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|Table of Contents|
|Start of eBook||1|
|LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS||1|
|MAP OF SOMERSET||1|
|IV. PHYSICAL FEATURES AND GEOLOGY||3|
|V. FAUNA AND FLORA||5|
|DESCRIPTION OF PLACES IN SOMERSET ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY||18|
|INDEX OF PERSONS||161|
Tarr steps, Exmoor
(From a Photograph by Messrs Valentine, Dundee)
Market place, frome
(From a Photograph by Messrs Valentine, Dundee)
St Joseph’s chapel, Glastonbury
(From a Photograph by Mr Walter Raymond)
(From a Photograph by Messrs Frith, Reigate)
Alfoxden house, near Holford
(From a Photograph by Messrs Frith, Reigate)
Horner woods and Porlock vale
(From a Photograph by Messrs Frith, Reigate)
The hanging chapel, Langport
(From a Photograph by Messrs Frith, Reigate)
(From a Photograph by Messrs Frith, Reigate)
(From a Photograph by Messrs Valentine, Dundee)
(From a Photograph by Messrs Frith, Reigate)
(From a Photograph by Messrs Frith, Reigate)
THE GEORGE INN, NORTON ST PHILIP
(From a Photograph by Messrs Valentine, Dundee)
NUNNEY CASTLE AND VILLAGE (From a Photograph by Messrs Valentine, Dundee)
OLD BANK, PORLOCK
(From a Photograph by Messrs Valentine, Dundee)
(From a Photograph by Messrs Frith, Reigate)
SHEPTON MALLET CROSS
(From a Photograph by Mr Walter Raymond)
(From a Photograph by Messrs Frith, Reigate)
TAUNTON FROM THE RIVER
(From a Photograph by Messrs Valentine, Dundee)
(From a Photograph by Messrs Frith, Reigate)
VICARS’ CLOSE, WELLS
(From a Photograph by Messrs Frith, Reigate)
THE PALACE GATEWAY, WELLS
(From a Photograph by Messrs Valentine, Dundee)
(From a Photograph by Messrs Valentine, Dundee)
NINE SPRINGS, YEOVIL
(From a Photograph by Messrs Valentine, Dundee)
I. SITUATION AND EXTENT
SOMERSET is one of the S.W. counties of England. On the N. it is washed by the Bristol Channel; on the N.E. the Avon, like a silver streak, divides it from Gloucestershire; it is bordered on the E. by Wiltshire; its S.E. neighbour is Dorset; and on the S.W. it touches Devon. Its shape is so irregular that dimensions give a misleading indication of its extent. Its extreme length is about 60 m., and its greatest width
The climate is mild and equable, though from its diversified surface the county experiences some varieties of temperature. The seaboard is warm, but its considerable southward trend gives it a good Atlantic frontage, which prevents it from being relaxing. Weston is said to be ten degrees warmer than London. The breezes on the uplands are bracing but never searching. The Mendips have been considered a suitable site for a consumptive sanatorium. The central flats are damp. They lie so low that in places the coast has to be protected by sea walls, and the prevalence of large “rhines” or drains makes for humidity. The sheltered vale of Taunton Dean (for the term cp. Hawthorndean, Rottingdean) is warm and sunny. The rainfall is abundant, but, except in the neighbourhood of Exmoor, cannot be said to be excessive.
Roads.—Everywhere highways and byways are numerous, and some districts are prodigally supplied with footpaths. With the exception of Exmoor, which is best explored on foot, even the remotest parts are accessible to the wheelman. But the cyclist will find the travelling somewhat unequal. Like the curate’s fabled egg, the roads are best described as “good in parts.” Amongst the hills they are firm but arduous, in the plains easy but soft. The main thoroughfares, however, can be recommended both for breadth and surface.
Railways.—The Somerset railway system is extensive. The G.W.R. (the chief service of the county) unites Bath with Bristol, and throwing itself round the N.W. extremity of the Mendips, runs down an almost ideal track to Taunton and Wellington. A loop from Worle to Uphill serves Weston-super-Mare, whilst short branches, one from Bristol and a second from Yatton, afford communication with Portishead and Clevedon. Another section skirts the E. side of the county from Frome to Yeovil, and by taking a short cross-country cut from Castle Cary to Langport unites again with the trunk line near Taunton. From Taunton branches radiate to Minehead, Dulverton, Chard, and Yeovil. A branch line again connects Bristol with Frome, and access is obtained to Wells
There is a prevalent belief that the picturesque part of the West of England begins with Devon and ends with Cornwall, to which Somerset is merely a stepping-stone. This opinion is no doubt fostered by the impression which the tourist derives of the county through the carriage windows of the “Cornishman.” But the considerations that appeal to the railway engineer are mechanical rather than aesthetic; and, unfortunately for the reputation of Somerset for scenery, the line of least resistance is the line of least interest—the dead level skirting the coast between Bristol and Taunton. As a matter of fact, there are few districts which afford such a variety of physical features as Somerset. Hill and valley, cliff and chasm, moor and seaboard, are all to be found there; and, in addition to its wealth of scenery, Somerset is rich in antiquities of different kinds; whilst it has also been the theatre of some of the most stirring events in English history.
The physical skeleton of the county may be roughly described as consisting of three parallel ranges of hills running transversely across it—the Mendips and their outliers in the N.E., the insignificant Poldens in the centre, and the Quantocks and Exmoor in the W., with the Blackdowns occupying the S.W. corner. The intervening basins are filled with a rich alluvial deposit washed down from the hills or left by the receding sea. The Mendips spread themselves across the E. end of the county in a N.W. direction from Frome to Weston-super-Mare, where they lose themselves in the Channel, to re-appear as the islets of the Steep and Flat Holms. On their S.W. side they descend into the plain with considerable abruptness; and when viewed from the lower parts of the county, present a hard sky-line, like some enormous earthwork. On the opposite side their aspect in general is far less impressive, and towards Bath they lose themselves in a confusion of elevations and declivities. The main ridge is an extended tableland, some 25 m. long, and in places 3 m. broad. It rises to its greatest heights at Blackdown (1067 ft.) and Masbury (958). Geologically, it consists of mountain limestone superimposed on old red sandstone, which here and there comes to the surface. Near Downhead there is an isolated outburst of igneous rock. The Mendips are honeycombed with caverns, the most
The Somerset sea-coast, though destitute of ruggedness and grandeur, possesses undeniable charm, at least at its W. and E. extremities; but it lapses into unquestioned tameness where the sea washes the central flats. The waters of the Bristol Channel as far down as Minehead are discoloured; and, with the exception of a range of low cliffs near St Andries and Watchet and a stony foreshore at Clevedon, there are no rocks worth mentioning. Brean Down and the North Hill near Minehead are the only headlands, but notwithstanding this, the watering places of Somerset are breezy and healthy. Weston-super-Mare in particular has a high reputation for salubrity, and has long been one of the most popular seaside resorts in England.
Somerset is peculiarly deficient in large rivers, for the Avon can hardly be included amongst its belongings, since it is the dividing line between the county and Gloucestershire. The Parrett is the one stream of any moment. It is a sluggish and uninteresting bit of water, rising in Dorset, entering Somerset near Crewkerne, and flowing, when it meets the tide near Bridgwater, with a wearisomely circuitous course of some 12 m. before it mixes with the Bristol Channel. The other rivers, the Frome and Chew, which join the Avon; the Axe, which rises in Wookey Hole and enters the sea near Brean Down; the Brue and Cary, which empty themselves into the estuary of the Parrett; and the Parrett’s own tributaries, the Yeo, Ivel, and Tone, are unimportant. Exmoor is drained by the Exe and Barle, which, when united, flow southward into Devon.
Such, however, is the character of Somerset scenery that the absence of water in it is hardly noticed. From what has been said it will be seen that the county has much in it to arrest the attention of the traveller who can appreciate quiet beauty, and, as will appear, even more to appeal to one who is interested in his country’s-past, whilst upon the affection of its sons its hold is indisputable. As one of them writes:—
“Fair winds, free way, for youth
We all must share the curse of Cain:
But bring me back when youth is over
To the old crooked shire again.
Ay, bring me back in life’s declining
To the one home that’s home for me,
Where in the west the sunset shining
Goes down into the Severn sea.”
The really interesting fauna of Somerset belongs to a past age, when mammoths, elephants, and rhinoceroses, cave lions, bisons, bears, and hyaenas roamed over its surface. Their remains have been found in the caverns of Hutton, Bleadon, Banwell, and Wookey, and are preserved in Taunton Museum. Of the wild creatures which at present occur in the county, the only one which confers real distinction upon it is the red deer, which roams at large on both Exmoor and the Quantocks. Badgers are not uncommon near
As regards the flora the elevated position of parts of the county makes it the home of a number of plants which do not commonly occur in the South of England. Thus there are found on Exmoor the crowberry (Empetrum nigrum), the parsley fern (Cryptogramme crispa), and the oak fern (Phegopteris dryopteris). Asplenium septentrionale is found at Culbone; Listera cordata grows on Dunkery and near Chipstable; and the cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris) is said to occur at Selworthy and on the Brendons. On the other hand, Somerset likewise furnishes congenial conditions for those plants that love low-lying, marshy ground, and on the peat-moors in the Glastonbury district the flowering fern (Osmunda regalis) and the bog myrtle (Myrica Gale) are met with. Within the British Isles the following are found only in Somerset: Dianthus gratianopolitanus, Hieracium stinolepis, Verbascum lychnitis, and Euphorbia pilosa. Arabis stricta occurs only on the limestone near Clifton; Helianthemum polifolium is confined to Somerset and Devon; Pirus latifolia to Somerset and Denbigh.
 For the birds of Somerset, see a paper by the Rev. Murray A. Mathew, M.A., F.L.S., in the “Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society,” vol. xxxix., from which we have borrowed.
 For fuller information, see “The
Flora of Somerset,” by the Rev.
R.P. Murray, M.A., F.L.S., from which the above facts are taken.
Somerset gets its name from a Saxon tribe, but its earliest inhabitants, like those of the southern half of bur island generally, were Britons or Celts, and the Saxon invasion was preceded by the Roman. Reminders that the county was once occupied by a Welsh—speaking race occur in the constituents of many place-names, such as Pen Selwood, Maes Knoll, and the numerous combes (cp. Welsh cwm). The name of the British king, Arthur, is associated with Cadbury (near Sparkford); and the neighbouring villages of Queen Camel and West Camel recall the legendary Camelot. The earliest church at Glastonbury (Avalon) is believed to have been of British origin, and it is Arthur’s reputed burial-place. In the dedication of the churches at Porlock (Dubricius or Dyfrig) and Watchet (Decuman or Tegfan) is preserved the memory of certain British saints, though these probably came on an evangelistic mission from the other side of the Bristol Channel. But of the primitive population the most trustworthy memorials are the numerous earthworks and other material remains which survive in various parts of the county, and these will be more appropriately noticed under another heading (see pp. 20-21).
Of the Roman occupation the traces are more varied. Bath and Ilchester are Roman towns, and from and through them Roman roads run across the county. In constructing these, the Romans probably used in many instances existing British trackways. The principal was the Fosse Way (as it is called), entering the county near Chard from Seaton, and leaving it at Bath for Lincoln. Within Somerset it is still a very important artery of traffic. From near Chard a road is thought to have diverged from it to the N.W., towards the Quantocks, passing by Castle Neroche. The Fosse Way was, and is, cut at Ilchester by a road coming from Dorchester and continuing to Glastonbury, and near Masbury, on the Mendips, by a second, connecting Old Sarum with Axium (Uphill, near Brean Down). At Bath it was joined by two more roads, one coming from London and the other (the Via Julia) from Aust and South Wales. The road along the Mendips was doubtless largely used for the transport of the lead which was mined at Priddy and elsewhere, and shipped at Uphill. Somerset, during its occupation by the Romans, seems to have enjoyed tranquillity, for their villas, pavements, and other remains indicative of peaceful possession are not confined to the neighbourhood of their large cities (see p. 21).
When the Saxons made themselves masters of England, Somerset became part of the kingdom of Wessex. Its subjugation was accomplished in three stages. The first is associated with the name of Ceawlin, who, after defeating the British at Deorham (in Gloucestershire), captured Bath, and by 577 reduced the northern part of the county between the Avon and the Axe. Englishcombe near Bath recalls this occupation, and the Wansdyke probably served as a barrier between Saxon and Briton.
During the Saxon period Somerset did not escape the raids of the Danes; and in the reign of Alfred it was the scene of one of the most eventful crises in English history. Alfred, after many battles against the invaders, had at last seen Guthrum their leader retire from Wessex into Mercia. But in 878, in midwinter, Guthrum suddenly surprised Chippenham and made himself master of Wessex, and Alfred was forced to withdraw to the fens of Athelney. To the narrow limits of the “Isle of the Nobles” the Saxon dominions in the W. were for some months reduced. Here in the Eastertide of 879 Alfred, in the words of the “Saxon Chronicle,” “wrought a fortress [of which perhaps the Mump at Borough Bridge is the site], and from that work warred on the (Danish) army, with that portion of the men of Somerset that was nearest." Seven weeks after Easter, Alfred emerged from his place of refuge to join the men of Somerset, Wilts, and Hants, who had gathered in force at “Ecgbryhtes Stane” (Brixton Deveril in Wilts). Putting himself at their head, he covered the distance that separated him from the foe in two stages; for, halting for the night at “Iglea,” the next day he defeated the Danes at “Ethandune,” and then besieged and reduced their fortress or fortified camp. Guthrum, after his defeat, was baptised at Aller; and at Wedmore subsequently a treaty of peace was concluded between him and Alfred. The site of the battle of “Ethandune” is unfortunately difficult to determine. There is an Edington in Somerset on the Polden Hills; and the fact that the battle was followed by Guthrum’s baptism at Aller and the treaty at Wedmore (places near the Somerset Edington) is in favour of this being the scene of the encounter. Those who accept this identification assume that the Danes had moved from Chippenham to the Poldens, and here, whilst watching Athelney, were taken in the rear by Alfred, whose single night-halt at “Iglea” on the march from Brixton Deveril is placed at Edgarley, a locality near Glastonbury.
The importance of Somerset during the reign of the Saxon kings who succeeded Alfred is evidenced by the many noteworthy incidents that are connected with its chief city, Bath, and its great abbey of Glastonbury. It was at Bath that King Edgar was crowned in 973; and at the same place at a later date (1013) the Danish king, Sweyn, received the submission of the western thegns. At Glastonbury were buried three of the Saxon kings, Edmund (son of Edward the Elder), Edgar, and Edmund Ironside. Here too was born Dunstan, who was so prominent an ecclesiastic in the reigns of the first Edmund and five of his successors. He was made abbot of the abbey by Edmund, and, after becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, was buried at Glastonbury (988). Two other Somerset men who filled the see of Canterbury during the Saxon period were Ethelgar and Alphege.
Under the Plantagenets the history of the county was not very eventful, though some localities suffered severely in the disturbances of the Norman period. In William Rufus’ reign it was the scene of several of the movements directed against the king in favour of his brother Robert. The powerful baron-bishop, Geoffrey of Coutances, with his nephew Robert of Mowbray, after seizing Bristol, burnt Bath, but was unsuccessful in the siege of Ilchester (1088). On the death of Henry I. Somerset favoured the claims of Matilda, and the castles at Cary, E. Harptree, and Dunster were held by their owners for her against Stephen, to the no small discomfort of their respective neighbourhoods. Castle Cary and Harptree were taken by Stephen, but he seems to have regarded Dunster (defended by William of Mohun) as impregnable.
In Tudor times Somerset witnessed the attempt made on the throne by Perkin Warbeck in 1497, who was supported by Lord Audley of Nether Stowey and other Somerset gentlemen. The pretender advanced from Devonshire to seize Taunton; but when Henry VII. entered Somerset, passing in his progress through Bath, Wells (where he stayed with the Dean), and Glastonbury, to Taunton, Warbeck lost heart and fled. When captured and brought into Henry’s presence he was spared; but the king’s clemency did not extend to his supporter Lord Audley, who was executed on Tower Hill.
During the Great Rebellion in the 17th cent. Somerset was the field of many important operations. At the outbreak of war in August 1642, the royal cause was maintained by the Marquis of Hertford, who was supported by Lord Powlett, Sir Ralph Hopton, Sir John Stawell, and other leading gentlemen of the county. But the sympathies of the yeomen and manufacturers were with the Parliament, and Hertford had to withdraw from Wells, where he had taken up his position, to Sherborne. In 1643, however, the king’s Cornish army entered Somerset, and was joined by the Marquis and Prince Maurice at Chard; and the Royalists then rapidly became masters of Taunton, Bridgwater, and Dunster. To oppose them, Sir William Waller was despatched to the West, and a cavalry skirmish between the two forces took place on the Mendips near Chewton. Waller’s main army was posted at Bath; and the Royalists, advancing by way of Wells and Frome, had another skirmish near Claverton. They kept E. of Bath and reached Marshfield in Gloucestershire, 5 m. N. of the city. Then on July 5 Waller gave battle on Lansdowne Hill, and was forced to retire back to Bath, abandoning a quantity of arms and stores; but the triumph of the victors was clouded by the loss of Sir Bevil Grenville, who was killed in the fight. (The monument to him on the site of the encounter was erected in 1720.) The next year the king’s cause in Somerset was less prosperous, for Taunton was lost, and repelled all the efforts of Colonel Wyndham, Governor of Bridgwater, to recover it. In 1645 the siege of Taunton was undertaken by Goring. The town was defended by Blake, who vowed (it is said) that he would eat his boots before he would surrender it, but he was saved from that extremity by Fairfax. On the approach of the latter Goring drew off from Taunton, and fixed his quarters at Langport, where he was attacked and defeated. This success on the part of Fairfax not only saved Taunton, but enabled him to besiege Bridgwater, which was defended by Wyndham with little resolution, and fell on July 23, within a fortnight of Goring’s defeat at Langport. Fairfax also took Nunney Castle; and as in 1646 Dunster, the last place in Somerset supporting the king, also submitted, the entire county passed into the hands of the Parliament. Dunster was defended by another Wyndham, but he offered a much more prolonged resistance than his brother at Bridgwater, and withstood the besiegers for 160 days. After the execution of the king the small rising in favour of Charles II., under Colonel Penruddock and Sir Joseph Wagstaff, was crushed near Chard in 1655.
In the reign of James II. Somerset was the soil upon which was fought the last battle that has taken place in England. In 1680, the Duke of Monmouth, in the course of a tour through the county, greatly ingratiated himself with its people; and at Whitelackington held a great reception under a gigantic chestnut tree, which was standing as recently as 1897, when it was unfortunately blown down. When in 1685 Charles II. died, and Monmouth made his attempt to disturb the succession of James, it was to Somerset that he looked for support. After landing at Lyme, he entered the county at Chard, and passing through Ilminster, was proclaimed king at Taunton and Bridgwater. From the latter town (where he had stayed at the castle), he started on his luckless campaign, which was wholly confined within the borders of Somerset. He proceeded through Glastonbury (where some of his troops bivouacked in the Abbey), Wells, and Shepton Mallet, intending to attack Bristol, but at Keynsham he turned aside on finding the city defended by the Duke of Beaufort. He threatened Bath, but it refused to surrender; and he thereupon retired to Norton St Philip, intending to enter Wilts. There he had a skirmish with the advanced guard of the royal forces which had marched from London to meet him; and shirking a more general engagement, he withdrew to Frome. The townspeople of Frome, like those of Taunton and Bridgwater, gave him their sympathy, but nothing else; and disappointed at the lack of support, and wearied with his march along miry roads in drenching rain, he abandoned the advance into Wiltshire. A report that a rising in his favour had taken place at Axbridge decided him to return to Bridgwater. On the way he again passed through Wells, where some of his men tore the lead from the Cathedral roof to make bullets, and inflicted other damage on the building. Soon after his arrival at Bridgwater, the royalist general, Feversham, with about 4000 troops, reached Weston Zoyland from Somerton, disposing some of his forces at the neighbouring villages of Middlezoy and Chedzoy. As the royal troops were said to be in a state of disorder, Monmouth, who had about 6000 men, very badly armed, determined to attack him by night; and late on Sunday, July 5, he started from Bridgwater under cover of darkness. But in the passage of some of the “rhines” which cut up the Sedgemoor plain a mismanaged pistol gave the alarm; and in the engagement that followed his ill-equipped followers, though they fought bravely, had little chance against the regulars, and more than 1000 of them fell on the field. The battle had a sad sequel for Somerset. James knew no clemency; and Jeffreys’ bloody assize left a crimson trail across the country, which even time found some difficulty in obliterating. Macaulay estimates that the number of the rebels hanged by Jeffreys was 320, and though the assize extended into Hampshire, Dorset, and Devon, most of its victims were Somerset folk. A certain poetic justice may
The ecclesiastical history of Somerset may be briefly related. When Cenwealh of Wessex (who had been converted to Christianity by the King of East Anglia) established the bishopric of Winchester, such parts of Somerset as belonged to the West-Saxon kingdom were included in that see. Ina divided his augmented territories between two bishoprics, Winchester and Sherborne, the latter including Somerset, with Wilts, Berks, and Dorset. The first Bishop of Sherborne was Aldhelm (705), who only filled the see for four years, dying at Doulting in 709. Ina also founded Wells, but as a collegiate church of secular canons, not as the cathedral of a diocese. It was not until 909 that Somerset had a bishop all to itself, who was styled the Bishop of the Somersaetas, with his seat at Wells (the first appointed being Aethelm.) In 1088, in accordance with the policy of removing bishoprics from localities of little importance, the see was transferred from Wells to Bath, the bishop (John de Villula) at the same time becoming the abbot of the monastery. In 1192 Bishop Savaric procured for the see the rich abbey of Glastonbury, and became its abbot; and he and his immediate successor, Joceline, the builder of the W. front of Wells, were styled Bishops of Bath and Glastonbury. In 1224, however, another change was made, and the bishop took his title from Bath and Wells, as he has done ever since. Up to the Reformation the title was justified, both the monks of Bath and the canons of Wells taking part in episcopal elections; but, with the suppression of its monastery, Bath naturally lost this distinction.
Of religious houses Somerset possessed a fair proportion. The chief were Glastonbury, Bath, Bruton, Dunster, Muchelney, Stogursey (which were Benedictine), Cleeve, Barlynch (Cistercian), Hinton, Witham (Carthusian), Taunton, Woodspring, Stavordale (Augustinian), Montacute (Cluniac). The Templars had a preceptory at Templecombe, and the Knights of St John had establishments at Bridgwater and Mynchin Buckland (near Durston).
 Thorpe’s translation.
 See a paper on “Ethandune”
by the Rev. C.W. Whistler (reprinted
from “The Saga-book”—“Proceedings of the Viking Club,” 1898), who
thinks that the Danish fortress may have been Bridgwater.
The principal antiquities of Somerset may be classified as (1) earthworks and other survivals of a primitive time; (2) the Roman remains at Bath and elsewhere; (3) the ecclesiastical and other buildings of the Middle Ages.
1. The British camps are numerous. They are probably not the sites of permanent settlements, but were used for defensive purposes in times of war. The most notable are Worlebury (near Weston), Combe Down and Solsbury (near Bath), Hamdon, Brent Knoll, Masbury, Dolbury, Stantonbury, and the three Cadburys (near Sparkford, Tickenham, and Yatton respectively). Worlebury is remarkable for having a large number of pits sunk into the ground within its rampart. (Castle Neroche and Castle Orchard, which have usually been regarded as of British origin, are now thought to owe their fortifications to the Normans.)
The remains of megalithic circles occur at Stanton Drew. There are barrows at Stoney Littleton, Dundry, and Priddy. There is a lake-village of the crannog type at Godney. Other antiquities of British origin that deserve notice are the Wansdyke and Pen Pits (the latter near Penselwood).
2. The most interesting Roman remains are at Bath, where a splendid system of baths has been brought to light. Villas and other buildings of Roman origin have been discovered at Whitestaunton and Wadeford (near Chard), Whatley (near Frome), Wellow, Newton St Loe, Bratton Seymour, Pitney, Camerton, etc. Traces of Roman mines (such as tools and pigs of lead) have been found at Priddy and Blagdon, and an amphitheatre at Charterhouse-on-Mendip. Many of the British camps enumerated above have at different times been occupied by the Roman legions.
3. The ancient ecclesiastical buildings of Somerset are very interesting. Some of them, chiefly monastic foundations, are more or less in ruins—Glastonbury, Cleeve, Woodspring, Muchelney, Stavordale, Hinton Charterhouse. Of those that are still used for religious purposes, the most conspicuous are Wells Cathedral and Bath Abbey. But the parish churches, in their way, are almost as remarkable. Their excellence is largely due to the splendid building-stone which abounds in different parts of the county, especially near Bath, Dundry, Doulting, and Ham Hill. Of Saxon architecture Somerset has no example such as Wilts possesses in Bradford, though some of the ancient fonts may possibly be of pre-Norman origin. The majority of early fonts, however, are Norman, and the number of them shows how thickly Norman churches once covered the country. But surviving instances of churches wholly or mainly Norman are rare: the best examples are Compton Martin, Christon, and Stoke-sub-Hamdon. There is herring-bone work at Elm and Marston Magna. Of Norman chancel arches and doorways retained when the body of the church has been re-constructed the examples are numerous; noteworthy are those at Glastonbury, Milborne Port, Stoke-Courcy, Lullington, Huish Episcopi, Portbury, St Catherine, South Stoke, Flax Bourton, Langridge, Clevedon, Chewton Mendip, Englishcombe. Wells Cathedral contains some splendid Transitional work, of which there are also specimens at Clutton.
But it is in Perpendicular churches that Somerset is richest; and examples of this style are too abundant to require to be cited. It is, indeed, a source of wonder that funds and skilled workmen were forthcoming in sufficient quantity to erect or rebuild so many churches within a comparatively short period. It was upon the Towers that the greatest skill of the Perp. builders was lavished. They are generally lofty, are often beautifully crowned with pinnacles and embattled or pierced parapets, and not unfrequently abound with niches and statuary. The quality of the tracery, however, varies with the stone employed; and the towers W. of the Quantocks are, as a rule, inferior to those of the centre and east of the county. Most have large external stair-turrets (commonly at the N.E. or S.E. angle), which, when carried above the parapet and surmounted by spirelets, add dignity to the plainer structures, but which are less appropriate where the pinnacles are sufficiently prominent and graceful to give of themselves an adequate finish. In the case of some of the finest towers the staircase is wisely suppressed before reaching the summit. In most instances the tower is at the W. end, and is square; but a few churches have octagonal towers, which are usually central (S. Petherton, Stoke St Gregory, Doulting, N. Curry, Barrington). Spires are comparatively rare, but they occur at E. Brent, Congresbury, Bridgwater, Croscombe, Yatton, Pitminster, Castle Cary, Frome, Worle, Whatley, Porlock.
The classification of Somerset Perp. towers has often been attempted, perhaps most successfully by Dr F.J. Allen, with whom the late R.P. Brereton was in general agreement. By these careful observers they are grouped according to the number and character of the windows inserted in each stage. Adopting their principle of classification, though arranging the order of the classes rather differently, we should separate the best towers (viz. those that have two or more windows side by side on the W. front)
Many Somerset churches are remarkable for their carved pulpits and churchyard crosses, or for their woodwork. Fine stone pulpits are found at Kewstoke, Hutton, Wick St Lawrence, Worle, Locking, Loxton, Shepton, Cheddar, St Catherine. Crosses with carved heads or shafts survive at Bishop’s Lydeard, Crowcombe, Spaxton, Doulting, Broadway, Barton St David, Chewton Mendip, Stringston, Horsingtoo, Wedmore. Fine screens are to be found at Dunster, Norton Fitzwarren, Long Ashton, Bishop’s Lydeard, Long Sutton, Halse, Minehead, Banwell, Croscombe, Kingsbury. There are carved oak pulpits at Trull and Thurloxton; remarkable Jacobean pulpits at Croscombe and Long Sutton, and quaint bench ends at many places, especially at Bishop’s Lydeard, S. Brent, Trull, Crowcombe, Spaxton, Milverton, Bishop’s Hull, Stogumber, Broomfield. The finest wood roof is at Shepton Mallet; there are others of great merit also at Somerton, Long Sutton, Martock, St Mary’s, Taunton, Evercreech.
Good examples of ancient glass occur at Trull, Nettlecombe, Curry Rivel, Winscombe, Broomfield, E. Brent. Interesting brasses are preserved at Banwell, Hutton, Middlezoy, Tintinhull, Yeovil, Dowlishwake, St Decuman’s, Beckington, Bishop’s Lydeard.
Besides its stately churches, Somerset possesses some interesting specimens of mediaeval and Tudor domestic architecture. Amongst the best are Lytescary, Meare (fish house), Martock, Clevedon Court, S. Petherton, Barrington, Brympton, Dodington, etc. Ancient hostelries survive at Norton St Philip, Glastonbury, and Dunster. Castles are infrequent in the county, the chief remains being at Taunton, Dunster, and Nunney, and a few fragments at Stoke-Courcey, Harptree, Farleigh Hungerford, and Nether Stowey.
Somerset is par excellence an agricultural county. With the exception of its share in Bristol, it has no large manufacturing centre. Its commercial insignificance, however, is quite a modern characteristic. It once took a leading place in the manufacture of cloth, and its productions were held in high esteem. Dunster, Watchet, and Shepton were especially noted for their fabrics. Many quaint country villages were once thriving little towns, and almost every stream had its string of cloth mills. The introduction of steam, and the more enterprising spirit of the North, stole the trade, and this former era of prosperity is now hardly remembered. Cloth mills, however, still survive at Frome, Tiverton, and Wellington. Collars are made at Taunton; gloves are stitched at Yeovil and Martock. There are shoe factories at Street and Paul ton. Crewkerne manufactures sailcloth. Chard has a lace factory. Frome possesses a large printing establishment and art metal-works. Bridgwater, besides abounding in brick-fields, is the only seat in the country of the bath-brick, industry. Coal is extensively mined in the Radstock district, and iron used to be obtained from the Brendons, though operations now seem to have ceased, and the mineral railway which brought the ore to Watchet for shipment is now disused. Quarries are numerous. The Mendips in the N., Street in the centre, and Ham Hill in the S., all afford plenty of material for the stone mason. There are large breweries at Shepton, Oakhill, Frome, and Wiveliscombe. Paper is made at Wookey, furniture is manufactured at Yatton, and there is a large bacon factory at Highbridge. Extensive orchards in the neighbourhood of Glastonbury and Taunton feed a large number of cider presses. In the agricultural world Somerset is chiefly known as a grazing ground. It is especially renowned for its cheese. Cheddar cheese is held universally in high repute, and the “pitch” of cheese at the Frome annual fair is said to be the heaviest in the kingdom.
In spite of its extent of seaboard Somerset has few ports. Apart from the share it may claim to have in Bristol, it possesses only three, Portishead, Bridgwater, and Watchet. Portishead, like Avonmouth on the other side of the Avon, is subsidiary to Bristol. Bridgwater lies 12 m. up the Parrett, though only half that distance from the sea in a direct line. Watchet serves the district, between the Quantocks and Brendons. Minehead has a little harbour, but is of no mercantile importance.
The roll of Somerset worthies, either natives of or residents in the county, is long and illustrious. The Church, law, literature, philosophy, arms, science, politics, and adventure are all represented. The following alphabetic list contains the most important names, with dates and brief particulars.
Alphege or Aelfeah, b. 954, at Weston near Bath; successively Bishop of Winchester and Archbishop of Canterbury; killed by the Danes, 1011; canonised.
Bacon, Roger, b. about 1214, at or near Ilchester; became a friar of the Franciscan Order; studied natural philosophy and wrote, besides other works, the “Opus Majus” (described as “at once the ‘Encyclopaedia’ and the ‘Organon’ of the 13th century"); d. 1294.
Bagehot, Walter, b. 1826, at Langport; economist and author of “The English Constitution”; d. 1877.
Beckington, Thomas, b. about 1390, at Beckington; successively Bishop of Salisbury and Bishop of Bath and Wells; d. 1465.
Blake, Robert, b. 1599, at Bridgwater; took part in the Great Civil War on the Parliamentary side, and defended Lyme and Taunton; made admiral of the fleet, and fought against Holland and Spain; d. 1657.
Coleridge, Hartley, b. 1796, at Clevedon; poet and biographical writer; d. 1849.
Coryate, Thomas, b. 1577, at Odcombe; travelled, first on the Continent (his journal, entitled “Coryat’s Crudities,” was long the only handbook for Continental travel), and subsequently in the East; d. at Surat, 1617.
Cudivorth, Ralph, b. 1617, at Aller; Professor of Hebrew and Master of Christ’s College, Cambridge; author of “The True Intellectual System of the Universe”; one of the “Cambridge Platonists”; d. 1688.
Dampier, William, b. 1652, at East Coker; explorer and scientific observer; author of “A Discourse on the Winds” (said to have value even now as a text-book); d. 1715.
Daniell, Samuel, b. 1562, probably near Taunton; poet and prose writer (there appears to be no authority for the belief that he succeeded Spenser as poet-laureate); d. 1619.
Dunstan, b. 924, at Glastonbury; successively Abbot of Glastonbury, Bishop of Worcester and London, and Archbishop of Canterbury; d. 988; canonised.
Fielding, Henry, b. 1707, at Sharpham, near Glastonbury; novelist (best known work, “Tom Jones"); d. 1754 at Lisbon.
Hood, Samuel, b. 1724, at Butleigh; admiral (Nelson wrote of him as “the best officer, take him altogether, that England has to boast of"); made a viscount; d. 1816.
Hooper, John, b. 1495 (place unknown); Bishop of Gloucester and Worcester; burnt at the stake, 1555.
Irving, Henry (real name John Henry Brodribb); b. 1838, at Keinton-Mandeville; actor; knighted; d. 1905.
Kinglake, Alexander William, b. 1809, at Taunton; wrote “Eothen” and “Invasion of the Crimea”; d. 1891.
Locke, John, b. 1632, at Wrington; philosopher; author of “Essay on the Human Understanding,” and works on education and the currency; d. 1704.
Norris, Edwin, b. 1795, at Taunton; Oriental scholar; d. 1872.
Parry, William Edward, b. 1790, at Bath; Arctic explorer; knighted; d. 1855.
Prynne, William, b. 1600, at Swainswick; Presbyterian pamphleteer; wrote “Histriomastix” (directed against stage-plays); several times pilloried; d. 1669.
Pym, John, b. 1584, at Brymore, near Cannington; politician; one of the five members of the Commons whom Charles I. sought to arrest; d. 1643.
Quekett, John Thomas, b. 1815, at Langport; microscopist and histologist; conservator of the Hunterian Museum; d. 1861.
Speke, John Hanning, b. 1827, at Ashill; African explorer; discovered Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria Nyanza; accidentally shot, 1864.
Young, Thomas, b. 1773, at Milverton; scientist, and Egyptologist; described as the founder of physiological optics, and one of the first to interpret the hieroglyphics on the Rosetta Stone; d. 1829.
Church, Richard William, Rector of Whatley from 1852 to 1871.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, resided at Clevedon (1795) and Nether Stowey (1796-98).
Ken, Thomas, Bishop of Bath and Wells from 1684 to 1691; wrote the morning and evening hymns, “Awake, my soul, and with the sun,” and “Glory to Thee, my God, this night.”
More, Hannah, resided for many years between 1786 and 1833 at Barley Wood, near Wrington, and did much to spread education and religion among the Mendip miners.
Smith, Sydney, the humorous Canon of St Paul’s, and one of the founders of the Edinburgh Review, held from 1829 till his death in 1845 the living of Combe Florey.
Wolsey, Thomas, the famous cardinal, held for a time the living of Limington. Whilst here he is said to have been put in the stocks by Sir Amyas Poulett of Hinton St George for drinking too much cider. When he became Chancellor of England he revenged himself on the knight, who was Treasurer of the Middle Temple, by forbidding him to quit London without his leave.
Wordsworth, William, resided in 1797 at Alfoxden, a house near Holford.
For distinguished persons who have resided at Bath, see p. 46.
 Chiefly derived from the “Dictionary of National Biography.”
N.B.—The following abbreviations are adopted:—
Norm. = Norman (1066-1190).
Trans. = Transitional (1145-1190).
E.E. = Early English (1190-1280).
Dec. = Decorated (1280-1377).
Perp. = Perpendicular (1377-1547).
[Proofreader’s Note: Additional abbreviations
found in the text are:
G.W.R. = Great Western Railway
S.& D. = Somerset and Dorset Railway.]
Abbot’s Leigh, a village 4 m. W. from Bristol. The church, which stands at the bottom of a long lane, is, with the exception of the tower, entirely modern, the original fabric having been destroyed by fire in 1848. Near the S. porch is the base of an old cross. The churchyard commands a good view of the mouth of the Avon. Leigh Court is a modern residence. A former mansion was one of the many hiding-places of Charles II. when a fugitive.
Aisholt (or Asholt), 8 m. W. of Bridgwater, is a little village on the E. slope of the Quantocks. The church is hidden away in a small combe, and its tower looks most picturesque against the green background of Asholt Wood, but it is not in itself interesting. Note, however, (1) little plain stoup and niche in the S. porch, (2) large squint (now blocked) in the S. aisle, (3) old font. S. of Aisholt is Holwell Cavern, a cave of considerable extent, and containing stalagmites and stalagtites, but rather inconvenient of access.
Alford, a small village on the river Brue, 1-1/2 m. S.W. from Castle Cary. In the fields on the S. side of the road is a mineral spring, which once enjoyed a short-lived local popularity. The church stands in the grounds of Alford House. It is a 15th cent. Perp. building, and contains (1) some ancient benches, (2) old glass in one of the N. windows, (3) a slender Perp. screen, (4) a pulpit dated 1625, (5) piscina. Note massive corbels in chancel. The shaft of a cross with a modern head stands in the churchyard.
Aller, a village 2-1/2 m. N.W. from Langport, lying at the base of High Ham Hill. Aller witnessed the sequel to two stirring events. Here Guthrum was baptised at Alfred’s insistence after his defeat at Ethandune (879), and here the Royalists made their last but ineffectual rally after their rout at Langport in 1645. The church stands apart from the village on a knoll rising from the marshes. It contains (1) an ancient font, (2) an effigy of Sir W. Botreaux (1420) on the N. side of choir. The internal arrangements of the tower are peculiar. It has three arches, those on the N. and S. being apparently purposeless.
Angersleigh, a small parish 5 m. S. of Taunton (follow the Honiton road to the fourth milestone, then turn to the right). It has a very small church, perhaps originally Dec., but altered into Perp. It contains a good carved oak reading-desk and lectern.
Ansford, or Almsford, a village 1/2 m. N. from Castle Cary. Restoration has robbed the church of most of its interest; its tower has some good gargoyles. A memorial-stone on the roadside near the church marks the scene of a sudden death.
Ash, a parish including several small hamlets, 1 m. N.E. from Martock. The church is modern.
Ash Priors, a small village 1 m. N.W. of Bishop’s Lydeard Stat., owes its name to the fact that it once belonged to the Priory of Taunton. The church contains nothing of interest, though the N. pier of the chancel arch preserves its squint.
Ashbrittle, 7 m. W. of Wellington (nearest stat. Venn Cross, 3 m.), a parish standing on very high ground. The second element in the name is a personal description, derived from the Norman Brittel de St Clare. The parish church has been completely restored, and is devoid of interest.
Ashcott, a parish on the Poldens, 3 m. S.W. of Glastonbury, with a station (S. & D.J.R.) two miles away. The church has a W. embattled tower with a carving on the W. face representing the sacred monogram, a mitre, and a pastoral staff. There is a stoup in S. porch, but no other feature of interest.
Ashill, a parish 3-3/4 m. N.W. of Ilminster, situated on rising ground on the Taunton and Ilminster road. The church is interesting by reason of the Norman work that it contains, including N. and S. doors and triple chancel arch (restored). There are two effigies in recesses in the nave wall, one representing a woman and her six children. At Capland, 1-1/2 m. off, there is a chalybeate spring.
Ashington, 3 m. E.S.E. of Ilchester, has a small church dedicated to St Vincent. It is remarkable for the large square bell-cot over the W. gable (cp. Brympton and Chilthorne Domer) which is supported by a massive buttress in the middle of the W. front. Within the building note (1) the three lancets at the E. end; (2) the foliated interior arches of the chancel windows (two of which are very small lancets); (3) the pulpit, dated 1637. The glass in some of the windows is good.
Ashton, Long, is a straggling village, noteworthy for its court and church. Ashton Court, the seat of Sir J.H. Greville Smyth, was erected by Inigo Jones in 1634, and is surrounded by a beautifully-wooded park. Long Ashton church contains a fine screen, gilded and painted (the old colours being reproduced), and a 15th cent. tomb (in the N. chapel) with two effigies, belonging to Sir Richard Choke and his wife. There are also two mutilated effigies, preserved in the N. porch, which are supposed to belong to the de Lyons family, who once owned the park.
Ashwick, 2 m. S.E. of Binegar. There is no village, but merely a group of houses. The church has a graceful late Perp. tower, with spirelet: this is the only original part of the fabric, the rest having been rebuilt in 1825. Ashwick Grove is a prettily-situated mansion, said to contain a good collection of pictures.
Athelney, included within the parish of Lyng (with a stat.), is the spot historically famous for having harboured Alfred in 878 when he had to escape before a sudden inroad of the Danes (see p. 12). It was once an island (the name means “isle of the nobles"), and in wet weather must even now almost resume that condition. Alfred, after having defeated the Danes at Ethandune, founded a monastery here, of which all traces have unhappily disappeared. A small monument (best approached from the main road between Lyng and Borough bridge) was erected in 1801 by Mr John Slade, the owner of the estate, to commemorate the events connected with the locality; but the inscription is misleading in giving 879 (instead of 878) as the year when Alfred took refuge here, and in stating that he lay concealed for a whole year (instead of a few months). The neighbourhood abounds in osier and reed-beds, producing materials for basket-work.
AXBRIDGE, 10 m. N.W. of Wells, is an ancient town, which still preserves an air of antiquity. It is situated in a neighbourhood largely devoted to market gardens, in which quantities of strawberries are grown. It was a borough as early as the reign of Edward the Confessor, but its corporation was abolished in 1886. Its most notable feature is the church of St John the Baptist. It is a large cruciform structure with a central tower, having three windows in the belfry, and rather shallow buttresses. The figure on the W. face of the tower is supposed to be Henry VI. or Henry VII., that on the E. St John. Within the church note (1) the roofs, that of the nave plaster with pendants (1636), those of the aisles oak (15th cent.); (2) the carved capitals of the S. arcade and squint in the S.E. tower pier; (3) the mural monument to William Prowse in the N. aisle; (4) the altar before the tomb of Anne Prowse (in S. aisle), covered with a cloth worked by her own hands (1720); (5) brass in N. aisle to Roger Harper (1493); (6) in S. wall of sanctuary piscina and sedilia. In the N. wall is a curious hole, apparently connected with an external cell (where there are the remains of a broken piscina). The purpose of this cell is a great puzzle. The church seems to have possessed two rood-lofts (cp. Crewkerne); and has a two-storied building on the S. of the W. door, which is thought by some to be a treasury.
In the town there are some old houses with projecting upper storeys. One of them, called The Old Manor House, deserves a visit for the sake of a fine ceiling in one of its rooms. In the Town Hall are preserved the old stocks, the apparatus used in bull-baiting, and a money-changer’s table, dated 1627.
Babcary is a village a short distance E. of the Fosseway, 6 m. N.N.E. of Ilchester (nearest stat., Sparkford). The first syllable of the name is a personal appellation which doubtless appears in Babbicombe; the second is derived from the neighbouring stream. There is a church of ancient origin, but since its restoration it exhibits little of interest except a piscina (with credence shelf) and a good Caroline pulpit (1632).
Babington, 1 m. S. of Mells Road station. There is no village. The church dates from the reign of George II. Babington House is a mansion of some age but little beauty.
Backwell, 1-1/2 m. S.E. of Nailsea station, a parish which perhaps owes its name to the back or ridge on which it stands. It has a spacious church, prettily situated. The Perp. tower has double belfry windows, and elaborate pinnacles, but the summit seems to have been injured and rebuilt, for the upper lights are enclosed within an ogee moulding which breaks the line of the parapet; and one of the pinnacles is of unusual character. At the S. door note stoup, and within the church observe (1) the 15th cent. screen; (2) the squints, high up in the chancel pillars; (3) the E.E. sedilia on the S.; and (4) the chapel on the N. side of the sanctuary. In front of the chapel is a large tomb with a full length effigy of a knight in armour (probably a Rodney); whilst within there is a mural brass and other memorials. The chapel is the resting-place of Elizabeth, successively wife of Sir Walter Rodney and of Sir John Chaworth, who died 1536.
Badgworth, 3 m. S.W. of Axbridge, lies a little way off the Bristol and Bridgwater road. The church is dedicated to the saint that has given his name to Congresbury, St Congar. It has a fair tower (with a good open parapet), which contains two pre-Reformation bells, but the interior contains little of note. The piscina looks like E.E. with a restored drain.
Bagborough, West, 3-1/2 m. N. of Bishop’s Lydeard station, is a parish pleasantly situated on the S.W. side of the Quantocks. The church (St Pancras) adjoins Bagborough House, and preserves its former stoup and piscina. There are a few carved bench ends.
Baltonsborough, a village on the Brue, 4 m. S.W. of Glastonbury. It possesses a 5th cent. church (St Dunstan’s) containing a few features of interest in the chancel, among them being the cornice, the piscina and aumbry, and an old chair dated 1667. The screen is modern. The nave retains a number of the old 15th cent. benches; to the end of one of them is hinged a seat which, when raised, projects into the aisle, perhaps to accommodate some youthful but unruly member of the congregation. The old door and lock deserve a passing notice.
Banwell, a large village 1-1/2 m. W. of Sandford and Banwell station, was once the site of a Saxon monastery, bestowed by Alfred upon Asser, and is now famous for its church and caves. The place gets its name from its large pond, fed by a copious spring, though the meaning of the first syllable is obscure (perhaps from bane, ill, implying that the spring was thought to have remedial qualities). The church has a tower with triple belfry windows, which is lofty and finished with pinnacles and spirelet. It should be compared with Winscombe, both being spoilt by the flatness of the buttresses. It is regarded as early Perp., and assigned to about 1380. The figures on the W. front are the Virgin and St Gabriel; note the lilies (there should be only one, as at Winscombe). The nave is lofty, with clerestory and plaster roof (coloured like oak); the effigy at the W. is St Andrew. There is a very fine rood-loft (1521) with fan-tracery both in front and rear: the present colours are believed to reproduce the original; curiously, the choir seats are outside the screen. Note (1) the font (Norman) with unusual carving on the bowl; (2) Perp. stone pulpit, attached to one of the pillars of the arcade; (3) the seat ends and oak benches (the original width of the latter may be seen in the last pew on the S. side); (4) the brasses, three on the floor before the chancel, and another (of John Martok, succentor of Wells, and physician to Bishop King) in the vestry. This vestry contains some old Flemish glass (brought from Belgium in 1855), depicting the story of Tobit; and there is more ancient glass belonging to the church in the E. windows of the aisles. Originally there was only a N. aisle, and the tower buttresses can still be seen within the S. aisle.
Banwell Court, near the church, contains some remains of a manor house, built by Bishop Beckington. In a shed near the fire brigade station are (1) two old thatch-hooks (1610), used to drag burning thatch from the roofs of houses; and (2) an old fire-engine of the same date.
On the hill which rises above the church (in a field entered near the junction of the roads) a large cross is traced on the surface of the ground, and raised in relief to the height of 2 ft., the limbs being between 50 and 70 ft. long. It is surrounded by a low stone or earth fence, and its purpose is problematical. On the hill there is also a camp, where flints of Neolithic date have been found; and near it is an ancient track-way known as the Roman Road.
The caves (two in number) are in private grounds belonging to Mrs Law. They have probably been created by the action of water, and when discovered were filled with the bones of wild animals (many of them now extinct) embedded in silt, which had been washed into them. In one of them there is now stacked a quantity of these bones, whilst a selection of them is deposited in Taunton Museum. The caves are shown by some of the outdoor servants of the house. Unlike the caves at Cheddar and Burrington, they open upon the summit of the hill instead of into a ravine.
Barrington, a village 4 m. N.E. of Ilminster, is worth visiting for the sake of its church and its interesting Elizabethan house called Barrington Court. The church is cruciform, with an octagonal central tower. The tower arches are E.E., with plain chamfered piers; but there is a good deal of Dec. work in the transepts (note windows and the fine canopy over one of the piscinas). The E. window is Perp.: observe the piscina and niches in the chancel, and the large squints. The N. porch has an ogee moulding, and contains a niche with figures of the Virgin and Child.
Barrington Court (now a farm) is a magnificent E-shaped building, with numerous twisted chimneys, turrets, and finials. It was built by Henry Daubeny, the first Earl of Bridgwater, (d. 1548); and passed successively into the possession of the Phelipses (afterwards of Montacute) and the Strodes. It was here that William Strode in 1680 entertained the Duke of Monmouth. Recently an effort has been made to purchase it for the nation.
Barrow Gurney is a small village, prettily situated (1 m. from Flax Bourton stat.), with a church about a mile away. Near the church there once existed a Benedictine nunnery (said to have been founded before 1212); and what is now the S. aisle was formerly the nuns’ chapel, and it still retains an early doorway and a few other vestiges of antiquity. At the W. end of the aisle is an enclosure with a number of tiles, supposed to be the burial-place of one of the sisters. With the exception of this S. aisle, the church has been entirely rebuilt and enlarged. Note the mural monument to Francis James (of Jacobean date), and the old bell beneath the tower. The churchyard contains a restored cross. Adjoining the church is Barrow Court (H.M. Gibbs) a fine Elizabethan building. In the village is a house of the date 1687. Some reservoirs of the Bristol waterworks are close by.
Barrow, North, a small village 2-1/2 m. N. from Sparkford Station (G.W.R.). The church, rebuilt 1860, is without interest, except for a very curious font of uncertain date, standing on a modern pedestal.
Barrow, South, is a village 1 m. N. from Sparkford. The church, a small aisleless building, contains (1) ancient bench ends; (2) piscina and aumbry in sanctuary; (3) brass to R. Morris on floor of nave. A fragment of Norman work will be noticed over the N. door. The font, dated 1584, has a curious E.E. look.
Barton St David, 5 m. S.S.E. of Glastonbury, 4 m. N.E. of Somerton, gets its name from its church, dedicated to the Welsh bishop (who was buried at Glastonbury hard by). The plan of the church is cruciform, the tower (which is octagonal) being placed in the angle formed by the N. transept and the chancel. The N. doorway is Norman, the arches of chancel and transepts E.E. The chancel windows are lancets with foliated heads and interior foliations. Note (1) the squint; (2) the piscina. In the churchyard there is a headless cross, with the figure of a bishop in his mitre on the shaft (perhaps St David).
Barwick, a small village 1 m. S. from Yeovil. The church—a rather large building for so small a place—has the tower oddly placed at the E. end of N. aisle (cp. E. Coker). The N. aisle is richer and evidently later than the S. aisle. Observe the panelling of the arches of the arcade and the external battlements. The character of the arcade on both N. and S. is peculiar (cp. Shepton Mallet). The chancel has been rebuilt, but it retains the original piscina. The church has some fine bench ends (1533). The initials W.H. on the door of the reading-desk are said to be those of William Hope, the patron of the living early in the 16th cent. Note (1) position of Dec. piscina in S. aisle and dwarf doorway, showing raising of floor; (2) squint and rood-loft stairs on N.; (3) square fluted font with cable moulding; (4) consecration crosses on jamb of W. door, on chancel buttresses, and on wall of S. aisle (cp. Nempnett); (5) arched doorway into tower from chancel, made up of a sepulchral slab with incised foliated cross.
Batcombe, a small village equidistant (3 m.) from Cranmore, Evercreech, and Bruton stations, has an interesting church. The tower, one of the finest in Somerset, is of marked individuality, combining features belonging to two distinct types. It resembles Shepton in the arrangement of its buttresses, and Evercreech and Wrington in the character of its triple windows. The absence of pinnacles and of superfluous ornamentation lends to it considerable dignity and impressiveness. Note the figure of our Lord and censing angels on W. front, as at Chewton. On exterior of church observe (1) debased S. porch; (2) crucifix on E. gable of nave. The interior is disappointing. The clerestory is spacious, and the roof fair, but a general sense of bareness pervades
BATH. A city and parliamentary borough on the Avon, 107 m. W. from London, with a population (in 1901) of 52,751. It has stations both on the G.W. and the Midland lines. Few cities are more romantically situated than Bath, but it is not its situation which has given to it its celebrity. Its prosperity has from time immemorial depended upon its possession of the remarkable mineral springs in which the fashionable world has at different periods discerned so many healing and social virtues. The popular story of their discovery by the legendary King Bladud is too trite to need re-telling. The real history of Bath begins as early as A.D. 44, when it is known to have been a Roman station. Its Latin name was Aquae Sulis, Sul being a local divinity, whose name appears on several inscriptions in the Museum, and may have some connection with the neighbouring hill of Solsbury. A temple to this goddess existed on the site of the present Pump Room, and the extensive ruins of the contiguous bathing establishment bear eloquent testimony to the use which the Romans made of the waters. Here, too, converged three of their chief highways, the Fosseway, from Lincoln to Axminster, the Via Julia, which connected it with S. Wales, and Akeman Street, the main thoroughfare to London. The after-history of Bath is chequered. In 676 King Osric founded here a nunnery (eventually transformed into a monastery), and in 973 it was the scene of Edgar’s coronation. After the Conquest it was a bone of contention in the Norman quarrels, and was burnt to the ground by Geoffrey of Coutances. After being harried by the sword, Bath passed under the hammer. Its ecclesiastical importance begins when John de Villula purchased it of the king, and transferred hither his episcopal stool from Wells (see further, p. 19). In mediaeval days Bath was a walled city, and fragments of its fortifications, crowned by a modern battlement, may still be seen in “Borough Walls”; and two round-headed arches of the old E. gate are visible in a passage behind the Empire Hotel, leading to the river. The battle of Lansdown gives Bath a place in the annals of the Great Rebellion. But the fame of Bath is social rather than historical. It was not until the 18th cent. that the city reached the zenith of its importance. The creator of modern Bath was the social adventurer Nash. By sheer force of native impudence Nash pushed himself into the position
The general plan of Bath is easily grasped. The river throws itself round the city like an elbow, and in the corner of land thus embraced the streets are laid out something in the manner of an irregular chess board. One main thoroughfare runs from the S. gate, and climbs by a gradual ascent northwards; and as it goes, expands into the spacious shopping quarters of Milsom Street. Another good string of streets runs from the Abbey also northwards, and on its course extends a long arm eastwards across the river to the suburb of Bathwick.
The chief sights, the Abbey, Pump Room, Roman Baths and Guildhall, lie grouped together in convenient proximity. The imposing terraces, squares and crescents of the once fashionable residential quarters are to be found chiefly on the N. and W. sides of the city. A pretty view of Pulteney Bridge with its singular parapet of shops may be obtained from the terrace at the back of the Municipal Buildings.
The chief public buildings are the Pump Room, rebuilt in 1796, and considerably extended in recent times; the Guildhall, built in 1768-75, containing some good portraits; the Upper Assembly Rooms (1771); the Royal Institution (1824), on the site of the old Assembly Rooms, the scene of Nash’s triumphs; the Mineral Water Hospital (1737); and the Holbourne Art Museum (containing a large number of pictures, many of which are unfortunately not the “old masters” they profess to be, some good porcelain, and a fine collection of “Apostle” spoons). Hetling House in Hetling Court was once a mansion of the Hungerfords. The public grounds are the Victoria Park, Sydney Gardens, Henrietta Park, and the Institute Gardens (subscribers only).
[Illustration: ROMAN BATHS, BATH]
Roman Baths. The waters from which Bath gets its fame are believed to owe their origin to the surface drainage of the E. Mendips, which percolates through some vertical fissure, perhaps at Downhead, to the heart of the hills, and are conducted by some natural culvert beneath the intervening coal measures, washing out as they go the soluble mineral salts, and whilst still retaining their heat emerge again at the first opportunity at Bath. The Romans were the first to make use of this natural lavatory, and with their unrivalled engineering skill founded here a magnificent bathing establishment. Though the fact of their occupation of the site was long known, the extent and magnitude of their arrangements have only lately been laid bare. Thanks to the skill and intelligence with which a thorough investigation of the site was made by the city architect in 1881, every visitor to Bath has now an opportunity of examining the finest extant specimen of a Roman bathing station in the world. The entrance to these antiquities is through a corridor to the left of the Pump Room (admission 6d.). This passage opens upon a modern balcony overlooking the great central basin. To investigate the ruins, a descent must be made by the staircase to the basement. The Great Bath is a rectangular tank 111 feet by 68 feet, originally lined with lead 1/4 inch thick. It was surrounded with dressing-rooms, from which steps led down to the water. The great hall which contained it was covered in with a roof of hollow bricks and concrete (plentiful specimens of which lie scattered about), supported by carved columns. On the left is another square bath with a semi-circular tank at each end, and a series of vapour chambers behind it. The greater part of this bath was unfortunately destroyed in the 18th cent., to furnish material for the construction of a new bath. To the right of the great bath is a fine stepped circular bath, and beyond this again are sudatories. Still further on, extending beneath the street, in a part not always shown to the public and somewhat difficult of approach, is a third rectangular basin of considerable size. Even this does not complete the full tale of the bathing accommodation
[Illustration: BATH ABBEY]
The Abbey Church. The Abbey, though somewhat hemmed in by meaner buildings, stands in a commanding position in the centre of the city. Without any claims to be regarded as an architectural gem, it has sufficient merit to adorn its situation. Its career has been a series of vicissitudes. Though Bath takes precedence of Wells in the official title of the see, it has seldom been the predominant partner. John de Villula, with the intention of making the city the bishop’s seat, built here a church so spacious that the nave alone would swallow up the existing building. Of this Norm. church there still survive (1) bases of clustered pillars under a grating in N. aisle of choir, (2) a single pillar in same aisle, (3) round arch and pillar in vestry, S. of choir, (4) bases of pillars at exterior of E. end. With his successors’ change of plans, Villula’s church fell on evil days, and was allowed to decay. In 1495 Bishop Oliver King beheld, like Jacob, the vision of a heavenly stairway and climbing angels, and heard a voice saying, “Let an olive establish the crown, and let a king restore the church.” In consequence he, in imitation of the patriarch, vowed a “God’s house” upon the spot. With the help of Prior Bird, he projected the present edifice, and the west front still commemorates his dream. But whilst the building was in course of construction the Reformation intervened and put a stop to the work. The monastery was dissolved, and the Crown offered the church to the townspeople for 500 marks. The citizens, however,
“These walls, adorned with monument
Show how Bath waters serve to lay the dust.”
Among objects and places of interest in the outskirts of the city that deserve a visit are Sham Castle, an artificial antique on Bathwick Hill; Widcombe Old Church (built by Prior Bird); the chapel of St Mary Magdalen in Holloway (built by Prior Cantlow in 1495); Beckford’s Tower on Lansdowne, and Combe Down (where a portion of the Wansdyke may be examined).
Bath gives its name, with sometimes more and sometimes less justification, to quite a number of articles, including Bath stone, Bath buns, Bath olivers, Bath chaps, Bath chairs, and Bath bricks (for the last, see pp. 26, 64).
Bathampton, a prettily situated village, 2 m. N.E. of Bath. Its church is in the main Perp., but the chancel arch is E.E., and the E. window consists of three lancets. There are two recumbent figures of the 14th cent., a knight and a lady, at the W. end of the S. aisle; but the most remarkable feature of the building is a still earlier effigy, much defaced, within a niche in the exterior wall of the E. end. It seems to represent a bishop, since there are traces of a crosier, though some have taken it for a prioress. Some small remains of a priory are still to be found at the rectory near the church.
Bathealton, a parish 3 m. S.E. of Wiveliscombe. The church has been rebuilt, and is of no antiquarian interest.
Batheaston, a large parish on the Avon, 2-1/2 m. N.E. of Bath (nearest stat. Bathampton, 1/2 m. away). The church has been restored, but it retains its well-proportioned Perp. tower. One of the bells dates from pre-Reformation times, and has the inscription Virginis egregiae vocor campana Mariae. To the N.E. of the village is Solsbury Hill, with a British camp on the summit. It probably gets its name from the British goddess Sul, who seems, from the inscriptions in Bath Museum, to have been identified by the Romans with Minerva.
Bathford is a village 3-1/2 m. E.N.E. of Bath (nearest stat. Bathampton), standing on a hill sloping to the Avon, which was here in Roman times crossed by a ford that gave its name (formerly Ford) to the place. The church (ded. to St Swithin) is of E.E. origin, but has been enlarged and modernised. The font is Norm.; some Norm. work remains in the N. porch, and there is a Jacobean pulpit.
Bawdrip, a small village, 1 m. from Cossington, and 3-1/4 m. N.E. of Bridgwater. It possesses an interesting little cruciform church, with a central tower supported on E.E. or Early Dec. arches. There are three piscinas, one in the sanctuary, the others in the transepts, that of the N. transept being on the sill of the squint in the chancel pier. In this N. transept is the effigy of a knight in plate armour under a foliated canopy, said to be that of Joel de Bradney, d. 1350.
Beckington, a large village on the Bath road, 3 m. N.E. from Frome. It was once famous for its cloth, and the number of old houses which it possesses and its general appearance of spaciousness bear testimony to its former importance. The church stands back from the main street, and is well worth a visit. It is chiefly Perp., but has a Norm. W. tower with Perp. windows, and a richly groined vault. A fine octagonal E.E. font stands in the S. aisle. Note (1) squints, (2) piscinas in sanctuary and S. aisle. The monuments are—(1) in N. wall of chancel, the effigy of a knight in armour, supposed to be J. de Evleigh (1360-70) and wife; (2) a little higher up, effigy of lady, Mary de Evleigh (1380-1400); (3) brass on chancel floor to John St Maur and wife (1485), though the lady, who, after John St Maur’s death, married Sir John Biconyll, lies elsewhere; (4) brass on S. pier of chancel arch bearing a merchant’s mark (said to belong to John Compton, d. 1510); (5) in N. aisle, slab and bust to S. Daniell (1619), reputed to have been poet-laureate (but see p. 29). Bishop Beckington of Wells (1443-65) was born here. At the corner of the lane leading to the church is Beckington Castle, a fine old gabled house with mullioned windows. Standerwick Court, a Queen Anne mansion, is a mile away; and in the neighbourhood is Seymour Court, a farmhouse, once the abode of Protector Somerset.
Beer Crocombe, a small village 1-1/2 m. S.E. from Hatch Beauchamp Station (G.W.R. branch to Chard). The church (Perp.) is uninteresting. The prefix Beer (thought to be a personal name) occurs in several Dorset and Devon place-names.
Berkley, a small village, 2-1/2 m. N.E. from Frome. It possesses a “classical” church—a very unusual thing for a country village—date 1751. It is an odd little building, with a balustraded W. tower and a small central dome, said to have been copied from St Stephen’s, Walbrook. Within is a monumental slab tracing the descent of the Newboroughs, from the time of the Conquest till 1680. Berkley House dates from the time of William III.
Berrow, a parish 2 m. N. of Burnham, where there are good golf links. The church is close to the shore, and contains little of interest. Note, however, (1) stoup in S. porch, (2) curious piscina in chancel, (3) small Jacobean pulpit, (4) gallery dated 1637. Outside of the S. wall are two slabs with much defaced effigies, probably from an earlier building.
Bickenhall, a parish 1 m. S.W. of Hatch Beauchamp station. The church is modern, but contains on the chancel wall a monument, with a kneeling effigy, to a lady of the Portman family (1632).
Bicknoller, a little village 2-1/2 m. S.E. of Williton, nestling under the W. slopes of the Quantocks. Its name (and that of Bickenhall likewise) is probably connected with beech (cp. the numerous names containing ash-, oak-, elm-, withy-). The church, which used to be a chapel of Stogumber, has a picturesque parapet N. and S. In the interior the chief features that call for remark are (1) the capitals of the N. arcade, with their bands of “Devonshire” foliage, (2) the fine screen (1726) with beautiful fan tracery, (3) some good seat-ends, (4) monument to John Sweeting of Thornecombe (d. 1688), (5) squint in chancel pier, (6) piscina. In the churchyard is the shaft of an ancient cross.
A little above the village is Trendle Ring, the site of an encampment; whilst on the road to Crowcombe is an old house called Halsway, said to have been a hunting lodge of Cardinal Beaufort, the son of John of Gaunt, and guardian of Henry VI.
Biddisham, a small parish 4 m. W. of Axbridge. The small church is reached by a lane from the Bristol and Bridgwater road. It retains a square Norm, font, a piscina, and a Jacobean pulpit. Outside is the shaft of an old cross.
Binegar, a small village on the top of the E. Mendips, with a station on the S. & D. The church, rebuilt 1859, has a plain Perp. tower with a representation of the Trinity on one of its battlements.
Bishop’s Hull (hull is merely hill), a village 1-1/2 m. W. from Taunton. The church is a ludicrous example of Philistinism. A small but interesting Perp. church has been enlarged by the simple expedient of replacing the S. aisle by a spacious chamber furnished with galleries. On the N. is a slender octagonal E.E. tower (cp. Somerton). In the original part of the church note (1) on N. of sanctuary, elaborate Jacobean tomb with effigy, in legal robes, of J. Farewell (1609); (2) effigies of three grandchildren tucked away in a small recess in wall opposite; (3) grotesque corbels on E. wall of N. chapel; (4) good bench-ends (observe representation of the Resurrection in N. chapel, and of a night watchman near font). By the side of the Taunton road is a fine Elizabethan mansion of the Farewells, date 1586.
Bishop’s Lydeard, a village 5 m. N.W. of Taunton, with a station on the Minehead line. It gets its name from the land having been bestowed by Edward the Elder upon Asser, Bishop of Sherborne, in 904. Its church has an exceptionally fine tower, with double windows in the belfry. The W. window is good and the tower arch very lofty. Note (1) the fine screen, with the Apostles’ Creed in Latin; (2) the series of quaintly carved bench-ends, the designs (windmill, ship, stag, etc.) standing out well against the coloured backgrounds; (3) the good, though plain, roof; (4) oak pulpit; (5) brass in S. transept of Nicholas Grobham and wife (d. 1585 and 1594). In the churchyard is a fine cross (14th cent.), with the figure of St John the Baptist on the shaft, and bas-reliefs on each face of the octagonal base. There is also the base and broken shaft of what was once the village cross.
Bishop’s Sutton, a village 2-3/4 m. W. of Clutton, with a modern church.
Blackford (near Wedmore), a village 6 m. S.W. from Cheddar (G.W.R.). The church is an eccentric octagonal structure built in 1823.
Blackford (near Wincanton) is a small village, lying rather low, 3 m. E. of Sparkford. The church, which formerly belonged to Glastonbury Abbey, is small and plain, but possesses a Norm. S. doorway and a Norm. font. There are also the remains of a stoup in the S. porch and of a piscina in the S. wall.
Blagdon, a village on the N. slope of the Mendips, 12 m. S.W. from Bristol. A light railway from Yatton has its terminus here. The beauty of the neighbourhood, naturally considerable, has been enhanced by the formation of a large artificial lake, 2-1/2 m. long, intended as a reservoir for Bristol. A charming view across the valley is obtainable from the hillside above the church. The church is remarkable only for its elegant Perp. tower. The rest of the building is an ugly Victorian substitute for the original fabric.
Bleadon, a village 1 m. E. of Bleadon and Uphill Station, lies at the foot of Bleadon Hill. The church has a tall tower with triple windows in the belfry; but it is inferior to others of the same class, since too much space is left between the base of the windows and the string course (cp. Long Sutton). The chancel (the oldest part) is Dec. and possesses a low side-window (cp. Othery, East Stoke, Ile Abbots). The position of this and of the recess in the S. wall points to the chancel having once been longer, a conclusion confirmed by traces of foundations said to exist in the churchyard E. of the present east end. Note in the S. porch a bas-relief of the Virgin and Child; and in the interior of the church, (1) stone pulpit; (2) Norm. font; (3) two effigies (attributed to the 14th cent.), one near the pulpit, the other in the sanctuary (the slab upon which the latter is lying is supposed by some to be an Easter sepulchre, though its position on the S. is unusual); (4) piscina on the N. of chancel—perhaps displaced. In the churchyard is a mutilated cross. On the hill above there are traces of earthworks.
Blue Anchor, a hamlet 3 m. E. of Dunster, with station. There is a pleasant little bay here which possesses possibilities as a future watering-place, but at present the accommodation for visitors is extremely limited. The cliffs that border the foreshore are strikingly coloured and are veined with alabaster. The view towards Minehead is charming. It is said that the sea at very low water uncovers the remains of a submerged forest.
Bossington, a hamlet 1 m. from Porlock, lying under Bossington Beacon, which is the W. end of the North Hill (see Minehead). It is a picturesque place, noteworthy for its huge walnut trees. It is separated from the sea by a stretch of shingle. There is a little chapel of some antiquity, which has a good E. window (restored). The summit of the Beacon may be reached either from the hamlet itself or from Allerford (whence numerous zigzag paths lead through the woods).
Bradford, a parish on the Tone, 4 m. S.W. of Taunton, with a church ded. to St Giles. The stair-turret is on the S. face of the tower (as at Wellington). The piers of the arcade seem to be E.E. or Dec., with two in the Perp. style at the E. end, one of them being of the normal Somerset type, whilst the other has the “Devonshire” foliage. There is an effigy of a knight of the time of Richard II. in the S. wall; and there is also preserved the base of a Norm. font (with foot ornament), supporting a bowl of later date. Under the W. window of the S. aisle are the old stocks.
An ancient bridge across the Tone (perhaps dating from the 13th cent.) carries the road to Nynehead and Milverton: the parapet is modern.
Bradley, West, a small village 4 m. E.S.E. from Glastonbury. The church is an unattractive-looking little building, but of more interest than its appearance suggests. It has a short, battlemented W. tower (with pyramidal cap), supposed to date from 1400. The vault is groined. In the S. porch is a mutilated stoup. Within, note (1) in chancel, image brackets and defaced piscina; (2) rood loft stair and window. The nave roof is original.
Bratton Seymour, a village conspicuously perched on a hill 3 m. W. from Wincanton. The church has been rebuilt. Its prominent position makes it an excellent landmark. W. of the church is a tumulus where have been discovered the remains of a Roman watch-tower.
Brean, a scattered hamlet 4 m. N. of Burnham, near the estuary of the Axe. Its little church, with its foundations much below the level of the neighbouring sand-dunes, is noteworthy merely for its lonely situation. To the N. is Brean Down, a narrow promontory extending more than a mile into the sea, with traces of earthworks. From Weston it may be reached in the summer months by a ferry; the road from the same place is a circuitous one, by way of Bleadon or Lympsham.
Brent, East, a village 2 m. E. of Brent Knoll Station. The name may refer to the knoll, brent meaning a steep hill. The place has a church with a stone spire. Its most interesting features are, externally, the sculptures on the W. face of the tower ((1) Virgin and Child, (2) the Father holding the Crucified Son, (3) Christ crowning the Virgin), and, internally, the roof, the woodwork, and the ancient glass. The nave roof, of plaster, may be compared with that of Axbridge; its date is 1637. The Jacobean or rather Caroline pulpit dates from 1634, and the columns supporting the gallery from 1635. The seat-ends (15th cent.) are good: among the carvings note the symbols of the Evangelists (that of St Mark is missing, both here and at S. Brent) and the initials of John Selwood, the antepenultimate Abbot of Glastonbury (d. 1473). The old glass (late 14th cent.) will be seen in two windows in the N. aisle. Two effigies, one an ecclesiastic, the other probably a layman, have been placed under two of the windows. The frescoes (in S. porch and chancel) and the cross in the churchyard are modern: on the latter are statuettes of apostles, and mediaeval and modern ecclesiastics.
Brent Knoll is a conspicuous eminence of lias, drowned with a cap of inferior oolite, about 450 ft. above sea-level and four acres in extent. On the summit is a camp with a single rampart (though there are, in addition, external terraces in certain positions), British in origin, but utilised by the Romans. It commands a splendid view, embracing the Mendips and Quantocks, Glastonbury Tor, the Channel, and the River Parrett.
Brent, South, 1 m. from Brent Knoll Station, has a church very picturesquely situated on the side of the knoll. Though in the main Perp., it contains examples of earlier work. The S. doorway is Norm, or Trans. (12th cent.), and there is also a small Norm. pillar (perhaps part of a piscina) attached to the E. wall of the N. aisle. The S. wall is in E.E. (note the corbels); and a large S. chapel (note piscina), now used as a vestry, is Dec. (about 1370). The Perp. W. tower, with triple belfry windows, has unusually short buttresses for a tower of its class. Within the church the most noticeable features are (1) fine wooden roof of N. aisle; (2) mural monument of John Somersett (d. 1663) and his two wives; (3) font of unusual shape; (4) the seat-ends (assigned to the 15th cent.), with their curious carvings, partly sacred emblems and partly humorous scenes, the latter depicting a fox (1) in the robes of an abbot or bishop, (2) brought to trial, (3) executed.
Brewham, South, a village 3 m. N.E. of Bruton. It lies in a dell through which flows the Brue (whence its name). The church, chiefly Perp., is not of much interest, though beneath the tower at the S.W. corner is a doorway of rough construction but peculiar character; near it is a stoup. In the churchyard is a cross and an old font. North Brewham is a small hamlet 1/2 m. away.
Bridgwater, a seaport of more than 15,000 inhabitants, on the tidal part of the Parrett. It has a station on the G.W.R. main line to Exeter, and is the terminus of the S. & D. branch from Glastonbury. The general aspect of the town is uninviting, and its immediate surroundings are almost as uninspiring as its buildings. The river, which ministers largely to its prosperity, adds little to its attractions. It, however, furnishes the town twice a day with a mild sensation in the shape of a bore, which at the turn of the tide rolls up the river-bed like a miniature breaker. Though the name, Bridgwater, hardly savours of antiquity it really conceals quite a venerable origin. The not uncommon combination of a bridge and water has nothing to do with the nomenclature. The name appears to be a corruption of Burgh Walter, from Walter of Douay, one of the followers of William the Conqueror. In the Great Rebellion the place proved to the Royal cause in the West a kind of Metz. The castle was supposed to be impregnable, and was held in force for the king by Colonel Wyndham, but on the destruction of the suburb of Eastover by Fairfax,
Brislington, a rapidly growing suburb of Bristol, 1-3/4 m. S.E. of the city, with a station on the Frome branch. The church has a tower which is characteristic of a considerable class of Somerset towers. On its S. face are two quaint little effigies (supposed to represent the founders, Lord and Lady de la Warr), and each side of the parapet has a niche containing a figure (cp. Tickenham and Wraxall). The S. aisle has a waggon-roof, and there is a piscina in the S. chapel. The square font is presumably Norm. Brislington Hill House is a 17th-cent. brick mansion.
Broadway, 2-1/2 m. N. of llminster, derives its name from its situation on an ancient track cut through what was once a surrounding forest. The church (dedicated to SS. Aldhelm and Edburga) is cruciform, with E.E. lights at the E. end, though the W. tower and nave windows are Perp. Its most interesting features are the 15th-cent. hexagonal font with six figures (seemingly of apostles) at the angles, and the churchyard cross, with two effigies under a single canopy on its W. face.
Brockley is a small parish on the road from Bristol to Weston (nearest stat. Nailsea, 2 m.). The church lies a little to the R. of the main road from Bristol; it is E.E., but retains a Norm, font. There is an ancient court-house close by.
On the left of the road is Brockley Combe, a beautiful glen between two wooded hills, flanked on one side for some distance by rocky cliffs, which are unfortunately being quarried in places. The wealth of foliage in summer makes the ascent of the combe a delightful walk or drive. It affords access to Chew Magna and Stanton Drew.
Brompton Ralph, a parish 4 m. from Wiveliscombe, on the road to Watchet. The church is conspicuous by its position and has a tall tower, but is not otherwise remarkable, though it retains its old oak seats.
Brompton Regis or King’s Brompton, a village 5-1/2 m. N.E. of Dulverton Station, lying amongst the hills which form the more cultivated fringe of Exmoor. The church has the usual local characteristics—a plain tower of the Exmoor type, and the Devonshire foliage round the arcade capitals. Note plain large squint on S., and another, of more ornate character, on N. There is a plain Jacobean pulpit.
Broomfield, a parish situated at the S. end of the Quantocks, 5 m. N. of Taunton. In the church, which has a plain embattled tower and square turret, the chief features of interest are: (1) stoup in S. porch, (2) the foliaged capitals of the arcade (on one note the emblems of the Passion), (3) the seat-ends, sadly needing repair, one of which bears the name of Simon Warman (whose name occurs on the woodwork at Trull), (4) the fine old glass in the S. window of the chancel. In the churchyard is the headless shaft of a cross. The mansion close by is Fyne Court. A mile away to the N.N.E. is Ruborough Camp. It is remarkable for its shape, being triangular in plan (cp. Tedbury, near Mells), and occupies the extremity of a ridge between two declivities. It covers 27 acres, and is overgrown with firs, which make inspection difficult. On the W., the only vulnerable side, it is defended by an additional vallum and fosse, thrown across the ridge 100 yards from the base of the triangle (where the entrance to the camp is supposed to have been). It is regarded as Roman, the usual rectangular plan being adapted to the nature of the ground.
Brushford, a parish near Dulverton Station, but 2 m. S. from Dulverton itself. It has an aisleless church, interesting only for (1) a good 15th-cent. screen, (2) a font, of which the bowl and base date from the 13th cent. There is a splendid oak tree in the churchyard, which is reputed to be 600 years old.
BRUTON, a small town of 1788 inhabitants, 7 m. S.E. from Shepton Mallet, with a station on the G.W.R. Frome and Weymouth line. It is also served by bus from Cole Station (S. & D.), 1-1/2 m. away. It is a quaint little place, lying at the bottom of a deep valley watered by the Brue, to the proximity of which it owes its name. Bruton makes no show of business; its activities are chiefly educational. The antiquarian will, however, find here much to interest him, for there is a fine church, and the town has many ecclesiastical associations. It was at one time the site of a Benedictine Priory, which was subsequently converted into an abbey of Austin Canons in 1525. Of this foundation nothing now remains but a three-storeyed pigeon-house (which stands out conspicuously on the summit of a little knoll behind the town) and the abbey court-house in High Street (see below). The abbey itself stood on the site of the present rectory, which is said to incorporate one of its walls. At the Reformation the monastery went down in the wreck of the religious houses, and Sir M. Berkley, who as the king’s standard-bearer was not without friends at Court, came in for the spoil. The church is a handsome Perp. building, with a noble W. tower of the Shepton type, decorated with triple windows and a rich parapet. A second small tower rises above the N. porch (a very unusual feature). The interior is remarkable for the painful incongruity of the chancel—a pseudo-classical structure, built in 1743, to replace the dismantled monastic choir. It contains in a recess on N. recumbent effigies of Sir M. Berkley and wives (1559-85), and on the opposite wall a tablet to W. Godolphin (1636). The nave is extremely handsome, and is covered with a fine roof. Note (1) niches between clerestory windows (cp. St Mary’s, Taunton), (2) stepped recess in N. aisle (cp. Chewton), (3) indications, on N. and S. walls, of stairway to rood-loft, which, unless the building was once shorter, must have stood in an unusually forward position, (4) piscina in S. aisle, (5) fragment of mediaeval cope in N.E. corner of nave, (6) chained copies of Jewel (1609) and Erasmus (1548), (7) Jacobean screen under tower. At the W. gateway is an ancient tomb, said to be that of Abbot Gilbert, whose initials, W.G. are cut on one of the battlements of the N. wall. Near the school is a quaint pack-horse bridge ("Bruton Bow”) spanning the river (cp. Allerford). In High Street (S. side) will be noticed the old Abbey Court-house (now a private residence), bearing on its wall the “canting” device of Prior Henton (1448). On the same side of the street is Sexey’s Hospital, an asylum for a few old men and women, founded in 1638 by Hugh Sexey, a Bruton stable-boy, who in the “spacious days” of Good Queen Bess rose to be auditor in the royal household. It consists of a quadrangle, the S. side of which is formed by a combined hall and chapel of Elizabethan architecture, finely panelled with black oak. The surplus revenues of Sexey’s estate support a local Trade School. Bruton also possesses a well-equipped Grammar School, of Edward IV.’s foundation, which replaced an earlier school established here in 1520 by Richard Fitz-James, Bishop of London (1506-22).
Brympton d’Evercy, a small parish 3 m. W. of Yeovil. It gets its name from the D’Evercys, who seem to have possessed the estate in the 13th cent., but it subsequently passed to other families, till in the 15th cent. it fell to the Sydenhams, changing hands again in the 18th cent. The church is a very interesting structure of the Dec. period. It is cruciform in plan, with a N. chapel of Perp. date, and has on its W. gable a large bell-cot (cp. Chilthorne Domer). Within, note (1) stone screen (Perp.), remarkable for the seat along its W. front, (2) piscinas in chancel, transepts, and chapel, (3) font (Dec.), (4) pulpit (Jacobean), (5) chandeliers (said to be Dutch), (6) squints. There are several effigies, which are not in their original positions, but are conjectured to have belonged to a chapel now destroyed. They are, (1) in the N. transept an abbot and a nun beneath recesses carved with modern reliefs; (2) in the chapel a knight in armour and a lady. Between the chapel and chancel is the large coloured tomb of Sir John Sydenham, 1626 (the curious epitaph is worth reading). In the chapel is some ancient glass, and in the churchyard there is the base of an old cross and two early fonts.
N. of the church is a building of two storeys, variously described as a chantry house (a chantry was founded here by Sir Peter d’Evercy, 1307) or a manor house, with an external octagon turret containing a staircase. Brympton House (the residence of Sir S.C.B. Ponsonby-Fane) has a good W. front of Tudor date (note arms of Henry VIII.), with a porch added in 1722, and a S. front built in the 18th cent., though from designs by Inigo Jones (died 1697), with terrace leading to the garden.
Buckland Denham, a village prominently perched on a hillside 3 m. N.W. from Frome. It was once a busy little town with a flourishing cloth trade. The church has a W. tower with an unusual arrangement of windows (cp. Hemington). The Norm. S. doorway and the device by which the upper part of the porch has been converted into a parvise should be noticed. Three chapels are attached to the church. The one at the N., originally the chantry of Sir J. Denham, has on the floor the figures of a knight and his lady in relief. In two of the chapels are piscinas, and there is a large one in the chancel. Some ancient glass, with emblems of the Evangelists, will be found in one of the chapels. The Norm. font, with different mouldings on opposite sides, deserves attention.
Buckland St Mary, a parish 5 m. N.W. of Chard, has a modern church (1853-63), very richly decorated, which it owes to the munificence of the rector, though to some its ornateness will seem a little out of harmony with its rural surroundings. The wooden cover of the font is said to be all that remains of the former church. Not far away are a number of flint stones which are conjectured to be Celtic memorials.
Buckland, West, 5 m. S.W. of Taunton, has a Perp. church, preserving earlier materials, but of no great interest to the ordinary observer. The W. tower has the bell-turret on the S. side (cp. Wellington and Bradford). Note (1) the Norm. font (on a modern base), (2) the entrance to the former rood-loft. The churchyard commands a fine view.
Burnett, a small village 2-1/2 m. S.E. of Keynsham. The church is a tiny late Perp. building of poor workmanship. In the organ-chamber is a small brass to John Cuttle (1575), once Mayor of Bristol. An attendant family are all quaintly labelled.
Burnham, a watering-place on the Bristol Channel, 24 m. S.W. from Bristol and 8 N. from Bridgwater. The S. & D. branch line from Edington Junction has a terminal station here. Neither art nor nature has done much for Burnham. Though a good deal exploited by the local railway company as a half-holiday resort, it possesses few attractions for the summer visitor. It has shown recently some signs of improvement, but no enterprise can make a first-rate watering-place out of a muddy estuary and a strip of sandy shore. A small pier, a narrow esplanade, and some small gardens form its chief artificial recommendations, and its one natural merit is an invigorating breeze which never seems to fail. A tall lighthouse, standing some considerable distance away from the sea, is a conspicuous landmark on the N., and a supplementary light burns from a wooden erection on the beach. The church of St Andrew, near the esplanade, is early Perp. Its two features of interest are its leaning W. tower, and an altar-piece designed by Inigo Jones for Whitehall Chapel, but eventually erected in Westminster Abbey. It appears to have been turned out of the abbey as lumber on the occasion of George IV.’s coronation, and to have been placed in Burnham Church by the then vicar, who was also Canon of Westminster.
Burrington, a small village in the Vale of Wrington, with a station on the Light Railway. It possesses a remarkable ravine, which would be considered fine by any one unacquainted with Cheddar. It has the magnitude but not the grandeur of its famous competitor. The hillsides present merely a series of steep slopes broken by protruding masses of rock. The combe runs up to the shoulders of Blackdown, and is throughout wild and picturesque. Like the Cheddar gorge, it abounds in caverns, there being no fewer than four, all of which have been prolific in “finds.” It was whilst taking shelter here that Toplady composed “Rock of Ages.” On one of the hills above the combe is a Roman encampment fenced with a rough wall of stone, locally known as Burrington Ham. Another picturesque spot in the neighbourhood is a glen called Rickford. The church, which stands in some fields near the mouth of the gorge, is a Perp. building with a low W. tower and a peculiarly graceful spirelet over the rood-loft turret. There are some good parapets to the aisles, but the roof of one of the chapels projects in an ugly manner above that of the chancel (cp. Yatton). Note (1) ancient glass in window above N. door, (2) pieces of an old bell with maker’s mark (a ship), c. 1470.
Burrow (or Borough) Bridge, 1-1/2 m. N.E. of Athelney Station. It is noteworthy for its conical hill, locally called the Mump, crowned by a ruined church (St Michael’s). It affords an extensive view over the surrounding plain, and may be the site of Alfred’s fort (see p. 13).
Burtle, a parish 1 m. N. of Edington Station. (S. & D.). The church is modern.
Butcombe, a village 2 m. N. of Blagdon, prettily situated in a nook of the Wrington Vale. Several monastic bodies originally owned property here, but the church does not seem to have benefited largely by their proprietorship. It is a small Perp. structure, of no great interest.
Butleigh is a pleasant village, 4 m. S. of Glastonbury. Of its church the only old portions are the tower (which is central), the nave, the porch, and the chancel, to which N. and S. transepts and a N. aisle have been added in modern times. Most of the windows of the nave and chancel are Dec., with foliated rear arches. The large W. window is Perp., and contains some ancient glass. In the S. transept is a monument to the three brothers Hood, with a long epitaph in blank verse by Southey. In the N. aisle are preserved figures (Jacobean) of a man and woman, with a kneeling child between them, obviously portions of an old tomb. The neighbouring mansion is Butleigh Court (R.N. Grenville). The tall column which is so conspicuous from the Glastonbury Plain was erected to the memory of Sir Samuel Hood.
Cadbury Camp, near Tickenham. See Tickenham. The name is perhaps connected with the Welsh cad (battle). There is another near Yallon.
Cadbury, North, a village 2-1/2 m. E. from Sparkford Station (G.W.R.). It possesses a remarkably fine Perp. church, built by Lady Eliz. Botreaux (1427) for a college of eight priests. The tower, of more than ordinarily plain design, is of rather earlier date, and the arcades have probably been preserved from some previous structure. The interior, though not rich, is imposing, owing to its size and excellent proportions. The chancel is of great dignity, and some elaborately carved tabernacles, bearing traces of colouring, flank each side of the E. window, and form a fine architectural addition to the E. end. The roofs and bench ends (1538) should also be observed. Note (1) altar slab fixed to N. wall of sanctuary, (2) rood-loft stair and turret, (3) three altar-tombs under tower, one (early 15th cent.) bearing effigies of Sir W. and Lady Eliz. Botreaux, (4) fragments of glass in W. window. Of this church, Ralph Cudworth, the famous Cambridge philosopher, was once rector.
At the S.E. of the church is Cadbury Court, a fine gabled Elizabethan mansion, with a curiously incongruous modern front on the S.
Cadbury, South (2-1/4 m. E. of Sparkford), is a village on the N.E. side of Cadbury Camp, with a church dedicated to St Thomas a Becket, who is perhaps intended by the fresco of a bishop which is on the splay of a window in the N. aisle. The responds of the aisle arches are curiously banded. There is a good reredos, a piscina, and a hagioscope.
Cadbury Castle, near Sparkford (2 m. away), is the most remarkable of all the Somerset earthworks. Besides its antiquarian importance, the “Castle” derives a romantic interest from its popular association with the fabled Camelot. The hill is best ascended by a lane near a farm-house to the S. of S. Cadbury Church. Though much covered with timber, the fortifications are still clearly traceable, and consist of a quadruple series of ramparts and ditches. The interior “ring” is faced with wrought masonry. The fortifications enclose an area of some 18 acres, and the crest of the hill is crowned by a mound locally known as King Arthur’s Palace. The defensive works must originally have been of great strength, and are impressive even in their decay. The S. face of the hill is fashioned into a series of terraces, possibly with a view to cultivation. A well, called King Arthur’s Well, will be found within the lowest rampart by taking the path to the right of the entrance gate. Another well—Queen Anne’s—is in the neighbourhood of the keeper’s cottage. The country-side is rich in Arthurian traditions. King Arthur and his knights are said on moonlight nights to gallop round the fortifications on steeds shod with silver shoes. A hardly traceable forest-path runs at the base of the hill in the direction of Glastonbury. This is King Arthur’s hunting track. Apart from these legendary associations, Cadbury must have played a considerable part in the British struggle for freedom. It may have been here (instead of at Penselwood) that the West Welsh made their last effort against Cenwealh, when he drove them to the Parrett (see p. 12). For so low an eminence, the “castle” commands a remarkably extensive view. The great plain of Central Somerset spreads away at the foot of the hill. In the foreground is the ever-conspicuous Glastonbury Tor; the Mendip ridge closes the horizon on the right; the Quantocks and Brendons are in front; and the Blackdowns and Dorset highlands lie jumbled together on the left.
Camel, Queen (1 m. S.W. of Sparkford Station), is a large and attractive village, owing its name to the neighbouring stream, the Cam. Its church is a dignified structure with a lofty tower, which has its turret unusually placed at the N.W. angle (cp. Yeovil and Martock). The arcade has octagonal piers. Two of them have small niches, and there is a clerestory above. The roof has embattled tie-beams, the space above them being filled with Perp. tracery. The E. window is lofty. The chancel has a screen and rood-loft, with fan tracery E. and W.; the staircase is in the S. pier of the arch. At the E. end is a piscina and a sedile, each under an elaborate triple ogee canopy. The Perp. font is unusual, being supported on pillars which have niches containing figures. On the S. side of the church there is an incongruous “classical” porch (cp. Sutton Montis). In the parish is a mineral spring with properties resembling those of Harrogate waters.
Camel, West, a village 2 m. S.W. of Sparkford Station, has a church with many features of interest. In plan it is cruciform, the S. transept being under the tower, which is on the S. side, and is crowned by a small spire. The arches of the tower, chancel, and N. transept are probably Dec. The E. window is Dec., with the interior arch foliated. The rest are Perp. The nave roof deserves notice. The chancel contains a double piscina under a large foliated arch, and triple sedilia. The font is Norm., with shallow arcading round the basin. Near it is a fragment of the shaft of a cross, ascribed to the 9th cent., with the interlaced carving generally associated with Celtic and Irish crosses. In a window behind the pulpit there is some ancient glass.
Camely, a parish about 1-1/2 m. S.W. from Clutton Station, deriving its name from another Cam. The church is a solitary building standing back from the roadside. It has a good Perp. W. tower, but a very uncouth-looking nave and chancel.
Camerton, a flourishing colliery village lying in a deep valley about 2 m. N.N.E. of Radstock. It has a terminal station on a small branch line running up from Hallatrow. The church, which is rather obscurely situated at the back of the rectory, has been well restored, and is handsomely furnished. The chancel is new. A side chapel contains two altar-tombs to members of the Carew family (1640-86), said to be mere replicas of the original tombs in Carew Church, Pembrokeshire. Note (1) stoup inside N. doorway, (2) piscina in organ chamber. Camerton Court (Miss Jarrett), a modern building with a colonnade, stands over against the church on the other side of the dale.
Cannington, a large village 4 m. N.W. of Bridgwater, is a place of some interest. It is the birthplace of a distinguished man, for at Brymore House, hard by, John Pym was born. The church has some unusual features, for a single roof covers nave, aisles, and chancel; and there is no chancel arch. The whole building is very lofty, and it has good E. and W. windows. The tower, which will be seen to be out of line with the axis of the nave, is richly ornamented with niches. Note externally the turret above the rood staircase, and the series of consecration crosses (12) on the E. and S. wall of the chancel; and in the interior observe (1) the carved oak cornice, (2) the screen (the upper part restored), (3) Norm. pillar (a survival of an earlier church) in the vestry, (4) old Bible of 1617. A priory of Benedictine nuns, founded by a De Courcy (of Stoke Courcy) in 1138, once existed here. The large house with mullioned windows, near the church, now occupied by a Roman Catholic industrial school, was once a court-house belonging to the Clifford family.
Down a road running E. from the church is Gurney Street Farm, an old manor-house. It has a small chapel, with piscina, aumbry, niches, and carved roof; above is a chamber (probably for the priest), reached by stairs, each of which consists of a single block of oak, while behind is a room panelled in oak, with a window looking into the chapel.
A mile from the village on the Stowey road (take path to left) is another manor house, Blackmoor Farm. It has a good porch, and retains its chapel (note piscina and niches), over the W. end of which some of the chambers on the first floor project.
Carhampton, a village on the Dunster and Williton road, 2 m. S.E. of Dunster. The church has been restored and in parts rebuilt. It still contains a fine and richly coloured screen, evidently copied from the one at Dunster (cp. Timberscombe), but there are no indications of a stairway. Note (1) piscinas in S. aisle and chancel, (2) carved wall-plate in S. aisle. There is the base of a cross in the churchyard. On the road to Blue Anchor there is an ancient manor-house, called Marshwood Farm, which has in its porch some curious plaster figures.
CASTLE CARY, a small market town at S.E. corner of the county, with a station (1 m.) at the junction of the G.W.R. Weymouth line with the Langport loop. Its population in 1901 was 1904. The town has a pleasant air of old-fashionedness about it. The castle which gave it its name long since disappeared from history, and until recently from knowledge. It was only in 1890 that its site was revealed. Some excavations in a field at the bottom of Lodge Hill brought to light the foundations of a large square Norm. keep. Its outlines are now marked by pillars. It seems to have acquired notoriety chiefly in the disorderly days of Stephen. The Church possesses a good spire, and is conspicuously situated. But though outwardly picturesque, it has little of interest within. Note, however, (1) piscina in chancel, (2) oak screen, (3) carved pulpit, (4) panel and canopied effigy over S. porch. There is also a shallow font (temp. Henry VI.) on a pedestal of curious design.
Castle Neroche, locally known as Castle Ratch, a remarkable earthwork of problematical origin, 7 m. S. of Taunton. It crowns the edge of a precipitous hillside, over which runs the main road to Chard. The camp is of quite exceptional strength, and occupies a position of great strategic importance. Recent excavations have proved it to have been occupied and strengthened, if not originally made, by the Normans. On the accessible side looking towards Chard the station is defended by a triple row of ramparts and ditches, but the side overlooking the vale of Taunton is so precipitous that the only protection provided appears to have been a kind of citadel surmounted probably by a keep. The centre of this once formidable military position is now incongruously occupied by a farm-house. The view from the citadel or beacon across Taunton Dean is far-reaching and exhilarating. The outlook on the other side is circumscribed by the high ground beyond.
Castle of Comfort, a lonely public-house on the top of the Mendips, standing by the side of the Bristol and Wells road. For the tourist it forms a very convenient landmark from which to indicate the more interesting features of the Mendip plateau. (1) The Roman road from Uphill to Old Sarum may be traced across a field near the house. (2) The Devil’s Punch Bowl, one of the most notable swallets on the Mendips, is 1/4 m. nearer Bristol (climb a wall on the R. and the swallet, a funnel-shaped hollow, partly overgrown with brushwood, will be seen in a field about 100 yards from the roadside). (3) The old Roman lead mines are 2-1/2 m. away on the road to Charterhouse. (4) The “Lamb’s Lair” cavern (now unexplorable) lies 2 m. to the N. near the Bristol road. (5) Nine Barrows, to find which take the Wells road; 1/2 m. to the S. is another solitary inn, and opposite are the barrows.
Catcott, a village on the Poldens, 3 m. S. of Edington Station. The church is quaint; note, in particular, the old oak seats, and the odd means by which they can be lengthened. There is an old octagonal font.
Chaffcombe, a secluded village on the slope of Windwhistle Hill, 2-1/2 m. N.E. from Chard. The church is a small Dec. building with a Perp. W. tower containing a pre-Reformation bell.
Chantry, or Little Elm, a small village 4-1/2 m. S.W. from Frome. The church is a beautiful bit of modern Gothic, designed by Sir G. Scott.
Chapel Allerton, a village 4-1/2 m. S.W. from Axbridge. The church is a 13th-cent. building which has been subsequently altered and enlarged. In the parish are the remains of an old “hundred stone,” marking the boundaries of the hundred of Bempstone.
CHARD, a market town of 4437 inhabitants, at the S. extremity of the county, served by both the G.W.R. and L. & S.W.R. Chard is a pleasant variant upon the usual cramped type of Somerset county town. It spreads itself out up the side of a hill with a magnificent disregard for ground values in one broad and breezy street a mile long. Its situation is remarkable for the impartiality of its maritime predilections, for the runnels at the side of the thoroughfare are said to discharge their contents, the one into the Bristol, the other into the English Channel. Its early name, Cerde (for Cerdic), implies its Saxon origin, but it was a benefaction of Bishop Joceline, who gave half his manor for its extension, which really made the town. Chard has figured a little in history. Charles I. and Fairfax both made some stay in it. Penruddock suffered a severe reverse in the neighbourhood in 1655, and Monmouth, in 1685, marched through Chard en route, as he thought, for the throne, a circumstance which Jeffreys did not allow the town to forget. “Hangcross tree,” which once stood near the L. & S.W. station, was long locally reputed to be the gibbet on which some of the Duke’s sympathisers expiated their
Charlcombe is a parish 2 m. N. of Bath, with a very small church, which has a Norm. S. door. Note (1) the font (probably Norm.), (2) the massive stone pulpit, (3) the reredos. There is a fine yew tree near the porch.
Charlinch, a parish 5 m. W. of Bridgwater. The second syllable (recurring in Moorlinch, Redlynch) means a level terrace on the side of a hill; the first is probably a personal name. Its church illustrates many periods of architecture, for it has a Norm. font and S. door (with depressed arch), a Trans. chancel arch (pointed), a Dec. E. window, and Perp. tower, chapel (or transept), and nave windows. The altar-piece, in memory of Lady Taunton, is a modern copy of the 15th-cent. painter Francia. There are two interesting epitaphs, one on the S. wall of the chancel, the other on a brass on the floor. There are also some fragments of ancient glass; and a stone, with a consecration cross, is built into the porch.
E. of the church, on the road to Wembdon, is Gothelney Hall, an old manor house, with a good front, and walls of great thickness. The banqueting-hall (now divided into rooms) was on the first floor and had a minstrel gallery, whilst the chapel was probably at the top of the tower. There is an interesting collection of portraits of (it is believed) former owners of the house.
Charlton Adam, a village 3 m. E. of Somerton, has a church which contains a few features of interest. The chancel has two foliated lancets; in the S. chapel there is the canopied tomb of Thomas Baker (d. 1592); and in both chancel and chapel are some curious old seats. Note also (1) the piscina, (2) Norm. font, (3) a Jacobean pulpit, (4) rudely carved figures in S. porch. There seems to have been here a chantry of the Holy Spirit from 1348 to 1547.
Charlton Horethorne is a pleasant village 1-1/2 m. N.W. of Milborne Port Station. The church has a well-proportioned Perp. tower with bold buttresses; the rest of the building appears to be earlier. Note (1) the recesses and niches in the N. and S. walls, (2) piscina, (3) heavy cylindrical font. The church porch is old. In the parish are some barrows which have been opened and found to contain remains.
Charlton Mackrell, 3 m. E. of Somerton, has a cruciform church with a central tower, in the piers of which are large foliated squints. The church contains little of interest; but note (1) the roof of the chancel, with the angels above the corbels, (2) the piscina, (3) the carved seat-ends (especially the figure of a satyr). The churchyard cross has figures carved on it, perhaps the symbols of the four Evangelists. Within the parish but nearer the village of Kingsdon is Lytes Cary House, situated a little distance from the Glastonbury and Ilchester road. It is an interesting example of domestic architecture, the chapel dating from 1340, the rest of the building from the 15th cent. The E. front has two oriels, whilst the S. front, crowned with a parapet, bears the arms of Lyte (a chevron between 3 swans) and Horsey (3 horses’ heads), and the initials I, E (John Lyte and Edith Horsey). The chapel has a Dec. window and ruined piscina and stoup. The hall, now divided by a wall, has a fine roof and cornice. An upper room retains a good moulded ceiling, decorated with heraldic blazons.
Charlton Musgrove, a small village 1 m. N. of Wincanton. The church is early Perp. and has a fair W. tower. Note (1) panelled chancel arch, (2) square blocked squint, (3) odd-looking font. One of the bells is pre-Reformation, and has the inscription Regina coeli, laetare.
Charterhouse on Mendip, a lonely hamlet at the W. end of the Mendips, 3 m. N.W. of Priddy. Here the Carthusians of Witham had a cell (hence the name), but all traces of the building have now disappeared. The locality is, however, still of interest as the scene of the Roman mining industry. Here lead was unearthed and transported across the hills for shipment at Uphill. The settlement seems to have been a sort of Roman “Roaring Camp,” where the miners relaxed the tedium of their exile by the excitements of the gaming-table. The surrounding heaps of slag have been rich in revelations. Discarded trinkets, spoons, forks, beads, and dice bear eloquent testimony to their habits, whilst on a shoulder of the neighbouring upland is an amphitheatre. (Take Blagdon road and turn up a grassy lane on L.: the amphitheatre is in a field near the top). The workings have now been abandoned, but many attempts have been made since Roman times to re-start them. A Roman road is distinctly traceable in the fields beyond the mines. It ran in a straight line from Uphill to Old Sarum. The rounded upland on the N.W., a mile or so farther on, is Blackdown (1067 ft.), the highest point of the Mendips.
Cheddar, a large village 2-1/2 m. S.E. of Axbridge and 12 S.E. from Weston-super-Mare. The G.W.R. line from Yatton to Wells has a station here. There are few to whom Cheddar is not known by name as possessing one of the most remarkable bits of scenery in the British Isles. The gorge, the sides of which form the famous cliffs, cleaves the edge of the Mendips very abruptly, and at its mouth lies the village. The most impressive introduction to the sight is to approach Cheddar by road from Priddy and to descend the ravine from the top of the hills, as the cliffs increase in grandeur in the course of the descent, and the best is thus kept till last. To the majority of sightseers who arrive by train this is, of course, a counsel of perfection, but it is as well that those who ascend from the village should be warned that the top of the pass emerges upon open tableland, and that nothing remarkable awaits them at the end of their climb. The grand canon is only a quarter of a mile or so from the mouth of the gorge. Here the road winds in and out like a double S at the foot of the cliffs, which, gracefully festooned with creepers, tower above the spectator like the bastions of some gigantic castle. Possibly there are higher walls of rock elsewhere, but there are none which, for their height, have the same perpendicularity. In some cases they rise sheer from the roadway with a vertical face of 450 ft. Unfortunately an energetically worked quarry has wrecked one side of the ravine, and the clatter of the machinery detracts considerably from the repose of the scene. Near the entrance of the pass a detached mass of rock roughly resembling a crouching lion guards it like a sentinel. At its feet is spread a pretty little sheet of water fed by subterranean streams. In these hidden rivulets we have no doubt the instrument which nature has used to fashion the cliffs. Geologists assert that the gorge is but the ruins of a collapsed tunnel which once carried the water of some primeval river. A series of caverns at the entrance of the valley are vigorously exploited by their owners as “side shows” to this exhibition of natural marvels. Of these caves Cox’s, the one nearest the village, was discovered as early as 1832, and has long been known to excursionists as one of the sights of Cheddar (entrance fee 1s.). The stalactites within are highly fantastic in shape and peculiarly rich in colour. There is, however, more to be seen for the money at Gough’s, a little higher up, where a similar charge is made. A long natural gallery, rendered in places more accessible by excavation, runs for a quarter of a mile into the heart of the rock and opens up a series of vast chambers elaborately hung with stalactites. When the electric light is thrown on these pendants an almost pantomimic effect is produced. The scientific interest of the cavern consists in the abundant remains of extinct animals that from time to time have been discovered here. Amongst other specimens on show at the entrance are the bones of a pre-historic man unearthed in 1903. At a point along the gallery will be heard the rumble of a hidden river.
[Illustration: CHEDDAR VILLAGE]
The village itself is not particularly picturesque. In its centre is an ancient hexagonal cross (cp. Shepton) of no great merit, and much doctored. The cheeses for which Cheddar is also famous are not the exclusive product of the locality but are extensively made throughout Somerset. The church is worth inspection. It is a fine Perp. building, with a lofty W. tower of four stages. It has triple belfry windows, and a spired stair turret, but the shallowness of the buttresses detracts from its impressiveness. Within there is a good coloured roof, some Perp. screens, a good 15th-cent. stone pulpit (also coloured), some carved benches, and a rich S. chantry chapel of the Fitz-Walters. In the sanctuary note the fine piscina and the brasses to the De Cheddars—one to Sir Thomas on a recessed altar-tomb on the N., and a smaller one to his wife on the floor below. The piers of the arcade stand on some curious bases, probably the foundations of earlier columns. The general effect of the interior is spoilt by the fantastic modern colouring at the E. end.
Cheddon Fitzpaine, a parish 2 m. N.E. of Taunton, preserving, like Stoke Courcy, Stoke Gomer, Norton Fitzwarren, the name of its Norman lord. It has a nice church, which, however, contains little that is noteworthy. The piers of the S. arcade have figures on the capitals (cp. Taunton St Mary’s), and there are a few bench ends and two piscinas.
Chedzoy (2-1/2 m. from Bridgwater) is, with its neighbour Weston Zoyland, a village of great historic interest, since between the two is the field of Sedgemoor. The final _-oy_ is probably identical with the _-ey_ (isle) which occurs in Athelney and Muchelney, whilst chedz- may be the possessive of Cedda, a Saxon personal name. The church of St Mary well deserves inspection. The embattled tower has double belfry windows, and is noteworthy for the unusual way in which the buttresses are finished. From its summit, in 1685, the approach of the royal troops towards Sedgemoor was discovered through a telescope. Over the S. porch is the date 1579, and the initials R.B. (Richard Bere, Abbot of Glastonbury), R.F. (Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester), and H.P. (unknown). The interior is remarkable for the difference in the width of the aisles, which are separated from the nave by an E.E. arcade, above which there is a clerestory. Over the N. aisle there is a curious arch, with some defaced carving (apparently a crucifixion) above it. The chancel originally had a lateral chapel on the S., of which traces are visible both within and without. On the W. buttress of the S. transept there are still marks where Monmouth’s rustics sharpened their scythes and axes. On both the S. and N. walls of the church there are consecration crosses. One of its most notable features is the excellence of its woodwork: note in particular (1) the bench ends, one of which has M (Queen Mary), surmounted
Chelvey is a village 1 m. S.W. of Nailsea Station. Its church, ded. to St Bridget, preserves a Norm. door within the S. porch, and a Norm. font on the S. side of the building. There is a large chapel containing three recesses beneath ogee canopies. Note the corbels on either side of the chancel to support the Lenten veil, and some curious old seats. There is some old glass in the windows, and a cross in the churchyard. In a farmhouse near are the remains of Chelvey Court, once the residence of the Tynte family, who have memorials in the church.
Chelwood, a small parish 2 m. S.E. of Pensford. Its little church contains nothing of interest except an ancient font (probably Norm.) and a medley of early glass (probably French) in the W. window.
Cheriton, North, a pleasant village 3 m. S.W. of Wincanton. It has a restored church, which preserves a pulpit of Charles I.’s time (1633), and a tub font. The screen is, in the main, modern, though part dates from the 15th cent.
Chesterblade, 2 m. N.E. of Evercreech, perhaps owes the first part of its name to its contiguity to the camp on Small Down (mentioned below). Its church has a Norm. S. door. Note also (1) the quaintly carved Norm. corbels at the N.E. and S.E. angles of the nave, (2) the Norm. font, (3) the stone reading-desk (16th cent.), (4) the bell-cot, (5) the base of a very ancient cross in the churchyard. On the adjoining height of Small Down there is a camp, defended on the E. side by two ditches. In it remains of flint implements and pottery have recently been found, and are now preserved in the Taunton Museum.
Chew Magna (originally Bishop’s Chew) is a village on the Chew, 3 m. W. from Pensford Station. As its appearance suggests, it was once a small town. The main street has a raised causeway and several old houses. The church, supposed to have been built by Bishop Beckington, whose arms appear on the fabric, is a large and stately building with a lofty Perp. W. tower. It has N. and S. aisles, but no clerestory. The S. arcade is Dec. A fine gilded Perp. screen stretches right across the church. Note (1) round-headed piscinas in sanctuary and S. aisle, (2) Norm. font. There are several interesting monuments: (1) in S. chapel an elaborate Elizabethan tomb with recumbent effigies of E. Baber and wife (1575), (2) in N. chapel an altar-tomb with effigies of a gigantic knight and a diminutive lady (Sir J. St Loe and wife), (3) in recess beneath window in S. aisle a gaudily painted wooden figure of Sir John Hautville (temp. Henry VII.), said to have been brought from Norton Hautville Church (see Stanton Drew). The churchyard contains the base of a cross. At the entrance to the churchyard is a fine old mediaeval building with a good roof, where the manorial courts were once held. Hard by is Chew Court, an old manor house, possessing a Tudor gateway with a solar above. Down a lane leading off from the Chew Stoke road is the Manor House, rebuilt in 1656 on the site of an earlier residence.
Chew Stoke, a village 4-1/2 m. S.W. from Pensford Station. The church stands back from the road, and has a graceful tower (restored), with spirelet. The building is Dec., but much restored. On the R. hand side of lane leading to the church is the old rectory, a quaint 15th-cent. building, with small octagonal turrets and a front much decorated with heraldic devices.
Chewton Mendip, a prepossessing village, held in some repute by sightseers, on the N.E. edge of the Mendips, 5 m. N.N.E. from Wells. It may be reached from either Hallatrow (G.W.R.) or Binegar (S. & D.) Stations. Its chief attraction is its singularly interesting church, which possesses one of the most stately towers in the county. This, as the most meritorious feature, should perhaps be noticed first. The arrangement of double belfry windows in the two upper stages is unusual, and the conventional lines of the elaborately pierced parapet above are relieved by the projecting stair turret and spirelet. The general effect is rich and impressive. The figure of our Lord, surrounded by four pairs of adoring angels, over the W. doorway should also be observed (cp. Batcombe). In the body of the church note should be taken of the good Norm. doorway forming the N. entrance. The interior is remarkable for an ugly bit of mediaeval vandalism. To render the altar observable from all parts of the church, a Norm. triplet, which once formed the chancel arch, has been mutilated; a pointed arch has been inserted, and the corner of the S. wall
Chilcompton, a village picturesquely situated at the bottom of a valley through which flows a rivulet. The stream forms a pretty margin to the village street. The church was entirely rebuilt in 1839, and a chancel of better type added in 1897. On the hill above, which commands an attractive view of the vale, is a station (S. & D.).
Chillington, a small village 4 m. N.W. from Crewkerne. It has a Perp. church possessing an early font and some well-preserved early Communion plate.
Chilthorne Domer, a village 3 m. N.W. of Yeovil, has a small church with some interesting features. Like the churches of Ashington and Brympton, it has no tower but a curious square bell-cot over the W. gable. There is a piscina attached to the N. pier of the chancel arch. Some of the windows are Dec., and a lancet in the S. wall has the interior arch foliated. The remains of a second piscina are observable on the sill of one of the chancel windows. Under a recess in the chancel is an effigy of a knight in chain armour, supposed to be Sir William Domer or Dummer (temp. Edward I.). The Jacobean pulpit bears the date 1624.
Chilton Cantelo, a village 5 m. N. of Yeovil (nearest stat. Marston Magna, 2-1/2 m.), which gets its name from the Cantilupe family. The church, which has been rebuilt, has a good tower, with pinnacled buttresses and a row of quatrefoils under the belfry storey. The body of the building retains four piscinas (in the chancel and the two transepts). Most of the windows have foliated rear arches. Note, too, the screen and the massive font.
Chilton-upon-Polden a village 1 m. S.E. of Cossington Station, possessing a church rebuilt in 1888-89.
Chilton Priory is the church-like structure by the side of the main road from Bridgwater to Wells, about half a mile from Chilton village. It is a modern building, though incorporating old material said to belong to a Benedictine priory, and was once a museum. The top of the tower commands a fine view both of the plain of Sedgemoor and the Brue Level, with the Quantocks and Mendips in the background.
Chilton Trinity, a parish 1-1/2 m. N. of Bridgwater. Its church is of little antiquarian interest.
Chinnock, East, a village 5 m. S.W. of Yeovil, has a church which retains no remains of antiquity except a piscina and a font.
Chinnock, West, 3 m. N.N.E. of Crewkerne, is a parish on the Parrett. Its church has been wholly rebuilt (1889), the only parts of the original fabric retained seemingly being a lancet-window in the N. wall of the chancel and a Perp. one in the S.
Included in this parish is the village of Chinnock, Middle, which lies a little to the E. of W. Chinnock. The church has been restored, but retains several features of interest. The low embattled tower has a very wide staircase-turret. The S. door is Norm., with the zigzag moulding on the jambs and arch, and a carved tympanum. Under one of the stone seats in the porch is a canopy, protecting the head and shoulders of a small effigy (apparently an ecclesiastic). There is a (late) Norm. font, with an unusual moulding. Note, too, an old carved stone built into the exterior of the N. transept. The gable of the porch carries a curious sundial (as at Tintinhull).
Chipstable, a picturesquely situated village, 3 m. W. from Wiveliscombe. The church is of ancient origin, but it is difficult to say how much of the original fabric survives. The Perp. W. tower appears to have been restored merely, but the nave and aisles were rebuilt in 1869. The window tracery is good, and the clustered columns with angel capitals on the S. are noteworthy.
Chiselborough, a parish near the Parrett, 4-1/2 m. N.N.E. of Crewkerne. Its church has a central tower and spire, built over unusually low E.E. arches, with a groined vault. One of the bells bears the inscription “Carmine laetatur Paulus campana vocatur,” and the name of the maker. The body of the church was rebuilt in 1842. The chancel is a makeshift.
Christon, a parish 3 m. S.W. of Sandford and Banwell Station, has a small but very interesting church. It is without aisles or transepts, but has a low central tower. The tower-vault has quadripartite groining, with curious ornaments at the base of the ribs, and is supported by two Norm. recessed arches, with double chevron and other mouldings, resting on fluted pillars. The S. door has likewise a fine Norm. arch with the lozenge moulding. The chancel windows have rear foliations. The other windows are modern restorations.
A fine view is obtainable by crossing the hill on the N. which separates Christon from Hutton.
Churchill, a parish 1-1/2 m. E. of Sandford and Banwell Stations. Like Wellington, it is associated (though perhaps distantly) with one of the greatest soldiers our history has known, for Churchill Court, a mansion near the church, was once the home of the family from a branch of which the Duke of Marlborough sprung. The church itself is not without interest. There are two aisles, separated from the nave by arcades of different styles. The N. aisle has a good wooden roof, whilst the S., in which are hung some pieces of armour, contains a brass (protected by a carpet) to “Raphe Jenyns” and his wife (1572), who are said to have been ancestors of Sarah Jennings, who became Duchess of Marlborough. Note (1) the old font, (2) the carved seat ends, (3) the squint looking from the S. aisle, (4) the monument to Thomas and Sarah Latch, with a quaint inscription, said to have been written by Dr Donne.
A little way S.E. of Churchill, on the summit of a conspicuous hill, is Dolbury Camp. It occupies 22 acres, is irregularly oblong in shape, and is defended by a rampart, constructed of fragments of limestone piled together, outside of which is a ditch, traceable in places. The camp is presumably British in origin, but was used by the Romans, who seem to have made their ramparts within the British earthwork.
Clandown, a small unlovely village on a hillside a little to the R. of the Bath road, 1-1/2 m. N. from Radstock. The church, which is almost screened from observation by the workings of a colliery, is a small, modern building, rather foreign in appearance. The Fosse Way strikes right through the village, and may here be inspected with advantage. The modern Bath road deserts the Roman trackway to make an easier descent into Radstock, but the Roman road, more suo, regardless of obstacles, clambered up hill and down dale, and made straight for Stratton. The lane which passes in front of the post-office and mounts the opposite embankment keeps the line of the original route.
Clapton-in-Gordano, a parish 4 m. N.E. of Clevedon. The description, in Gordano, still attached to four places in this neighbourhood, Clapton, Easton, Walton, and Weston, and formerly affixed to Portbury and Portishead besides, goes back to the 13th cent. The prevailing English form seems to have been Gorden or Gordene, and the name was probably applied to the triangular vale in which all these places are situated, from gore, a wedge-shaped strip of land (cp. the application of the term to a triangular insertion in a garment), and dean or dene, a valley (as in Taunton Dean). Clapton Church and manor house are both of considerable antiquity. The church has a plain W. tower, which is said to be of the 13th cent., though the main building has Perp. windows; it contains a large monument to the Winter family. At the entrance to the tower is a curious wooden screen, which is not ecclesiastical but domestic, and originally belonged to Clapton Court, the 14th-cent. manor house mentioned above, which is near the church.
Clatworthy, a village 4 m. N.W. from Wiveliscombe. The church is a small Dec. building, of no particular interest, though it contains an ancient font. About a mile away is an encampment.
Claverton (said to be a corruption of Clatfordton; cp. Clatworthy) is a parish 3 m. E.S.E. of Bath, situated near the Avon in very picturesque surroundings. In 1643 it had its peace rudely disturbed by an engagement between the Parliament forces (under Sir W. Waller) and the Royalists. The parish church, which has a squat tower surmounted by a gable, contains within the chancel rails the coloured effigies of Sir W. Bassett and his wife, whilst in the churchyard is buried Ralph Allen, the friend of Fielding and Pope. His tomb is under an ugly canopy, supported on arches. Above the village, to the N.W., is Hampton Down, where there is a large British encampment.
Cleeve, a parish 2 m. E. from Yatton, on the Bristol and Bridgwater road, with a modern church. Near it is Goblin Combe (take the road that leaves the highway near the “Lord Nelson” inn, and when past a schoolhouse enter through a gate). It is a long cleft in the mountain limestone, wild and solitary, and covered with tangled vegetation. The whole neighbourhood round is picturesque.
[Illustration: ENTRANCE TO CLEEVE ABBEY]
Cleeve Abbey, the ruins of a Cistercian monastery, 1/2 m. S. from Washford Station (G.W.R. branch to Minehead). Leave the station by the Taunton road, and take first turning to R. It is only recently that these interesting remains have been rescued from the farmer and made accessible to the public. The abbey was founded in 1188. With the proverbial monkish eye for a fine situation and a trout stream, its builders set it in a fertile valley, to which old chroniclers gave the name of the Flowery Vale. Contrary to the usual fate of such ruins, the domestic portions of the monastery have survived; the church has gone. Entrance is gained through a gatehouse standing well apart from the main block of buildings. It is generally believed to have been a kind of combined guest-house and porter’s lodge, where the casual visitor found temporary entertainment. Over its hospitable doorway is graven the salutation “Patens porta esto, nulli claudaris honesto” (This gate shall ever open be To all who enter honestly). The floor which divided the upper chamber from the passage below has disappeared. Note on the front face (1) Perp. window; (2) empty niche; (3) niched figure of Virgin and Child; and on the back (1) name of the last abbot, Dovell; (2) crucifix flanked by two empty niches. Crossing a rough field, the visitor enters the monastery proper by a doorway pierced in the cloister wall. (Admission 1s. for one, 6d. for each additional person.) The entrance opens at once into the quadrangle. Immediately on the L. are the W. cloisters (Perp.), once surmounted by the sleeping apartments of the lay brothers.
Cleeve, Old, village half way between Washford Station and Blue Anchor, 5 m. from Minehead. From the Minehead road the church tower will be seen picturesquely protruding above the trees. The village has nothing to recommend it but its rural seclusion. The church has a fair Perp. W. tower, in which the usual string course is replaced by a band of quatrefoils. Within, it contains by N. wall under an ogee canopy an effigy in lay costume (cp. Norton St Philip), with a cat at its feet—perhaps some local Dick Whittington. Note also (1) foliated squint; (2) good Perp. font. In the porch are some rough oak benches. The churchyard contains the base and shaft of a cross, and the remains of another cross will be passed on the road to Washford. Between here and Blue Anchor is an ancient lady chapel, once a shrine of considerable local repute.
CLEVEDON, a watering-place 12 m. W. of Bristol, reached by a line from Yatton. A light railway thrown across the intervening mud flats connects it directly with Weston. The population in 1901 was 5898. Like Weston, Clevedon is the outcome of the modern craze for health resorts. It is now a fashionable collection of comfortable villas, profusely disposed over the W. and N. slopes of a range of hills which run with the channel on its way to Bristol. Though approached on the E. by miles of uninviting marshes, the situation of the town is pleasant and picturesque. Clevedon offers several points of contrast with its enterprising rival and neighbour. Besides other things it retains some remnants of ruder days. A humble row of cottages to the L. of the station, and an ancient church dumped down in a hollow of the W. headland, preserve the savour of a former simplicity. To one of these “pretty cots” Coleridge is said to have brought his bride in 1795. The reputed house still stands in Old Church Road, but the identification is now questioned. Along the sea-front there is a pleasant little promenade, flanked with turf and shrubs. The shore is rocky, and though the ebb tide uncovers a considerable stretch of mud in the bay, along the road to Walton the sea is never far away, even at low water. There is nothing romantically bold about the coast scenery, but it is pervaded by an air of quiet retirement much in keeping with its literary associations. The esplanade leads at one end to a pleasant walk along the cliffs in the direction of Walton, and at the other to a pathway across the meadows towards the “old church.” The main interest of the church is its association with “In Memoriam,” but archaeologically, too, it is well worth a visit. It is a building with a low central tower, which is pierced with some Norm, belfry windows, and rests upon fine Norm. arches N. and E., cut with rather unusual mouldings. The pointed arches leading to the nave and S. transept are later (14th cent.). The arcading of the nave is peculiar; above is a Perp. clerestory. A quaint little altar-tomb, with recumbent effigy of a child, stands on the S. side of the tower arch, and within the arch is a slab with the rudely incised figure of a knight. The S. transept (Dec.) is spacious. Beneath its floor lie the hero of “In Memoriam” and his father, H. Hallam, the historian. The memorial tablets in marble are hung against the W. wall. Note also the roof corbels, the windows, and the founder’s niche. The corresponding chapel on the N. is unusually small, and deserves notice (observe window at E.). In the nave remark (1) Dec. W. window, defaced to carry modern glass, (2) stone pulpit and adjoining window. In the porch is a staircase, said to have once led to a priest’s chamber over the S. aisle. The other churches in the town are modern.
Clevedon Court, “one of the most valuable relics of early domestic architecture in England,” dates from the reign of Edward II. It underwent both restoration and extension in the days of Elizabeth, and has been considerably modified since. The porch (containing a portcullis groove), hall, and kitchen are part of the original fabric. A room in the first floor, with a window of reticulated tracery, is believed to have been the chapel. The place is, of course, closely associated through the Hallams with Tennyson, and Thackeray worked at “Esmond” whilst a visitor here. The grounds are open to the public on Thursdays, Walton Castle, on the top of a hill E. of Clevedon, is an old house, octagonal in shape, and surrounded by a low wall with round towers at the angles. The hill offers a very picturesque view.
[Illustration: CLIFTON SUSPENSION BRIDGE]
Clifton Suspension Bridge, one of the famous sights of Bristol. It is a structure of remarkable grace, thrown across the gorge of the Avon, which affords a much-needed means of communication between the Somerset and Gloucestershire banks of the river. The history of the bridge is a strange record of commercial vicissitudes. It was originally projected by a Mr Vick of Bristol (d. 1753), who, with an inadequate conception of the cost, left L1000 for its construction, which was to be undertaken when the accumulated earnings of the sum had multiplied it tenfold. In 1830, the amount in the bank was L8000, and an Act of Parliament was obtained sanctioning the raising of additional capital, With L45,000 in hand, the work was commenced under the direction of Brunel; but funds gave out long before the bridge was complete. For thirty years the work was at a standstill, but in 1861 another start was made, and in 1864 the bridge was opened for traffic. The supporting chains, which were brought from old Hungerford Bridge, are thrown over lofty turrets, resting in one case on a projecting bastion of rock, and in the other on a solid pier of masonry. These slender suspenders carry a roadway and two footpaths across a span of 700 feet. The bridge stands 245 feet above high-water level, and its altitude seems to furnish an irresistible temptation to people of a suicidal tendency. The prospect from the footway is extraordinarily impressive. Looking down the river, the spectator commands the romantic gorge of the Avon, and turning round he can view the panorama of Bristol shut in on the right by the lofty height of Dundry.
Cloford, a small village, 2 m. N.E. of Wanstrow. The church, rebuilt in 1856, has a tiny side chapel, containing a monument to Maurice Horner (d. 1621), and a tablet with some quaint-coloured busts to Sir G. Horner and his wife (1676).
Closworth, a village 2 m, S.E. of Sutton Bingham (L. & S.W.). The church is Perp. In the churchyard is the shaft of a cross. The rectory bears date 1606.
Clutton, a parish (with station) 2 m. S. of Bristol, with collieries in its neighbourhood. The church has been rebuilt (1865), but preserves a good Trans. S. doorway, and a chancel arch of the same date. The tower, rebuilt in 1726, is constructed of rather curious stone.
Coker, East, a village 3 m. S.S.W. from Yeovil. The church and hall are prettily grouped together on rising ground above the roadway. The church is chiefly Perp. with debased transepts and a N.E. tower of the same character but greater dignity. Note (1) cylindrical arcade on S., (2) panelled arches to transept, (3) old oak door on N., (4) Norm, font with cable moulding. In the churchyard is the effigy of a woman, and another old tomb with incised figure stands near the church door. The Court hard by is a modernised 15th-cent. hall. A dignified row of 17th-cent. alms-houses lines the common roadway to the church and court. Near the bridge on the Yeovil road is the old manor house, now a farm. It has a two-storeyed Perp. porch and some good windows. It was the birthplace of Dampier, the navigator (1652). A Roman pavement, bronzes, and coins have been discovered in the neighbourhood. Naish Priory, 1-1/2 m. away, is now a private residence. It retains its chapel and one or two other relics of its early conventual days. It is assigned to the 14th cent. or 15th cent.
Coker, West, a large village 3 m. S.W. of Yeovil, on the London and Exeter road. The church is spacious, with an unusually low tower; some small windows in the turret are of horn. The body of the church seems to be partly Dec. and partly Perp. It contains some seats dated 1633, and a monument to two daughters of Sir John Portman. In the village is a 14th-cent. manor house, formerly belonging to the Earls of Devon.
Coleford (4 m. S. from Radstock) is an unattractive colliery village, with a modern church (1831). The tower is of fair design.
Combe Down (a large parish 2 m. S.E. from Bath) possesses some large freestone quarries. The church is modern (1835).
Combe Florey, a very pretty village 1-1/2 m. N.W. of Bishop Lydeard Station, which gets its name from the Floreys, the ancient owners of the manor. Its church, Perp. in the main, contains some interesting memorials. There are three effigies in the N. aisle—a knight (supposed to be one of the Merriet family, to which the manor passed from the Floreys) and two ladies (perhaps his successive wives). In the N. wall the heart of a lady, “Maud de Merriette,” who was a nun of Cannington, is recorded to have been buried. On the floor at the W. end of the N. aisle is a brass to Nicholas Francis, who possessed the manor subsequently to the Merriets. Sydney Smith was rector here (1829-45), and the glass in the E. window is in memory of him. Note also (1) angels on piers of arcade (cp. St Mary’s, Taunton), (2) carved seat ends, (3) restored cross in churchyard. In the village is a Tudor manor house.
Combe Hay, a small village 1-1/2 m. N. of Wellow. The Paulton Canal here boldly climbs the hillside by a series of locks. The church, which has been much altered and enlarged, is the burial-place of Sir Lewes Dyves, the defender of Sherborne Castle.
Combe St Nicholas (21 m. N.W. of Chard) has a spacious Perp. church, preserving in the N. aisle a jamb of a doorway belonging to the original Norm. church, and in the chancel a piscina of the succeeding E.E. building. There are also piscinas in the N. and S. chapels. Near the organ are some remains of the old rood-screen, whilst two ancient fonts are kept in the W. end of the church. In the neighbourhood some barrows have been discovered, and at Higher Wadeford a Roman pavement has been found, forming part of a villa.
Compton Bishop, a small parish under the shadow of Crook’s Peak, 2 m. W.N.W. of Axbridge. The church contains a Norm. font (with a wooden cover dated 1617) and some E.E. work (note especially the jambs of the S. doorway and the fine double piscina). There is a very good carved stone pulpit, some ancient glass in the E. window, and a cross with traces of carving on the shaft.
Compton Dando, a small village on the Chew, 2-1/2 m. E. of Pensford. The church is of 14th-cent. workmanship, but the chancel and S. porch respectively bear the dates 1793 and 1735 (probably referring to repairs). Within is a piscina and Norm. font. The churchyard contains a good sundial.
Compton Dundon, a village 5 m. S. from Glastonbury Station (S. & D.), on the main road to Somerton. In the centre of the village of Compton is the remnant of an old cross. The church, in the hamlet of Dundon, is half a mile away on higher ground at the foot of Dundon Beacon. It has a Perp. nave and a Dec. chancel, with a fine E. window. The whole fabric has been carefully restored. There is a good specimen of a Caroline pulpit (1628), let into the N. wall, and reached by means of the rood stairway. The sanctuary contains a sedile and piscina, and a stoup and a rougher piscina will be found in the nave. In the churchyard is a very fine yew tree, locally credited with an age of almost 1000 years.
To the E. of the church rise the wooded sides of Dundon Beacon, a striking-looking hill with the summit encircled by a camp. A cist, containing a skeleton and some metal rings, is said to have been discovered here.
Compton Martin, a village 3 m. E.S.E. of Blagdon. The church is quite remarkable, and is one of the finest bits of Norm. work in the county. The nave is entirely late Norm., and possesses the unusual feature of a clerestory. The fine arcades, with their cylindrical columns and circular abaci, are too obvious to escape notice, but particular attention should be paid to the twisted pillar on the N.E. The chancel has an extremely low quadripartite vault, the effect of which is rather spoilt by the distortion of the chancel arch through some defect in the foundations. The aisles are Perp., and the one on the S. curiously encloses the clerestory. Note (1) the junction of the Perp. arch and Norm. pillars, (2) recessed effigy of a lady at E. end of N. aisle, (3) semi-circular recess, probably for additional altar (cp. Cudworth); (4) Norm. font on a fluted pedestal, (5) Perp. screen, said to have been an importation. There is a Perp. W. tower of weak design and poor workmanship, opening into the nave by a panelled arch.
Compton Pauncefote, a village 2-1/2 m. from Sparkford. It lies in pretty country, and has a church to which the possession of a slender spire adds picturesqueness. Internally there is little that calls for remark. There is a squint in one of the piers, and a piscina in the chancel.
Congresbury (pronounced Coomsbury), a parish 2 m. S. of Yatton. It is said by tradition to derive its name from St Congar, an Eastern prince who took refuge here to avoid an unwelcome marriage, and became a hermit. In Alfred’s time the village had a monastery, given by the king to Asser. The church has a W. tower surmounted by a good spire, a rare feature in Somerset. The S. arcade is E.E., with modern detached shafts, which, unlike the original which they have replaced, do not support the arches above them. The N. arcade is later (early Perp.). The clerestory is rather unusual, with curious coloured figures between the windows. Note (1) the parvise or gallery over the S. porch, (2) the elaborate sedilia and double piscina, (3) the rood-screen on a stone base, (4) the Norm. font.
Near the church is the Vicarage House, with a fine carved doorway on the S. side (15th cent.), bearing, amongst other heraldic devices, that of Bishop Beckington. There are the remains of two ancient crosses, one in the churchyard, the other in the roadway.
Corfe, a parish 3-1/2 m. S. of Taunton. It has a church which was originally of Trans. character, but has been completely restored, the only remains of the early building being part of the chancel, two corbels in the nave, and a fine font bowl. The bells are ancient, and have inscriptions.
Corston, a village 4 m. W. of Bath (nearest stat. Saltford, 1 m.). Southey was at school here, and did not like it, but the place seems pleasant enough to the casual visitor. The church, which has been altered and enlarged, has an E.E. chancel and W. tower, capped by a short octagonal spire. Note large unique foiled piscina built into the E. wall of the church, and Norm. doorway.
Corton Denham, a village 2-1/2 m. E. of Marston Magna. The church is modern, but stands on the site of the original fabric. Its tower is good, and, standing against the green hillside beyond, makes a pretty addition to the landscape. The fragment of a canopy will be noticed built into a wall on the road-side. Some Roman remains have been found in the neighbourhood.
Cossington, a picturesque village on the Poldens, with a station on the S. & D.J.R. Its church is beautifully situated, but retains little to interest the antiquarian, except a brass of the 16th cent.
Cothelstone, a parish at the base of the Quantocks, 2 m. N.N.W. of Bishop’s Lydeard Station, has a church dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury. Its most interesting feature is a large S. chapel, separated from the nave by two arches supported on a Norm. or Trans. pier, and containing two tombs (each with the effigies of a knight and lady) belonging to the Stawell family. The one dates from the 14th, the other from the 16th cent., and both are well worth examining. Note also (1) stoup, (2) fine Perp. font, (3) large squint, (4) some good bench-ends, (5) medallions of ancient glass, with figures of St Thomas a Becket, St Dunstan, St Aldhelm, etc.
Adjoining the church is Cothelstone Manor, the home of the Stawells, a Jacobean house, partially destroyed by Blake in the Civil War. It is built round three sides of a quadrangle, the fourth being occupied by a curious gatehouse or porter’s lodge. Note the banded mullions of the windows. On the arch by the road Judge Jeffreys hung two adherents of Monmouth’s by way of retort to Lord Stawell for remonstrating with him for his cruelty. On the S. extremity of the Quantocks is Cothelstone Beacon. a round tower, which is a conspicuous object from the valley. The site affords a fine prospect over Taunton Dean and the adjoining levels.
Coxley, a village 2 m. S. from Wells, served by Polsham Station, on the S. & D. branch to Glastonbury. The church is modern (1839).
Cranmore, East, 1 m. E. from Cranmore Station (G.W.R.), has a small modern church in close proximity to Cranmore House (Sir R. Paget). On the summit of the neighbouring hill is a tower, one of the most conspicuous objects on the E. Mendip range. It is a square structure, with projecting balconies, built in 1862. Though of no artistic merit, it is worth a visit on account of the extensive panorama which it commands.
Cranmore, West, a village with station on the G.W. branch line to Wells. The church has a good Perp. W. tower of the Shepton type, with triple belfry windows. Within is an ancient bier and some monuments to the Strode family.
Creech St Michael is a village lying 3 m. E. of Taunton, on the edge of the alluvial plain, and perhaps owes its name to an inlet of the sea which once covered the latter. The embankment which is cut by the road from Taunton once carried the Chard Canal. The church, which is said to date from the 12th cent., looks as if it had once been cruciform, with a central tower. The latter is supported on piers, three of which are E.E., and the fourth Perp. The present nave is Perp., but there is an E.E.S. door, concealed by a porch. The chancel arch is exceptionally wide, and there is an unusual number of niches. Note (1) the carved reading-desk (1634), (2) the bench-ends in the choir, (3) the oak cornice, (4) the tomb of Robert Cuffe (d. 1597), (5) carving on face of the tower.
CREWKERNE, a market town of 4226 inhabitants, at the S. extremity of the county, on the borders of Dorset. The station, on the L. & S.W. line, is a mile away. Crewkerne is a clean and compact little place, with some reputation for the manufacture of sailcloth, twine, and shirts. The streets conveniently converge upon a central market-place. It has, however, few features of interest, with the exception of its church, which stands on rising ground above the market-place. This is a fine cruciform structure, with a central tower and a quite remarkable W. front. The doorway is enriched on either side by carved niches, and flanked by a pair of octagonal turrets. The W. window
Cricket Malherbie, a parish 3 m. N.E. of Chard. The church is a handsome modern building with a spire.
Cricket St Thomas, 3-1/2 m. E. of Chard, is a parish with a small church charmingly situated above a valley through which flows the Dorset Axe. It has a monument to Alexander Hood, Viscount Bridport, and another to the Rev. William, Earl Nelson, brother of the famous admiral. Cricket House once belonged to Viscount Bridport, but is now the property of F.J. Fry.
Croscombe, a quaint-looking village midway between Shepton and Wells, situated in the pretty valley which connects the two towns. The name perhaps comes from the Celtic cors, a marsh or marshy ground. The church is late Perp., with aisles, clerestory, and a battlemented W. tower with a good spire. The tower parapet has niches, some of which still retain their figures. There is an E.E. doorway to the S. porch. Within note (1) the unusual feature of a two storeyed vestry (cp. Shepton), (2) curious little chamber at N.E. with ribbed stone roof. The building, however, is chiefly remarkable for its elaborate display of Jacobean woodwork. The screen is a fearful and wonderful piece of carving, reaching almost to the roof, and the pulpit (the gift of Bishop Lake, 1616) is of quite barbaric impressiveness. The dark oak roof of the chancel is of the same date. Some fine candelabra hang from the roof beams. The remains of a village cross stand at the bottom of the pathway leading to the church. An old house at the Shepton end of the village was an ancient hostelry, and is worth inspection. Behind the church is the old manor house with a Perp. window. Overhanging the road to Shepton is Ham Wood.
Crowcombe, a village 2 m. N. of Crowcombe Heathfield Station, and 1-1/2 m. E. of Stogumber, has a church ded. to the Holy Ghost. The roof of the S. porch is covered with fine tracery and has a large room above it, reached from within the church by a staircase in a recess topped by a turret. Note (1) the large late Perp. windows; (2) the fine bench-ends (one showing a man slaying a dragon, and another bearing the date 1534); (3) the splendid octagonal font with carved figures on each face; (4) the piscinas in chancel and S. aisle. There is a small ancient screen and a modern reredos. The N. chapel belongs to the Carew family. In the churchyard there is a good cross (13th cent.) with niches on the shaft filled with figures now much worn. There is another cross in the centre of the village. Opposite the church is an old pre-Reformation building, the basement of which served as an alms-house, and the upper floor as a school. It is now unfortunately quite ruinous.
Cucklington is a parish 3 m. E. of Wincanton, standing on a high ridge. The church (St Lawrence) has the tower on the S. side, having been reconstructed, after damage received in a storm, in 1703. The arcade is severely plain, and is perhaps 13th-cent. work. The font is Norm. The E. window of the chancel consists of three lancets. There is a little ancient glass in the E. window of the S. chapel. The figure in this window represents St Barbara, who is reputed to have suffered martyrdom in the 3rd or 4th cent.; notice in her left hand the tower, which is one of her emblems. St Barbara is said to be the patron saint of hills; hence perhaps her connection with Cucklington.
Cudworth, a small isolated hamlet 3 m. S.E. of Ilminster. The church is a very plain building without a tower, chiefly Perp., but retaining some Dec. work, and examples of the still earlier Norm. period. Note (1) Norm. doorway of the 12th cent.; (2) blocked doorway on the S., with gabled weather moulding; (3) very curious round-headed recess beneath E. window of N. aisle, lighted by a tiny round-headed slit; (4) piscina with stone shelf above; (5) Norm. bases to arcade columns; (6) Norm. font.
Culbone, a small parish 9-1/2 m. W. of Minehead. It is reached from Porlock Weir by a woodland walk of a mile along the coast, through the Ashley Combe estate. Its little Perp. church is remarkable more for its unusual and picturesque situation (by the side of a delightful combe) and its diminutive size (35 ft. x 12 ft.) than for any great architectural interest, though it contains some Norm. work in its font and a chancel window of two lights, cut in a single stone. The churchyard contains the base of a cross. The pathway from the Weir is unfortunately very much broken by a landslip at one point, and difficult for ladies to traverse.
Curland is a scattered parish 6 m. S.E. from Taunton, on the road to Chard (nearest stat. Hatch Beauchamp, 3 m.). Its church (restored) is noteworthy for its small size but for nothing else.
Curry Mallet, a parish 2-1/2 m. E. of Hatch Beauchamp Station, gets its distinguishing name from the same Norman lords who once owned Shepton Mallet and who had a castle here. Its church, which has a good deal of panel-work, contains a large altar-tomb, and some quaint 17th-cent. mural monuments. Note piscina in N. aisle.
Curry, North, is a considerable and attractive village, 2 m. S.E. of Durston, lying off the main roads. It has a fine church resembling in plan its neighbour of Stoke St Gregory, being cruciform, with a central octagonal tower. In the main it is Perp., but preserves earlier work in the N. door (Norm.), the base of the tower (E.E.), and the S. transept (which has a Dec. window). Note (1) the fine S. porch; (2) the effigies N. of the chancel and in the N. aisle; (3) piscina in N. aisle. Read, too, the account (preserved in the vestry) of the Reeves’ Feast, dating from the time of King John, but discontinued in 1868. The churchyard cross has a modern shaft on an old base.
Curry Rivel, 2 m. W.S.W. of Langport, is a large village with an interesting church. It has a lofty tower, with the belfry window intersecting the string course; the arch is panelled and the vault groined. There is also a fine groined vault to the S. porch (which has a good stoup outside). The oldest portion of the church is the N. chapel, which has a good deal of Dec. work (note the ball-flower ornament). This chapel contains three foliated recesses in the N. wall, each with an effigy (said to belong to the L’Orti family), and also a tomb of Robert Jennings (d. 1593). Between the chapel and chancel is another tomb of later date with effigies of Marmaduke and Robert Jennings, surrounded by figures of their families. Both the N. and S. chapels retain their piscinas and have screens. There is some fine ancient glass in the N. aisle; and both this and the S. aisle have good roofs. Note, too, the bench-ends.
The tall column, visible from the Taunton road, is the Parkfield Monument, erected in 1768 by the Earl of Chatham to the memory of Sir William Pynsent, who bequeathed to him the neighbouring estate of Burton.
Cutcombe, a large parish 7 m. S.W. from Dunster. It includes Wheddon Cross, the highest point of the road between Dunster and Minehead (nearly 1000 ft. above sea-level). The scenery is very beautiful, Dunkery being a conspicuous feature in the prospect. The church, which is 1/2 m. from the main road, has undergone extensive restoration, and has for the archaeologist little interest. In the graveyard is the base of an ancient cross, with modern shaft and head.
Dinder, a village 2 m. E. of Wells, picturesquely situated in the valley which runs up from the city to Shepton. The church (Perp.) forms a graceful addition to the landscape. Within is a Jacobean stone pulpit (1621), and there is some old glass in a window above it. In the churchyard is the base of a cross with modern shaft. Dinder House stands directly in front of the house, and another mansion, Sharcombe, crowns the hill behind. The serrated ridge on the other side of the Wells road is Dulcot Hill.
Ditcheat, a village 1-1/4 m. S.W. of Evercreech Junction. Both the church and the former rectory are interesting. The church is cruciform, with an embattled central tower, crowned by a small pyramidal cap, and is remarkable for possessing a clerestory to the chancel as well as the nave. The building seems to have been originally Norm.; but the present chancel is Dec. (note the lower windows, with their rear foliations), and both it and the rest of the fabric were altered in the 15th cent., when the Perp. clerestory was added. Features to be observed are (1) effigies on W. face of the tower, (2) groined tower-vault, (3) wooden roof, with traces of paint and gilding, (4) fine wooden pulpit and reading-desk of Charles I.’s time, (5) initials of John Selwood, Abbot of Glastonbury (1456-93), on the chancel parapet. The house which was once the rectory, was built by John Gunthorpe, Dean of Wells, in the 15th cent. (his monogram appears on one of the windows), though it has undergone subsequent enlargement. The thickness of the walls is noteworthy.
Dodington, a small parish 7 m. E. of Williton. It has a small church, retaining a fine stoup and some fragments of ancient glass in the E. window. Not far from it is a fine and well-preserved Elizabethan manor house, dating from 1581. It contains a noble hall, with fine oak roof and screen, minstrel gallery, and a large fireplace (1581), and two smaller rooms, one of which opens from the hall by a 15th-cent. stone doorway, which must have been transferred from elsewhere. Of these two rooms the one has a good oak roof, and the other a curious plaster cornice.
Dolbury Camp. See Churchill.
Donyatt, a village on the Ile, 2 m. S.W. of Ilminster, from which it is most directly approached by a footpath. The church is Perp., and has been well restored. There is a stoup at the W. entrance, and another in the N. chapel. Note the foliage round the capitals of the chancel arch. In the parish are the remains of an old manor house.
Doulting, a small village 2 m. E. from Shepton Mallet, on the road to Frome. Its chief interest lies in its remarkable freestone quarries from which the mediaeval builders hewed their blocks for the walls of Wells and Glastonbury. The quarries are still of considerable commercial importance, as the stone is easily wrought and of great durability. Here, too, St Aldhelm was seized with a fatal illness and carried into the church to die. His funeral procession to Malmesbury was an imposing ecclesiastical function, the “stations” en route being subsequently marked by crosses. A spring in the vicarage garden is still called St Aldhelm’s Well. The church is a small cruciform building with a central octagonal tower and spire. It has some E.E. features, but has been largely rebuilt (note the E.E. columns covered with ivy in churchyard near W. end of church). The N. porch encloses a Norm.
Dowlish Wake, a village at the bottom of a slight declivity 2 m. S.E. of Ilminster. It owes the second part of its name to the family of Wake, the last male representative of which died in 1348. The church is a modern antique, with a central tower partly original (15th cent.). The N. chapel is also original, and contains some interesting monuments. These are (1) serpentine tomb with bust of Captain Speke the African traveller, (2) effigy of a lady (temp. Edward I.), under a recessed cinquefoiled canopy, the cusps of which are worked up into faces, (3) altar-tomb, with effigies of a knight (in plate armour) and a lady—believed to be John Speke (d. 1442) and his wife, (4) small brass on floor to George and Elizabeth Speke (1528). Close by is a rude font, probably early Norm. It was brought here from West Dowlish as the only remains of a church which existed there prior to 1700.
Downhead, a straggling village 2-1/2 m. N.E. of Cranmore Station. The church is small and devoid of interest. It has been “restored” regardless of style.
Downside, a scattered parish without a village 1/2 m. S.W. of Chilcompton station (S. & D.). The church is an ugly little structure, pseudo-E.E., built in 1837. A quarter of a mile beyond the church in a field on the right are the “fairy slats.” Here is a crescent-shaped British camp overlooking a picturesque ravine. The precipitous nature of the ground on the S. side forms a natural defence and accounts for the incompleteness of the rampart The “slats” are merely slight slits in the ground caused by the slipping of the unsupported strata. Within the parish, but contiguous to the village of Stratton, is Downside Abbey, a modern settlement of Benedictine monks, who, after their expulsion from Douai during the French Revolution, finally found a home here in 1814. The Abbey Church is a building of noble dimensions but somewhat lacking in symmetry. It is still incomplete. The present block consists of choir, transepts, a multitude of chapels, and an unfinished tower. The choir is rather severe in style, but the chapels are very elaborate. Attached to the abbey is a large and well-equipped college for boys.
Draycott, a hamlet 4 m. E.S.E. of Axbridge, with a modern church (note font) and a station that serves Rodney Stoke. The locality possesses some quarries of a hard kind of conglomerate, capable of a high polish.
Drayton, a village 2 m. S. of Langport. The church has been restored, and the chief feature of interest connected with it is the fine cross in the churchyard, with a figure on the shaft of St Michael slaying the Dragon.
DULVERTON, a market town on the Barle, 21 m. W. from Taunton, pop. (in 1901) 1369. The station on the G.W.R. branch line to Barnstaple is 2 m. distant. Dulverton is a primitive and not very prepossessing little place. Its quaintness is quite unpicturesque, and it is generally unworthy of its situation. It is, however, deservedly beloved of the angler and the huntsman. It possesses one of the best trout streams in the W. of England, and its proximity to Exmoor, the haunt of the red deer, makes it an excellent centre for the chase. But the rod and the hounds are merely adventitious attractions to Dulverton. Its real merit lies in its scenery. It not only enjoys undisputed possession of the lovely valley of the Barle in which it lies, but a short connecting road enables it to appropriate the beauties of the neighbouring vale of the Exe. Both torrents descend from the highlands of Exmoor, and it is difficult to say which is the more beautiful. The valleys are similar, but have characteristic differences. The Barle has all the piquant charm of the mountain torrent, whilst the beauties of the Exe are of a sedater though not less pleasing character. Everywhere about Dulverton delightful landscapes may be caught, but the “show sight” is Mount Sydenham, just above the church (ascend lane at E. end of church and turn in at gate on L. when the first hollow is reached). Dulverton will find less favour with the antiquarian than with the artist. Such antiquities as it does possess are more picturesque than important. The church has been entirely rebuilt (1855) with the exception of the tower, which is of the plain Exmoor type and is now almost hidden by a huge sycamore. The other antiquities in the neighbourhood are (1) Mouncey Castle (a corruption of Monceaux), a rough encampment on the summit of a wooded hill almost encircled by the Barle, a couple of miles above Dulverton; (2) the ivy-covered ruins of Barlynch Priory, a branch “cell” from Cleve Abbey, standing in a charming situation on the banks of the Exe, a mile above Hele Bridge; (3) Tarr Steps, a rude but highly picturesque footbridge over the Barle, 5 m. above Dulverton. It crosses the river at a ford, and is constructed of large flag-stones, uncemented, and resting on similar stones placed edgewise. It is generally regarded as Celtic in origin, and is certainly a great artistic addition to a charming bit of river. A most delightful walk is to take the Winsford road through Higher Combe, cross the Barle at Tarr Steps, and return by the opposite bank through Hawkridge. It is a round of about 12 m., but well repays the fatigue involved. Another pleasant excursion is to explore the valley of the Haddeo, a stream which flows into the Exe from the opposite direction to the Barle, and which fully maintains the reputation of the neighbourhood for river scenery. Near Dulverton station is an interesting trout nursery. Pixton Park (in which there is a heronry) is the seat of the Countess of Carnarvon.
[Illustration: DULVERTON FROM MOUNT SYDENHAM]
Dundry, a small village 5 m. S.W. from Bristol, standing on the top of a lofty hill, 790 ft. high. The church tower, which is a conspicuous landmark for miles round, was built by the Merchant Venturers, temp. Edward. VI. It is a four-storeyed structure of plain design, crowned by a very elaborate parapet. Its situation is remarkable. The view from the summit is one of the most famous and extensive in Somerset. Bristol lies spread out below on the N.E., and beyond are the Severn and the Monmouthshire hills. On the R. are the highlands of Gloucestershire, with Beckford’s Tower indicating the position of Bath on the verge of the picture. The S. side commands a different but scarcely less fascinating landscape. The unbroken line of the Mendips bounds the prospect in front. Peeping over them on the R. are the Quantocks, and to the L. lie the Wiltshire Downs. At the foot is a wooded vale dotted with villages. The church itself (rebuilt in 1861) is without interest. In the churchyard are the lower portions of a cross, and a huge dole table (cp. Norton Malreward).
Dunkerton, a small colliery village 2-1/2 m. N. from Wellow (S. & D.), lying in a deep valley. The church has been rebuilt. The chancel contains a Dec. piscina, and a fragment of diaper-work is inserted in the porch.
[Illustration: DUNSTER CASTLE AND YARN MARKET]
Dunster, a village 24 m. N.W. from Taunton. It has a station 1/2 m. distant on the G.W. branch line to Minehead. For many people picturesque Somerset begins with Dunster, and its attractions are hardly overrated. Here both the artist and the antiquary find themselves in clover. The quaint wide street, with its gabled houses commanded at one end by the frowning heights of the castle, and overlooked at the other by a watch-tower, wears an air impressively mediaeval. The village was once a noted emporium for cloth, and “Dunsters” were quoted at reputable prices by every chapman. The venerable yarn market still stands; the date 1647 is the date of its repair by the grandson of the builder, George Luttrell. The Castle claims first attention, as the history of Dunster is largely the story of the Castle. It was, as might be expected, a legacy of the Conquest. It was built by Wm. de Mohun, and by his successor was made a sad thorn in the side of King Stephen. It passed into the hands of the Luttrells (its present possessors) by purchase. In the Civil War it was alternately held for the Parliament and the king, and in 1546 it was regarded as Charles’s last hope in Somerset. Its resistance was stout; for 160 days Colonel Wyndham baffled the assaults of no less an adversary than Blake, and only surrendered on the total collapse of the Royal cause (p. 17). The grounds are entered under a gateway (Perp.), built by Sir H. Luttrell. The oldest part of the castle lies to the R. of this, flanked by two round towers
The Mohuns had ecclesiastical sympathies as well as military ambitions, for in addition to building the castle, they established a priory here in connection with Bath Abbey. This explains the peculiarity of Dunster Church, which possesses a separate monastic choir. The prior’s lodging, and the conventual barn and dovecot, may still be seen in a yard on the N. side of the church. The church has a central tower of rather weak design. Internally this forms the division between the secular and monastic portion of the building. The chief feature of the church is a magnificent rood-screen which spans the whole width of the structure. It has been the model for many neighbouring imitations. The western half of the church is Perp., with occasional traces of an earlier Norm. building. The W. doorway is Norm., and on the W. side of the tower are the piers of a Norm. chancel arch. At the base of the tower there is a bit of masonry locally claimed as pre-Norman. The monastic choir and its sanctuary have been restored from indications of its original E.E. character. Besides transepts, the church has three chapels—that of the Holy Trinity on the S., St Mary’s on the N., and beyond this the interesting chantry of St Lawrence, which contains a fine altar slab and a tiled floor. The monuments which call for notice are (1) in the monastic choir the effigy of a lady (said to be one of the Everard family), under a canopy; (2) on the N. of the sanctuary the recumbent figures of Sir Hugh Luttrell and wife (1428-33); (3) at E. end of the Chapel of Holy Trinity an incised slab with figure of Lady Eliz. Luttrell (1493); and (4) on S. of same chapel an altar with two pairs of recumbent figures, also Luttrells. A small brass with the figures of a man and woman will be found at the W. end of the S. aisle, bearing date 1470. In addition to features already mentioned, note (1) the unique E.E. arch at entrance of S. chapel, widened by Perp. builders for ritual purposes; (2) old alms and muniment chests in N. chapel; (3) old bench-end near W. doorway, from which the other woodwork has been copied. Externally should be observed (1) priest’s house at S. entrance of churchyard; (2) recess for stocks in the wall close by; (3) churchyard cross with round base at W. end of church; (4) conventual barn and dovecot in yard on N.
The “Luttrell Arms,” at the entrance of the village, has a mediaeval porch with openings for cross bows, a fine timbered wing at the back of the buildings, and some plaster work in one of the rooms. The Watch Tower on Conygar Hill (i.e. Coney Garth—“rabbit enclosure”) is, as will easily be seen, a mere shell, built (probably for ornament’s sake) in 1775. Amongst the old houses in which Dunster is peculiarly rich, the curious three-storeyed building at the entrance of the street leading to the church claims particular attention. It is locally known as the Nunnery, a curious designation, which points to a possible connection with the priory, perhaps in the capacity of guest house. The three storeys overhang one another, and are faced with shingles. At the bottom of the street which leads into the Dulverton road will be found a lane to the L. This descends to a stream which is crossed by a picturesque pack-horse bridge of two spans. There is an old market cross (locally known as the butter cross) hidden by the hedge on the right-hand side of the upper Minehead road.
Durleigh, a parish 1-1/2 m. W.S.W. of Bridgwater. It has a church which retains its old tower (with a gabled roof); but all other traces of antiquity have been obliterated, save for the remains of a stoup in the porch. In this parish is an old manor house called Bower Farm, with a picturesque front, showing a small window flanked by two towers. The porch roof is, of course, modern. Belonging to the farm is a curious columbarium, constructed of mud, in which the nesting niches are said to number 900.
Durston, a village 5 m. N.E. of Taunton, has a church (rebuilt in 1853) which possesses a good tower. The Communion-table bears date 1635, and there are some carved bench-ends. Near here, at Mynchin Buckland, there used to be a Preceptory of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, to which was attached a priory of women belonging to the same order. It is said to have been very rare in this country for communities of men and women under vows to exist side by side in this way.
Easton, a village at the foot of the Mendips, 2-1/2 m. N.W. of Wells. The church is modern (1843).
Easton-in-Gordano, a village 1 m. W. from Pill (G.W.R.). The church is a large and dignified modern clerestoried structure (rebuilt in 1872), with a good Perp. W. tower (original).
Edington, a village on the Poldens, with a station 2 m. away. The church has been rebuilt (1877-79), and contains no ancient features except a very good Norm. font. On the locality, see p. 13.
Elm, or Great Elm, a village 3 m. S.W. from Frome, perched on the edge of a vale of quite romantic picturesqueness (see Vallis). The church is an unpretentious little building with a saddleback tower. It bears one or two indications of high antiquity. Note (1) on S. external wall, herring-bone masonry (cp. Marston Magna), (2) Norm, doorway to tower, and E.E. arch within. The interior has been remodelled in accordance with early Victorian ideas of ecclesiastical propriety.
Elworthy, a village 4 m. S.W. of Stogumber Station. The small church (Perp.) contains a carved illuminated Caroline screen (1632). The pulpit, approached by the rood staircase, is of the same date. In a small window in the N. wall is some ancient glass. Above the village is a British camp, called Elworthy Barrows, which can be reached from near the church. Towards Wiveliscombe, on the L. of the road, rises Willett Hill (950 ft.), crowned by a tower.
Emborrow (the first syllable perhaps a corruption of Elm), a small hamlet on the Mendips, 1-1/2 m. N. of Binegar Station. The church is a forlorn-looking building with a central tower containing a 14th-cent. sanctus-bell. Emborrow Pool is a dismal sheet of water bordering the main road and surrounded by trees. It has the appearance of being rapidly silted up.
Englishcombe, a small and rather uncouth-looking village 3 m. S.W. from Bath, and 1-1/2 m. S.W. from Twerton Station (G.W.R.). It still retains something of the aloofness which once characterised it as an English outpost on the Welsh border, and is worth a visit. The church is of considerable antiquarian interest. It consists of a Perp. nave, a central Norm. tower, and a Norm. chancel. A Perp. chapel, now occupied by the organ, adjoins the porch. Externally, note the fantastic corbel table round chancel. Within, it has two good pointed Norm. arches, and on the N. wall of tower a well-preserved Norm., arcade. Observe (1) detached Norm. capitals on N. wall, (2) panelling round splay of W. window of nave and S. window of chapel. Almost opposite to the S. entrance to the churchyard is a tithe barn once belonging to Bath Abbey, which still shows some indication of its ecclesiastical origin. At the W. end of graveyard is a farm-house with orchard, and beyond this is a field where may be seen a good specimen of the Wansdyke. Near the village once stood a castle of the De Gourneys. The site is marked by a mound on a neighbouring estate.
Enmore, a village 5 m. S.W. of Bridgwater, on the road leading to the S.E. extremity of the Quantocks. Its church has a good tower, noticeable for the pinnacles that crown the staircase turret. The tower-vault is groined, the chancel arch panelled, and there is a Norm. S. door (belonging to a former fabric) with carved capitals and good mouldings. Note (1) the carved wooden pulpit, (2) the niche, supported by an angel, on the S. face of the tower. In the churchyard there is the broken shaft of a cross. Enmore Park (W.B. Broadmead) is hard by. It was formerly called Enmore Castle, and once belonged to the Malets.
Evercreech is a large village 3-1/2 m. S.S.E. from Shepton Mallet, with a station on the S. & D. J.R. The first syllable of the name probably means “boar” (cognate with the Latin aper), and recurs in Eversley. It is famed for its church, which has perhaps the most graceful tower in all Somerset; its double, long-panelled windows, buttresses, and clustered pinnacles are particularly fine. The earliest part of the building is the chancel (14th cent.), with Dec. windows at the E. and N.; the rest of the church is Perp., the S. aisle being modern. Note (1) wooden roof of nave, the colours of which are believed to reproduce the original; (2) carving of gallery in the tower; (3) brackets (perhaps for lights) on piers of N. arcade; (4) quaint inscription behind the organ, of the date 1596. Outside the churchyard is a much defaced cross. S.S.E. of the village is the commanding eminence of Creech Hill, where there seem to be traces of earthworks, and whence a fine view is obtainable, with the town of Bruton in the valley to the S., and Stourton Tower conspicuous on the hills to the E.
Exford, a village on the fringe of Exmoor “Forest,” near the source of the Exe, 12 m. N.W. from Dulverton Station. It is one of the many rendezvous of the huntsman, as there are kennels here for staghounds and harriers. The houses are dropped into a hollow of the moors through which trickles the stream. The church braves the gale on the hill top above. It is remarkable for nothing but its exposed situation, a thousand feet above sea-level—a fact which has no doubt necessitated its frequent renewal. The tower is original, but the nave and chancel are modern. The S. aisle appears to have been built chiefly out of a legacy left by a local blacksmith about 1532. Note the Devonshire foliage on capitals. The churchyard contains the base of a cross locally known as the “Crying Stone,” from its appropriation by the parish beadle as a pedestal for proclamations. At the churchyard gate is a “lipping” or mounting stone.
Exmoor. Though generally associated in the popular mind with Devonshire, Exmoor is really, in the main, a part of Somerset. It is the highest, wildest, and most fascinating portion of the county—a truly delightsome land, a veritable paradise for the sportsman and the painter. The red deer run wild at will over the moors, or find a congenial covert in the oak scrub which clothes the combes. Brawling brooks abound on all sides to entice the angler and interest the artist, and a charming strip of sea-coast must also be numbered amongst its attractions. Though mainly given over to the sportsman and the tourist, efforts have from time to time been made to civilise these wilds. In general they have proved futile. Mines have been sunk only to be abandoned, and the agriculturist has fared little better than the miner. Early in the last century, a Mr Knight made an heroic effort to enclose a large portion of
[Illustration: TARR STEPS, EXMOOR]
Exton, a village 8 m. N. of Dulverton Station, picturesquely perched on the hillside overlooking the valley of the Exe. The church is without interest.
Farleigh Hungerford, a small village 7 m. S.S.E. of Bath. It is a place of some interest to the antiquarian, and should be visited in conjunction with Hinton Charterhouse from Freshford Station (2 m.). Its attractions consist of a few crumbling fragments of a castle once belonging to the Hungerfords, and the contents of the castle chapel. The ruins stand on the shoulder of a deep defile descending into a wooded bottom called Danes’ Ditch. The annals of the castle are long rather than stirring. An old manor house of the Montforts was transformed into a castle by Sir Walter Hungerford (d. 1449), who spent upon the alterations the ransom which he had obtained for the capture of the Duke of Orleans at the Battle of Agincourt. In the Great Rebellion it was, curiously enough, held for the king whilst its owner was commanding the Parliamentary forces in Wilts. To one of the existing towers a grim story is attached. In the unchivalrous days of Henry VIII. a Sir W. Hungerford, who, like his royal master, was a much married man, consigned his third wife to these uninviting quarters, and kept her under lock and key, with a chaplain for her only attendant. The lady, however, not only survived this knightly Bluebeard, but had the courage to contract a second marriage. The general arrangements of the castle are not very obvious to the casual observer. It seems to have consisted of a gatehouse and an outer and inner court. The inner enclosure was flanked by four cylindrical towers, and contained the dwelling-rooms,
Farmborough, a biggish village 8 m. S.W. from Bath (nearest stat. Clutton, 2-1/2 miles). The church is modern, but has a Perp. W. tower. The chancel contains a piscina, and there is a ribbed stone squint. Near the village is Barrow Hill, a conical-shaped eminence.
Farrington Gurney, a pleasant village on the Bristol and Wells road, 8 m. N.E. from Wells (nearest stat. Hallatrow, 1 m.). On the Midsomer Norton road is an old manor house. The church, which lies beyond the house in a field, is modern (1843), but occupies an ancient ecclesiastical site. Over the W. doorway is a small Norm. effigy, called by the natives “Old Farrington.” The churchyard contains the base of an ancient cross.
Fiddington, a parish 7 m. N.W. of Bridgwater. Its church retains a few carved seat ends, an oak pulpit, and a piscina, but presents no other feature of interest.
Fitzhead, a village 2 m. N. of Milverton. The church has been rebuilt, with the exception of the tower. In the churchyard is a good specimen of an effigied cross (cp. Wiveliscombe). Hard by is Fitzhead Court, an ancient manor house said to contain a good plaster ceiling.
Fivehead, a parish 5 m. S.W. of Langport. The church has two Dec. windows in the chancel, the rest are Perp. There is a 16th-cent. tomb of John Walshe, and an ancient Norm. font with double mouldings. Note in the S. aisle (1) piscina, (2) remains of canopy. The manor house, the home of the Walshes, now a farm, preserves the old hall.
Flax Bourton, a parish 5 m. S.W. of Bristol (with a station), is said to owe the first part of its name to the abbey of Flaxley in Gloucestershire, which possessed the principal estate in the parish. The small Perp. church is noteworthy for the 12th-cent. Norm. work preserved in it, which consists of (1) a S. door, exceptionally tall and narrow, with banded pillars and a quaint carving of St Michael and the Dragon; (2) a chancel arch, recessed, with curious carvings on the chamfer of the abacus and on the capitals. Note also (1) terminals of the label of the S. chancel windows, (2) font.
Foxcote (or Forscote) is a small hamlet 2 m. E.N.E. of Radstock. The church is modern, with the exception of the tower.
Freshford, a village near the confluence of the Frome and Avon (with a station), 5 m. S.E. of Bath. The church is Perp., with a W. tower. Freshford Manor House once belonged to the priory of Hinton Charterhouse.
[Illustration: MARKET PLACE, FROME]
FROME, a thriving market town of some 11,000 inhabitants, on the E. side of the county, with a station on the G.W.R. line to Weymouth. Though its surroundings are pretty, the town itself is an ill-arranged collection of steep and narrow streets, one of which—Cheap Street—deserves notice for its quaintness. The spaciousness of the market-place redeems the narrowness of the streets. With the exception of a little faint-hearted sympathy shown to Monmouth, Frome has never helped to make history. Nowadays it does a brisk trade in woollen cloth, and possesses some large printing-works, breweries, and art-metal works. The visitor would do well to make his way at once to the church, which is practically the only thing in Frome worth seeing. It is a building of much greater dignity within than the exterior suggests, and has been restored on a very elaborate scale by a former incumbent, the Rev. W.J. Bennett (1852-66), a figure of note in the early Ritualistic controversies. The tower, crowned with a spire, is somewhat eccentricly placed at the E. end of the S. aisle. The interior is remarkable for its heterogeneous mixture of styles and its multitude of side chapels, of which St Nicholas’s, the Lady Chapel, and St John Baptist’s are on the N., and St Andrew’s on the S. A Saxon church was built on the site by St Aldhelm, and possibly a couple of carved stones built into the interior of the tower may have belonged to it. This was succeeded in the 12th cent. by a Norm. church, of which a doorway remains, leading from St Nicholas’s Chapel to the Lady Chapel, and perhaps a piscina opposite
GLASTONBURY, a small market-town of some 4000 people in the centre of the county, 6 m. S. from Wells. It has a station on the S. & D. line from Evercreech to Bridgwater. The site of Glastonbury is almost as conspicuous in a Somerset landscape as its name is in Somerset history. Its huge conical tor, crowned by a tower, rises like a gigantic sugar-loaf from the surrounding plain, and is visible to half the county. The neighbourhood is a happy hunting-ground for the antiquary, and one of the “regulation” sights for the casual tourist. No one can be said to have “done” Somerset who has not seen Glastonbury. Its associations are romantic as well as historical. Though the modern town is commonplace enough, poetry and piety, fact and fiction, have conspired to make it famous. Here was the cradle of British Christianity. In this “deep meadowed island, fair with orchard lawns”—the fabled Avalon—blossomed the flower of British chivalry in the persons of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. It was when a Glastonbury monk that Dunstan made his vigorous onslaught on the powers of darkness. And it was this “parcel of ground,” already consecrated by the bones of St Patrick, King Edgar, and St David, which became the favourite burying-place of mediaeval saints and heroes. The legend which accounted for its early pre-eminence is even in these sceptical days worth retelling, for from its popularity the future importance of the abbey sprang. Joseph of Arimathaea was despatched by St Philip along with eleven companions “to carry the tidings of the blessed Gospel” to the shores of remote Britain. Providential winds wafted them across the waters of the Severn Sea, and at length the wayworn travellers landed at Glastonbury, then an island. As their leader,
[Illustration: ST. JOSEPHS CHAPEL, GLASTONBURY]
The entrance to the ruins is through a gateway opposite the George Hotel. The abbey cannot be seen from the street, but this obscure entry conducts the visitor to the porter’s lodge (entrance 6d.). The most perfectly preserved portion of the buildings is the chapel of St Mary, commonly known as St Joseph’s Chapel. It stands on the site of St Joseph’s legendary shrine, and formed a kind of Galilee to the W. entrance of the church. It is rectangular in plan, with a square turret crowned by a pyramidal cap rising from each corner, only two of which now remain. It is one of the most beautiful specimens of Trans. work in England. The decoration is rich and abundant—“no possible ornament has been omitted.” Note (1) fine N. doorway (which should be compared with the S. porch of Malmesbury), (2) arcading round interior face of wall, (3) triplet at W. end, (4) remains of vaulting, (5) shallow external buttresses. Beneath the now demolished flooring is a small crypt of 15th-cent. work. It was probably excavated to provide extra burial accommodation. Observe on S. side a well within a round-headed recess. The chapel originally stood apart from the great church, but was eventually joined up to the larger building by a continuation of the chapel walls. The extension is at once detected by the late character of the work. Note change of arcading from Norm. to E.E., and the E.E. entrance to the church. Of the latter very little now remains. There still stand the piers of the chancel arch, portions of the walls of the choir and nave aisles, and a little chapel which opened out of the N. transept. But these remains, slight though they are, are sufficient to indicate the general design of the church and its huge dimensions. Though there is an evident attempt to keep up the character of the ornamentation displayed in St Mary’s chapel, the workmanship is much later; and a still later development is noticeable in the two easternmost bays of the choir, thrown out by Abbot Monington (1371-74).
The other objects of interest in Glastonbury are (1) the George Inn in High Street opposite the abbey entrance—a fine 15th-cent. structure (said to have been built by Abbot Selwood) which once served as the pilgrims’ hostelry; (2) the Tribunal—a few doors higher up—probably the court-house where the abbey officials interviewed their clients (observe escutcheon above doorway); (3) the almhouses and chapel in Magdalene Street (entrance through Red Lion gateway, once part of the main entrance of the monastery), founded by Abbot Bere in 1512 (note founder’s
[Illustration: GLASTONBURY TOR]
A climb should be taken to the top of the Tor—500 ft. above sea-level. The original chapel of St Michael was destroyed by a landslide in 1271. The Perp. tower subsequently erected still remains, though deprived of its upper storey. Note bas-reliefs over doorway, and tablet with figured eagle below parapet. A spring, called the “Blood Spring,” near the Tor is said to mark the spot where St Joseph buried the Holy Grail. Wirrall, or Weary All Hill, near the station, may also be scaled with advantage, if only for its traditional associations. It was here that St Joseph landed, and his staff, taking root, developed into the miraculous thorn tree. The tree, however, no longer exists, for it was hewn in pieces by a Puritan soldier, who is said to have cut off his leg in the process as a penalty for his profanity. An offshoot of the parent thorn grows in the Abbey grounds.
Goathurst is a village lying at the foot of the S.E. spur of the Quantocks, 4-1/2 m. S.W. from Bridgwater. It has an old church, with a heavy battlemented tower. The N. chapel contains a large monument with the effigies of Sir Nicholas Halswell (d. 1633) and his wife, surrounded by the kneeling figures of their nine children. The S. chapel belongs to the Kemeys-Tyntes, and is decorated with numerous coats-of-arms round the cornice. Note the piscina in the chancel. Near the church is Halswell House (C.T.H. Kemeys-Tynte), originally built in the Tudor period, containing some fine carving by Grinling Gibbons, and pictures by Salvator Rosa, Van Dyck, Ostade, Ruysdael, Reynolds, and others.
Godney (1-1/2 m. N.E. of Meare, 2 m. N. of Glastonbury) is famous for the remains of a lake village which have been discovered here. The village consisted of a number of dwellings, each built on a substructure of timber and brushwood, resting upon the marsh which once occupied the site, and held in position by small piles. Upon this base was laid a floor of clay, in the centre of which was a circular stone hearth (about 4 ft. in diameter); whilst the walls of the huts were made of timber, wattles, and daub. As the floors and hearths gradually sank in the yielding marsh, they had to be renewed from time to time; so that several successive layers of them have been found, resting upon one another. Round the collective huts which formed the village ran a palisade of piles, the enclosure being irregular in shape. The articles found in the village (many of which are in the Glastonbury Museum) show that the inhabitants practised agriculture, spinning, and weaving, and were acquainted with iron weapons. They are supposed to have been Celts by race; and the period to which they are assigned falls between 300 B.C. and 100 A.D.
Greinton, a small parish on the S.W. flank of the Poldens (nearest stat. Shapwick, 4 m.). The church has an embattled tower with pyramidal top. The interesting features within are(1) carved bench-ends, dated 1621 (note lily on one); (2) two good wooden doors, N. and S.; (3) piscina on sill of S. window in chancel.
Hallatrow, a hamlet in the parish of High Littleton, 11 m. S. from Bristol, with a station on the Frome branch.
Halse, a pleasant village, 2 m. N.W. of Milverton. It has a small but very interesting church, standing in a beautifully kept churchyard, which commands a fine view of the Quantocks. Its choicest possession is a very fine rood-screen: note the old beam above, and window. Other features deserving attention are (1) glass in E. window, (2) curious font, probably early Norm., (3) medallions in spandrels of arcade, (4) piscina on window-sill of sanctuary, (5) painted mural device on S. wall of nave, (6) fragments of carving in porch, (7) squint. The large windows in the porch are somewhat unusual.
Ham, High, a village occupying a fine breezy situation on the top of High Ham Hill, 4 m. N. from Langport. The church in its centre is a handsome building, typically and consistently Perp. It contains a fair roof, some panelled bench-ends, and a curious lectern, but its principal ornament is a fine Perp. chancel-screen. Note (1) stoup in porch, (2) the vigorously executed gargoyles, especially the pair over the porch, a mediaeval presentation of Darby and Joan.
Ham, Low, a village 2 m. N. of Langport. The church, which stands in the middle of a field, is something of a curiosity (call for keys at farm opposite). It is an excellent example of 17th-cent. imitative Gothic. Its builder was Sir R. Hext, whose political sentiments may be inferred from the motto with which he has adorned the chancel-screen, “My son, fear the Lord, and meddle not with them that are given to change.” At the end of the N. aisle are effigies of the founder and his wife, and at the corresponding end of the S. aisle is a marble tablet to the memory of Lord Stawell, who has, however, left his own memorial outside. The perplexing series of terraces overlooking the church are all that remains of a fantastic scheme of his to build a mansion which, like his wife and horse, should be the most beautiful thing of its kind in the world. But L’homme propose...; Lord Stawell never got any further than these embankments.
Hambridge, a village equidistant from Langport and Ilminster (5 m.). The church is modern.
Hamdon Hill. See Stoke, East.
Hardington, a hamlet 5 m. N.W. of Frome. The church is a small building with a W. tower. In the neighbourhood is Hardington Park.
Hardington-Mandeville, a village 4-1/2 m. S.W. of Yeovil. The church was rebuilt in 1864, but retains some ancient features, including a good Norm. arch and font, and a Jacobean pulpit.
Harptree, East, a village on a spur of the Mendips, 6 m. N. from Wells. It possesses the attractions of a castle, a cavern, and a combe. The last is a thickly wooded glen near the top end of the village. On an inaccessible tongue of land at the far end of the gorge are the remains of Richmont Castle, one of those lawless strongholds which in the days of Stephen were a terror to the country side. In 1138 it was strongly garrisoned by its owner, William de Harptree, on behalf of the Empress Matilda, but was taken by Stephen by the ruse of a feigned repulse. Now, only a fragment of the keep overlooks the glen. Half a mile beyond is a remarkable cavern, the Lamb’s Lair, entered by a vertical shaft of some 70 fathoms. The chamber is of very considerable dimensions, and is said by those who have seen it to be quite the finest cave in the Mendips. The church is not particularly noteworthy except for the odd device of avoiding a squint by an extension of the arcading. The walls, font, and S. doorway are Norm. The S. porch is of unusual size and contains a monument which must be a standing reproach to a declining birthrate. Under a large Elizabethan canopy is an effigy of Sir J. Newton (1568), attended by twenty children. At the other end of the village are two mansions, Harptree Court and Eastwood.
Harptree, West, about 1 m. N. of East Harptree. The church has a Norman tower with an ugly slated spire. The rest of the building has been reconstructed, but contains a Norman chancel arch, a large Norman font, and a good piscina. In the churchyard are seven large conical yew trees. Opposite the church is Gournay Manor, a fine Jacobean house, and near it is Tilley Manor, a 17th-cent. building, deprived of its top storey. They are now farmhouses.
Haselbury Plucknett, a village 2-1/2 m. N.E. of Crewkerne. It has a Perp. church with an E.E. N. chapel, which is associated with the memory of St Wulfric, who, born at Compton Martin, resided here, and died in 1154. The body of the Church has an old font. A priory of Austin canons, dating from the 12th cent., once existed here.
Hatch Beauchamp, 6 m. S.E. from Taunton, is a village (with station) situated in very picturesque surroundings. The church (best reached through the deer park) has a good tower, crowned with numerous pinnacles. Note (1) the foliaged bands round the pillars of the arcade; (2) the excellent bench-ends; (3) the fragments of old glass in the windows of the N. aisle; (4) the large picture, a “Descent from the Cross,” by Perriss; (5) the window in the chancel to the memory of Colonel J.R.M. Chard, of Rorke’s Drift fame, with a wreath preserved beneath it sent by Queen Victoria. The obelisk near the S. door is said to have once been the churchyard cross.
Hatch, West, a village 1-1/2 m. W. of Hatch Beauchamp. The church has been entirely rebuilt (1861).
Hawkridge, a parish 5 m. N.W. of Dulverton Station, consisting merely of a cluster of cottages and a tiny church. It is perched on the top of a ridge of high ground separating the Barle from its tributary stream the Danes Brook. The valleys on either side are beautifully wooded, and exhibit some of the most romantic scenery in Somerset. The church has a plain Norm. doorway.
Heathfield, a parish 2-1/2 m. E. of Milverton. Its church is small, and the only objects of interest which it contains are (1) a mural monument on the N. of the chancel, with kneeling figures, of the 16th cent.; (2) a carved oak pulpit (said to be reconstructed from ancient materials). There is the shaft of an ancient cross in the graveyard, with a mutilated figure.
Hemington, a village lying at the end of a wide vale, 3 m. E.S.E. from Radstock. The church has a few features in common with the neighbouring church of Buckland Denham, viz., (1) peculiar arrangement of windows in tower, (2) clerestory to nave, though the building possesses only one aisle. The interior shows (a) some good Dec. work in windows, some of which have foliated rear arches, with detached shaft; (b) plain Norm. chancel arch. Observe also (1) piscina on the respond of the chancel arcade, (2) the central pier of the arcade (it is surrounded by four detached shafts). On the hill above the village, standing by the side of the Trowbridge road, is a square tower of as much beauty as utility, locally known as “Turner’s Folly.” The “green” of the neighbouring hamlet of Falkland retains its ancient stocks.
Henstridge, a large village 7 m. S. of Wincanton, with a station on the S. & D.J.R. The church has been rebuilt (except the tower and part of the N. and W. walls), but contains some ancient features. There is a 15th-cent. altar-tomb in the chancel under a carved and coloured canopy, with two effigies. These represent William Carent (who inherited the property of two wealthy families, the Carents and the Toomers), and his wife Margaret (nee Stourton). The arms that adorn the tomb are those of Carent and Stourton. The rhyming inscription round the arch of the canopy is, Sis testis Xte quod non tumulus iacet iste corpus ut ornetur, sed spiritus ut memoretur. There is also an elaborately carved niche or tabernacle in the N.E. angle of the N. (or Toomer) aisle. Note, too, (1) decorated piscina, (2) remains of figures over the entrance to the N. chapel. The “Virginia Inn” at the cross-road is said to be the spot where Sir Walter Raleigh’s servant emptied a stoup of beer over his master, who was smoking, in the belief that he was on fire. At Yeaston, a hamlet between Henstridge and Templecombe, there once existed a Benedictine priory, attached to an abbey of that Order at Coutances (Normandy). A field is still said to bear the name of the Priory Plot.
HIGHBRIDGE, a growing little town on the Brue, 1-1/2 m. S.E. from Burnham. It has two stations, one on the G.W.R. main line to Taunton, the other on the S. & D. Burnham branch. It possesses a town-hall, a cattle market, and other evidences of prosperity. Brick and tile making are carried on in the locality, and a large bacon factory and a timber-yard are amongst its more important commercial undertakings. As the river is navigable up to this point for small craft it also encourages a coasting trade. Of antiquarian interest it has none. The church is as modern as the town.
Hill Farrance, 3-1/2 m. N.E. of Wellington, is a village on the Tone. Its church (ded. to the Holy Cross) has a massive-looking tower, with an open-work parapet, bearing the initials I.P. It contains sedilia and a piscina, and some carved bench ends. On the S. of the building is a mortuary chapel (14th cent.) of one of the De Vernais (once lords of the manor), which at the restoration of the church in 1857 was given to the parish.
Hinton Blewitt, a small and secluded village, 4 m. S.W. from Clutton. The church is Perp., with a fair W. tower. It possesses a stoup and a rather poor piscina. The village, which is on the slope of a hill, commands a pleasant view of the Mendips.
Hinton Charterhouse, a small village 6 m. S. of Bath, on the more easterly of the alternative roads from the city to Frome. Its sole attraction consists in a few fragments of a once considerable Carthusian priory. About 1/2 m. N. of the village, in the corner of a field near the main road, is what looks like a low gabled church tower, with a small E.E. chancel and some other out-buildings.
Hinton St George, a clean and attractive village equidistant (4 m.) from Crewkerne and Ilminster. It possesses a very fine cross, having on one face a representation of St John Baptist, which was originally flanked by smaller figures. The shaft has been barbarously crowned with a sundial and large ball. The church has a dignified tower with numerous pinnacles, and a pierced, embattled parapet. The W. front has a single large window which breaks the string course (cp. Shepton Beauchamp and Norton-sub-Hamdon). The S. porch has a ribbed and panelled roof and numerous niches. The interior of the church is not very interesting, apart from the tombs and monuments of the Pouletts, dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. Most are in a large N. chapel, but there is one between the chapel and the chancel, and another in front of the family pew. The font is carved with shields bearing alternately a cross and the Poulett arms. There is a piscina in the chancel. Hinton House, the mansion of Countess Poulett, in the neighbouring park, has portions dating from the time of the first Sir Amyas Poulett (d. 1537), but the rest is later. It has a fine collection of pictures.
Holcombe, a colliery village 3-1/2 m. S. of Radstock. It has a small modern church; but an old church, now disused, lies in a dingle in some fields a mile away from the village. This possesses a good Norm. S. doorway, with a curious inverted inscription scratched on one of the capitals. The careless rebuilding of the columns shows that it is not in its original position.
Holford, a village 6 m. E. from Williton, at the foot of the Quantocks. Its church is picturesquely situated; in the graveyard is an old cross with a mutilated figure on the shaft. Past the church, two pleasant combes may be reached, Tannery Combe and Hodder’s Combe (the latter is perhaps a corruption of the name of Odda, the Earl of Devon who aided Alfred, see p. 201). The hill between them bears the name of Hare Kanp, possibly preserving the memory of the Saxon armies that once marched along the trackway that crosses it (M.E. and A.S. here, an army). Near Holford is Alfoxden, the residence of Wordsworth in 1797, when Coleridge was at Nether Stowey.
[Illustration: ALFOXDEN HOUSE, NEAR HOLFORD]
Holton, a village 2-1/2 m. S.W. of Wincanton. Its church is small and contains a stone 15th-cent. pulpit and a Norm. font. On the S. porch is an old sundial, and in the churchyard the base of a cross.
Holms, The Flat and Steep, two islands in the Bristol Channel, forming familiar objects to all visitors to the Somerset sea-board. Geologically they belong to the county, for they are the last expiring protest of the Mendip chain against its final submergence in the sea. The Steep Holm, the nearer and more conspicuous of the two islets, 5 m. from the coast, is little better than a barren rock rearing its huge bulk precipitously, nearly 300 ft. above the waves. It is almost inaccessible, but has perhaps for this reason occasionally afforded an asylum to refugees from the mainland, although the statement that Gildas found security in this retreat appears to be an error. There still remain some fragments of a priory. The Flat Holm, 2 m. farther off, though of about the same circumference (1-1/2 m.), is a far less imposing object in the sea-scape, but is more amenable to the influences of civilisation. It is occupied by a lighthouse and a farm, and is sometimes made the excuse for a channel trip by visitors from the neighbouring watering-places, as it affords amongst other attractions some facilities for bathing.
Hornblotton, a parish 3 m. N.W. of Castle Cary Station. The church, which stands about a mile from the Fosse Way to Ilchester, is modern, but the tower of the old church is left standing, and a piscina has been removed from it to the new building.
[Illustration: HORNER WOODS AND PORLOCK VALE]
Horner Valley, one of the many charming walks which abound in the neighbourhood of Porlock. Follow the Minehead road for about a mile and then strike up the banks of the Horner Water by a lane on the R. On the way will be noticed spanning the stream a quaint pack-horse bridge beloved of photographers (cp. Allerford). At Horner village the road winds round to Luccombe, but a broad path follows the course of the Horner and leads up through the woods. The scenery is comparable with that of the E. Lynn. It is a delightful combination of wood, mountain, and rill, and is everywhere full of charm. The Horner Water descends from the moors and babbles its way through the valley to the sea. It receives on the right a contributary rill which flows through a combe that rivals the main valley in romantic beauty. The second plank-bridge across the water will lead up a very steep footpath to Cloutsham.
Horrington, East and West, two contiguous villages on the S. slope of the Mendips, 2 m. E. from Wells, and overlooking the city. At E. Horrington there is a small modern church (1838).
Horsington, a largish village 1 m. N. of Templecombe. The church is spacious and has been rebuilt (1884-85), with the exception of the tower. It contains a 15th-cent. octagonal font with, rudely carved figures of angels at the angles. Near the church is a cross (said to be 13th cent.) with the canopied figure of an ecclesiastic on the shaft.
Huish Champflower, a village 3-1/2 m. N.W. from Wiveliscombe. The church is one of the few Dec. churches in the county, but not a pure example of the style, as the tower and window tracery are Perp. There is a good arcade of clustered columns with foliated capitals dividing the nave from the N. aisle. The window at the E. end of the aisle should also be observed, as the tracery is particularly good, and it retains some of its original glass. There is a barrow in the neighbourhood which has recently been excavated.
Huish Episcopi is a parish situated E. of Langport, the two churches being less than half a mile apart. It is famed for its beautiful tower, which, however, is perhaps a little over-praised, for the crown of pinnacles, graceful in itself, does not seem to spring naturally from the summit, but to be super-imposed upon it. The belfry storey has double windows, and each stage is divided from the one below by bands of quatrefoils which produce rather a formal effect. The S. door is late Norm., its red colour being due to fire; in the upper corner of the porch traces of stone stairs are visible. Some Dec. windows remain in the chancel, but the majority are Perp.: the glass at the E. end of the S. aisle is by Sir E. Burne-Jones. Note (1) the stoup near S. door; (2) the piscina in the chancel; (3) the squint in the S. pier of the chancel; (4) the Jacobean pulpit (dated 1625).
Huntspill, a parish 1-1/2 m. S.S.W. from Highbridge, supposed to derive its name from Hun, a Somerset ealdorman in the reign of Egbert. It has a very handsome church which has been rebuilt since it was destroyed by fire in 1878. The pillars of the arcade still show traces of the flames. The tower is good, with bold buttresses. The church contains the effigies of a knight in armour and his lady, within a recess in the S. wall. Note (1) stoup in S. porch; (2) piscina in S. chapel; (3) fine black oak pulpit.
Hutton, a small village 3-1/2 m. S.E. of Weston-super-Mare. It lies at the base of Bleadon Hill, and may be approached from Weston either through Uphill or by a path that leaves the Worle road. Its small but picturesque church has a good tower of three stages and preserves an excellent stone pulpit, reached by a recess in the wall (which once led to the rood loft), and two brasses to members of the Payne family (one will be found immediately in front of the altar, the other in a recess in the N. wall of the chancel). Hutton Court, which is close by, is a 15th-cent. building much altered.
ILCHESTER, a small, decayed town on the Ivel, 4-1/2 m. N.E. of Martock, which was formerly of considerable importance. Its name recalls the fact that it was a Roman station, and upon it several Roman roads converge. It was besieged in the strife between William Rufus and his brother Robert; and it was fortified in the Great Civil War. It once had a nunnery, and it was the birthplace of Roger Bacon, who was born here in 1214. But apart from its historic associations it has little now to attract attention, its only noteworthy building being its church (the last remaining of five). This has a short tower which is octagonal throughout and does not rest, like others elsewhere, upon a square base. Some Roman bricks seem to be among the materials of which it is constructed, and there are a few old pieces of carving built into the walls. The oldest parts of the building appear to date from E.E. times, but it has undergone a good deal of restoration. Note (1) the E. window (three lancets under a hood moulding); (2) niches; (3) squint. There is a market cross, consisting of a cylindrical pillar supporting a sundial (cp. Martock). Though Ilchester is not now a borough, it was so once, and a very curious macehead (13th cent.) is still preserved.
Ile (or Isle) Abbots, a village 3-1/2 m. E. of Hatch Station. It gets its name from its position on the little river Ile (or Isle) and its former connection with Muchelney Abbey. It possesses an interesting church with a fine tower, having double windows in the belfry and numerous niches, which for the most part retain their statuary. The S. porch has fair groining with a central pendant, and there are some beautiful pierced parapets. The windows are of various dates—E.E., Dec., and Perp. Note in the chancel (1) low side-window (cp. Bleadon, Othery), (2) piscina, surrounded by panelling, (3) triple sedilia. The font, rudely carved, is Norm. The arcade piers are encircled with the “Devonshire” foliage.
Ile (or Isle) Brewers (the latter half of the name a corruption of De Bruyere, the family that once owned the manor) is a parish 5 m. E. of Hatch Station. The church has been rebuilt (1861), and the tower (on the S.) is surmounted by a spire. Within is a Norm. font.
Ilminster, a small market town (with station) on the Ile, is a place of great antiquity but of little present importance, though it has some lace, shirt, and collar manufactories. It was attached to the Abbey of Muchelney until the dissolution of the monasteries. It possesses a noble church, the fine central tower having triple windows in double tier (cp. Mells and Leigh), and being surmounted by clustered pinnacles, whilst the vault is beautifully groined. The S. porch and the transepts are also excellently designed, these parts of the structure having been built by Sir William Wadham (15th cent.). The nave (rebuilt in 1824) is much inferior. Note (1) large ribbed
Ilton, a village on the Ile, 2 m. N. of Ilminster. It has a church of some interest. The windows are partly Dec. and partly Perp., and the tower is on the S. Note (1) piscinas in chancel and chapel; (2) brass of Nicholas Wadham (d. 1508); (3) effigy of “Joan,” wife of another Nicholas Wadham (d. 1557).
Keinton-Mandeville, a large village 4 m. E.N.E. of Somerton, lying for the most part along the Castle Cary road, with a station on the Castle Cary and Langport loop-line. The church is in a field at the S. extremity of the village. The nave was rebuilt in 1800, but the chancel retains some indication of its E.E. origin, and the old Norm. font is still preserved. The village was the birthplace of Sir Henry Irving, whose real name was Brodribb.
Kelston, a parish 4 m. N.W. of Bath. The church, which is reached by a lane to the left, has been rebuilt, with the exception of the tower and N. porch. The latter has on its left jamb a very small carving of the Crucifixion. Within note (1) in the chancel some interlaced work on the N. and a piscina on the S.; (2) in the E. corner of the S. aisle a musical epitaph; (3) in one of the N. windows of the nave some fragments of ancient glass (the figure is said to be that of St Barbara: cp. Cucklington).
Kenn, on the R. of the road between Yatton and Clevedon, was the original home of Bishop Ken’s family. The church retains its ancient tower, which has a curious cap. The nave has been rebuilt, but contains a quaint monument on the interior wall of the tower to Christopher Ken (d. 1593), and a mural tablet to Sir Nicholas Staling, “Gentleman Usher” to Queen Elizabeth and King James I. (d. 1605).
Kewstoke, a village 2 m. N.E. of Weston-super-Mare. It is best reached by a delightful road through the woods on the seaward side of Worle Hill. Its picturesque church is interesting, and, like so many others, illustrates successive styles of architecture. The S. door is Norm.; there is an E.E. lancet in the chancel, and the font perhaps belongs to the same period; the E. window and some windows on the N. side of the church are Dec. (with foliated rear arches);
KEYNSHAM, a small town on the Chew near its confluence with the Avon. It has a station on the G.W. main line to Bristol. Pop. nearly 3000. It is a long straggling sort of place of not very lively appearance, resembling an overgrown village. Its history is rather romantic than reliable. Its patron saint, S. Keyne, a Welsh lady of exceptional sanctity, dwelt in a neighbouring wood much infested with serpents. The reptiles, not usually susceptible to the voice of the charmer, were at her intercession turned into stone—a fact to which the ammonites in the local quarry bear witness. St Keyne’s name occurs also at Kentisford, near Watchet. Later, the town acquired a borrowed lustre from its association with one of the greater religious houses. In 1170 William of Gloster founded here on a magnificent scale a monastery of Austin Canons. This glory has now departed. The Reformation and the Bridges family between them made a clean sweep of everything. The abbey was used as a quarry for building the family mansion, which has by the irony of fate likewise disappeared. Monastic odds and ends may be discovered here and there worked into houses and garden walls. A gateway on the R. of lane leading to station is made up of such fragments. A heap of debris to the E. of the church indicates the whereabouts of the original buildings. The church is a spacious rather than an inspiring edifice. A massive W. tower was built in 1634 to replace a tower which stood at the E. end of the N. aisle, and was destroyed by a thunderstorm. The chancel is the most interesting part of the building, and should be examined externally where the original E.E. lancets are visible. Within, it has been converted into a kind of mausoleum for the Bridges family, some of whom are represented in effigy. Note the round-headed double piscina in sanctuary. The S. aisle is Dec., and contains a fine Perp. screen. The Caroline screen dividing the S. chapel from chancel should also be observed. The window tracery throughout the church is crude. A row of alms-houses near the Wingrove Hotel were founded by Sir T. Bridges. A Roman tessellated pavement was discovered in making the railway cutting, and was removed to Bristol.
Kilmersdon, a village 2 m. S. from Radstock. It lies prettily in a hollow at the foot of Ammerdown Park. The church is a 15th cent. Perp. building with a lofty W. tower which forms a graceful object in the vale. The nave within and without bears traces of Norm. work. Note corbels and scale work on S. external wall, and in the interior the small Norm. window. In Perp. times the walls were raised, the old corbel-table being left in its original position. The triple panelling to the tower arch and the reduplication of the chancel arch is a little peculiar. A triangular lychgate of unusual design has lately been added to the churchyard. There is an Elizabethan communion cup dated 1566. Ammerdown House (Ld. Hylton) stands amongst the trees on the hill-side behind the village. It is an Italian mansion, designed by Wyatt. The summit of the hill above is crowned by a graceful memorial column with a glittering lantern. As the hill is 800 feet high, it is a conspicuous landmark.
Kilton is a parish 7 m. E.N.E. of Williton. Its church has been rebuilt, but retains a good Perp. font, and some small brasses on the S. wall of the chancel. Two communion chalices belonging to the church date from 1514 and 1572 respectively. Nearer the coast is Lilstock church, of which only the chancel remains, serving as a mortuary chapel.
Kilve, a village on the Channel, 5 m. E.N.E. of Williton, has had its name enshrined in the verse of both Southey and Wordsworth. From the shore some pretty coast views are obtainable. Its church retains its stoup, piscina, and ancient font, and there is some 15th cent. woodwork near the entrance to the tower. Close to the church are the remains of a chantry. Though many of the walls are still standing, it is rather difficult to trace the plan.
Kingsbury Episcopi, 2-1/2 m. N.W. of Martock, is a village wearing an air of antiquity, and possessing a fine church. The church tower, with double belfry windows, closely resembles that of its neighbour at Huish Episcopi. It is inferior in its buttresses and mouldings, but has a better W. window. The elaborate crown produces a more top-heavy effect than at Huish. The niches which adorn the tower are noticeable for retaining in many cases their figures, which are seated (cp. Ile Abbots). The tower arch is finely panelled with niches on the E. face, and there is a clerestory (note the angel corbels below the roof). The piers of the chancel and transeptal arches are ornamented with foliage, and the chancel windows are large, with traceried transoms. Note (1) the screen; (2) the fragments of ancient glass in the N. transept; (3) the piscina in the S. chapel; (4) the sacristy below the E. window (as at N. Petherton and Langport); (5) the small crucifix over the S. porch (which originally had a parvise).
Kingsdon, a village 2-1/2 m. S.S.E. of Somerton. Its church, in the main Perp., has a plain embattled tower and some Dec. windows. The S. porch has niches for images and a stoup; there are piscinas in the chancel and the N. transept, and in the same transept the effigy of a crusader, believed to be one Guy Bryan. On the road between Ilchester and Somerton, which passes over the hill below which the church is situated, a fine view may be obtained, embracing the Quantocks, the Blackdowns, and part of the Mendips.
Kingston St Mary, a village 3 m. N. of Taunton. Its church, prettily situated on rising ground, has a fine W. tower, crowned with numerous pinnacles and a turret spirelet. On three sides are canopied niches, the upper ones supported on cherubs or angels. The arcade of the nave is Trans. or E.E., that of the chancel Perp., the junction being rather clumsily effected. There is no chancel arch. The S. porch has a fine groined roof, with niches and holy-water stoup. Note (1) the carved seat-ends (one having the date 1522); (2) the large tomb (temp. Edward III.) in the S. aisle belonging to the Warres; (3) black-letter Bible (1617) and Bishop Jewel’s works (chained). The neighbouring mansion of Hestercombe, once the possession of the Warres, but now belonging to the Portmans, is said to preserve a sword taken by one of the Warres from King John of France at Poitiers.
Kingston Seymour is a village about 2 m. W. of Yatton, with a halt on the Clevedon and Weston light railway. Its church has a tower surmounted by a spire: the parapet, which is of an unusual character, rises from the base of the latter. The S. aisle has an exceptionally large squint, and a piscina; and the churchyard contains the base and shaft of an old cross. The parish on more than one occasion has suffered from destructive inundations of the sea.
Kingstone, a small village 1 m. S.E. of Ilminster. The church is Perp., with a good central tower. The windows contain some fragments of ancient glass. The shape of the font is curious.
Kingweston (said to be a corruption of Kenwardston) is a parish 3 m. N.E. of Somerton. Its church has been rebuilt (1855), and its octagonal tower is crowned with a tall spire. The doorway and font of an earlier Norm. church are still preserved, and in the chancel is an E.E. piscina. The churchyard has the base and shaft of a cross.
Kittisford, a lonely parish 4 m. N.W. of Wellington, near the Tone. The church has been restored, but retains a piscina and a pulpit of 1610. In the parish is an old manor-house called Cothay, of Tudor date.
Knowle St Giles, a small hamlet on a hillside, 2-1/2 m. N.E. of Chard. The church has been rebuilt.
Lambrook, East, 2-1/2 m. S. by W. of Martock, is a hamlet belonging to Kingsbury Episcopi, with a small towerless church. It has a Dec. E. window with a foliated interior arch, a niche for a small piscina, and two heads inserted in the walls (perhaps originally for the Lenten veil). There are some remains of an old house at the post-office which are worth observing.
Lamyatt, a parish on the slope of Creech Hill, 2 m. N.W. from Bruton. The little church has a low tower, with a pyramidal top. Note the two ancient corbel heads built into its W. front. Within there is a Norm. font with cable moulding. The roof has tie beams with Perp. open-work above them.
Langford Budville (or Botteville), a parish 2-1/2 m. N.W. of Wellington. Its church has a battlemented tower, with a turret on the S. (cp. Wellington). The columns of the S. arcade, which have circlets of foliage in place of capitals, deserve notice. On one of them is carved a needle and thread, which has been conjectured to be connected with some benefaction to the church by a member of Queen’s College, Oxford, where a ceremony is observed in which a needle and thread (aiguille et fil) figures in memory of Queen Philippa. In this aisle is a holy-water stoup. The N. aisle is modern.
[Illustration: THE HANGING CHAPEL, LANGPORT]
LANGPORT, a very small town on the Parrett, with two stations on the G.W.R. It is built along a ridge rising above the level of the surrounding marsh lands, and is an unattractive little place, but has seen some history (it was the scene of a defeat of the Royalists in the Civil War), and possesses an interesting church. The tower (embattled and pinnacled) has three windows in the belfry storey, but is inferior to many of its class, and should be compared with Long Sutton. The chancel has unusually large Perp. windows, with traceried transoms; and the E. window is remarkable for its ancient glass (representing ten saints). The W. window has modern stained glass in memory of Bagehot, the historian, who was born here. Among other features deserving notice are (1) the squint in the N. pier of the chancel arch; (2) the niches on the corresponding S. pier; (3) the piscina on the centre pier of the S. chapel; (4) the sacristy behind and below the E. window (as at N. Petherton, Kingsbury and Porlock); (5) the very curious carving in the S. porch (now used as a vestry). A little way E. of the church there is a curious little chapel (Perp.), which is built above an archway that spans the road. It is known as the Hanging Chapel (from its position), and was once used as a grammar school.
Langridge, a small parish 4 m. N.W. of Bath, situated in a deep hollow. Its church is remarkably small (50 ft. by 18 ft.), and contains several features of interest. The doorway is Norm., and so is the chancel arch. The latter, which has been restored, is exceptionally narrow, and has above it a piece of sculpture representing the Virgin and child. Note besides, (1) the stoup; (2) effigy of a lady; (3) brasses of Robert Walsh (d. 1427) and his wife (the Walshes owned the manor in the 14th and 15th cents.); (4) font (E.E.); (5) Jacobean pulpit.
Laverton, a small village 4-1/2 m. N. from Frome. The church is a small 13th cent. building, with a saddleback tower.
Leigh on Mendip (pronounced Lye), a bleakly situated village on the E. Mendips, 6 m. W.S.W. from Frome. It possesses a small Perp. church with a mean chancel, but set off by the compensating attraction of a remarkably noble W. tower, which well merits attention. It is of the reduplicated triple window type (cp. Mells) with a finely pierced parapet and profusely ornamented with pinnacles, but out of all proportion to the church. The latter contains (1) a pillar stoup in the porch; (2) a Norm, font; (3) some old oak benches; (4) fine granite altar slab, found buried for safety’s sake; (5) two small corbels in the chancel, presumably for supporting a Lenten veil (cp. Orchardleigh); (6) piscinas in chancel and S. aisle.
Leigh Woods, the hanging woods which cover the W. bank of the Avon, near Clifton. They form a fine foil to the open downs opposite. To enter them cross the Suspension Bridge into Somerset, take first turning to R., cross the intervening combe, which runs up from the river, by the first available footpath, and then wander at your will. Hidden away amongst the trees are the remains of a rampart, Stoke Leigh Camp, one of twin fortifications. The other, Burgh Walls, on the Bristol side of the combe, was destroyed to make room for the present villas. A British trackway, communicating with Cadbury Camp, is said to have here crossed the river by a ford. From the edge of the cliff delightful glimpses may be obtained of the bridge and gorge.
Leighland, a hamlet 5 m. S.W. of Williton. The church, originally a chapelry belonging to Cleeve Abbey, was rebuilt in 1862. The neighbouring Brendon Hills were once extensively mined for iron.
Limington, a village 1 m. E. of Ilchester. It is interesting as being the first living held by Cardinal Wolsey (cp. p. 31); and its church has some features that deserve notice. Chief among them is the N. chapel (with ribbed roof) which was founded as a chantry in 1329 by Sir Richard Gyvernay, and contains several effigies. One, a knight in full armour, under a Dec. recess, is probably Sir Richard himself, with his lady beside him on a separate slab. A second knight (with bared head) reposes with his lady on an altar-tomb by the W. wall; this is supposed to be Sir Gilbert Gyvernay, father of Sir Richard. There is a piscina in the chapel and another in the chancel. Note (1) the carved ends of the choir stalls, with the arms of Lord Harington, killed at Wakefield 1460; (2) the grotesque corbels supporting the tower arch.
Littleton, High, a large village 10 m. S.W. of Bath, on the road to Wells (station, Hallatrow). The church has been more than once rebuilt, and contains nothing of interest but some mural tablets (15th cent.) to the Hodges family.
Litton, a village in a dale, 4 m. S.W. from Hallatrow Station. The church is late 15th cent. Perp. of rather poor workmanship. The chancel is out of centre with the nave, necessitating a large hagioscope on N. An ungainly modern N. aisle needlessly emphasises this lop-sidedness. The chancel contains a good piscina. In the neighbourhood is a large reservoir in connection with the Bristol water-works.
Locking, a parish 3 m. S.E. of Weston-super-Mare, but most easily reached from Worle Station, 1-1/2 m. away. The church was rebuilt in 1863, and its earlier features obliterated, with the exception of the Perp. tower. It contains, however, a very interesting old square font of Transitional date, with quaint figures at the angles, and a carved stone pulpit (cp. the neighbouring churches of Loxton, Worle, Hutton, Wick St Lawrence).
Long Load, a parish 2 m. N. of Martock, with a modern church built on the site of an old chapelry or chantry.
Lopen, a parish 4 m. N.W. of Crewkerne, is noteworthy as being the place where Cardinal Wolsey, when holding the cure of Limington, is said to have been put in the stocks by Sir Amyas Poulett. The church (Perp.) is ancient, but it has been restored and enlarged, and is of little interest.
Lovington, a parish 3 m. N. of Sparkford. Its church has unusually prominent buttresses to the tower, and preserves (1) remains of stoup in S. porch; (2) piscinas in S. nave wall and chancel; (3) aumbry; (4) poppy heads to seats. The churchyard contains some old stocks.
Loxton, a village 3 m. S.W. of Sandford Station, facing Crook’s Peak. It has an interesting church, which is not easily observed from the road, as it is reached by a lane. It has a short tower (said to be Norman) on the S. side, the lower part forming a porch: in this is a curious squint. Within note (1) the fine Perp. pulpit, carved from a single block of stone: (2) a good screen; (3) the piscina in the vestry, showing that it was formerly a chapel; (4) some old glass.
[Illustration: LUCCOMBE VILLAGE]
Luccombe, a village at the foot of Dunkery, 2 m. S.E. from Porlock. Its name ("the enclosed combe”) is aptly descriptive of its situation, for it is effectually screened from observation. A mountain brook and some fine timber give the place a pretty air of rusticity. It has a good church and some interesting old cottages—note the projecting ovens and the curiously small windows that light some of the chimney corners. The church has a Perp. W. tower, with nave and S. aisle. Within is an altar tomb on S. and on N. a monument to Rector Byam (1669), one of the fighting cavalier parsons who came by their own again at the Restoration. Note (1) E.E. lancets to sanctuary; (2) piscinas in sanctuary and S. aisle; (3) occasional “Devonshire” capitals to pillars; (4) rood-loft stair, as at Porlock; (5) faces on bosses of roof (cp. Selworthy); (6) fragment of stoup in porch. In the churchyard are some fine cypresses, and the remains of a cross.
Lufton, a small parish 3 m. W. of Yeovil. The church has been rebuilt, but preserves its Norman font (with cable moulding), and a holy-water stoup (within the S. door).
Lullington, an obscurely situated village, 3 m. N. from Frome. It should certainly be visited by anyone in the neighbourhood, as the church is of exceptional antiquarian interest and contains one of the finest Norm, doorways in the county. It is a small building having a low central tower without transepts. A small S. chantry projects from the nave. Features to be noted are: (1) the Norm, doorway mentioned above, a little to the right of main entrance. The capitals are richly carved, and support an arch ornamented with deeply cut chevron and grotesque bird’s beak mouldings. The tympanum bears in relief the curious device of some winged creatures devouring a tree. Above is a roundheaded niche containing the figure of our Lord, with hand uplifted in blessing. (2) Tub-shaped Norm. font, bearing inscription, Hoc fontis sacro pereunt delicta lavacro, and another legend undecipherable. (3) Clusters of Norm. columns beneath tower supporting an arch, evidently rebuilt out of original materials (observe S. pier of chancel arch standing idle). (4) E.E. arch opening into chantry chapel, and large piscina within. (5) Body stone built into W. wall of vestry. The whole of the Norm. work is unusually rich for a small country church, but it may possibly be accounted for by the fact that Lullington at the Conquest, amongst other good things, fell to the share of Geoffrey of Coutances, who perhaps brought here his staff of continental workmen, as the figures on the capitals of the doorway are known to occur also at Coutances and Caen. The body stone in the vestry, which may at one time have marked the Bishop’s own grave outside, is also said to bear traces of continental craftsmanship. The “mediaeval” gateway at the entrance of the neighbouring park is a sham.
Luxborough, a village 6 m. S. of Dunster, lying amongst the Brendon hills. The gradients are discouraging to any but determined tourists. The church, though ancient, has been too frequently restored to retain much antiquarian interest.
Lydeard St Lawrence, a village 1-1/2 m. S W. of Crowcombe Station. It climbs the hill-side that confronts the Quantocks, and has a church near the summit, whence a fine view is obtainable. The church tower is commanding; in spite of its height, it has only diagonal buttresses. The oldest part of the present building is the chancel of the 14th cent. (which has a good Dec. piscina and triple sedilia), though a round-headed window (blocked), a survival of an earlier structure, is inserted in the N. wall. The capitals of the arcade have very unusual carving (including interlaced work, and the representation of a fox seizing a goose). The screen (restored) has traces of painting; the pulpit is Jacobean; and the font seems to be double, an inverted Norman basin being surmounted by another of still older appearance. There is a piscina in the S. wall, and over the S. porch a sun-dial of 1653. Southey’s father was a farmer here.
Lydford, East and West, two small villages about 1/2 m. apart, lying on either side of the Fosseway, 5 m. W. of Castle Cary. At the E. hamlet is a small modern memorial church, with a spire (1866). The W. village, which is traversed by the Brue, has a church which was rebuilt in 1846, and has undergone several renovations since.
Lympsham, a parish 6 m. S.S.E. of Weston-super-Mare (nearest station Brent Knoll, 2-1/2 m.). It has a church with a good tower (double windows in the belfry), which is said to lean westward some, feet out of the perpendicular. Within note (1) the fine wood roof of the N. aisle, which was once a chapel (it has a piscina); (2) the 12th cent. tub font.
Lyng, a village 1/2 m. W. of Athelney Station, situated on the Tone. Its little aisleless church, which was once a chapelry of Alfred’s monastery at Athelney, has a beautiful, though small, Perp. tower (with double belfry windows). One of the bells dates from 1609. The body of the church (of earlier date than the tower) contains much that is interesting, particularly a good Dec. sedile and some fine carved bench-ends (16th cent.). Note also (1) the oak pulpit, (2) old glass in a window on N. of chancel, (3) piscinas, (4) tub font, (5) old chest hollowed from a single trunk (under the tower). The “isle” of Athelney, with Alfred’s monument, is in this parish.
Maperton is a pleasant village 3-1/2 m. E. from Sparkford. Of the church, which is rather screened from view by an adjoining mansion, the only old portion is the tower. A few corbels of an earlier church and a piece of interlaced carving are preserved in the S. porch. The piscina deserves notice; it is said to be Norman.
Mark, a large but scattered village on the marshes between Highbridge and Wells, 3 m. N.E. from Bason Bridge Station (S. & D.). The houses straggle along the road-side for a considerable distance. The church, which is at the far end of the village, is of some dignity, and has been carefully restored. It has a Perp. tower, with triple belfry windows of not very successful design, and there is a good parapet to the nave. The S. aisle is evidently older than the rest of the building (note the arcade). The fine panelled roof covering the N. aisle should be observed, and the projecting figures on the wall-plate of the nave. Other features claiming attention are (1) the unusual direction of the squints in the chancel arch, (2) Perp. screens (1634), (3) rood-loft stair and turret in N. aisle, (4) blocked priest’s door in sanctuary, (5) blocked squint in S. porch, (6) carved font under tower. The chancel contains some finely carved figures of the Evangelists, brought from Bruges Cathedral by a former rector.
Marksbury, a small village on the Keynsham and Wells road, 4 m. S. from Keynsham. The church is an ugly little building with a plaster ceiling and a chancel out of centre with the rest of the structure. The tower is crowned with an eccentric set of pyramidal pinnacles, and has a small 17th-cent. inscription on its W. face.
Marston Biggott, a small village 3 m. S.W. from Frome. The church, which stands in a park, has been rebuilt. Marston House (until lately the seat of the Earls of Cork) is a large modern “Italian” mansion, imposingly situated on a wooded hillside. The site of the original house, of which nothing remains, is locally known as Marston Moat. Close by is a field traditionally called Conqueror’s Meads, and is popularly reputed to have been the scene of some ancient battle.
Marston Magna, a village 5 m. N.E. of Yeovil, with station on G.W.R. line to Weymouth. The church, though devoid of picturesqueness, has several features of architectural interest. Traces of herringbone work will be discovered on the N. exterior wall of the chancel, where, too, should be noted the flat buttresses and Norm. window. The peculiarity of the church is, however, the little chapel adjoining the N. porch, and divided from it by a rude screen surmounted by a gallery. Note the elaborate niche on the N. The chancel is lighted at E. by an E.E. triplet; and some old glass will be observed in a window on the S. The font has a fluted basin, and is doubtless Norm. The central battlement of each face of the tower bears the Tudor rose (cp. East Pennard). The fine old Jacobean house near the W. end of the church should not escape attention; and in the field to the S.E. is a moated paddock, locally known as Court Garden, and generally reputed to be the site of an ancient manor house.
MARTOCK is a small town (with station) 5-1/2 m. N.W. of Yeovil, consisting virtually of one long street. It has no historic associations to speak of, though in 1645 it was the scene of a public thanksgiving by the Parliament forces for the capture of Bridgwater. At the present time it is chiefly engaged in the manufacture of gloves and jute matting. The population is about 3000. It has a noble church, the earliest part of which is the E. wall (E.E.; note the five lancets and gable-topped buttresses). In it, on a level with the floor, is a large recess, perhaps intended for relics. The rest of the church is Perp. The tower (with double belfry windows) is rather plain; but the nave is very impressive, being exceptionally lofty, and having a clerestory lighted by unusually large windows, divided by niches containing paintings of the Apostles. There is a good deal of panel-work, and a splendid oak roof, with embattled tie-beams. The pierced parapet is remarkably good. Note (1) vault of S. porch; (2) piscina in S. chapel, (3) brass to George Bisse and wife (1702 and 1685). At the extremity of the graveyard is a defaced effigy.
Near the church are two ancient buildings. The one (approached through a small ruined arch) is a 14th-cent. manor house, with a hall lighted by windows that are square without and foliated within. Note (1) oak roof, (2) curious brackets. The other (now the church-house) was formerly a grammar school, founded by William Strode of Barrington in 1661; note arms and motto. A small building, surrounded by a moat, is said to occupy the site of a manor house given to Lord Monteagle for bringing about the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot. The market cross is a column crowned by a sundial and ball (cp. Ilchester).
Masbury, a station on S. & D. line from Bath to Templecombe. Here the railway, after an arduous ascent, at length reaches the summit of the Mendips. To the E. of the station is Masbury Ring, a large circular encampment. It is probably of British origin, but was, no doubt, also occupied by the Romans, as it lies on the line of the old Roman road from Uphill to Old Sarum. The fosse is now partly filled with trees. The ring may be regarded as the summit of the E. Mendip range, which here reaches 958 ft. About a mile to the E. is a thicker clump of fir trees crowning Beacon Hill, another high spot. The view from Masbury is most extensive. Below are the towers of Wells and Glastonbury Tor. On the W. horizon are the Blackdowns and Quantocks; and on clear days Dunkery and Exmoor are visible. To the E. are the Wiltshire Downs and Alfred’s Tower, whilst right in front, to the N., is Dundry Hill.
Meare, a village 3-1/2 m. N.W. from Glastonbury (nearest stat. Ashcott, 1-1/4 m.). It betrays by its name the former condition of the country round it, it having been an isle (like Athelney and Muchelney) only approachable (it is said), even as late as 1808, by a bridle-path. It belonged to the abbots of Glastonbury, who frequented it for fishing; and of their connection with the place there are surviving memorials in a Manor House (where they stayed) and a Fisher’s House. The first (E. of the church) contains on the first floor a fine dining-hall with large hooded fireplace and Dec. windows; the building at right angles to it is said to have been the chapel. The second, where the abbey fisherman lived, is in a field adjoining the Manor House; it is roofless (the consequence of a fire), but the walk are intact, and the building is a good example of a mediaeval dwelling-house (erected 1335). The parish church has a 14th-cent. chancel with a Dec. E. window; the nave (Perp.) dates from the 15th cent., and has on the parapet of the S. aisle the monogram of Abbot Selwood, the penultimate Abbot of Glastonbury. There is a 15th-cent. stone pulpit.
Mells, a large village 3 m. W.N.W. from Frome (nearest stat. Mells Road). Mells possesses a fine church, several old houses, and a well-merited reputation for picturesqueness. The church is a rich example of 15th-cent. Somerset Perp., with the usual low chancel and an elaborately panelled and pinnacled W. tower (cp. Leigh). Note (1) fine groined porch (cp. Doulting); (2) octagonal vestry on S. with chamber above; (3) mural tablet with emblem of peacock, on N. wall of tower, designed by Burne-Jones; (4) Norm. font. There are some modern brasses to former incumbents, and in N. chapel a tablet to Sir J. Homer (1659). Immediately adjoining the church on W. is a fine gabled Elizabethan manor house. Mells Park (J.F. Horner) is a plain freestone mansion, standing in some well-timbered grounds at the farther end of the village. The founder of the family is popularly reputed to be the “little Jack Horner” of nursery fame. In the neighbourhood of Mells are three camps, Newbury and Wadbury, on the road to Elm, and Tedbury, on the way to Frome. The last mentioned is triangular, occupying a point of land between two ravines (cp. Ruborough).
[Illustration: MELLS VILLAGE]
Mendips, The, a chain of hills some 25 m. long, running in a straight line across the county in a N.W. direction from Frome to the Channel. On its S.W. face the ridge drops abruptly into the plain, but the opposite side gradually shelves away in a series of irregular undulations, though the descent becomes sharper as the hills approach the coast. Viewed from the sea-board the outline of the chain is on either side sharply defined, and forms a prominent and shapely feature in the landscape. From the low-lying central flats of the county the Mendips have a quite fictitious impressiveness. Nowhere does their altitude reach 1100 ft., and their ridge-like summit is nothing but an extended plateau, in places from 2 to 3 m. wide. They have, however, even on the top a certain picturesqueness, for the undulating tableland is relieved by copses, and diversified by little wooded “bottoms,” scooped out by prehistoric torrents. Nearer the sea the uplands become more desolate, the “bottoms” are replaced by rocky combes, like the gorges at Cheddar and Burrington; villages become less frequent; and traces of discarded mines give a weirdness to the solitude. The moors are, however, healthy, and nowhere lacking in interest. Geologically the structure of the Mendips is simple. A core of old red sandstone, which occasionally crops out at the surface, and through which in one spot, near Downhead, a vein of igneous rock has forced its way, is thickly coated with a crust of mountain limestone. The once superincumbent coal-measures are huddled together on one side in a confused heap near Radstock, and on the other are probably buried beneath the Glastonbury marshes. The detached hills in their neighbourhood are doubtless only the remnants of an oolitic covering which once completely enveloped them. A noteworthy feature of the Mendips, but one shared by other limestone formations, is the number of caverns and “swallet holes” with which they abound. Of the former the Cheddar Caves and Wookey Hole are the most remarkable; and a good example of the latter is the Devil’s Punch Bowl near E. Harptree. The chief antiquities consist of the old Roman lead-mines and an amphitheatre near Priddy, the old Roman road linking Uphill with Old Sarum, and a few camps, such as those at Masbury and Burrington. The hills are fairly uniform in height, the chief prominences being Beacon Hill (near Shepton), Masbury Ring, and Blackdown (1067 ft.). A fairly good road traverses the range from Frome to Cheddar or Burrington; and a ramble taken anywhere along its length will repay the pedestrian.
Merriott, 2 m. N. of Crewkerne, is partly, occupied, like the neighbouring town, in the manufacture of sail-cloth. The church, in the main Perp., has been restored, but retains its massive tower, which is singularly plain, with a pinnacled turret in the middle of the S. face. The tower arch looks like E.E., and there is a fine E.E. (restored) piscina in the chancel. The S. entry has some intricate carving above it, and there are some quaint figures on a stone inserted over the vestry door.
Middlezoy (6 m. S.E. from Bridgwater, 4 from Athelney Station) has a church (ded. to the Holy Cross) which contains some interesting features. The tower has double belfry windows (not triple, like Weston Zoyland). The chancel is Dec. (the E. window being good), and has a large piscina under a foliated canopy. There is a second piscina in the S. aisle, which likewise has a low side-window (cp. Othery). Note (1) the roof (with a few pendants); (2) the early Jacobean pulpit (dated 1606); (3) some carved seat ends; (4) Perp. screen; (5) old chest with three locks; (6) some fragments of ancient glass in the N. chapel; (7) a small brass (in the middle of the nave) to “Louis Chevaleir (sic) de Misiers,” a French gentleman serving in the English army, who was killed at Sedgemoor (here called “the battle of Weston").
Midford, a station on the S. & D. line to Bath. There is a pretty view to be obtained from the platform, which overhangs a deep valley. Some of the S. surroundings of Bath may be conveniently explored from here by good walkers. Midford Castle, a modern antique, built in the shape of a triangle, stands just above the railway.
Midsomer Norton, a thriving and populous village 14 m. S.E. from Bristol, with a station on the S. & D. line to Bath, and another at Welton on the G.W. branch to Bristol. It obtains its name from a little rivulet, the Somer, which partly embraces the village. Though situated on the same coalfield, it is a more pleasing-looking place than its neighbour Radstock. The church is a not very inspiring example of modern Gothic (1830), and is said to have superseded a Norm, building. The tower, which may embody some portions of the original structure, is in keeping with the rest of the church, though of greater age. It contains a niched effigy of Charles II., who, though an unlikely church benefactor, is said to have given the bells. Besides having a large output of coal, the locality does a brisk trade in boots and shoes.
MILBORNE PORT, a small town of some antiquity but of no modern importance, situated on a southern projection of the county jutting into Dorset. The station (L. & S.W. main line) is 1-1/2 m. N. of the town. In pre-Reform days it was a pocket borough, returning two members. It has now little save its quaint air of antiquity to make it remarkable. The church, however, is interesting and will repay study. Externally and internally it bears evidence of a very early origin. The nave has been rebuilt and enlarged, but the tower and chancel should be carefully observed. Without, note (1) fine Norm. S. doorway; (2) base of tower with its peculiar stair turret; (3) Norm, panelling on S. side of chancel and blocked low side-window; (4) Norm, lancets in E. and N. wall of vestry; (5) traces of Norm, arcading on N. face of tower. The original niches and stoups of the W. front will be found built into a small mortuary chapel at the N.W. corner of the churchyard. Within, the tower
Milton Clevedon, a small parish 2-1/2 m. N.W. of Bruton. The church contains the effigy of an ecclesiastic (N. of the chancel), and there is some ancient glass in the N. transept. Note, too, a curious inscription on the external E. wall of the S. transept, date 1615.
MILVERTON, a small town of 1427 people, 4 m. N. of Wellington, with a station on the G.W.R. Barnstaple branch. It is a poor little place—more village than town—apparently existing on its past importance. It once had a flourishing market, and did a big business in woollen cloth. The church stands on a slight eminence, at the bottom of which lies the town. It is a good stately building without a clerestory, and is not quite in line with its tower, which is of the rough Exmoor type with a square turret flush with the E. face. The interior has a remarkable display of carved bench-ends (notice the “aspergillum” in central aisle, and the arms of Henry VIII. near pulpit). The screen is modern, but embodies some old panels. The aisles (note octagonal piers) terminate peculiarly at the W. end in chambers surmounted by galleries. The font is Norm. The churchyard has the sculptured base of a cross. The vicarage is said to have once been the country residence of Cardinal Wolsey. The country round Milverton is pleasant, and some delightful views of the Quantocks are obtainable in the neighbourhood.
MINEHEAD, a seaside town of 2500 people, 25 m. N.W. from Taunton, with a terminal station on the G.W. branch from the latter place. The name seems to be a hybrid, the first syllable being the Celtic maen, stone (cp. Mendip). Once a Channel port second in importance only to Bristol, Minehead has of recent years abandoned merchandise, and given itself over to the entertainment of visitors. It has blossomed into a watering-place of some pretensions with a pier, an esplanade, and a generous profusion of public walks. It has, moreover, one claim to distinction peculiarly its own. Exmoor, the home of the red deer, lies behind it, and Minehead is the metropolis of the hunt. The advent of the stranger was not always so eagerly welcomed. The inaccessible situation of “the old town,” as it is called, suggests that one of the chief perils of ancient Minehead was the frequent incursions of marauding Danes and Welsh. But the proximity of the Cambrian coast opposite nevertheless had its occasional conveniences. In the Civil War Lord Hertford, foiled in his attempt on Dunster, found Minehead a serviceable stepping-stone to security amid the Welsh fastnesses. The general appearance of the town is eminently attractive. A promenade, which might well be extended, borders the sands, and an avenue fringed with lime trees runs up from the station to the market-place and shops. The church and older portions of the town are perched amid modern residences on the hill side above, and a quaint row of mariners’ cottages (Quay Town) lies at the seaward foot of the headland. The huge bulk of the N. hill forms an effectual windscreen at the back of the town, and the abundance of flowers in the gardens testifies to the mild climate which Minehead enjoys in consequence. The parish church of St Michael stands out conspicuously on the hill side. It has a well-designed Perp. W. tower, and both within and without shows several features of interest. Externally should be noted (1) the fine projecting window which lights the rood-loft stairway; (2) the bas-reliefs on the E. and S. sides of the tower; (3) the figures supporting the weather-mouldings of one of the E. windows (one of which carries a shield with date 1529), and the inscription in the masonry above. There is a plain cross on the N. side of the graveyard. Within the church remark (1) fine rood-screen (cp. Dunster); (2) carved Elizabethan altar; (3) oak box and black-letter books; (4) canopied tomb of priest in eucharistic vestments, and holding fragment of chalice; (5) curious wooden arch to vestry; (6) fine font; (7) defaced brass of a lady under the tower. No visitor can leave the churchyard unimpressed with the panorama spread at his feet. Beyond the cliffs at Blue Anchor may be discerned Weston pier. A new church in the market-place provides further accommodation for the influx of summer visitors. Beneath the churchyard wall of the new building stands a stout statue of good Queen Anne, which once adorned the parish
Misterton, a village 1/2 m. S.E. of Crewkerne. Its church is of no antiquarian interest, though it possesses an ancient font.
Monksilver, a parish 3 m. S. of Williton, rather less from Stogumber Station. The last half of the name is probably the Latin silva. The little church does not retain many features of interest, but note (1) the screen and pulpit; (2) a panelled altar-tomb, without inscription, N. of the chancel; (3) the piscina; (4) a bracket for a figure at the E. of the S. aisle; (5) the curious devices on some of the seat-ends; (6) the grotesque gargoyles (one seems to represent the extraction of a tooth); (7) some ancient glass (with symbols of the Evangelists) in a window of the S. aisle.
Monkton Combe is a village 1 m. W. of Limpley Stoke Station, with a church that has been entirely rebuilt.
Monkton, West, a parish 4 m. N.E. of Taunton, which gets its name from the fact that the monks of Glastonbury owned property in it. Its church, mainly Perp., but containing in the chancel arch work of earlier date (perhaps 13th cent.), is noteworthy for its lofty tower. The nave has a clerestory, and a good oak cornice. Note (1) stoup in S. porch; (2) piscinas; (3) mural tablet in chancel to the memory of William Kinglake, a physician (d. 1660), with its curious inscription. In the churchyard are the parish stocks. The old leper hospital in Taunton (q.v.) really belongs to this parish.
Montacute, 4 m. W. of Yeovil, is an attractive village (with station) which derives its name from two neighbouring pyramidal eminences, one of which, crowned by St Michael’s Tower, is the site of a former castle. There are several places of interest in or near it. Its church preserves work of various periods, Norm. (chancel arch and moulding on N. wall of nave), E.E. and Dec. (windows in chancel and transepts), and Perp. (tower and nave). The tower is good, with its stages divided by rows of quatrefoils. Note (1) groining of N. porch (the ribs are inaccurately centred), (2) brackets beneath organ (the eastern alone is ancient), (3) elaborate niches in chancel arch, (4) squint and piscina, (5) texts round reredos, dated 1543, (6) effigies of the
[Illustration: MONTACUTE HOUSE]
Moorlynch, a village on the S. edge of the Poldens, 4 m. S. of Shapwick Station. The churchyard commands a good view of Sedgemoor, with the towers of Othery, Middlezoy, and Weston Zoyland rising conspicuously from it. The church (said to be E.E., but altered in Perp. times) has some features of interest: (1) pillar piscina, (2) carved bench-ends, (3) Norm. font, (4) effigy of lady (preserved under the tower), (5) bits of old glass in chancel windows, (6) consecration crosses on exterior chancel wall. There are some carved bench-ends and old oak seats.
Muchelney, 2 m. S.E. of Langport, is a small village rich in antiquities. Like Athelney, it was once a marsh-girt “island “—the largest, or muckleey, amongst its peers. Its church has a fair tower (double windows in the belfry), though much inferior to those of Huish and Kingsbury. At the W. door there is a fine stoup. There are N. and S. porches with parvises or chambers, and the vault of the S. porch is groined. Within should be noticed (1) quaint paintings on the nave roof, (2) piscina and sedilia with fine canopies, (3) group of canopied niches E. of the S. aisle, (4) fine carved Perp. font. In the churchyard, E. of the church, is a fine panelled tomb. S. of the parish church are the foundations of the Abbey Church. The Abbey was founded by the Saxon Athelstan, about 939. The remains may be traced of (1) an apsidal Norm. Lady Chapel, (2) a square-ended Lady Chapel of later date. A few tiles are preserved in the adjoining church. S. of the churchyard is the Abbot’s House, which exhibits much of interest (especially a room with a settle of Henry VIII.’s time), if admission can be obtained. A panelled (interior) wall may be seen from the road: behind it is a cloister (now a cider cellar). N. of the parish church is another interesting building, the old Vicarage House, dating from the 14th or 15th cent. In another house hard by is a fragment of Norm. carving. Note, too, the village cross (restored.)
Mudford is a village on the Yeo, 3 m. N. of Yeovil. The church has a good tower, but contains little of interest. The pulpit appears to be Jacobean, and there is a curious bracket near one of the S. windows.
Mudgeley. See Wedmore.
Nailsea, a village (with station) 9 m. W.S.W. of Bristol. Its church preserves some features of interest, among them being (1) stone pulpit, entered through the wall by a staircase which formerly led to the rood-loft, (2) curious carving on the capitals of the arcade, (3) piscina, (4) monument to Richard Cole and his family, with its punning Latin epitaph and free translation. Some way from the village is Nailsea Court, a manor house of partly Tudor, partly Elizabethan construction.
Nempnett Thrubwell, a small village 7 m. S.W. from Pensford Station, and 10 S.S.W. of Bristol. It stands on high ground overlooking a deep valley. In the neighbourhood some very fine views may be obtained of the Mendip Hills, the Blagdon Reservoir, and the Wrington valley. The church is a small building with a Perp. W. tower, from the W. face of which project two curious and uncanny carved heads of a man and beast. The walls of the nave still bear the original 13th cent. consecration crosses. The chancel is modern, and contains a rich modern screen and a good E. window of Munich glass. Note (1) rude Norm. S. doorway filled with Perp. tracery; (2) Norm. font carved with a curious device by some later craftsman. Near the porch in the churchyard is (1) base of ancient cross; (2) tomb of first rector—Robert—bearing an incised cross. The parish once contained a remarkably fine tumulus of masonry, said to have been one of the finest in Britain, in the chambers of which skeletons have been discovered. A few vestiges of it now only remain, the rest has been used as a lime-kiln.
Nettlecombe, a parish 2-1/2 m. S.W. of Williton. Its church stands in the park of Nettlecombe Court, the seat of Sir J.W. Trevelyan. Though restored in 1869 it retains several features of interest. The tower has the staircase turret at the N.W. angle (cp. Martock and Yeovil). In the interior note (1) the foliage round the capitals of the arcade piers; (2) the fine ancient glass in two windows in the N. aisle, representing seven saints; (3) the octagonal font, with carved sides (much defaced), seven of them supposed to represent the seven sacraments; (4) the effigies under two E.E. recesses in the S. aisle, representing (i) a crusader, (ii) a knight (hip-belted) and his lady. They probably belong to the Raleigh family, the former owners of Nettlecombe Court. There is also a slab with an inscription to John Trevelyan (d. 1623). The pulpit is approached by the old rood staircase. The Communion plate dates from the 15th cent. (1479).
Newton, North, a parish 4-1/2 m. S. of Bridgwater and 2 m. N. of Durston Station. Its church has been wholly rebuilt with the exception of its very ancient tower (which is thought by some to be of Saxon origin). The only antiquities which the building contains are (1) a beautiful screen, with four figures in relief, three of which represent Faith, Hope and Charity (cp. the similar figures at Stoke St Gregory and Thurloxton); (2) a carved door leading into the vestry, with figures of the Ten Virgins; (3) a Caroline pulpit (1637). In this parish there was found, in 1693 a jewel set in gold, with an inscription on the rim: AELFRED MEE HEHT GEWYRCAN (Alfred directed me to be made). It is now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, whilst a copy of it may be seen in Taunton Museum.
Newton, St Loe, a well-kept village 3-1/2 m. W. of Bath, standing on high ground on the outskirts of Newton Park. The church has been much restored, but retains on the S. the original Dec. arcade and a squint. There is some good modern carving. In the graveyard are the base and stump of what was once a fine cross. The church possesses a chalice of the date 1555.
Northover, a parish adjoining Ilchester, on the opposite side of the Ivel. Its church (restored 1878) has an ancient tower, and contains a Norm. font and a plain Jacobean pulpit.
Norton Fitzwarren, a village 2 m. N.W. of Taunton. Its church (restored) is of late 14th cent. origin, with Dec. windows, and the tower is Perp. The edifice is interesting chiefly for its fine rood-screen, supposed to date from about 1500; the carvings on it deserve attention (note dragons, ploughman and team, and name of churchwarden). The figures above it are modern. There are some carved seat-ends in the body of the church. On the hill above is a circular British camp, about 13 acres in extent.
Norton Malreward, a small and secluded village under Maes Knoll, 1 m. N.W. of Pensford. The church (rebuilt 1861) retains its original tower, a good Norm. chancel arch, and a Norm. font. In the churchyard is a square dole-stone, similar to the one at Dundry, but smaller.
[Illustration: THE GEORGE INN, NORTON ST PHILIP]
Norton St Philip, a comely village equidistant (3 m.) from Midford (S. & D.) and Freshford (G.W.R.) Stations. It stands on high ground near the crossing of the roads from Frome to Bath, and from Radstock to Trowbridge. In mediaeval days Norton was the scene of a considerable cloth fair, the tolls of which were the perquisites of the prior of Hinton. At a later date it was the scene of a sharp skirmish between the Duke of Monmouth’s forces and a body of regulars under the Duke of Grafton. The church has an extraordinary W. tower, the eccentricities of which have led some to conclude that it was constructed out of odds and ends from the dismantled monastic buildings at Hinton. Note the singularly deep
Norton-sub-Hamdon, a village at the foot of the S.W. flank of Hamdon Hill, 2-1/2 m. S.W. of Montacute Station. The church has a fine tower, which was rebuilt in 1894 after destruction by lightning; it is characterised by large single windows extending from the belfry into the storey below (cp. Shepton Beauchamp and Hinton St George). The body of the church was restored in 1862; the oldest part would seem to be the S. porch, which has a ribbed stone roof (cp. Tintinhall). The interior is imposing by reason of the height of the nave and chancel, but it contains little that calls for notice. In the E. wall is a piscina and two niches. The modern and very ugly font is made of a single block of alabaster. The most interesting object is in the churchyard, which contains a circular dovecot, quite perfect, supported by buttresses.
[Illustration: NUNNEY CASTLE AND VILLAGE]
Nunney, a village 3 m. S.W. from Frome. It possesses the unusual attraction of a ruined castle. The castle is an excellent specimen of a 14th cent. fortified dwelling-house. The walls are still complete, but bear abundant traces of the ravages of time and warfare. In plan the castle consists of a rectangular parallelogram with a cylindrical tower at each angle The interior is gutted, but as the beam-marks still remain, the general arrangements are easily reconstructed. It was divided into four storeys by wooden floors, the dining-hall being (as the large fireplace indicates) on the first floor. Access was gained to the different apartments by a large spiral staircase winding round the interior of the N. turret. The top storey of the S. turret, marked externally by a Perp. window, was evidently furnished as an oratory; an altar slab and piscina can still be seen projecting from the wall. The position, not naturally strong, was rendered more defensible by a moat, beyond which flows a stream. The castle was built by Sir J. de la Mere in 1373 out of the spoils of the French wars. It afterwards passed successively to the families of Pawlet and Prater,
Nynehead, a village 1-1/2 m. N. of Wellington. From the neighbouring village of Bradford it is approached by a deep artificial cutting picturesquely overhung with creepers. The church is something of a “show place.” Its chief attraction is a remarkable collection of marble statuary and Della Robbia work. Notice in particular the tablet representing the Trinity, by Mino da Fiesole, on the W. wall of S. aisle, the Madonna and Child on same wall, and the “Nativity” beneath the tower. The church itself is Perp., but largely rebuilt. It contains a very fine oak screen. Note also (1) squint on N.; (2) rough piscina in chancel; (3) monument to the Clarkes of Chipley (1679) in N. chapel. In the beautifully-kept churchyard is the base of a fine cross, now prettily overgrown with ferns and lichen. In close proximity to the church is a large but uncomely-looking manor house.
Oake, a parish 3 m. S.E. of Milverton. Its little church, sadly dilapidated, has the tower on the S. side. Over the porch (1601) is a pierced parapet, bearing the monogram I.P. (cp. Hill-farrance). The interior contains nothing of note except a carved pulpit and an old font, and some fragments of ancient glass in a window of unusual size, which is said to have been brought from Taunton Priory. Outside is a stone for doles.
Oakhill, a large village on the N. slope of the Mendips, 2 m. S.E. of Binegar Station (S. and D.). It is chiefly dependent upon a large brewery. The church is modern (1861).
Oare, a small village 7 m. W. of Porlock, situated in a delightful valley between heather-clad hills. It is a favourite drive from Porlock, and may be reached by two routes, the better being along the main Porlock and Lynton road almost as far as County Gate. Oare church is quaint, but contains little of interest. 3/4 m. away is Malmesmead, where the Oare Water joins the Badgeworthy Water, which for some distance constitutes the boundary between Somerset and Devon, and is familiar to readers of Lorna Doone.
Odcombe, a village 3 m. W. of Yeovil. The church occupies a very elevated position and commands a good view. In plan it is cruciform, with a central tower resting on piers which seem to belong to the Dec. period, though the E. and W. arches have been altered in Perp. times. There is a good piscina in the chancel, and the basin of the font is ancient. The ribbed and panelled roof of the S. porch deserves notice. Odcombe was the birthplace of Tom Coryate, who, early in the 17th cent., tramped through Europe and the East. After his first journey he is said to have hung up his boots in the church.
Orchardleigh, a modern mansion, 2 m. N. from Frome, built to replace the ancient seat of the Champneys. In the park is a knoll crowned by three huge stones, which were once a cromlech, and are supposed to mark a place of sepulture. Upon an island in a lake is a small church, quite a little gem in its way. It contains a carved cup-shaped font, a beautiful Dec. priest’s doorway, and an elaborately sculptured aumbry and piscina. The unique features of the building, however, are the small projecting figures on the N. and S. walls of the sanctuary; the hand of the one on the S. will be seen still grasping the staple on which was once suspended the Lenten veil (cp. Leigh-on-Mendip).
Orchard Portman, a parish 2 m. S. of Taunton, which represents in its name an alliance between a Portman and the heiress of the Orchards. The most noteworthy features of its small Perp. church is a Norm. S. door, and an ancient font (likewise presumably Norm.) of curious shape. Note, too, (1) carved wooden pulpit; (2) carved stalls; (3) brass on chancel S. wall to “Humfredus de Collibus” (Anglice, Coles or Colles), who died 1693 (cp. Pitminster).
Othery, a parish on the Sedgemoor plain, 3 m. N.E. of Athelney Station. Its church has quite a number of interesting features. It is cruciform in plan, with a central tower, and is said to be an E. E. building, which has been altered in the Dec. and Perp. periods. The tower is noticeable for its “batter,” for its belfry window of four lights, and for its niches and figures. The chancel, like some others in the county, has a low side-window, outside of which a neighbouring buttress is perforated to permit some object (possibly a lamp) placed in the window to be seen. The cross on the E. gable is said to be Norm., but if so, is probably not in its original position, since it is little weathered. Within note (1) the manner in which the narrow central tower is joined to the wider nave; (2) the ancient glass in the N. transept; (3) squint and piscinas. Most of the woodwork is modern. At the present churchwarden’s house is preserved a 15th cent. cope, which has been converted into an altar frontal.
Otterford, a parish 6 m. N.W. of Chard. The hamlet of Bishop’s Wood, the most thickly populated part of the parish, lies in a broad defile, through which trickles the Otter brook. The church is 2-1/2 m. away on the hill-top. It is not of great interest, but contains a stoup, a piscina, and a Norm. font.
Otterhampton, a parish near the estuary of the Parrett, 7 m. N.W. of Bridgewater. It has a small aisleless church, the most remarkable feature of which is the wall separating the chancel (which is modern) from the nave. It is pierced by a chancel arch without mouldings, and has on its W. face several niches. There is a small but old screen, and a Norm. font. Attached to Otterhampton is Combwich, identified by some with “Cynuit,” the scene of the battle between The Dane Hubba (one of the murderers of St Edmund) and Earl Odda in 878, which by others is placed near Appledore in Devon. The Saxon Chronicle, indeed, definitely states that Hubba met his death in Devonshire; but at that time Devon probably extended as far east as the Parrett, and Hubba was possibly co-operating with the Danish force that was observing Alfred at Athelney (see p. 13). (With Hubba’s name cp. Hobb’s Boat on the Axe).
Paulton, a populous mining and manufacturing village, 1-1/2 m. S.E. from Hallatrow Station. The church is an uninteresting bit of early Victorian re-building (1839) with an 18th cent. tower, a woefully poor imitation of Perp. work.
Pawlett, a parish 4 m. N. of Bridgwater (nearest station Dunball, 1-1/2 m.) It has a cruciform church (with W. tower), possessing (1) a Norm. S. door, with some unusual but much defaced mouldings; (2) a tub font (on a later base); (3) a screen with vine ornamentation; (4) a Jacobean pulpit.
Peasedown St John, a bleakly situated colliery village, 6 m. S.W. from Bath. It consists of a long string of cottages and a modern church.
Pendomer, a small hamlet, 2 m. W.S.W. from Sutton Bingham (L. and S.W.). A combination of situation and family associations is responsible for its name (Dummer’s Hill). The church is noteworthy only as containing a remarkable monument. In a cinque-foiled recess on the N., faced with a square canopy surmounted by pinnacles, is the recumbent figure of a knight clad in coat of mail. It is believed to represent Sir J. de Dummer (d. about 1321), son of Sir William buried at Chilthorne Domer. Note (1) grotesque figures supporting canopy; (2) cusps worked up into figures of angels (cp. Dowlishwake); (3) iron prickets for lights. The church windows contain some old glass, and the arms of the Stourton family. The neighbouring farmhouse is a 16th cent. building.
Pennard, East, a village 1-1/2 m. N.W. from Pylle Station (S. and D.). There is a painful neatness about this little group of cottages characteristic of a manorial appurtenance. The church, which partakes of the same trimness, is Perp. The tower is of rather an unusual type, being low and squat, and unrelieved by battlements. The staircase is only a flat projection on the S. side, carried half way up. Upon the N. face of the tower is a Tudor rose (cp. Marston Magna). Note (1) stoups in S. porch and outside N. door; (2) Jacobean stalls; (3) piscina and aumbry; (4) niche in E. wall of N. aisle; (5) richly carved square font. The nave retains its original 15th cent. roof supported on large corbels. In the churchyard is the shaft of a cross. A good view is obtainable from the neighbouring Wrax Hill.
Pennard, West, a village 5 m. S. from Shepton Mallet, with a station on S. and D. line to Glastonbury. The church, which stands some little distance away, is a large and strikingly handsome Perp. building of uniform design (temp. Edward IV.). The W. tower carries a lead spire. Its chief interest is its general comeliness. It has neither chapels nor monuments. One or two features, however, are deserving of notice: (1) good screen; (2) large squint (containing rood stairway) on N.; (3) corresponding doorway on S.; (4) stoup at W. doorway. In the churchyard is a good cross bearing emblems of the Passion on its base (cp. Doulting).
Penselwood, a parish 4 m. N.E. of Wincanton. It occupies high ground, which in early times has been strongly defended. Hard by are the British earthwork known as Cenwealh’s Castle, and the Norm, moated mound called Orchard Castle. In the neighbourhood, too, are Pen-Pits, circular cavities in the ground (extending over 200 acres), which are believed to have been excavated for the purpose of obtaining grindstones. The parish church, mainly Perp., retains a Norm. S. door (note the carving on the lintel) and a Norm. font; and over the gable of a door in the S. wall is another piece of carving (the Virgin and Child and two kneeling figures), which probably was, once part of the cross. There are some bits of early glass in one of the windows. One of the bells is said to date from the 13th cent.
Pensford, a village with a station on the G.W.R. Frome and Bristol line. It lies immediately at the foot of a lofty viaduct, which commands a pretty prospect of the valley of the Chew. Like other places on the bank of a stream, the village was once the centre of a brisk cloth trade. The church has been rebuilt, but contains a Jacobean pulpit and a Perp. font (cp. Dundry). The inverted fragment of a piscina may be seen in the churchyard, built into the wall of a shed.
Perrott, North, a small village on the Parrett (which doubtless gives it its name), 2 m. N.E. of Crewkerne. The church is a small cruciform Perp. structure of rather poor workmanship, with a low central tower. The tower arches are panelled, and there is a piscina in the chancel. The manor house hard by is a handsome gabled modern mansion. In the parish Roman remains have been discovered. The companion village of South Perrott is in Dorset.
Petherton, North, a village 3 m. S.W. of Bridgwater, deriving its name from the neighbouring Parrett. In the time of Alfred the country around was one of the royal forests, the others being Selwood, Mendip, Neroche, and Exmoor. There is a fine church, with a noble tower, perhaps the best of its class. It belongs to the type that is characterised by double windows in the belfry, but is more elaborate than most of its compeers. The stages are divided by bands of quatrefoils (cp. Huish and Kingsbury), whilst the wall-face above the belfry windows is beautifully
PETHERTON, SOUTH, 3 m. S.W. of Martock, is a small town, interesting mainly for its noble church, which has a central (rather attenuated) octagonal tower on a square base. The oldest parts of the building appear to be the basement of the tower, the chancel, the S. porch, and the N. transept, the difference in the masonry between these portions and the rest being instructive. The tower still retains some lancets of the E.E. period; but the earliest windows in the chancel and N. transept are Dec. The body of the church is Perp., and the W. window deserves attention. Note, too, (1) stoup outside N. porch; (2) fragments in S. porch of the same zodiacal signs that appear at Stoke-sub-Hamdon; (3) piscinas (especially that in the chancel); (4) tomb of Sir Giles Daubeny (d. 1445) and one of his wives, with a fine brass (there is also a brass to his second wife on the floor, concealed by matting); (5) 17th-cent. mural tablets in the S. and N. chapels. King Ina’s Palace is the name of an interesting house on the Martock road. It is said to date from Richard II.’s time (with later alterations), and contains a hall, with minstrel gallery, and a good fireplace. Near the church there are one or two other ancient houses which invite notice.
Pill, a populous village, 6 m. N.W. of Bristol, standing on a muddy creek of the Avon. A sufficient impression of the place may be obtained from the station platform. The church is modern.
Pilton, 1-1/2 m. N.W. of West Pennard Station, lies in pretty country. Its church is spacious, and contains much of interest. Architecturally it belongs to various periods. The S. door is Norm., the porch later. The columns and arches which separate the nave from the aisle are late Norm. or Trans.; the roof was raised at a later date, and a Perp. clerestory was inserted. The chancel is Perp., with a panelled arch and a clerestory. Note (1) the fine wooden roof; (2) the screen that encloses what was once a chapel (it has a piscina); (3) the “Easter sepulchre,” under a recess in the N. wall, with a representation of our Lord cut in the stone; (4) the fine brass chandelier (1749); (5) the curious old chest at the base of the tower, which contains the remains of an old 16th cent. cope, which has been converted into an altar frontal; (6) the Jacobean pulpit (1618). The communion plate includes a paten of about 1500. Near the church is a noble cruciform barn, once belonging to the abbots of Glastonbury, with the emblems of the Evangelists at the gables.
Pitcombe, a parish 1-1/4 m. S. of Bruton. The church, with the exception of the tower, has been rebuilt, and contains nothing of interest, except an ancient font.
Pitminster, a large village, 4-1/2 m. S. of Taunton. The church is noticeable for its octagonal tower, which is surmounted by a spire. There are two large monuments of the Coles family on either side of the chancel, and a third at the W. end, dating from the 16th and 17th cents. The font is elaborately carved. Note (1) the bench ends; (2) the old glass in the tracery of the E. window of the N. aisle; (3) the two piscinas.
Pitney, a village 2-1/2 m. N.E. of Langport. The church (Perp.) has an interesting stoup in the porch, and a ribbed squint, with a curious little recess beneath. A Roman pavement has been unearthed in the parish; some specimens of the tiles are preserved in the Taunton Museum.
Podimore, a village 2 m. N.E. of Ilchester. Its church has an octagonal tower on a square base (cp. Weston Bampfylde), the upper part of which is lighted with small lancets. The way in which the octagon has been superimposed on the square may be observed from the interior. The windows of the church are partly Dec., partly Perp. The E. window has some fragments of ancient glass. The chancel arch is unusually narrow. Note (1) the piscina and aumbry; (2) the old font; (3) the stoup in the S. porch. There is the base of an old cross in the churchyard.
[Illustration: OLD BANK, PORLOCK]
PORLOCK, a small town near the Devonshire border, 7 m. W. from Minehead, from which it is reached by coach. Its name—“the enclosed harbour”—indicates its former maritime character, but more than a mile of meadow land now separates it from the sea. Its attenuated shipping trade finds what accommodation it can at the Weir, 1-1/2 m. to the W. The village enjoys a reputation second only to Cleveleys’ for west-country quaintness. It has certainly much to recommend it to the lovers of the picturesque. It lies snugly ensconced at the bottom of a wooded valley, enclosed on three sides by the heathery slopes of Exmoor, but open in front to the sea. Southey has penned a testimonial to its scenery; and its creeper-clad cottages, with roses and clematis reaching to their round Devonshire chimneys, still furnish many a study for the pencil or camera. In Anglo-Saxon times it was much raided by the Danes, and Harold’s sons also paid it a visit, which procured for them a rough welcome from the shoresmen. The church (ded. to St Dubricius), which stands in a rather cramped position in the centre of the village, is externally much in keeping with the old-fashioned aspect of the surrounding cottages. It consists of a Perp. nave and S. aisle, with a truncated shingled spire at the W. end. Internally it is comely and of interest. Its chief curiosities are a small sacristy at the E. end (cp. Langport and N. Petherton), and a richly canopied tomb, uncomfortably
Portbury, a village 8 m. N.W. of Bristol (nearest stat. Pill). It is a place where many Roman remains have been found. It possesses a spacious church, which has a fine Norm. recessed S. door. The chancel arch is also of Norm. origin, but has undergone alteration. There is a good E. window and a sanctuary bell-cot. The triple sedilia (E.E. or Dec.) and the 17th-cent. brass in the N. aisle should be noticed. At the junction of the roads to Portishead and Clapton are the remains of a priory, which are now used as a school. It is said to have belonged to an Augustinian Abbey at Bristol.
PORTISHEAD, a small town with a population of 2544, situated on the Bristol Channel, 11-1/2 m. W. from Bristol and 8 from Clifton Suspension Bridge. It is connected with the city by a G.W.R. branch line, of which it is the terminus. Portishead makes a successful attempt to combine business with pleasure. It has a biggish dock and some large grain warehouses, and is a flourishing little port. It is now awaking to its possibilities as a watering-place. Its chief attraction is a wooded promontory rising behind the docks. Round this is cut an excellent road, which finally ends in a queer little attempt at a promenade. The “Point” has figured in history, for the possession of a fort upon it was contested by the Royalist and Roundhead forces in the Civil War. The church is in the middle of the old village, which lies back from the sea. It has a stately Perp. tower crowned with a spirelet. The interior is unreformed and disappointing. Note (1) music gallery above S. porch, (2) Norm. font, (3) curious arch in N. aisle, (4) sculptured heads built into chancel wall, perhaps removed from original position as suspenders of Lenten veil (cp. Orchardleigh), (5) pulpit reached through S. wall. Near the church is an ancient manor house with an Elizabethan turret. Portishead possesses a fine new Naval College, built to replace the old training-ship Formidable. Nightingale Valley is a favourite walk.
Preston Plucknett, a village 1-1/2 m. W. of Yeovil. Its church is not particularly interesting, the ancient features being disguised by recent restorations. The body of the building is thought to be late Dec., the tower Perp. Note (1) piscina in S. transept or chapel, (2) small doorway in N. transept, which probably once led to the rood-loft, but now affords access to the pulpit. Hard by is a fine tithe barn with finials on the gables, and a 15th-cent. house with a most picturesque porch and panelled octagonal chimney.
Priddy, a lonely village on the top of the W. Mendips, 5 m. N.N.W. of Wells. It enjoys a certain celebrity as one of the bleakest and most remote spots in Somerset. Though some considerable distance from Cheddar, it is generally regarded as part of the Cheddar entourage. Nowhere can the characteristic scenery of the Mendips, with its moors, mines, and swallets, be sampled to better advantage. Priddy, ever since Roman times, has been the centre of the Mendip mining area (cp. p. 11), and wild tales used to be told of the Priddy “groovers.” Lead and zinc ores are still worked in the locality. The village surrounds a large, three-cornered green, which was once the scene of a considerable fair. The church stands about a stone’s-throw away on rising ground. It is a Perp. building of irregular design and rough workmanship. It has a good pillared stoup in the porch, a Jacobean screen, and fragments of a stone pulpit. In the neighbourhood are two groups of barrows.
Priston, a village in a secluded dale 5-1/4 m. S.W. from Bath (nearest stat. Camerton, 3 m.). The church is something of a deception, for a good Norm. doorway and an exterior corbel table prepares the visitor for the Norm. arches and arcading within; but these are entirely modern. There is, however, some good Dec. work in the chancel; and notice should especially be taken of the priest’s doorway, the foliated rear arches of the windows (cp. Frome), and the fine pillar piscina. Observe also (1) old wooden door, (2) the lion serving as a finial to W. gable. The tower, the base of which is perhaps Norm., is incongruously finished with a balustrade and urn-like pinnacles.
Publow, a village on the Chew (nearest stat. Pensford). One of the prettiest features of the landscape from Pensford Station is the graceful tower of Publow Church. It is a stately structure of four stages, with the customary projecting stone turret and spirelet. The interior is not particularly interesting, but note (1) panelled arch on N. of sanctuary, (2) aumbry in N. aisle, (3) square font. The pulpit has been constructed out of two old pews. Near the church is an old cylindrical “lock-up.”
Puckington, a small village 3 m. N.E. of Ilminster. The oldest part of the church (Perp.) is the chancel, which has Dec. windows, a piscina, and triple sedilia (E.E.) (cp. Shepton Beauchamp). There is also a Norm, font with cable moulding.
Puriton, a parish 3-3/4 m. N.N.E. from Bridgwater, 3/4 m. from Dunball. The church, though old, has lost whatever features of interest it once had. The S. porch seems formerly to have had a gallery or parvise (note the staircase), and there is a small plain oak screen. The neighbouring large house is Puriton Manor.
Puxton, a small village 7 m. E. of Weston-super-Mare, with a station 3 m. away. The church is a small building with a leaning tower. Originally it was E.E. (note one of the windows), but many parts of the fabric are much later. The porch is dated 1557. There is a good oak pulpit, with hourglass holder, and some heavy 15th-cent. benches.
Pylle, a village with station (S. & D.), situated a little off the Fosse Way, 4 m. S. of Shepton Mallet. The church (St Thomas a Becket) has, with the exception of the tower (Perp.), been rebuilt (1868). Opposite is a farmhouse, which was once a manorial residence of the Berkeleys: part of the original Elizabethan building still remains.
Quantocks, The, a range of hills forming the W. boundary of the spacious plain which occupies the centre of the county. Geologically, they belong to the Devonian series of rocks. They are not of great extent, being a comparatively narrow ridge, stretching from the neighbourhood of Taunton in a north-westerly direction some 10 or 12 m. to the sea, whilst their tallest summit (Will’s Neck) is only 1270 ft. But their natural attraction of
Quantoxhead, East, a parish 4-1/2 m. N.E. from Williton, near the shore. Its church retains a few interesting features, among them being a tomb of Hugh Luttrell (1522), some carved seat ends (one with the Luttrell arms), a Caroline pulpit (1633), and a piscina. In the churchyard is the shaft of a cross. Near the church is Court House, an old manor house, with the remains of a pierced parapet. It formerly belonged to the Luttrell family.
Quantoxhead, West, a parish 1-1/2 m. E. of Williton. The church of St Etheldreda (Audrey), which is beautifully situated, has been wholly rebuilt (1856), the only ancient feature being the shaft of the churchyard cross. In the parish is St Audries, the seat of Sir A.F. Acland Hood.
Queen Charlton, a small village 2 m. S.W. of Keynsham, with the abbey of which it once had an intimate connection. A fine Norm. doorway, built into a garden wall, was originally the gateway of the abbey court-house. The church has a central Norm, tower, but is otherwise without interest. A Dec. arcade, now blocked, seems at one time to have divided the sanctuary from some demolished chantry. The base and shaft of a cross ornament the village green.
Raddington, a village on the border of Devonshire, 2 m. N. of Venn Cross Station. The church contains a good panelled oak roof and a fine screen. In the chancel is a mutilated piscina.
RADSTOCK, a small town 8-1/2 m. S.W. from Bath, with two stations close together in the centre of the main street. It possibly derives its name from its proximity to the Fosse Way. It is now the metropolis of the Somerset coalfield. It is a rather disconnected sort of place, lying in a deep valley surrounded by coal-pits, and throwing out long rows of workmen’s cottages up the hillsides. The church, originally a small building (as the rood-stair on the S. wall indicates), has been restored and enlarged out of all recognition. A curious bas-relief, with the Crucifixion on one side and the Virgin and Child on the other, has been built into the E. wall of the S. porch. Within the church is a heavy Norm. font and a mutilated piscina.
Redlynch, a small hamlet 1-1/2 m. S.E. from Bruton. The church is without interest. Redlynch Park is the seat of the Earl of Ilchester.
Rimpton, a village 3/4 m. S.E. of Marston Magna Station. It has a pretty church, cruciform in plan, with a chancel of E.E. or Dec. origin. There is a niche for a stoup inside the S. door, and piscinas in the chancel and S. transept. The pulpit is Jacobean, whilst some of the carved bench-ends date from the 15th or 16th cent., and bear the Tudor rose. Note the squint and ancient font.
Road, a village on the borders of Wiltshire, 4 m. N.N.E. from Frome. The church has a heavy embattled tower, from the top of which Charles II. is said to have reconnoitred the surrounding country after his hurried flight from Worcester. The interior is disappointing. There is an empty canopied recess in the S. aisle, and a piscina in the chancel.
Rodden, a small parish 1-1/2 m. E. from Frome. There is no village. The church stands in a farmyard, and has to be reached by crossing the fields. It is a quaint little pseudo-Perp. structure with a toy tower, built 1640.
Rowberrow, 2-1/2 m. E. from Winscombe or Sandford Stations, is a parish which was once the centre of a mining district, but the mines are now disused. Its little church lies under Dolbury Camp. Above the S. porch is a stone with interlaced carving.
Ruborough Camp. See Broomfield.
Ruishton, a village 3 m. E. of Taunton. Its church has a massive tower, with double belfry windows and prominent buttresses, but the absence of parapet and pinnacles gives it an unfinished appearance. Traces of Norm. architecture remain in the S. porch, and there is some Dec. work, in the S. chapel, but the nave is Perp. The font is richly carved. A poor painting—the Adoration of the Magi—which is supposed to be Flemish, forms an altarpiece. In the churchyard is the base of a large cross.
Runnington, a village 1 m. N.W. of Wellington. Its church is a characterless little building at the bottom of a lane. It retains its rood stairway.
St Catherine, a parish 4 m. N.E. of Bath. It is reached by a road from Batheaston (2 m.), through a very pretty valley (where the road forks, turn to the L.), and has much that is interesting. Portions of the church are late Norm. or E.E. (note the tower and chancel arches, and the fine font, with its variety of mouldings); but it was rebuilt by Prior Cantlow of Bath in the 15th cent. The beautiful E. window, with its stained glass, bearing a Latin inscription, is of that date, and so is the carved pulpit, the colours of which are believed to reproduce the original. There is a monument, with figures, to William Blanchard and his wife (1631), N. of the chancel. Note, too, the roof of the choir, and the ancient glass in the S. windows. Near the church is a cruciform tithe barn. The Grange, close by, is also the work of Prior Cantlow; but the porch is a later addition, of Jacobean times.
St Decuman’s. See Watchet.
St Michael Church, a small parish 1 m. N. of Durston. Its church is correspondingly small, with a low N. tower surmounted by a pyramidal roof. It contains one or two monuments of the Slade family.
Saltford, a large village (with station) 6 m. W.N.W. of Bath, situated on the Avon. Its church, restored in 1851, is without interest, though it has a good Norm. font, with roughly carved heads below the bowl.
Sampford Arundel, a small village 2-3/4 m. S.W. of Wellington. Its church, in which nave and aisles are covered by a single roof, has a curious bit of sculpture (hands holding a heart) inserted in the N. wall.
Sampford Brett, 1 m. S.E. of Williton, a village deriving its name from the family of Brett, one of whose members took part in the murder of Thomas a Becket. The church is cruciform, but the plan is obscured by the position of the tower and a chapel on the S. side. The only objects of interest are (1) the carved seat ends, one of which has the figure of a lady (supposed to be Florence Windham, of whom it is related that she was buried when in a trance, from which she was awakened by the sexton, who opened her coffin in order to steal her rings), (2) the effigy of a mailed warrior (in the vestry), presumably one of the Bretts.
Seavington St Mary, a small village 3 m. E. from Ilminster, on the road to Ilchester. The church stands by the wayside, a little apart from the village. It is a fairly good specimen of a plain E.E. country church. As examples of the style note (1) S. doorway, (2) chancel arch, comprising two remaining members of a triplet, with squint; (3) lancets in chancel, (4) plain round font. The tower, the internal arch of which is peculiar, has been reconstructed in Perp. times. The sanctuary contains a trefoiled piscina and an aumbry. Inside the church doorway is a bench bearing date 1623; it was originally the parish bier.
Seavington St Michael, a parish 4 m. E. of Ilminster. The church is small, without tower or aisles. It retains two piscinas and an ancient font; and built into the side walls are two boldly carved heads (perhaps originally supports of the Lenten veil). Outside, exposed to the weather, is the effigy of a woman.
Selworthy, a charming village 4 m. W. of Minehead, on the road to Porlock. It is best reached from Holnicote, along a pleasant shady lane, 1/2 m. long. There is much to repay the visitor. The church (Perp.) has a curious pew over the S. porch, and the S. aisle (rebuilt in 1490) has a very good roof. The mouldings of the arcade piers should be observed, and two of the capitals have the Devonshire foliage. Note, too (1) piscinas in the chancel and S. aisle, (2) fragments of early glass in the E. window of the N. aisle, (3) some 16th and 17th-cent. brasses. On the road to the church is a 15th-cent. tithe-barn; whilst W. of the church, lying in a hollow, are some interesting almhouses, known as “Selworthy Green.” Selworthy Beacon, rising above the village, is 1014 ft. above the sea.
Shapwick, a village 4-1/2 m. W. of Glastonbury, situated on the Poldens. Its church has a central tower (no transepts) supported on E.E. arches. There are piscinas in the S. and N. walls of the aisles, and a large mural monument of the 17th cent.; otherwise it contains nothing of interest.
Shepton Beauchamp, a village 4 m. N.E. of Ilminster, and about the same distance S.W. of Martock. The church has a fair tower, which (like that of Hinton St George) is lighted by a single large window, common to the belfry stage and the stage below. The W. face has in a niche the figure of a bishop or a mitred abbot; the S. side has St Michael. The tower arch is panelled and the vault groined. The arcade has pointed, chamfered arches, supported on octagonal pillars, and there is a small clerestory. The massive character of one of the piers of the arcade suggests that the church originally had a central tower. The chancel has a Dec. E. window (restored), a piscina, and triple sedilia, E.E. There is also a piscina in the N. chapel. The font is ancient. There is an old Perp. house opposite the church, now used as an institute.
SHEPTON MALLET, a market town of 5238 inhabitants, on the S.E. slope of the Mendips, 5 m. E. from Wells. It has two railway stations, one (S. & D.) putting it in touch with Bath and Templecombe, the other (G.W.R.) with Wells and Frome. The ancient Fosse Way skirts the town on the E. It is a place of some antiquity, deriving its name from its former connection with the Mallets of Curry Mallet, and has had a career of respectable commercial mediocrity. Cloth, crape, and knitted stockings once formed its staple trade; but its present prosperity rests chiefly on beer, a gigantic brewery being now its principal business institution. The town has few attractions
[Illustration: SHEPTON MALLET CROSS]
Shepton Montague, a village 2 m. S. from Bruton. The church stands by the side of the railway some distance away from the houses. It is a Perp. building, with a tower on the S. side (cp. Stanton Drew). The interior contains piscinas in chancel and on S. wall, and a circular Norm. font. In the churchyard is the base of a cross.
Shipham, a village on the Mendips 2 m. E. from Winscombe (G.W.R.). The church is modern.
Skilgate, a village 5 m. E. from Dulverton. The church has been rebuilt (1872).
Solsbury Hill. See Batheaston.
SOMERTON, a small town of nearly 2000 people, 7 m. S. of Glastonbury, with a station on the G.W.R. loop line from Castle Cary to Langport. Though centrally situated and occupying a prominent position on high ground, Somerton has all the appearance of a town which the world has forgotten. An air of placid decadence hangs about its old-fashioned streets, and few would guess that here was once the capital of the Somersaetas, the Saxon tribe from which Somerset derives its name. Beyond its possession of a small shirt and collar factory it has no pretensions to modern importance, and it has evidently done its best to cover up its traces of ancient dignity. Its castle has long ago been absorbed by the “White Hart” (the thickness
Sparkford, a village 7 m. N. from Yeovil, with a station on the G.W.R. line to Weymouth. This is the nearest station for Cadbury Camp. The church, with the exception of the tower, was rebuilt in 1824, in the sham Gothic of the day. It is of interest only to the bell-hunter. It possesses a pre-Reformation bell with an inscription, Caterina, ora pro nobisi. Sparkford Hall stands in a park bordering the Ilchester road.
Spaxton, a village 5 m. W. of Bridgwater. Its church possesses several features of interest. Though mainly Perp., it retains two Dec. windows in the N. wall, and the E. window has plate tracery, though this may not be original. Some of the pillars of the arcade exhibit the Devonshire foliage. Note (1) in the chancel, the fine 14th-cent. tomb, supporting two effigies in exceptionally good preservation—possibly one of the Hulles (or Hills), who possessed the manor in the 14th and 15th cents.; (2) carved seat ends, one representing a fuller at his work (cloth was formerly much made in the W.), and others bearing the dates 1536 and 1561; (3) ancient alms-box, with its three locks; (4) in the churchyard, a fine cross, with the rood carved on two sides of the head (very rare), and a figure on each of the others. Near the church are some ancient buildings (now a farm).
Standerwick. See Beckington.
Stanton Drew, a village 1-1/2 m. W. from
Pensford Station. In summer a conveyance meets
some of the trains to carry visitors to the site of
the Somerset Stonehenge, for which the village is famous.
There is a more direct footpath across the fields.
En route should be observed, on a spur of the
hill to the R., a large tumulus, Maes Knoll.
One of the curiosities of the place is Hautville’s
Quoit, which, to save time, should also be looked
for on approaching the village. (Enter iron gate on
L. a few hundred yards before reaching tollhouse, and
search backwards along the hedge bordering road.)
It is a large stone, which legend says was hurled
by Sir J. Hautville (whose effigy is in Chew Magna
Church) from the top of Maes Knoll. The famous
“druidical remains” will be found near
the church. About 50 yards from the entrance to
the churchyard take a lane to the L. leading to an
orchard: the stones will be observed in the field
beyond (admission free, but field closed on Sundays).
The “remains” consist of three contiguous
circles. The first is of considerable area, and
is marked out by twelve large stones, only three of
which remain upright; a smaller circle of eight stones
lies just beyond; and a third circle of eight will
be found farther away in an orchard on the R. The
two larger circles have each a few scattered stones
thrown off as a kind of avenue. Standing apart
from the circles is a curious group of three stones
huddled together in a garden abutting on the churchyard,
from which they can be easily seen by looking over
the W. boundary wall. These mystic rings probably
had the same origin (whatever that may have been)
as that of the more famous circle at Avebury in Wiltshire,
with which they should be compared. The proximity
of Maes Knoll is comparable with that of Silbury Hill.
A ridiculous theory suggests that the monoliths were
erected as a trophy after one of Arthur’s victories.
The country story is that a local wedding once took
place on a Sunday, when the frivolous guests would
insist on winding up with a dance. The penalty
for a “Sabbath” thus “profaned”
was the prompt transformation of the bridal party
into stone. Hence the local appellation of “The
fiddlers and the maids.” The church is
of very secondary interest: there is nothing in
it calling for detailed notice. But the fine mediaeval
rectory should be observed. It stands near the
bridge at the entrance of the village, and bears the
arms of its builder, Bishop Beckington. The farm
near the church has an ecclesiastical-looking window
and some carved finials.
Stanton Prior, a small and secluded village 6 m. W.S.W. of Bath, situated at the bottom of a lane a little to the E. of the Wells and Keynsham Road. The church contains on N. wall a quaint memorial to some member of the Cox family (1644-50). Some figures in Puritan costume are carved in high relief, kneeling beside a bier. Note in porch (1) stoup and recess at side of doorway, (2) in jamb of doorway within, an earlier stoup, (3) Dec. tabernacle. Facing the village is the wooded hill of Stantonbury (to be distinguished from its barer neighbour Wynbury). The summit contains a fine camp of considerable area, and commands a remarkable prospect. (Take lane to Corston, turn into a field adjoining an orchard on L., and ascend). The view from the far side of the camp is striking. Bath and Keynsham lie near at hand; on the N.W. are Dundry and the factory chimneys of Bristol, and in the distance the Monmouthshire hills; to the S. is Stanton Prior in the foreground, and beyond, the long line of the Mendips stretching away to the R.; whilst on the L. may be discerned the Wiltshire Downs and Alfred’s Tower at Stourton.
Staple Fitzpaine, a parish 5-1/2 m. S.E. of Taunton. Its church is distinguished for an exceptionally beautiful W. tower. Though it is not lofty, its decoration is unusually rich. It has double windows in the belfry stage, and the single windows in the stage below are flanked with niches; whilst the summit is crowned with pierced battlements and graceful crocketed pinnacles. The S. door is Norm., with rather uncommon mouldings. The interior is of less interest: it contains a small screen. The cross in the churchyard has a modern head, elaborately carved with figures and scenes.
Staplegrove, a parish which is virtually a suburb of Taunton. Of the church the only ancient part is the tower (on the S. side). The rest of the fabric has undergone restoration, though it retains a hagioscope and two piscinas.
Stavordale, a small hamlet 3-1/2 m. N.E. of Wincanton. Here an Augustinian priory was founded in 1263 by R. Lovel, the existing conventual church being built in 1443. The remains are now converted into a private residence. The shell of the church is intact, and a small bell-cot will be seen marking the division between the chancel and the nave. The roof of the chancel is unusually flat. On the N. is a projecting chapel containing a fan-traceried roof of considerable merit, but the interior of the building is not now on view.
Stawell, a parish 3-1/2 m. S.W. of Edington Station. Its church (restored in 1874) has a low gabled tower, and once had an aisle, the piers of the arcade being still visible; but it has been restored, and its early features lost.
Stawley, a village on the Tone, 3 m. S.E. of Venn Cross station. The church is a small E.E. building with a W. tower, on the face of which is a series of twelve panels bearing the inscription, Pray for the souls of Henry Hine and Agnes his wyffe, A.D. 1522.
Stockland Bristol, which derives its name from the fact that it formed part of the endowment of Gaunt’s Hospital, in Bristol, is a parish 7 m. N.W. from Bridgwater. Its church has been entirely rebuilt (1865), but retains its Perp. font.
Stocklinch, a village 2-1/2 m. N.E. of Ilminster. Its small church has no tower. The E. window is Dec.; there is a sun-dial of 1612, and an ancient font.
Stogumber, 5 m. S. by E. of Watchet, with a station about a mile away. It is a large village at the foot of the Brendons, and preserves in its name the memory of its Norman lord, Stogumber being a corruption of Stoke Gomer (cp. Stogursey). A spring on the hillside has medicinal qualities, and the water is used for brewing a particular kind of ale. The church, in the main Perp., is an interesting structure, with a tower at the S.W. corner. The tower arches, pointed and recessed, are supported on chamfered piers without capitals, and two piers of the S. arcade have only rude capitals, and are
Stogursey or Stoke Courcy, a village 9 m. N.W. of Bridgwater. It derives its name from the Norman family of De Courcy, and is a place of much interest. Its spacious church, originally cruciform in plan, with a central tower surmounted by a lead-covered spire of disproportionate size, is remarkable for its series of Norm. arches (in parts restored) which lead into the chancel, transepts, and chapels. The pier-capitals exhibit great variety of carving, some having rough volutes of a classical type, whilst several of the arches have the “tooth” ornament. The font is also Norm. The body of the church dates from the 15th cent. The W. window deserves notice, the upper lights representing the six days of creation, with Our Lord as Creator. The N. transept was dedicated to St Erasmus, the S. to “Our Lady of Pity.” The chapel of the latter contains two tombs (1) of Sir Ralph Verney (d. 1352); (2) of Sir John Verney (d. 1461): note on the shield of the second the ferns or “verns.” Other features of interest in the church are (1) the three piscinas, (2) carved seat-ends, (3) chamber over vestry, (4) door leading from S. transept to neighbouring Priory. Of this Priory (which was attached to the Benedictine Abbey of Lonlay, in Normandy) all that remains is the dove-cot, the circular building in the farmyard near the church.
The De Courcys had a castle here, of which there are a few fragmentary remains, including the base of two round towers. In the course of its history it underwent many changes of ownership, finally passing into the hands of 1457, during the Wars of the Roses, by Lord Bonville, brother-in-law of the Earl of Warwick.
In the village street is the base of an ancient cross; whilst a bell on some alms-houses, which rings at six every morning and evening, is said to date from the reign of Henry V.
Stoke, East (or Stoke-sub-Hamdon), 1-1/2 m. W. from Montacute. It has a remarkably interesting church, exhibiting an exceptional combination of various styles of architecture. At present it is cruciform in plan, with a tower on the N. (cp. Tintinhull) the basement of which constitutes the N. transept; but originally it consisted of a Norm. nave and chancel only. Of the Norm. church note (1) N. porch, with quadripartite groining, supported on quaint corbels; (2) N. doorway, with carved tympanum exhibiting the zodiacal figure Sagittarius aiming at a lion, with the Agnus Dei above (King Stephen is said to have assumed Sagittarius on his badge because he obtained the kingdom when the sun was in that sign); (3) S. doorway, now blocked; (4) two very small windows in nave, one displaying outside a rude representation of St Michael and the Dragon; (5) recessed chancel arch; (6) round-headed window in chancel, visible only on the outside; (7) corbels under chancel roof; (8) flat buttresses at W. end; (9) font with cable and lozenge mouldings. To this Norm. building an E.E.N. transept was added, with a tower above (the groining supported on beautifully-carved corbels) which has two lancets on each face. In the Dec. period there was added the S. transept; foliated lancets were inserted in the nave and chancel walls (those in the nave breaking the splays of the Norm. slits); a large window (with reticulated tracery) was placed at the W. end, and a second with flowing tracery introduced into the ribbed chamber over the N. porch. Still later, Perp. windows were inserted in the E. and S. walls. Other noteworthy features are (1) the piscinas, one (double) being under a massive canopy at the S.E. corner of the chancel, a second in the S. transept, and a third (for the rood-loft altar) on the E. pier of the transept; (2) Perp. stone screen under the tower (obviously not in its original position); (3) squints; (4) effigies, one (in the chancel) of a knight under a Renaissance canopy, the other (in the S. transept) of an ecclesiastic; (5) Jacobean pulpit; (6) stand for an hour glass; (7) low side windows in the chancel.
At the hamlet of West Stoke is Parsonage Farm, originally a chantry house, where should be noticed the Tudor gateway, the hall, a gabled room surmounted by a bell-cot, and a circular columbarium. The chantry which was served by the priests who resided here, no longer exists.
Above the village is Hamdon Hill, an eminence 426 ft. above sea level. It consists of inferior oolite, which furnishes excellent building stone, and the hill in consequence is honeycombed with quarries. On the summit is a very extensive British camp covering 2O0 acres, part of which was subsequently occupied by the Romans in order to command the ford where the Fosseway (which runs near) crossed the Parrett. The rampart is nearly 3 m. in circumference. Near the N. side of the camp is a hollow called the “Frying-pan,” which is thought to have been an amphitheatre; but it looks too small to have served for this.
Stoke, North, a small village 5 m. N.W. of Bath (nearest stat. Kelston, 1-1/2 m.). The church has a low tower originally Norm. The tower arch is round-headed, without mouldings, whilst the chancel arch is pointed and probably rather later than that of the tower. There is a very massive rectangular font, said to be Saxon; note the roughly carved heads at the corners. A very fine view of the neighbourhood may be obtained by proceeding from the village to the Lansdowne golf links.
Stoke Pero a parish on the edge of Exmoor, 3-1/2 m. S. of Porlock. Its little church, with its gable tower, lies under a spur of Dunkery, and is interesting more for its isolated situation than for anything else. It may be reached either by the Horner woods and Cloutsham, or from Porlock by a path that crosses Ley Hill. The wooden N. doorway is ascribed to the 14th cent.
Stoke, Rodney, a village prettily situated at the foot of the Mendips, 5 m. N.W. from Wells (nearest stat. Draycott, 1 m.). Its little Perp. church (St Leonard) is principally noteworthy for a mortuary N. chapel, containing several tombs and monuments of the Rodney family. One of these—that of Sir Thomas Rodney—dates from the 15th cent.; the others are later. Other features which deserve attention are (1) large stoup in N. porch; (2) ancient font (late Norm.), with its cover; (3) screen (1624, given by Sir Edward Rodney whose monument is among those referred to above); (4) carved pulpit.
Stoke St Gregory, a parish 2 m. S. of Athelney Station. It has an interesting church, which, like that of its neighbour North Curry, is cruciform with a central octagonal tower. The oldest parts are E.E. (note in particular the E. windows of the S. transept, of which the piers have E.E. capitals as bases, and the base of the tower). The rest of the building was reconstructed in Perp. times. The figures (of Apostles) on the outside of the tower are modern, though the pedestals are ancient. There is a little ancient glass in one of the N. windows; but the most noteworthy features of the church are the carved Jacobean pulpit, a cupboard in the vestry made from the former reading-desk, and the carved bench ends. The pulpit has five figures in relief which should be compared with similar ones at Thurloxton and North Newton. They represent Time, Faith, Hope, Charity, and (probably) the Virgin and Child. There are also five carved figures on the vestry cupboard, which are possibly the five Wise Virgins. The W. door is closed by a bar inserted in the wall. Note the niched figure in the S. porch. At Slough Farm is an old moated manor house.
Stoke St Mary, a parish 2 m. E. of Thorne Falcon Station. Its church (restored) is prettily situated, but contains nothing to interest the antiquarian.
Stoke St Michael (or Stoke Lane), a compact but uninteresting village, 3 m. N. of Cranmore Station. Its church is an instructive example of architectural depravity, but internally has been much improved. The tower is ancient but poor. About a mile E. of the village are the ruins of a villa once owned by the notorious Duke of Buckingham.
Stoke, South, a parish 2-1/2 m. S. of Bath. The church has a fine Norm. doorway, with carved tympanum and pillars, and zigzag and other mouldings round the arch.
Stoke Trister is a small hamlet of mean appearance, 2 m. E. of Wincanton. It has a modern church (1841).
Ston Easton, a small wayside village, 2-1/2 m. S. of Hallatrow station. The church is an unpretentious little Perp. building, with a rather fine Norm. chancel arch, and has been well restored. Ston Easton House stands in a well-wooded park, and possesses an old carved oak ceiling and an ancient staircase.
Stowell, a very small parish 1 m. W. of Templecombe, which probably gets its name from the spring seen near the church. The church itself was originally built in the 15th cent., but only the tower arch belongs to this date. The nave is quite modern (1834), but it preserves a Norm. font.
Stowey, a parish 2 m. W. of Clutton. It has a small church, noteworthy for the irregularity of its windows (the small one in the S. wall was originally the S. door). It has a 14th cent. font (note the cockle-shell); and an interesting bit of sculpture is built into the exterior N. wall of the chancel. Near it is an incised pair of shears (a woolstaplers’ mark). Not far from the church is an old manor house, half of which has been destroyed. Within the parish is Sutton Court (Sir E. Strachey), a house which has historical associations, for here Bishop Hooper found an asylum during the Marian persecution. The mansion is of considerable antiquity, parts of it dating from the reign of Edward II., and others from Tudor times.
Stowey, Nether, a village 9 m. W. from Bridgwater (from which place there is a motor service). It owes its interest to having been the residence of S.T. Coleridge from 1796 to 1798: his cottage, marked by a tablet, is at the end of the village on the Minehead road. Both “Christabel” and “The Ancient Mariner,” as well as several of his shorter poems, are said to have been partly written in this neighbourhood. Here he must have entertained Wordsworth, Charles Lamb, William Hazlitt, and many others of his literary friends. A movement has been recently started to purchase the cottage for the nation. The church contains nothing of note except a mural tablet in memory of Thomas Poole, described as the friend of “Wordsworth and Davy (i.e. Sir Humphrey), Southey, and Coleridge”: his tomb is on the W. side of the S. door. The two painted mitres beneath the roof-beams commemorate two vicars who became bishops (Majendie of Chester and Fisher of Exeter).
[Illustration: NETHER STOWEY]
Near the church is Stowey Court, a 15th cent. mansion which was garrisoned in the Civil War. There are three fish ponds in the grounds, and a curious summer-house (called the “Gazebo”) overlooking the road (cp. Montacute). On Castle hill (take road to left where the highway from Bridgwater forks at the sign-post) are the foundations and ramparts of a castle, the last owner of which, James, Lord Audley, was executed for supporting Perkin Warbeck. The site is worth visiting for the prospect alone.
Stowey, Over, a parish 9 m. W. of Bridgwater, situated on the slopes of the Quantocks. Its church has some carved bench ends of an ordinary type, but otherwise contains little of interest. Quantock Lodge (E.J. Stanley) is in the parish.
Stratton on the Fosse, a village standing (as its name implies) on the old Roman road, 1 m. S.E. from Chilcompton Station. The parish church (ded. to St Vigor) is entirely overshadowed by its Roman neighbour, Downside Abbey. It is a poor little building, with a debased tower; but preserves one or two remnants of Norm. work (e.g. a S. doorway and a fragment of the original apse). Within is a small 15th cent. stone pulpit, and a Norm. font.
Street, a populous village 1 m. S. from Glastonbury Station. It spreads itself at considerable length along the Bridgwater road, and is a busy and stirring place, devoted chiefly to the manufacture of boots and shoes. It also possesses some large lias quarries which have been prolific in fossils. The church is a disappointing building standing well back from the village street, mainly Perp., with a rather poor Dec. chancel; and is made still more depressing by the addition of a very debased modern N. aisle. There is a piscina and double sedilia in the chancel. The village is furnished with a good modern Institute, which contains a large assembly hall and a small museum of local geological specimens.
Stringston, a small village 6 m. E. of Williton. Its little church has a broach spire of red tiles, a great rarity in this part of the country, and retains its piscina and the fragments of a stoup. Its most interesting possession is its cross (14th cent.), with carvings supposed to represent (1) the Crucifixion; (2) the Virgin and Child; (3) a knight; (4) a bishop.
Sutton Bingham, a small parish on the Dorset border, 3-1/2 m. S. from Yeovil, with a station on the L. & S.W. main line. The church is of considerable interest and should be visited. It is a 12th-cent. building standing on rising ground on the farther side of the station, and shows traces of the Norm., E.E., and Dec. styles. It has no tower or projecting bell-cot, but a couple of bells are let into the W. gable. A good Norm. arch, only 6 ft. wide, with zigzag ornament, divides the aisleless nave from the chancel; and other indications of Norm. workmanship are found in the N. porch and in two windows of the nave. The chancel is E.E. and is lighted by lancets. Round the walls and in the splays of the windows are a series of 14th-cent. frescoes, representing the Coronation of the Virgin, and a number of bishops, saints, and virgins. A figure in the splay of the E. window has been carefully erased by some “conscientious objector.” Note (1) E.E. piscina in chancel; (2) late Norm. font. In the churchyard is a curious cross, consisting of a headless shaft mounted on a raised slab, seemingly a tombstone.
Sutton, Long, a village 3 m. S. of Somerton, said to have been the quarters of Goring before the Battle of Langport. Its church (Perp.) will repay inspection. The tower is unusually lofty, and has triple belfry windows; but in workmanship it is inferior to most of its class, too much space being left between the windows and the parapet. The most interesting feature of the church is its woodwork. The nave roof is very good, having embattled tie-beams, ornamented with angels, and open Perp. tracery above. There is a rich painted and gilded Perp. screen, with loft carrying the organ, and a highly decorated wooden pulpit of the same period (restored 1868). Note also (1) stoup outside W. door; (2) fine niche in N. porch; (3) piscinas on N. chancel pier and in chancel; (4) blocked squints; (5) sedilia (resembling those at Shepton Beauchamp). In the churchyard is the carved socket of a cross.
Sutton Mallet, a hamlet near the base of the Polden Hills, 4 m. S. of Edington Station. Its church, of “debased” character, is of no interest.
Sutton Montis, a parish 2 m. S.E. of Sparkford, lying under the S. side of Cadbury Hill (hence its name). Its church has a low W. tower, with a massive belfry staircase and a most incongruous “classical” porch attached to the S. door (cp. Queen Camel). Inside is a good Norm. chancel arch, Dec. chancel windows (restored), and a large piscina (restored). One of the bells is of pre-Reformation date.
Swainswick, a village 3 m. N.N.E. of Bath, reached by a lane from the Cheltenham road. Its name is perhaps connected with the Danish chief Swegen (Sweyn); and it was the birthplace of William Prynne (b. 1600). The church has a gable-topped tower, and retains some ancient features. The S. door is Norm. (note the stoup), whilst the tower arch seems E.E. A window in the S. wall has flowing tracery with an ogee moulding. Note (1) in N. chapel a piscina; (2) in chancel a brass (said to have once been on an altar-tomb) of the date 1439.
Swell, a parish 4 m. S.W. of Langport. It has a small Perp. church (very dilapidated) which retains a Norm. door. Note in the interior (1) piscina and niches; (2) fragments of ancient glass; (3) pulpit and reading-desk of 1634.
Tatworth, a parish 2 m. S. of Chard. The church is modern, but a Baptist place of worship, a plain, thatched building at South Chard, is supposed to have been an ancient chapel. It is locally known as St Margaret’s, and over the doorway is an empty niche. For a curious custom of holding a sale by candlelight, see under Chedzoy.
[Illustration: TAUNTON FROM THE RIVER]
TAUNTON, county town on the Tone (whence its name), 163 m. from London, and 44-1/2 S.W. from Bristol; pop. 21,000. A spacious station on the G.W.R. main line, Bristol to Exeter, forms a junction for the Yeovil, Chard, Minehead, and Barnstaple branches. The town is commodious, and its railway facilities make it an excellent centre. The streets are spacious and well-built, and converge upon a triangular market place which is rather spoilt by an ugly market hall in its centre. Though Taunton wears a prosperous and progressive air, it has behind it a very venerable history which is not without a flavour of stirring times. It finds a place in our national annals on four notable occasions. (1) In 710 King Ina of Wessex pushed the West Welsh beyond the Tone and erected a castle at Taunton as a barrier against their return. The site was subsequently fortified afresh by the Normans. (2) In 1497 Perkin Warbeck, in his dash for the throne, seized the town, but fled in terror at the approach of the Royal forces. (3) During the Civil War it was alternately occupied by the Royalists and Parliamentarians, and in 1643 Blake successfully withstood here attacks from Hopton and Goring; and the town was punished at the Restoration for this robust resistance by the demolition of its fortifications and the loss of its charter. (4) In 1685 the sentiments of the place were again enthusiastically “agin the government,” and Monmouth was accorded here a royal ovation and was proclaimed king in the market-place. But this coup de theatre was only an introductory farce to the grim tragedy which followed. When Monmouth’s hopes of sovereignty were rudely shattered by the melee at Sedgemoor the town was handed over for pacification to the tender mercies of Kirke and the brutal justice of Jeffreys. The rebels got short shrift from both. Kirke, without preliminary inquiry, swung the culprits from the sign-board of his lodgings, and Jeffreys’ law was notorious for its despatch. So numerous were the executions that Bishop Ken complained to the king that “the whole diocese was tainted with death.” The name Tangier still attaches to the district where Kirke penned his “lambs,” and the old “White Hart” (now a shop) at the corner of Fore Street marks the Colonel’s own quarters. Jeffreys’ lodgings have been demolished, perhaps under the impression that nothing was needed to keep alive the memory of the “Bloody Assize.” The ecclesiastical interests of Taunton were from early days associated with the see of Winchester, and the establishment of a priory here early in the 12th cent. was the see’s acknowledgment of its obligations. Nothing of this benefaction now remains but the monastic barn near St James’s Church.
The parish church of St Mary Magdalene, though far the finest church in Taunton, was originally only a subordinate chapel-of-ease to the monastery. It is a spacious building, noteworthy for its imposing tower and quadruple aisles. Its probable designer was Sir R. Bray, Henry VII.’s architect, and the king is supposed to have contributed to its erection. The present tower is claimed to be a conscientious reproduction of the original fabric, removed in 1858 as dangerous. It is a lofty and ornate structure of four storeys, decorated with a triple tier of double windows, and divided at the stages by bands of quatrefoils. A crown of elaborate tabernacle work—a perfect medley of battlements and pinnacles—forms the cresting. The general design, though highly artificial, is well balanced. Note (1) the stoups on either side of the W. doorway; (2) the carvings (part of the original fabric) in the spandrels above. The S. porch—a very successful and noteworthy feature of the church—is dated 1508, The rest of the building must be nearly contemporaneous. The interior is rich, but somewhat devoid of interest. Note (1) the four aisles—an unusual arrangement, occurring also at Manchester Cathedral and St Michael’s, Coventry; (2) the E.E. piers to N. aisle; (3) the fine oak roof of nave; (4) canopied figure (modern) of St Mary Magdalene on one of the nave piers; (5) monument of Robert Gray, with a laudatory and rhyming epitaph in N. wall; (6) figures of apostles between clerestory lights (cp. Bruton). St James’s Church has a good tower with turret and spirelet—likewise rebuilt. The interior is well proportioned and gains an air of great spaciousness from an unusually lofty chancel. The most noteworthy feature of the church is its splendid font, richly adorned with figures of apostles and ecclesiastics. The pulpit is dated 1633. Hard by, and in close proximity to the county cricket ground, is the Priory Barn, the only remnant of Taunton’s once considerable and wealthy priory: note the windows—perhaps insertions from other fragments of the monastic buildings. The Castle, after centuries of complete neglect, underwent a well-intentioned but unfortunate restoration by Sir B. Hammet, but is now in the appropriate possession of the Somerset Archaeological Society, who have transformed it into a museum. The buildings, as they now stand, include (1) an outer gateway—the Castle Bow—now incorporated with Clarke’s Hotel (note the portcullis groove); (2) a rectangular block consisting of Edwardian additions to an original Norm. keep and a great hall (fee for entrance, 2d.). Note (1) the arms of Bishop Langton, of Winchester, and Henry VII. over central gateway; (2) the drum tower (now the committee-room and library) at S.W. corner; (3) the immense thickness of the walls of the keep with its Norm. buttresses, and the lighter superstructure, with its Dec. windows, above; (4) the Great Hall, the scene of the Bloody Assize—a remarkably spacious chamber built by Bishop Horne, 1577. The shelves of the museum are stocked with a large collection of antiquities add natural-history specimens: the case containing the relics from Sedgemoor is of special interest. The exhibition as a whole would gain in point by being confined to objects connected with the county.
Other things worthy of attention in Taunton are (1) the old Grammar School in Corporation Street, now incorporated with the Municipal Buildings, (2) the two fine old houses opposite the Market Hall, (3) Gray’s and Pope’s alms-houses in East Street, (4) the old thatched alms-houses (originally a lepers’ hospital) at the E. extremity of the town, in East Reach, bearing on the wall Abbot Bere’s monogram and arms. A visit should be paid to Vivary Park at the end of High Street, a tastefully laid-out public recreation ground on the site of the old monastic fishponds. The Shire Hall, in Shuttern, a somewhat pretentious modern building, contains a number of busts of Somerset worthies. A rough lane striking off to the R. from the Trull road leads to an old Roman causeway crossing a narrow, one-arched bridge locally known as Ramshorn Bridge.
Tellisford, a small village 1 m. S. of Farleigh Hungerford. Its church has a passing likeness to that at Farleigh; it preserves within the porch a stoup and a fair Trans. doorway.
Templecombe (or Abbas Combe), an inconsiderable village at the S.E. extremity of the county, with an important station on the S. & D. and L. & S.W. lines. The church is ancient but uninteresting, and seems to have been considerably altered. It contains a curious E.E. font. The tower is somewhat peculiar, and forms the S. porch. On the rising ground at the S. of the village are the remains of a preceptory of the Knights Templars, founded in the 12th cent. by Serlo Fitz-Odo. From this foundation the place takes its name. A long building, which was perhaps once the refectory, but which is now used as a barn, will be noticed abutting on a farm-house along the road to Milborne Port. In an orchard at the back of the farm are the ruins of a small chapel.
Thorne (or Thorne Coffin), a parish 2-1/2 m. N.W. of Yeovil. Its small church (without a tower) contains nothing of interest except a pulpit of the date 1624 (cp. Chilthorne Domer).
Thorne St Margaret, a village 3 m. W. of Wellington. Its church has been rebuilt, and the only object of interest that it retains is a small brass (affixed to the W. wall) with an inscription in Latin and English, of a punning character, to a person called Worth.
Thornfalcon, a parish 3-1/2 m. E. of Taunton, with a station on the Taunton and Chard line. Its Perp. church preserves some good bench-ends dated 1542. There is a holy-water stoup inside the S. door, and an ancient font. Not far from the church, at a spot where four ways meet, is a roadside cross.
Thurlbear, a parish 3-1/2 m. S.E. of Taunton. It has a small church which is remarkable for having fine Norm. arcades N. and S., it being one of a very small number of churches in the immediate neighbourhood of Taunton that retain much Norm. work. The squint is peculiar, and there is an early font under the belfry.
Thurloxton, a parish half way between Taunton and Bridgwater (lying a little off the main road), and 3 m. N.W. of Durston Station. The small church of St Giles is noteworthy for (1) the carved oak screen, which has rests for books attached to it, (2) the fine oak pulpit (dated 1634), with four figures in relief, three apparently representing Faith, Hope, and Charity (cp. Stoke St Gregory), (3) the W. door, made of one solid block of wood; over the entrance is the date 1500. Observe, too, the piscina and the old tub font.
Tickenham, a village 4 m. E. from Clevedon and 3 m. from Nailsea Station. Its church, dedicated to SS. Quiricus and Julietta, is interesting. The tower (as at Wraxall and Brislington) is characterised by having niches on each face rising above the parapet between the pinnacles, and containing effigies. Externally, there should be observed (1) the square sanctus-bell cot, (2) the E.E. porch. The interior is very plain. The square piers of the arcades have no capitals, and are possibly Norm., though one has at two of its angles small pilasters with carved capitals. The chancel arch is round-headed, probably early Norm., without mouldings. In the N. aisle there are three life-sized effigies (two knights in full armour and a lady), assigned to the 13th cent., and supposed to be members of the Berkeley family. Note (1) font, (2) ancient glass.
A neighbouring farm contains some remains of an old 15th-cent. house, once the residence of the Berkeleys.
Above Tickenham on the N. lies Cadbury Camp, covering about 7 acres. It is protected by double ramparts and ditches, the former consisting of piled limestone fragments, now almost entirely covered with turf. Roman coins have been found within it. The position commands a fine view, both landward and seaward.
Timberscombe, a small wayside village, 3 m. S.W. of Dunster on the Dulverton road. The church (Perp.) has an unimposing tower (rebuilt 1708) with slate pyramidal spire. Within is a small coloured rood-screen resembling that at Carhampton, but with staircase intact. Note (1) piscinas in chancel and aisle, (2) old wooden door to N. entrance, (3) Devonshire foliage on one of the arcade piers (cp. Luccombe). In the churchyard is a restored cross. Half a mile beyond the village is the manor house of Bickham, one wing of which was originally a chapel.
Timsbury, one of the colliery villages near Radstock, 1 m. N.W. from Camerton. Like its neighbour Paulton it stands high, but it is both more attractive and more pleasantly situated, commanding a pretty prospect towards Camerton, which it overlooks. The church was rebuilt in 1826, but the chancel was added later from designs by Sir G. Scott.
Tintinhull (formerly Tyncnell), a village 1-1/2 m. N. from Montacute Station, preserving some old houses and possessing an interesting church. The latter appears to be E.E. with Dec. and Perp. insertions and additions. The massive tower is unusually placed on the N. side, and has in the basement a blocked squint. Features of the church which deserve notice are (1) the S. porch, which has a ribbed roof, and supports on its gable an odd kind of sundial (cp. Middle Chinnock), (2) stone base of rood screen, on which is a mutilated piscina, (3) double piscina (E.E.) in chancel, (4) bench-ends (1511), with the old seats hinged to them, (5) ancient tiles (14th cent.), (6) Jacobean pulpit; (7) brasses, one to John Stone (d. 1416), and another, with effigy, to John Heth (d. 1464). At one end of the churchyard is a gate-post with an inscription; and not far away is the former rectory (now called the Court House). In the village, beneath a magnificent elm, are the ancient stocks.
Tolland, a village 4 m. N. by E. of Wiveliscombe. Its small church contains little of interest, except some ancient tiles and some carved woodwork. In the parish is an old manor house called Gaulden Farm, with a large hall decorated with a fine plaster ceiling, with pendant and cornice, but inspection of it is not easily obtained. James Turberville, Bishop of Exeter, is said to have lived here in seclusion, when deprived of his see in 1559.
Treborough, a small village 6 m. S.W. of Williton. The district is hilly, and the church small.
Trull, a village 2 m. S.W. of Taunton, on the Honiton road. Its church is of no great architectural interest, but is remarkable for its woodwork—rood-screen, pulpit, and seat ends. The screen is very good: note above it the tympanum, projecting below the chancel arch and formerly joined to the rood-loft by an oak addition. The pulpit has five figures in high relief, which seem to represent an apostle, a pope, a cardinal, and two bishops (or perhaps a bishop and a mitred abbot). Among the bench-ends are panels representing figures in a religious procession, including (1) a boy with a cross, (2) a man with a candle, (3) a man with a reliquary, (4) and (5) two ecclesiastics (or perhaps choristers) with books. The artist’s name (Simon Warman) and the date of his work (1560) are engraved at the W. end of the N. aisle. There is also some excellent ancient glass in the E. and S. windows of the chancel. In the churchyard, under a tree, are preserved the parish stocks.
Twerton, a populous working-class suburb on the W. side of Bath, with a station on the G.W.R. main line to Bristol. The name of the place (the town at the weir) betrays its Saxon origin, but the only thing known of its early history is that the Bath monks had a cloth mill here. A large clothing factory, which is one of the chief industries of the place, after a fashion perpetuates the tradition.
Ubley, a village 2 m. S.E. of Blagdon. The church tower has rather an odd appearance, as in addition to a low spire, it has a prominent stair turret with pyramidal cap. Within, the N. arcade has been pushed out of the perpendicular by the weight of the roof. At the entrance of the S. chapel is a chained copy of Erasmus’ Paraphrase of the Gospels, 1522 (cp. Bruton). The pulpit is Jacobean, and the altar bears date 1637. The churchyard is beautifully kept, and a very handsome restored cross stands on a little “green” fronting at the churchyard gate.
Uphill, a village at the mouth of the Axe, 2 m. S. of Weston-super-Mare. It is an unattractive collection of cottages without any present-day interest. Somewhere, however, in the neighbourhood once existed the old Roman seaport of Axium, where the lead dug from the Mendips was shipped for export. The church is early Victorian Gothic, with a new chancel. The old ruined church on the hill is a conspicuous landmark from Weston. It is a Norm. building, altered in Perp. times, with a low central tower. Note (1) the restored Norm. N. doorway; (2) three-faced gargoyle on S. side of tower. Near the church is the shell of a watch-tower. The old Roman road which ran across the Mendips from Old Sarum had its terminus here. Uphill was once notable for a bone cavern, but this has now been destroyed by the encroachments of a quarry. The contents, which included many valuable remains of extinct animals, have been scattered amongst neighbouring museums.
Upton, a village on the Haddeo, 6 m. E.N.E. of Dulverton. The neighbourhood is very picturesque. The church has been removed to a more convenient position at Rainsbury, but the tower of the old fabric, which has been allowed to remain, marks the original site.
Upton Noble, a parish 2-1/2 m. S.W. of Witham Friary. The church has a small gable-roofed tower, and preserves in the E. wall of a S. chapel a defaced crucifix within a nimbus. The font is early.
Vallis, 1 m. N.W. from Frome—a prettily-wooded bottom, through which flows a stream pleasantly margined by a strip of pasture. The vale is sufficiently romantic to make it a favourite trysting-place with the neighbouring townsfolk, but it is being rapidly ruined by extensive quarrying operations. The rocks, however, are geologically of much interest, as upon the edge of the upturned strata of mountain limestone will be noticed horizontal
Venn Cross, a rural station on the G.W.R. line to Barnstaple. It stands on the very border of the county, and serves a number of neighbouring villages.
Vobster, a small village 2 m. S. of Mells Road Station. Its uncouth name is said to be derived from some Dutch weavers who once worked a mill on the banks of the neighbouring stream. The church is a neat little modern building.
Walton, a village 3 m. S.W. of Glastonbury. The church is modern. At the W. end of it is a thatched 15th cent. parsonage with some ecclesiastical windows, now a farm. From the hill behind the village (marked by a windmill) an excellent view of the full extent of Sedgemoor may be obtained.
Walton-in-Gordano, a village 1 m. N. of Clevedon, very prettily situated near the Channel. Of the church, the only ancient part is the base of the tower (15th cent.), under which a few fragments of carved stones are preserved. The present building is said to be modelled on the style of the old.
Wanstrow, a village 6 m. S.W. of Frome, with a station on the G.W.R. branch to Wells. The church is ancient, but without interest.
Washford, a large hamlet in the parish of Old Cleeve, with a station (on the G.W.R. branch to Minehead) which affords easy access to Cleeve Abbey.
WATCHET, a small port of some 2000 inhabitants, situated on the Bristol Channel. It has always been of some trading importance, as giving access to the valley between the Brendons and Quantocks, and has seen some history. In Saxon times it was more than once raided by the Danes, and on the road to Williton is a spot called “Battle Gore,” which may preserve the memory of a fight with the invaders. Its church, St Decuman’s, on the way to Williton, is interesting. It has a good tower, with a figure of the saint on the S. face. There is a stoup outside the W. door, and remains of another in the S. porch. It will be seen that the chancel roof is a continuation of that of the nave. In the interior note (1) the group of four bishops, and St George (or St Michael) with the Dragon on some of the arcade piers; (2) the oak roof, pulpit and cornice; (3) the screen (which, however, is mostly modern). There are two chapels, Holy Cross on the S. and St Peter’s on the N. The latter is filled with tombs and brasses of the Wyndham family, chiefly 16th and 17th cent. In the churchyard is a restored cross. The farm-house of Kentisford, near the church, was once a manor-house, and preserves the name of St Keyne.
Wayford is a village 3 m. S.W. of Crewkerne Station. Its church occupies an elevated position, and displays several ancient features. Its windows are E.E. or Dec., some having the interior arch foliated. There is a good double piscina under a foliated canopy, and an old octagonal font.
Weare, a large village near the Axe, 3 m. S.W. of Axbridge. It is said to have been a borough in the early part of the 14th cent., sending two members to Parliament. The church has a good tower, rather deficient in height, with triple belfry windows. The treatment of the belfry staircase is unusual, and deserves notice. The interior of the church contains comparatively little of antiquarian interest. In one of the N. windows are some fragments of ancient glass, bearing seemingly the initials of Thomas Beckington. Note (1) piscina and small brass (late 15th cent.) in the sanctuary, (2) square Norm. font, (3) Jacobean pulpit (1617). There is a cross in the churchyard.
Wedmore, a large village 4 m. S. of Cheddar, situated on rising ground, which affords a good view of part of the Mendips and of the hamlets resting upon their slopes. The place is famous as the scene of Guthrum’s “chrisom-loosing” after his baptism at Aller, and of his treaty with Alfred (see p. 13). Its church (Perp.) is an interesting building. The tower is central (as at Axbridge, Yatton, etc.), with triple windows in the belfry; and as it has no pinnacles, it presents a very plain outline (cp. Yeovil). The original cruciform plan of the church is disguised by the N. and S. aisles and chapels. The oldest parts are the tower arches and the S. doorway, which are late Trans.; the S. chapel has a Dec. window; the rest of the structure is Perp. Note (1) gallery or parvise over the porch; (2) groined vaulting under tower; (3) wooden roof of N. chapel; (4) sedile, piscina, and squint; (5) fine Jacobean pulpit; (6) mural brasses to Thomas and George Hodges (1583 and 1630). There appear to be traces of a double rood-loft (as at Axbridge and Crewkerne). There is a cross in the churchyard, and a second (with defaced sculptures) in a garden on the L. hand of the Glastonbury road.
At Mudgeley, a hamlet 1-1/2 m. away, King Alfred is believed to have had a palace, and the foundation of walls have been discovered in the course of recent excavations.
WELLINGTON, a market town 7 m. S.W. from Taunton, with a station on the main G.W. line to Exeter. Population, 7283. No one seems to know why the hero of Waterloo chose to immortalise this quiet little west-country town: he does not appear to have had any original connection with it. The reputation of Wellington, made by war, is now maintained by woollens. The town is girdled by large cloth and serge mills. In general appearance the place is not unprepossessing. The streets are wide and airy, and their arrangement compact, but the shops are poor, and create an impression
The Wellington Monument, a conspicuous landmark on the summit of one of the Blackdowns, is nearly 3 m. S. of the town. It is a triangular column, erected by public subscription to commemorate the Iron Duke, and was originally intended to be surmounted by his statue. The site commands an extensive prospect in the direction of the Quantocks, Brendons, and Exmoor.
Wellow, a largish but somewhat declining village, lying in a valley 6 m. S. from Bath, with a station on the S. & D. line. St Julian’s Church is a fine specimen of early Perp. architecture (1372). It is interesting within and imposing without. The tower is severe but dignified, and a good effect is obtained by a small octagonal turret over the rood-loft staircase. The chancel is new (1890). Within note (1) the good bossed and panelled roof, (2) dark oak screen, (3) old benches, (4) the E.E. font attached to one of the pillars and furnished with a book rest, (5) effigy of a priest with an incised chalice on breast (cp. Minehead), (6) piscina on splay of S. sanctuary window. The Hungerford chapel—now filled by an organ—is an interesting little chamber, with a gaily coloured roof and an effigy of some Lady Hungerford under an Elizabethan canopy. At the bottom of a ditch in a cottage garden to the E. of the church is the site of St Julian’s well, said to have been the trysting-place of the Hungerford family ghost. A flat stone is now the only indication of this once uncanny fountain. Opposite the school is a grim-looking gabled farmhouse, once a manorial residence of the Hungerfords. It is said to contain an oak room and some fine carving, but the occupants do not encourage visitors. Half a mile to the W. of the village, in a field nearly opposite the cemetery, the foundations of a Roman villa were unearthed in 1685. Four upright stones at the top of the field mark the site, and portions of the tessellated pavement are still said to lie beneath the sod. Another antiquity of great interest will be found in the centre
[Illustration: WELLS CATHEDRAL]
WELLS, a cathedral city of some 5000 people, 20 m. S.W. from Bath, 20 m. S. from Bristol, 20 m. E. from Bridgewater, 32 m. N.E. from Taunton. Geographically the situation of Wells is fairly central, but it is neither easy of approach by road nor particularly accessible by rail. To reach the city from the N.E. the pedestrian or cyclist has to clamber over the Mendips; and though two railways (S. & D. and G.W.R.) have stations here, the connection is indirect and the service leisurely. Wells has been enthusiastically described as “one of the most beautiful things on earth,” and though a cold-blooded visitor may be disposed to cavil at the extravagance of the praise, yet it will be universally admitted that this “city of waters,” picturesquely planted at the foot of the hills, with its antiquities mellowed but unimpaired by age, is possessed of peculiar charm. There are other cities with cathedrals, but the ecclesiastical atmosphere of Wells is almost unique. It is a cathedral city pure and simple. It has come down to us from the Middle Ages practically unchanged. Here may be seen the machinery of a great mediaeval ecclesiastical foundation in actual working order. Wells probably owes its immunity from change to the secular character of its church, in consequence of which it escaped the upheaval that overthrew religious houses like its neighbour Glastonbury. Apart from its cathedral life, Wells has had few interests. It is an unenterprising little town. Bishop Goodwin once described it as a place of “little antiquity.” It has less history. Its civil annals are short and simple. It gave a loyal welcome to Henry VII. on his return from stamping out Perkin Warbeck’s fatuous rebellion; and Monmouth’s troops, as an interlude in their inglorious campaign, found uproarious diversion by stabling their horses in the canons’ stalls, and holding a wild carousal in the sanctuary. The peculiar interest of Wells lies not only in the cathedral itself, but in its entourage. Secular chapters were communities for the purposes of worship only. They had no “common life.” Their only common room was the chapter-house, where they met for the transaction of business. The canons had their own separate establishments, and their residences remain for the most part intact to-day. This secular character was stamped upon the cathedral from the first. King Ina founded it as a secular church, and though Bishop Giso, the last of the Saxon
[Illustration: VICARS’ CLOSE, WELLS]
Next in interest to the Cathedral is the Palace. It is approached either from the cloisters or through another of Beckington’s porches, called the Palace Eye. Both entrances give access to the outer court. Within is a second court containing the palace. This inclosure is protected by crenellated walls and surrounded by a moat. These semi-fortifications were erected by Bishop Ralph, who perhaps found that a mitre was as uneasy a headgear as a crown. A gate-house, with a drawbridge commands the entrance. If the porter has not been too worried by tourists a peep may sometimes be obtained at the sacred enclosure. The actual palace forms the E. boundary of what was once a stately quadrangle. The kitchens formed the N. wing, and on the S. was the chapel and hall. The latter is now only a picturesque ruin. The oldest part of the structure has oddly enough been the one to survive. With the exception of the modern upper storey, the existing palace was the work of Bishop Joceline (1206-42). It consists of a groined basement, forming an entrance hall (note chimney piece) and dining hall. Above are the household apartments and a picture gallery, hung with portraits of former occupants of the see. The chapel and the now dismantled great hall on the S. were built by Bishop Burnell (1274-92). The chapel remains intact. It is a fine Dec. building, with groined roof and some good window tracery. Of the hall only the N. and W. walls and some detached turrets now survive. It was originally a chamber of quite majestic proportions, covered by a wooden roof and lighted on either side by some tall 2-light Dec. windows. At the W. end stood the buttery and above it the solar (a “sunny” drawing-room). The palace appears to have been sold by Bishop Barlow to Protector Somerset, and upon the dispersal of Somerset’s ill-gotten gains it passed into the hands of Sir J. Gates, who unroofed the building for the sake of its lead and timber. The ruin of the fabric was completed by Dean Burgess (temp. Cromwell), who used it as a quarry for the repair of the Deanery. A kind of poetic justice eventually overtook both these depredators. Gates lost his head and Burgess his liberty. A particularly picturesque bit of the palace is the N. face overlooking the moat. The dead surface of the wall is prettily broken by some projecting oriel windows, the insertion of Bishop Clarke (1523-40). The gardens are delightful, and are watered by St Andrew’s well which gushes from its hidden sources to overflow into the moat. A visitor may occasionally enjoy the mild sensation of seeing a bevy of swans ring a bell for their dinner. To the right of the broad public walk which runs along the W. side of the moat is the city recreation ground in which will be noticed the old episcopal barn. It is a good example of a mediaeval granary, and is said to be of the same age as the N.W. tower of the Cathedral. It has an unusual number of buttresses.
[Illustration: THE PALACE GATEWAY, WELLS]
It is the misfortune, not the fault, of the subordinate churches of a cathedral city that they arouse but a languid interest in the already surfeited sight-seer. Wells has one other church which merits more than a passing attention. St Cuthbert’s is a Perp. building of generous dimensions. It possesses an exceedingly fine tower of the best Somerset type—massive and graceful—belonging to the same class as the towers of Wrington and Evercreech, but spoilt by a want of proportion between the upper and lower stages. The interior of the church is spacious and imposing, and contains a good panelled roof. The E.E. capitals of the piers and some old roof marks suggest that it was originally an E.E. cruciform fabric, altered by Perp. builders, and heightened by the erection of a clerestory. There is documentary evidence that a “public collection” was made in 1561 to repair the havoc caused by the collapse of the central tower. The transeptal chapels were once brilliant with statuary and colour, but the axes and hammers of the image breakers have successfully purged them of their original glory. All that is left for the admiration of the modern visitor are a few gaping recesses and a pile of gathered fragments. Note (1) double transepts, (2) oak pulpit, (3) Dec. window with Jesse altar-piece in S. transept, (3) piscinas, in chancel and S. choir aisle, (5) mutilated figure of knight in ruff and armour at E. end of N. aisle, (6) tomb with figure (1614) under tower. The other antiquities of Wells are (1) Bishop Bubwith’s alms-houses in Chamberlain Street (near St Cuthbert’s Church)—an eccentric building, containing a number of separate cells, a chapel and a small hall under one roof (note old alms chest in hall, now called the Committee room), (2) some ancient timber-work in the courtyard of the Crown Inn.
Amongst the more interesting walks in the neighbourhood are (1) Arthur’s Point, offering a good view of the Glastonbury plain; (2) Tor and Dulcot hills on the Shepton road; (3) Ebbor rocks near Wookey Hole.
Wembdon, a parish 1 m. N.W. of Bridgwater, of which it is virtually a suburb. The church has been restored (after a fire in 1868), and its ancient features have been obliterated. On the S. of the building is an old cross.
Westbury (stat. Lodge Hill), a village on the road between Wells and Axbridge, 4 m. N.W. from the former town. It has an interesting church (ded. to St Lawrence), with a W. tower of the prevailing Perp. type, but supported on a Norm. arch (the flanking columns do not reach the ground). There is also a Norm. door on the N. side, now blocked. In the S. porch note the doors which once led to the parvise or gallery above, and the holy-water stoup. The E. window is Dec., with the interior arch foliated. The S. aisle has a small chapel at the E. end, containing a tomb of George Rodney (d. 1586).
Weston, a parish forming a suburb of Bath. Of its church the only old portion is the tower, with angular buttresses finishing in pinnacles. The nave was rebuilt in 1832.
Weston Bampfylde, a parish 1 m. S. of Sparkford. Its little church has a W. octagonal tower on a square base. Within the building should be noticed (1) the rood staircase, which has been thrown open; (2) the Norm. font with cable mouldings; (3) the two squints.
Weston-in-Gordano, a village 3 m. N.E. of Clevedon, on the Portishead road. Its little church is well worth inspection. The tower (with a pyramidal top) is said to be E.E., and is placed on the S. side of the church (rather an exceptional position in this county). The most interesting features are (1) indications of a gallery over the S. porch (intended to be used by choristers on Palm Sunday); (2) holy water stoup within S. door; (3) curious 13th-cent. stone reading-desk or pulpit in S. wall; (4) “Miserere” seats in the choir, with their quaint carvings (attributed to the 14th cent.); (5) Jacobean oak pulpit; (6) Norm. font; (7) sanctus bell-cot; (8) fine 15th-cent. tomb (with French epitaph) of “Rycharde Persyvale”; (9) piscina in S. wall. There is an altar-tomb in the churchyard, said to belong to a Percival of the time of Richard I.
WESTON-SUPER-MARE, a popular seaside resort on the Bristol Channel, 139 m. from London and 20 m. S.W. from Bristol, with a population of nearly 20,000. A loop thrown from the G.W.R. main line at Worle enables the traveller to reach the place without the inconvenience of changing trains. The town lies in the entrance of a crescent-like indentation which the sea has scooped out of the flats that intervene between the conspicuous promontories of Worle Hill on the N. and Brean Down on the S. The rise of the town has been recent and rapid. A century has transformed it from a mere handful of fishermen’s cottages into one of the most popular resorts of the West. The bay faces due W. and commands an uninterrupted view of the Atlantic. Besides this advantageous geographical position, the town possesses all the qualifications of a first-class watering-place except the one essential feature of the water. At ebb tide the sea beats a hasty retreat across the bay, and leaves as its substitute many acres of dimpled mud—a peculiarity which has caused the frivolous to nickname it Weston-super-Mud. But enterprising Weston has turned even this gibe to advantage by claiming that the ozone which exhales from the ooze is one of the chief elements in its salubrity. Moreover the estrangement between the sea and the shore is by no means permanent. At high tides the spray breaks over the esplanade in showers, and under the stimulus of a brisk westerly breeze these demonstrations of the “sad sea waves” are quite lively. Weston’s advantages have been exploited to the full by its townspeople. A broad and well-paved esplanade, 2-1/2 m. long, encircles the shore. Two piers are thrust out into the sea—the older one, with twin landing-stages, connects the N. end of the town with the islet of Birnbeck; the new one runs out from the centre of the parade
Weston Zoyland, a parish 4 m. E.S.E. of Bridgwater. The village is more closely associated even than its neighbour Chedzoy with the Battle of Sedgmoor, for Feversham, the Royalist general, had his headquarters here; and, after the battle many of the rebels were confined in the church. The church, which, unlike Chedzoy, is mainly Dec. and Perp., is remarkable for its unusually lofty tower (which has triple windows in the belfry). The nave has a good roof, with pendants. The N. transept is noteworthy for being carried above the base of the clerestory. The parish belonged to Glastonbury, and in one of the chancel windows, on one of the seat ends, and on one of the external buttresses of the S. chapel, are the initials R.B. (Richard Bere, the last but one of the abbots). In a recess under the window of the N. transept is the 15th-cent. effigy of a priest. Note (1) the font, with curious hoops; (2) piscinas in N. and S. chapels; (3) old communion table. In the fields between the church and Chedzoy were buried the slain of Sedgemoor.
Whatley, a small village 3 m. W. from Frome. The church is a small Dec. building with a rather dim interior. The W. tower, like the neighbouring church of Frome, carries a spire. There is a plain Norm. doorway within the porch. A projecting chantry chapel on the S. has a squint (note the accommodating bulge in the external wall), and contains an altar tomb with recumbent effigy of Sir Oliver de Servington (1350). Some of the bells are of pre-Reformation date. Amongst the “rude forefathers of the hamlet” sleeps Dean Church, who held the rectory for nineteen years before his promotion to the Deanery of St Paul’s. His grave is near the S. wall of the chancel. Observe the small ecclesiastical window in the farn at the back of the church. Whatley House (rebuilt 1861) is on the site of an older mansion. In a neighbouring field is preserved (in situ) a Roman pavement and the ruins of a bath. In the grounds is a cross (restored) removed here from Nunney.
Wheathill, 5 m. S.W. from Castle Cary. The small church has been much restored.
Whitchurch, a village on the main road between Bristol and Shepton Mallet (nearest station Brislington, 2 m.). It has a small (originally cruciform) church, with a low central tower, which is worth inspecting. The tower arches seem to be Trans. and the chancel has three very small lancets. There is a Norm. font, and outside the S. doorway is a stoup.
Whitelackington, a village 1-1/2 m. E.N.E. of Ilminster. Its church is a handsome structure. The tower and body of the building are Perp., but there is Dec. work in the transepts (where note piscinas). In the N. transept is the tomb of Sir George Speke (d. 1637), whilst under a window in the N. aisle are some small inscriptions on metal in memory of Anthonie Poole and his wife Margerie (d. 1587, 1606). In the park of Whitelackington House there formerly stood a splendid chestnut tree, under which Monmouth met a large assemblage of his supporters in 1680.
Whitestaunton, a village 3-1/2 m. N.W. from Chard. As the only approach is by a rough country lane, the place is somewhat inaccessible, but it possesses much antiquarian interest. The church (Perp.) is poor, but contains (1) rood-loft stair and part of a small Perp. screen; (2) early Norm, font; (3) piscina in sill of sanctuary window; (4) some mediaeval tiles near altar, bearing arms of Montacute (according to some, Ferrers) and De Staunton; (5) curious squint, looking towards S. chapel (cp. Mark); (6) a few old bench ends; (7) pewter communion plate; (8) stone screen dividing small N. chantry from chancel; (9) in N. chapel, two tombs with armorial bearings, and a brass (1582) to the Brett family, former lords of the manor. Two of the bells are mediaeval. In the churchyard is the base and shaft of a cross. Close by the church is a manor house, some portions of which date from the 15th cent., but altered in the 16th cent. by John Brett, whose initials are carved on the wainscoting of the dining-room; and in the grounds are the exposed foundations of a Roman villa, discovered in 1882. Beneath an archway is a well, near which, when discovered, were traces of a Roman shrine. Old workings, supposed to be Roman mines, exist in the neighbourhood.
Wick St Lawrence, a parish 2 m. N. of Worle, on the flats near the coast. It has a Perp. church (formerly a chapel of Congresbury), a building of no interest, but containing a fine stone pulpit. Note, too, (1) ancient tub font; (2) carved chairs, with crown and Tudor roses, in sanctuary; (3) remains of inscription at N.E. angle of nave. The S. porch seems once to have had a gallery. Near the church, in the roadway, is a fragment of a fine cross, on an exceptionally high pedestal.
WILLITON, a pleasant little town (with station on the Minehead line), once the abode of Reginald Fitzurse, one of the murderers of Becket. It is rather curious that of the four knights concerned in the murder three were connected with Somerset, viz., Fitzurse, Brito (of Sampford Brett), and Moreville. The church, which is said to have been a chantry chapel founded by Robert Fitzurse, Reginald’s brother, has been completely rebuilt; its only antiquities are the W. doorway, the font (1666), a piscina, and two brackets on the E. wall. There are the remains of an old cross in the graveyard, and of a second near the “Egremont Hotel.” Past the church the road leads to Orchard Wyndham, a fine manor house.
WINCANTON, a trim-looking little market town in the S.E. corner of the county, with a station on the S. & D. line to Bournemouth, and possessing a population of more than 2000. It consists chiefly of one long street, which descends a steepish declivity into the vale of Blackmoor. The river Cale, from which the town derives its name (Wynd-Caleton) flows at its foot. The history of Wincanton is miscellaneous but unromantic. In 1553 travellers gave the place
Winford, a parish 4 m. S.S.E. of Flax Bourton station. Its church possesses a stately tower, but retains no other feature of interest.
Winscombe (with a station) is a parish 2 m. N.W. of Axbridge. Its church, which stands conspicuously on rising ground and commands a fine view, has a graceful tower resembling that of Cheddar, with triple belfry windows. Its chief defect is the shallowness of its buttresses. Note the lily on the stone-work of the central window (cp. Banwell). There is a good parapet along the aisles, and the rood-loft stair has an external turret. Within note (1) wooden roof of N. aisle; (2) ancient glass in E. windows of N. aisle and N. window of chancel; (3) some carved seat-ends; (4) old stone coffin in churchyard.
Winsford, a village on the Exe, 8 m. N. of Dulverton Station. It is a pleasant and picturesque little place, situated in a valley just where the Exe as a tumbling brook emerges from the moors to settle down into a sober stream; and is a favourite meet for the staghounds. The church is a good-sized building, with a gaunt-looking tower, but is of no particular interest. The font, is Norm., and so probably is the round-headed S. doorway. The windows at the E. of the nave are peculiar.
Winsham, a village on the Axe, near the Dorset border, 2-1/2 m. N.N.E. of Chard Junction. Its church, which has been extensively restored, possesses a good central tower (though there are no transepts), with a turret at the S.W. angle. The chancel inclines S. from the axis of the nave. The walls of the nave are older than the present Perp. windows, and traces of an earlier window are still visible on the S. wall. The chancel lights are partly E.E., partly early Dec. Note (1) the small squint; (2)the oak screen with its loft; (3) the monument (1639), on the E. wall of the chancel; (4) the old copy of Foxe’s “Book of Martyrs”; (5) the much-defaced painting (on wood) of the Crucifixion (said to date from the 14th cent.), which is now hung on the N. wall under the tower, but was formerly placed above the screen, serving to complete the separation of the sanctuary from the nave. The Crucifixion as a subject for representation on such tympana is said to be rare, the Last Judgment being the one usually selected. Opposite the “George Inn” is the base of an old market cross with a modern shaft.
Witham, or Witham Friary a small village 6 m. S. from Frome, with a station (G.W.R.). Its only present-day interest is its church. Its popular designation preserves its early ecclesiastical associations, though with some degree of “terminological inexactitude.” It was a settlement not of Friars but of Monks. Here was established the first of the few Carthusian houses in England, which only number nine in all. It was Henry II.’s gift to the church, in part payment for the murder of Becket. Witham had as one of its earliest priors the celebrated Burgundian, Hugh of Avalon, who afterwards became Bishop of Lincoln. The existing church is perhaps a surviving portion of his work. It is a plain vaulted building of severe simplicity with an apsidal E. end, containing a good E.E. triplet. Opinions differ as to whether the present structure was the monks’ church, the choir of the monks’ church, or the church of the lay brothers (for in Carthusian houses the clergy and the laymen worshipped in separate buildings). In recent years the church has been extended one bay westward, and a belfry added. Note (1) the curious recess in exterior S. wall of apse; (2) double square piscina in chancel; (3) rood-loft stair; (4) Norm. font, which was once built into the tower erected in 1832. There is also a modern font, which was used before the former one was recovered. The buttresses are copies of those constructed by St Hugh for the chapter-house at Lincoln. The domestic buildings have disappeared; they are supposed to have stood N. of the church. One curious relic of the “common life” of the monks has escaped the hand of the destroyer. This is the dovecot, on the other side of the road, now converted into a village reading-room. The building is of unusual size; but the existence of some of the pigeon-holes puts its original purpose beyond doubt (cp. Hinton Charter-house).
Withiel Florey, a village 7 miles N.E. from Dulverton. The church is a small Perp. building with a low W. tower, to which a partial casing of slate scarcely adds additional beauty.
Withycombe, a village 2-1/2 m. S.E. of Dunster. It has an aisleless church, which contains a few objects of interest: (1) a screen; (2) a font with cable moulding; (3) two effigies, both of females (one with curious turret-like ornaments at the head and foot); (4) a large stoup on the L. hand of the S. door.
Withypool, a village on the Barle, 8 m. N.W. from Dulverton. It is one of the lonely outposts of civilisation on Exmoor. Though picturesquely situated itself, it is best known as a sort of halting-place on the way to the still more romantic neighbourhood of Simonsbath. The church is E.E., but not interesting. The local farmers are said to enjoy four harvests in a year—turf, whortleberries, hay and corn.
WIVELISCOMBE, a market town 6 m. N.W. of Wellington, with a station on the G.W.R. branch to Barnstaple. Population, 1417. It is a dull and uninteresting, but clean and comely little place. Of antiquities it has none, except traces, to the S. of the church, of a bishop’s palace, built by John Drokensford in the 14th cent., some windows of which have found their way into neighbouring houses. The church is a tasteless building, erected in 1829, with a showy semi-Italian interior. It has an odd-looking S. aisle, containing a somewhat dilapidated monument, with recumbent effigies of Humphrey Wyndham and wife, 1622-70. In the churchyard is a time-worn cross, with an almost defaced effigy (cp. Fitzhead). In the main street is a modern town hall and market house. The town lies pleasantly in the lap of the surrounding hills, which furnish many a pleasant ramble. A mile from the station, on the way to Milverton, is a British camp, and a Danish camp is said to have existed on the site of a neighbouring mansion. Waterrow is a hamlet a couple of miles to the W. on the Bampton road, lying at the bottom of a picturesque combe, through which flow the beginnings of the Tone.
Woodspring Priory (formerly Worspring, and perhaps containing the same element as Worle) is about 5 m. N. of Weston, and is best reached from Kewstoke, either by the shore as far as Sand Point, or by a lane that leaves (L.) the road to Worle. It was a priory of Austin canons, who were established here in 1210 by William Courtenay, whose mother was the daughter of Reginald Fitzurse, one of the murderers of Thomas a Becker, whose death the foundation was originally meant to expiate. The remains, now used as farm buildings, consist of a church, a chantry, a court-room, and a barn. The church, dedicated to the Trinity, St Mary and St Thomas the Martyr, is approached through a Dec. arch (14th cent.), which leads to an outer court at the W. of the building. On the W. wall, flanked by angle turrets, will be seen the outline of a Perp. window, and three niches with nearly obliterated figures. From this outer court an inner court is reached, having on the N. of it the S. wall of the church (with two large windows), at right angles to which the dormitories extended (the mark of the gable is still visible on the wall). Beyond the E. wall of the court are supposed to have been the chapter-house and the prior’s residence. At the E. of the nave of the church is the tower, which was originally central, the chancel having been destroyed. It is 15th-cent. work, but is believed to case an earlier 13th-cent. core. The vault has fan tracery. N. of the church are the remains of the chantry (now a cider cellar), originally founded by Robert Courtenay, father of William, showing on the outside three Perp. windows and buttresses, and containing the shrine of St Thomas of Canterbury, with a ruined piscina on the pier of one of the pillars. S.E. of the church is the court-room (now a cow-house), which is sometimes styled the refectory, but erroneously, since there is no fireplace. It is assigned to the early part of the 15th cent. The barn (14th cent.) has Dec. doorways, rounded buttresses on either side of the main entrance, and remains of finials.
Wookey, a village 2 m. W. from Wells, with a station on the G.W.R. Cheddar branch. The church—chiefly Perp., with a blend of E.E.—is interesting. The tower stair turret carries a lofty spirelet. Note within (1) E.E. columns in N. aisle; (2) squints, especially the one on N., combined with piscina. On the S. side of the sanctuary is a small Perp. chapel decorated with modern frescoes, containing a plain altar-tomb to Thos. Clarke and wife, 1689. In the churchyard is the base of a cross. Near the church is Mellifont Abbey, built on the site of the old rectory, and ornamented with fragments of the original building. The Court, a farm-house in the fields, was once a manorial residence of the Bishops of Bath and Wells. It has an E.E. doorway.
Wookey Hole is a cavern (1-1/2 m. away) which gives its name (said to be a corruption of ogof, Celtic for “cavern”) to the village. It is the oldest known cave in Great Britain, and was once inhabited (legend asserts) by an ancient witch. It may be reached either from Wookey Station or, just as easily, from Wells. Proceed through the hamlet to the large paper-mill and inquire at the farm opposite for a guide (fee, 1s. 6d.; 1s. each for two or more). A pathway runs up the L. bank of the stream which feeds the paper-mill, and ends abruptly in a precipitous wall of rock. The stream, which is the source of the Axe, will be seen issuing from a large natural archway at the base of the cliff. An orifice in the rock enables the visitor to descend “Hell’s Ladder” to the “witch’s kitchen”—a spacious chamber which, when illuminated by the primitive device of igniting the scattered contents of an oil-can, will be seen to contain some large stalagmites, the witch and her dog on guard; and by pursuing a further series of corridors, entry is gained to the witch’s “drawing-room” and “parlour.” The three caverns are all of considerable extent, and have a strong resemblance to Gough’s caves at Cheddar, but are without the pendant stalactites so profusely displayed at the latter. The gallery is 500 ft. long, and ends in a miniature lake. Geologically the series of caverns is of much interest, on account of the varied assortment of bones of extinct cave animals once contained in them. Cartloads of these bones are said to have been thrown on the land as manure. Recently another collection of bones has been discovered in a hitherto unsuspected chamber near the roof of the main series. The visitor to Wookey Hole should extend his peregrinations to Ebbor Rocks, which are close by and are worth a visit.
Woolavington, a village 4-1/2 m. N.E. of Bridgwater (nearest stat. Cossington, 1 m.). The church, restored in 1882, retains little of interest. There are piscinas in the chancel and in a small N. chapel, and a small squint in the N. chancel pier. Note the carved stone (with sacred monogram) on the interior face of the tower.
Woolverton, a village 4 m. N. from Frome. The church is a small, aisleless building with a diminutive W. tower and spire. The S. porch has a ribbed stone roof.
Wootton Courtney, a small village 4 m. W. from Dunster. It is a somewhat sequestered little place on the fringe of Exmoor, but in summer not without a quiet charm derived from the neighbouring woods and its proximity to the hills. The church has a plain saddle-back tower, partly Norm. (observe corbel table), and one or two other features of interest. The piers of the arcade have some canopied niches on their S. face. Note (1) square columnar stoup in porch; (2) angels on rear arches of windows within, and devils on dripstone without; (3) rood staircase; (4) blocked squint on N. The churchyard contains some fine yew trees and the shaft of a cross. The neighbouring hamlet of Tivington possesses a vaulted 15th-cent. chapel, with a priest’s house attached. A fine view of Dunkery and the vale of Porlock is obtained from here.
Wootton, North, a village 2 m. N. of West Pennard (S. & D.). The church has a low W. tower, possessing one pre-Reformation bell. The porch contains a curious stoup; the font is Norm.
Worle, a village 2-1/2 m. E. of Weston-super-Mare. Its church (ded. to St Martin) has the rather rare addition of a short spire above its W. tower. The most notable features of the building are the Norm. remains, viz., the S. door, the octagonal font, and the little window (cut out of a single stone), which is inserted in the later porch. Note also (1) the carved stone pulpit (once in a different position, for there is a piscina behind it), (2) the “Miserere” seats (only those on the N. are ancient, one of them has the initials P.R.S., explained as those of Richard Sprynge, Prior of Woodspring and Vicar of Worle at the end of the 14th and beginning of the 15th cents.), (3) piscina, sedilia, and aumbry in the chancel.
Worlebury Camp. See Weston-super-Mare.
Wraxall, a parish 5 m. E. from Clevedon and 2 m. from Nailsea Station. Its church has a tower, the appearance of which is spoilt by the windows rising above the string-courses. The pinnacles are good, and projecting above the parapets are niches for figures (cp. Brislington, Tickenham). The S. porch (E.E.) originally had a chamber over it; the door leading to it still remains. In the interior observe (1) the roof, (2) some screen-work, partly ancient and partly modern, (3) on the N. side of the chancel a tomb with two effigies, believed to be those of Sir E. and Lady Gorges. In the churchyard is a fine 15th-cent. cross. The view of the church, as it is approached from Clevedon, is particularly pretty, the woods near it seeming to embower it; whilst from its vicinity a fine prospect is obtainable.
Wrington, a large and compact village 10 m. S.W. of Bristol. A light railway connects it with Yatton. In size and arrangement it is practically a little town, and is surrounded by some very pretty country. The glory of Wrington is its church, which possesses one of the finest towers in Somerset. It is a stately and harmonious composition, with long and graceful belfry windows, and bears a strong family likeness to the towers of Evercreech and St Cuthbert’s, Wells. The church as a whole is worthy of its tower, though the chancel is, as usual, low and undignified. Both inside and out the design is rich without being florid, and the workmanship good. The beauty of the interior is much enhanced by the insertion of “vaulting shafts” beneath the corbels of both nave and aisles. It contains few curiosities. Note (1) aumbry in N. wall of sanctuary, (2) richly carved font. Externally should be observed (1) panelled W. door, (2) canopied niches in buttresses at E. end, (3) sanctus bell-cot. John Locke, the philosopher, was born here, as his mother was at the moment staying in the village. A tablet once fixed to his actual birthplace is built into the churchyard wall. There is also a tablet in the church to Hannah More, who resided at Barley Wood, a large house on the Redhill road.
Writhlington, a small colliery village on a hill 1 m. E. of Radstock. The church, rebuilt in 1874, lies in a valley at the bottom of a steep lane, half a mile from the village. Near the church is an old manor house, at which Cromwell is said to have stopped on his march into Somerset.
Wyke Champflower (or Wyke Chapel), a hamlet 1-1/2 m. W. of Bruton. The little chapel, said to have been built in 1482, was rebuilt in 1623. It contains a stone pulpit, and the ceiling is ornamented with nine escutcheons, including those of the Tudor sovereigns. There is an old black-letter Bible of 1623.
Yarlington, a village 3 m. S.E. from Castle Cary. The church, which has been much altered and enlarged, contains a finely carved font. In the wall of the churchyard is an old stone coffin, found during the restoration of the building.
Yatton, a large village (with a station), 12 m. S.W. of Bristol. The first syllable is perhaps the same as the second part of Symond’s Yat. The place has an interesting church, with a central tower which is rendered conspicuous by being surmounted by a truncated spire, and by having its stair-case attached to a diagonal buttress (instead of replacing it, as is usual). The plan of the church is cruciform, the transepts and chancel being short, and the latter very low. The oldest part is the base of the tower, which belongs to the E.E. or Dec. period; and there is a very good Dec. window in the S. transept; the remainder of the building is Perp. Externally, the most impressive feature is the W. front, with turrets at the corners (as at
YEOVIL, a town of some importance on the river Yeo, in the S.E. corner of the county, doing a considerable trade in the manufacture of leather and kid gloves. Its population in 1901 was 9838. It lies chiefly on a slope which shelves down towards the little stream from which it takes its name. The G.W.R. and L. and S.W.R. have a joint station in the town, and another G.W.R. station is at Pen Mill just outside. Yeovil seems to have outgrown its original intentions and is still rapidly increasing. The older streets have the usual congested appearance of a small country town, but more spacious thoroughfares are now spreading outwards in every direction. The chief glory of the place is its fine church, remarkable alike for architecture and situation. It is a cruciform Perp. building, said to date from 1376, with a severe-looking W. tower. The interior is of great impressiveness owing to the size of its windows and the loftiness of its arches. The most noteworthy feature of the church is its 13th-cent. crypt, now used as a vestry. A groined roof rises from a central pillar, and the entrance to the communicating stairway is groined also. Otherwise the church, though noble as a whole, is somewhat devoid of objects of interest. Note, however (1) the fine roof, (2) old brass lectern with ungrammatical inscription, (3) 16th-cent. brass on floor of chancel, (4) 15th-cent. brass to an ecclesiastic. Yeovil contains few old houses, as it was burnt out in the 15th cent., but in Middle Street two buildings deserve attention: (a) an old chantry house, now transformed into the “Castle” Inn, (b) almost immediately opposite, the “George,” a good specimen of an old half-timbered hostelry. Some alms-houses in Bond Street, called Woborne’s alms-houses, go back, as a foundation, to the reign of Edward IV. (1476). A good view of the low lying alluvial plain which stretches around the foot of Glastonbury Tor may be obtained by following for a short distance the road to Mudford. But this is only one of the many interesting walks in the neighbourhood: Yeovil is a good centre for excursions, and Windmill and Summerhouse Hills should both be climbed.
Yeovilton, a parish 2 m. E. of Ilchester. Its church retains but few features of interest, but notice should be taken of (1) the remains of the stoups in the N. porch and at the W. door; (2) the two piscinas (that in the chancel has a quaint carving below it); (3) the bracket in the S. wall of the nave, and the old corbels built into the walls of the chancel; (4) the fragments of ancient glass in the W. and E. windows, the former displaying the arms of Bishop Beckington, and the latter having the letters R.S. and the figure of a swan, the initials and rebus of Richard Swan (one of Bishop Beckington’s executors), who was rector here. There is also an incised slab to the memory of Sir John Hunt of Speckington (d. 1626). One of the bells dates from 1435.
[Illustration: NINE SPRINGS, YEOVIL]
Places of interest mentioned in the text, but not entered under separate headings in the alphabetical list. The figures refer to pages.
Barlynch Priory 122
Blackmoor Farm 75
Bower Farm 127
Brymore House 77
Creech Hill 130
Devil’s Punch Bowl 80, 182
Dundon Beacon 107
Ebbor Rocks 283
Gaulden Farm 246
Goblin Combe 98
Gothelney Hall 83
Gurney Street Farm 78
Halswell House 146
Hanging Chapel 169
Hare Knap 156
Hautville’s Quoit 224
Higher Wadeford 106
Holwell Cavern 32
King Ina’s Palace 205
Lamb’s Lair 80, 149
Lytes Cary House 84
Marshwood Farm 78
Mouncey Castle 122
Mynchin Buckland 127
Naish Priory 105
Parkfield Monument 117
Richmont Castle 149
Sedgemoor 18, 88, 273
Seven Wells Combe 213
Sexey’s Hospital 68
Small Down 90
Stoney Littleton 254
Sutton Court 234
Tarr Steps 122
Walton Castle 103
Wansdyke 11, 52, 129
Weary All Hill 145
Bennett, Rev. W.J.
Berkley, Sir M.
Botreaux, Sir W.
Bradney, Joel de
Bray, Sir R.
Briewere, William de
Buckingham, Duke of
Cheddar, Sir T. de
Choke, Sir R.
Clarkes of Chipley
Courtenay, William and Robert
Coutances, Bp. Geoffrey of
Danbery, Sir Giles
De Courcy family
De la Mere, Sir J.
Denham, Sir J.
Douay, Walter de
Dummer, Sir J.
Dummer, Sir W.
Dyves, Sir Lewis
Edmund Ironside, King
Eveleigh, J. de
Evercy, Sir Peter d’
Fairfax, Sir T.
Fitz-Roger, Sir H.
Gates, Sir J.
Gorges, Sir E.
Grenville, Sir B.
Gyvernay, Sir G. and Sir R.
Halswell, Sir Nicholas
Hammet, Sir B.
Hautville, Sir J.
Henry of Blois
Hertford, Marquis of
Hext, Sir R.
Hopton, Sir R.
Horner, Sir G.
Hugh of Avalon
Hunt, Sir J.
Irving, Sir H.
Joseph of Arimathea
Kemble, Rev. C.
King, Bp. Oliver
Kingsmill, Sir F.
Lawrence Sir T.
Marchia, Bp. de
Marlborough, Duke of
Misiers, Louis de
Mohun, William de
Monmouth, Duke of
Mowbray, Robert de
Nelson, Rev. Earl
Newton, Sir J.
Newton, Sir R.
Orange, Prince of
Parry, Sir J.
Prowse, William and Ann
Raleigh, Sir W.
Robert of Normandy
Servington, Sir O. de
Stawel (Stawell) family
St Maur, John
Thomas a Becket
Verney, Sir J.
Verney, Sir R.
Villula, Bp. John de
Wagstaff, Sir J.
Waller, Sir W.
Warr, Lord de La
Wellington, Duke of
William of Gloucester
Wood (father and son)
Wyndham (Windham) family