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


The church dates from medieval times.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

St Mary's church has a 13th Century chancel with a 15th Century west tower and probably contemporary porch and nave roof. The south aisle is 16th Century. The church was drastically restored in 1840. [1] In normal use. [2] Parish Church of St. Mary, Grade I, Luccombe Village. Circa 1300 chancel, c.1450 nave and tower, c.1530 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. (For full description see list.) [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] [SS 9108 4453] St. Mary's Church [NAT][14] Several historic images of the church are held by the Historic England Archive. [15-17] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [18] The building is mentioned in the 2018 Conservation Area Appraisal for Luccombe. [19]

Sources/Archives (19)

  • <1> Article in serial: Anonymous. 1931. Luccombe Church. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 77. pp li-lvii.
  • <2> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey, F1, 18 June 1965.
  • <3> Leaflet: Hazlitt, D.G.. Unknown. A short history of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Luccombe, Somerset in the Diocese of Bath and Wells. N/A.
  • <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). p 25.
  • <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. Exmoor National Park Authority. 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 ]
  • <14> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1962. 6 Inch Map: 1962. 1:10560.
  • <15> Photograph: Vowles, A.. 1900-1925. The east end of St Mary's Church and the base of the church cross, taken from the east. Unknown. Postcard.
  • <16> Photograph: F Frith and Company Limited. 1900-1925. Church Gate Cottage with the tower of St Mary's Church in the background, taken from the east end of Stoney Street in the east. Unknown. Postcard.
  • <17> Photograph: Unknown. 1900-1925. Interior view looking from the nave to the chancel in St Mary's Church. Unknown. Postcard.
  • <18> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36984, Extant 23 May 2022.
  • <19> Report: Pratt, N. and Thurlow, T.. 2018. Luccombe Conservation Area: appraisal document. Exmoor National Park Authority. p 1, 4, 5, 9, 34, 59, Figures 1, 35.

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
  • Local List Status (Rejected)
  • 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



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

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Sep 27 2022 2:14PM


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