MSO12036 - St Mary's Church, Luccombe (Building)


The church dates from medieval times.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

St Mary's church has a C13 chancel with C15 W tower and probably contemporary porch and nave roof. The S aisle is C16. The church was drastically restored in 1840. [1] In normal use. [2] Parish church. Circa 1300 chancel, c1450 nave and tower, c1530 aisle added, 1752-6 gallery added, removed 1840 when church restored and vestry added, 1895 some of the earlier restoration removed, church restored and reseated by Edmund Buckle. Roughcast, except for vestry of squared red sandstone and tower of random rubble red sandstone, slate roofs. Four bay nave and one bay chancel without division, 4 bay south aisle. North porch, west tower and north east vestry, 3-stage crenellated tower, unbuttressed, gargoyles and string courses, 2-light trefoil headed louvred bell-openings with hood mould, trefoil headed lancet above 3-light west window, west door moulded pointed arch head, crenellated stair turret in south east corner, 2-light ogee headed mullioned window west end of buttressed south aisle, four 3-light windows renewed C19, blocked Tudor arch head doorway, east end 2 x 4-light cinquefoil headed window, lancet to south wall of buttressed chancel, 3-light east window, lancet on north front, 2-light window to vestry with priest's door, 2 and 3-light windows left of single storey gabled porch, diagonal buttresses, moulded pointed arch opening, lancet on returns, open wagon roof partly renewed, remains of holy water stoup right and pair of lugged holy water stoups flanking inner door installed 1975, empty niche above, 3-light window to right. Interior: whitewashed. No chancel arch, Perpendicular pointed tower arch. C20 roof to tower, chancel nave and aisle ceiled wagon roofs with bosses and wallplates, Perpendicular arcade, capitals carved with vineleaves and shields. Moulded piscina in south aisle, chamfered trefoil headed piscina in chancel, trefoil headed single bay sedila in chancel, 2 irregularly placed brackets in east wall of aisle cut into moulded jambs of rood stair opening. Remains of early C16 English and Flemish glass, removed from church during 1840 restoration and reset in east window of aisle 1935; late C19 pastel tinted glass in aisle, east window dated 1885. Early C16 table tomb in south aisle, Ham stone, flat topped, carved with leaves and flowers and shields. (It has been sugested that it was originally an Easter sepulchre). Perpendicular octagonal font; c1840 crocketed pyramid font cover raised by pulley attached to jamb of tower arch. Jacobean pulpit. C17 chair. Fine brass to William Harrison, died 1615 in front of chancel. Marble tablet with broken pediment and alabaster coat of arms to Elizabeth Stawell, died 1731. Neo-classical tablet to the Rev Robert Freke Gould, died 1839, with amphorae in the surround. Early C17 tablet with segmental pediment and Ionic columns, apron with skull, to Richard Worth. Slate tablet to Henry Byam died 1665, inscribed in Latin with details of his eventful life, bolection moulded surround, coat of arms above, scull below. (Photograph in NMR; SANHS Proceedings, Vol 77, 1931; Chadwick-Healey, A History of the Part of West Somerset, 1901). [7] English Heritage Listed Building Number: 265328. First Listed on 22/05/1969. [8] Complex plan. Stone, Random rubble walls. Gabled roof [9] A large white marble nowy-headed tablet commemorates 54 members of the parish who served in World War One. There is a relief of a crown depicted within the nowy-head. A framed and glazed memorial commemorates Richard Howard who was killed in 1940 in World War Two. A marble tablet with a decorated border and semi-circular pediment commemorates 9 members of the parish who died in World War One. The memorial was paid for by public sponsorship. An oak board commemorates 3 members of the parish who died in World War Two. [10] The Parish Church of St. Mary is mainly in Perpendicular style and has a chancel dating from c.1300, a nave and tower of c.1450, characteristic of the area, and an aisle added c. 1350. There were restorations in 1840, when a gallery of 1752 was removed, and in 1895 by Edmund Buckle, when the present seating was added. Some remains of early 16th century English and Flemish glass, removed during the 1840 restoration was reset in the east window of the aisle in 1935. The three-stage crenellated tower and stair turret built of squared red sandstone and with trefoil-headed windows is fairly typical of others in West Somerset. Important furnishings and monuments include a Jacobean pulpit, an early 16th century table tomb, a fine brass to William Harrison who died in 1615, and several tablets, mainly in Classical styles. These include an early 17th century tablet to Richard Worth; one in marble and alabaster to Elizabeth Stawell who died 1731 and one in slate with Latin inscription to Henry Byam, who died 1665. A former rector, Henry Byam, who was born in 1580 and succeeded his father in 1612, was with Charles II in Jersey and the Scilly Isles during the Civil War, in which his four sons served the Royalist cause. When the Royalists were defeated, Byam’s wife and daughter were drowned whilst fleeing to the Continent, but Byam himself lived beyond the Restoration until 1669 and is buried in the chancel. [11] The building was visited in May 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 6. [12] The Church is depicted and labelled "St Mary's Church" on the 2020 Ordnance Survey MasterMap data. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Serial: Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 1851-. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Volume 77 (1931) p51-7 (FC Ecles).
  • <2> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey, 18 June 1965.
  • <3> Monograph: Hazlitt, D.G. A short history….
  • <4> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1958. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Penguin Books. 224-5.
  • <5> Monograph: Chadwyck-Healy, CEH. 1901. History of West Somerset.
  • <6> Monograph: Allen, N.V.. 1974. Churches and Chapels of Exmoor. Exmoor Press. 58-9.
  • <7> Index: 5/6/1985. 34th List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, District of West Somerset (Somerset).
  • <8> Unassigned: Webster CJ, Historic Environment Record. 2005. Staff Comments, Somerset County Council.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Somerset County Council. Various. Somerset HER parish files - Exmoor records.
  • <10> Website: Imperial War Museum. United Kingdom National Inventory of War Memorials. UKNIWM references 24629, 24630, 24631 and 24632.
  • <11> Report: Fisher, J.. 2003. Luccombe Conservation Area Character Appraisal. p5, 6, 7, 9, 12.
  • <12> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <13>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2020. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #46643 ]



Grid reference Centred SS 9108 4452 (26m by 18m)
Map sheet SS94SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (6)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 444/14/45
  • Church Heritage Record ID: 601469
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10558
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO7403
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW10
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36984
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 31031
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33660
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34878

Record last edited

May 19 2021 9:35AM


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