MSO12159 - All Saints Church, Wootton Courtenay (Building)


A parish church with a 13th Century tower, east wall and window, with various alterations to the nave in the 15th and 16th Centuries. It contains a Perpendicular octagonal font.

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Full Description

The earliest work in the church is of the 13th Century, which includes part of the east wall and east window and the greater part of the tower. The nave was re-roofed in the mid 15th Century and the aisle added. In the 16th Century, the south side of the nave seems to have been almost rebuilt. Drastic alterations and rebuildings took place between 1860-70. [1] In normal use. [2] Graveyard in use since at least medieval times. [6] Three plaques within the church are dedicated to the 47 men who served in World War One, 5 of whom died, and one member of the parish who died in World War Two. The plaques have a decorative surround of laurel leaves and bunches of grapes. The inscriptions are in raised and polished letters. The central plaque has a tall nowy head. [7] 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. [8] The parish church originally dates to the 13th Century but was altered in a restoration of 1866, when the upper section of tower with saddleback roof was added. A former rector, Richard Montague, became Bishop of Chichester in 1628. The church is built of local sandstone with Ham Hill stone dressings and slate roofs. It has a largely 13th Century tower (but with 1866 restoration). The remainder is mainly 15th or early 16th Century, when new windows were added (similar to Dunster and Cleeve Abbey). The ceiled wagon roof with large bosses is similar to those at Selworthy and Luccombe. [9] The church is described in "Exmoor Villages". [10] The Parish Church is built of local sandstone with Ham Hill stone dressings and slate roofs. It has a largely 13th Century tower and chancel, with the remainder of the church dating to mainly 15th or early 16th Century. The alterations of 1886 were considered by the architectural historian, Nikolaus Pevsner to be an over restoration. [11] The living was a rectory in the deanery of Dunster, valued at seven marks, three shillings and four pence in 1292. It was appropriated to the alien priory of Stoke-Courcy, and as parcel of its prossessions was granted to Eton College in 1442. In 1830, Savage writes that the church is "a very light and cheerful-looking structure", dedicated to All Saints, standing on the side of a hill behind the village and consisting of "a nave, chancel, and north aile, all covered with tiles. At the west end there is an embattled tower, containing a clock and five bells". Interior features included niches above the aisle pillars embellished with gothic ornaments, St Gabriel and Michael on either side of the east window (on the south of the nave), an "ancient octagonal sculptured font" and a "handsome gallery, supported by three arches, all of fine oak". [12] The Church war memorial records the names of those who served, were wounded and who died in World War One. Only one villager was killed in the Second World War, although several were wounded. [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), 75-77.
  • <2> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey, 15 June 1965.
  • <3> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1958. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Penguin Books. 353.
  • <4> Monograph: Allen, N.V.. 1974. Churches and Chapels of Exmoor. Exmoor Press. 92.
  • <5> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. Matthew Nicholas, Somerset County Council, 2 June 2003.
  • <6> Verbal communication: Various. Various. Oral Information. M Aston, Somerset County Council, 10 December 1976.
  • <7> Website: Imperial War Museum. United Kingdom National Inventory of War Memorials. UKNIWM reference 24731.
  • <8> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <9> Report: Fisher, J.. 2003. Wootton Courtenay: Conservation Area Character Appraisal. 4,11, illustrations 5.
  • <10> Monograph: Lawrence, B.. 1984. Exmoor Villages. The Exmoor Press. 115-116.
  • <11> Report: Pratt, N.. 2018. Wootton Courtenay Conservation Area: appraisal document. 14.
  • <12> Monograph: Savage, J.. 1830. A History of the Hundred of Carhampton. 335, 336.
  • <13> Monograph: Ball, D.. 2007. Wootton Courtenay. Peter Ball. 27.



Grid reference Centred SS 9383 4343 (24m by 17m)
Map sheet SS94SW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (2)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 444/6/120
  • Church Heritage Record ID: 601489
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10628
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO6254
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SW13
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36993
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 31107
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 35062

Record last edited

May 28 2021 10:30AM


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