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Gallery: Churches of Somerset
by Peter Kessler, 21 November 2020
SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 34:
Churches of Wiveliscombe to Milverton
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
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, 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, 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.
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
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.