below). Nothing remains of the house, and the claim that Quaking House (Warren House) is the site of the meeting is erroneous (a later owner simply appropriated the Quaker signage).

Milverton Society of Friends (Quakers), Milverton, Somerset

Milverton Society of Friends (Quakers), stands at the north-east corner of the junction between Mill Lane and North Street. The Quakers obtained this as a meeting place in 1753, which allowed them to leave their old meeting house on Quakinghouse Lane (see above). The meeting here survived until 1855, although they retained the site until 1872. The building was later divided into two private residences known as Ivy Cottage and 'The Old Quaker House' (farthest away).

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 Kelly's Directory of Somerset (1902), and from Milverton Quaker Burial Ground, West Somerset Area Meeting.


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