MSO9327 - All Saints Church, Dulverton (Building)


The Church of All Saints, Dulverton Parish Church, was wholly rebuilt in 1855 with the exception of the tower. The graveyard has been in use since medieval times.

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Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

[SS 9146 2800] Church (NR). [1] All Saints' Church, Dulverton, was wholly rebuilt in 1855 with the exception of the tower, which appears to be 13th Century work. The previous building was described by an architect, in 1852, as dating from about 1500. Scarcely any attempt was made to save any old work and internally the only ancient features are some carved 15th century bosses on the north aisle roof. [3] The church is in normal use. [4] The Church of All Saints is listed Grade B. It was almost entirely rebuilt in 1885 in Perpendicular style, with the exception of the plain tower of moorland character, which is said to be of 12th/13th century origin. The church consists of a nave, a chancel, north and south aisles, the embattled west tower of 2 stages, with diagonal buttresses to the lower stage, and single bell-chamber windows. It owes its grading to the tower. [6] Additional references. [7-8] The Church of All Saints has a 15th century tower. The rest was rebuilt in 1853-5 by Edward Ashworth. It is listed Grade II*, Listed Building number 429209. [9] An oak memorial records the names of 7 members of the parish who died in World War Two. An oak board memorial commemorates Robert Collyns who died in 1918 in World War One. A gilded family crest is positioned above the inscription and the badge of the Royal Engineers below. A folded white ensign in an oak case commemorates the (1991) Gulf Conflict. The flag had been flown by H.M.S. Dulverton. A Book of Remembrance in a wooden case records those of the parish who served in World War One. A white marble tablet on a black marble backboard commemorates Humphrey Sydenham who died in 1916 during World War One. The tablet is ornamented with the family crest and a badge of the Devonshire Regiment. A brass plaque with a decorative border commemorates Charles Simpson who died in the South African Wars in 1900. An elaborate oak monument commemorates 32 members of the parish who died in World War One. The monument has a decorated pediment supported by two carved columns and a relief carving of St George slaying the dragon above the inscription. The monument was paid for through public subscription. [10] An archaeological watching brief was undertaken during renovations at All Saints Church. Several features were recorded, including a stone constructed channel orientated southwest beneath the flagstone floor of the northwestern limit of the nave. Beyond the south-west corner of the area of excavation, the channel turned to the south and headed in the direction of the boiler room. It is probable that the channel was used to circulate warm air around the church. Excavations beneath the flagstone floor of the northern aisle revealed a set of five stone steps that were observed through a ventilation hole. The set of steps led down to a blocked corridor, the walls of which were painted white. Directly to the south of the central aisle a concave area of brick work was revealed beneath a row of pews. The curved brick work is very likely to be the top of a vault. If so the steps mentioned previously may have formed the entrance to a crypt extending across the central part of the nave. It may be that the vault and steps relate to an earlier phase of the church prior to the 1850s rebuild. [11] The church was rebuilt in the 1850s by Shewbrooks of Taunton, to designs by Edworth Ashworth, the Exeter diocesan architect. The church was widened but the old columns were reused and the original layout was largely kept. Two fragments of encaustic tile were retrieved and are probably evidence of early building fabric from the pre 1850 building. [12] The site of the church, at the end of the market place and on the side of the hill, may indicate either that it occupies an earlier church site or that it was developed with the original village settlement. [13] One of the bells in Dulverton Church is said to have come from Barlynch. [14] The oak rood screen in traditional style dates from 1902. The stained glass is all 19th century; the west window is best. There are several 18th and 19th century memorials; the earliest is a brass to Humphrey Sydenham, who dies in 1710. There is a Royal coat of arms painted on wood dating from 1714. [17] In 1855, the Trustees spent £48 on the church wall, to improve the churchyard and its approaches. Some of the windows commemorate local people of note, and there are memorials to members of the Sydenham family within the church. The clock in the tower was installed in 1708, and the eight bells date from between the 16th century to the most recent of 1907. [18] It has been suggested that because it has a circular churchyard, like Carhampton and other early church sites, Dulverton church may have been in existence in the early Anglo-Saxon period. As a royal manor and hundred, Dulverton would have been well placed to serve as an ecclesiastical centre for southeast Exmoor. The Augustinian canons of Taunton Priory had acquired Dulverton church and its land by 1155. [19] The building was visited in February 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 6. [20] A postcard of the view of the church from Bank Square is held by Historic England. [22] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [23] "All Saints' Church" depicted and labelled on the 2022 MasterMap data. [24] The building is mentioned in the 2019 Conservation Area Appraisal for Dulverton. [25]

Sources/Archives (25)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1888-1914. County Series; 2nd Edition (1st Revision) 6 Inch Map. 1:10560. 1905.
  • <2> Index: 1914. Kellys Directory.
  • <3> Monograph: Eeles F.C.. 1928. Somerset Churches Near Dulverton. P.7-10.
  • <4> Unpublished document: PITCHER, GHP. 1960s. Field Investigators Comments. Ordnance Survey visit, F1, 17 August 1965.
  • <5> Article in serial: Green, E.. 1883. Notes on the history of Dulverton. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 29. 69-82. P.67.
  • <6> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . Dulverton Rural District Somerset (September 1955) p6.
  • <7> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1958. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Penguin Books. P.152-153.
  • <8> Monograph: Allen, N.V.. 1974. Churches and Chapels of Exmoor. Exmoor Press. P.49-50.
  • <9> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . 36th List, District of West Somerset. 04/08/1986.
  • <10> Website: Imperial War Museum. United Kingdom National Inventory of War Memorials. UKNIWM references 24534-40.
  • <11> Report: Fairclough, P.. 2010. Archaeological Monitoring of Groundworks Relating to Building Works Converting Church for Disabled Access at All Saints Church, Dulverton. Photograph and Plan.
  • <12> Report: Turner, J.. 2010. All Saints Church, Dulverton.
  • <13> Monograph: Aston, M. and Leech, R.. 1977. Historic Towns in Somerset. Committee for Rescue Archaeology in Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset. Survey Number 2. P.42.
  • <14> Monograph: Binding, H. + Bonham-Carter, V.. 1986. Old Dulverton and Around: Dulverton - Bury - Brushford - Exebridge. The Exmoor Press. P.6, 28, 55, 64, 65 Photos.
  • <15> Article in monograph: Gathercole, C.. 2003. English Heritage Extensive Urban Survey: An Archaeological Assessment of Dulverton. The Somerset Urban Archaeological Survey. English Heritage. P.7, 8.
  • <16> Report: Green, T., Humphreys, C. + Waterhouse, R.. Woodliving, Dulverton, Somerset: Results of an Archaeological Building Survey and Desk-Based Study. P.6.
  • <17> Unpublished document: Fisher, J.. c.2003. Dulverton Conservation Area Appraisal. p6, 8, 9, 11, 13, Photo.
  • <18> Monograph: Dulverton and District Civic Society. 2002. The Book of Dulverton, Brushford, Bury and Exebridge. Halsgrove. P.9, 17, 19, 71, 109, 115-119, Photographs.
  • <19> Monograph: Siraut, M.. 2009. Exmoor: The Making of an English Upland. Phillimore & Co. Ltd. 1st Edition. P.39, 56, 65, 67, 145.
  • <20> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <21> Article in serial: Unknown. 1883. Thursday's Excursion. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Nat. 29. Part 1, 58-80. pp 67-70.
  • <22> Photograph: Catford, H.. 1900-1925. View looking down Bank Square to All Saints' Church, taken form the south-west. B/W. Postcard.
  • <23> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 36534, Extant 5 April 2022.
  • <24>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2022. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #47911 ]
  • <25> Report: Pratt, N. and Thurlow, T.. 2019. Dulverton Conservation Area: appraisal document. Exmoor National Park Authority. p 48, Figure 54.

External Links (14)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 1648/9/60
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10834
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11212
  • Local List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 92 NW5
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 36534
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 31391
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 33544



Grid reference Centred SS 9145 2800 (34m by 32m)
Map sheet SS92NW

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Record last edited

Aug 4 2022 10:53AM


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