Scheduled Monument: St Brendan's Church (site of), Cheriton
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
01 January 1969
Date last amended
15 February 2015
Summary of Monument
Parish Church of St Brendan 60m north of Higher Cheriton Farm.
Reasons for Designation
Exmoor is the most easterly of the three main upland areas in the south western peninsula of England. In contrast to the others, Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor, there has been no history of antiquarian research and little excavation of its monuments. However, detailed survey work by the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England has confirmed a comparable richness of archaeological remains, with evidence of human exploitation and occupation from the Mesolithic period to the present day. A parish church is a building, usually of roughly rectangular outline and containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate to its use for Christian worship by a secular community, whose members gather in it on Sundays and on the occasion of religious festivals. Children are initiated into the Christian religion at the church's font and the dead are buried in its churchyard. Parish churches were designed for congregational worship and are generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provides accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which is the main domain of the priest and contains the principal altar. Either or both parts are sometimes provided with aisles, giving additional accommodation or spaces for additional altars. Most parish churches also possess towers, generally at the west end. Periods of parish church foundation were in the 10th to 11th and 19th centuries. Most medieval churches were rebuilt and modified on a number of occasions and hence the visible fabric of the church will be of several different dates, with in some cases little fabric of the first church being still easily visible. Parish churches are found throughout England. Their distribution reflects the density of population at the time they were founded. In regions of dispersed settlement parishes were often large and churches less numerous. Parish churches have always been major features of the landscape and a major focus of life for their parishioners. They provide important insights into medieval and later population levels or economic cycles and religious activity. Despite there being no upstanding masonry remains the Parish Church of St Brendan 60m north of Higher Cheriton Farm will still retain many of its structures and possibly an associated churchyard as buried features which will provide both archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, date, form, demolition, its social and economic history and overall landscape context.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 15 February 2016. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument includes the Parish Church of St Brendan situated on the northern side of the village of Cheriton on the upper east facing slopes of Cheriton Ridge. The church survives as a rectangular platform measuring up to 10m long by 8m wide and up to 0.5m high. All accompanying features connected with the church are preserved as buried deposits and structures. The present church at Brendon some distance to the north east is thought to have been built in 1738 using materials transported and re-used from this church.
PastScape Monument No:-35167
National Grid Reference: SS 73807 46766