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Modern Britain

Gallery: Churches of Somerset

by Peter Kessler, 26 September 2020

SW&T (Taunton Deane) Part 28: Churches of Oake & Langford Budville

Church of St Bartholomew, Oake, Somerset

The Church of St Bartholomew, Oake, is contained within a relatively narrow churchyard on the eastern side of the main lane, with Oake Manor Golf Club buildings on its southern flank. The earliest parts of the building date to the thirteenth century, with fourteenth century additions. The fifteenth century two-story west porch became the base of the elegant small tower when the upper stage was added, which contains a ring of three bells.

Church of St Bartholomew, Oake, Somerset

In 1535 the monks from Taunton Priory ensured the preservation of a beautiful arched window from their derelict monastery by carrying it to St Bartholomew's (although a careful check will reveal it was installed the wrong way around!). The porch is said to be dated 1601. The red sandstone random rubble building was reseated in 1840, and the chancel roof was rebuilt in 1850. Restoration was carried out in 1875 and 1911 when the base of the tower became the vestry.

St Peter's Church, Langford Budville, Somerset

St Peter's Church, Langford Budville, stands on the crest of a steep hill at the north-eastern end of the main street in the village, within a large churchyard on its western side and sweeping views across Somerset. The remains of a Saxon cross in the churchyard suggests a place of worship of long-standing, although not necessarily with a church building. That seems to have existed by 1204, but in its present form it is a late medieval building in the Perpendicular style.

St Peter's Church, Langford Budville, Somerset

The north aisle was added in 1866 for the household of Bindon House. The stonework is chiefly local sandstone or conglomerate, with Hamstone dressings. Internally there are medieval wagon roofs in the nave and south aisle. A rood screen formerly stood at the east end of the nave, and there was a side chapel (probably a chantry chapel) at the east end of the south aisle, and from at least 1742 a gallery at the west end of the nave for the singers and a village band.

Langford Budville Church House, Langford Budville, Somerset

The site of Langford Budville Church House is at the south-west corner of the churchyard (see above), alongside the main lane through the village. Now a private garden, it was where 'church ales' (fund-raising parish parties) were held at the festival of St Peter. Following the Reformation the church house accommodated a school in the 1620s, and after 1650 it became the parish poor house until 1834. Then it was a private residence until it burnt down in 1908.

Langford Budville Independent Chapel, Langford Budville, Somerset

Langford Budville Independent Chapel sits about twenty metres west of the very north-western end of Butts Lane, at the junction with Chorwell Lane. Independent (and later Congregationalist) worshippers in the village had to travel to Milverton from 1784, until a small chapel was opened here, but this was not until the mid-1900s (OS 25-inch 1949-1968). It closed around 1980 to be converted into a private residence that is known as 'The Old Chapel'.

All photos on this page by P L Kessler. Former Taunton Deane area church names and locations kindly confirmed by South West Heritage Trust. Additional information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868).


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