Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

South Somerset (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 43959 09800



ST4309 CHURCH STREET 876-1/6/46 (North side) 12/06/50 Church of St Bartholomew


Parish church. C15 and early C16 with earlier origins; restored 1889-1900. MATERIALS: dressed limestone and Ham Hill stone with lead roofs. PLAN: cruciform plan, with extended north aisle, chapel to the north-east corner, and crossing tower: a part of a late C13 arch incorporated in the east wall of the south transept suggests that the C13 church was also of cruciform plan. Perpendicular style. EXTERIOR: all windows, unless mentioned, are pointed-arch with hoodmoulds, casement moulding and Perpendicular tracery, each light with a cinquefoil top; a moulded string-course encircles the building below the parapet, and all parapets, except those to the east gable end and gable to south transept, have moulded embattlements. The set-back buttresses are diagonal to the tops, and the aisles have crocketed finials and gargoyles at string-course-level. A plinth with a string-course above it, encircles the building, though the moulding varies. The east end has a plain shouldered gable and crocketed finials to the buttresses; a 4-light window is above a former chantry, now demolished, though the lintels to the former doors to the sides remain. The north-east corner is in 4 steps from the chancel: the north side of the chancel, which has one 4-light window; the end of the extended north aisle; a small north-east chapel; and the north transept, which has a 4-light window without a hoodmould. The east end of the north aisle is slightly higher than the chancel at the junction, but the roof slopes down to the same level over a 5-light window to the east side, and two of 4-lights to the north. The small chapel is early C16, with shallow pointed arches to a 4-light window on each side; the east side has a slightly pitched gable. The north transept is more elaborate and higher, a slightly pitched gable to the north side has gargoyles to the centre and sides; a 7-light, elliptical-arched, transomed window has a quatrefoil frieze between cill and plinth. The east side has one similar 4-light transomed window, the west side a 5-light window, both with similar friezes below, ending at a door close to the north aisle, which is below a small 4-light window. The north aisle has 3 large Y-traceried windows with headstops to the hoodmoulds and gargoyles in the string-course, above the points; and below the crocketed finials of the buttresses. The 5 segmental pointed clerestory windows which do not correspond to the arcade below, are under a continuous dripmould. The shallow gable to the west front has a small crocketed niche to the apex. A large transomed 8-light window is over elaborate carving round the planked and studded door which is panelled to the front; this is set in a deep moulded architrave with a crocketed ogee top, large quatre-foils in the spandrels, flanked by square, diagonally-set columns with crocketed finials; to the sides are large half-figures over crocketed finials to empty niches. The figure to right is in poor condition, but that to the left is crowned and carries a narrow scroll. Octagonal stair turrets with 4 slit windows each, gargoyles to each angle and doors to the north and south sides, separate the nave from the aisles, and give access to the galleries inside. The jointing-in of the naves is clearly visible, they have 4-light transomed windows with Y-tracery, that to the north aisle has head stops and a gargoyle above, that to the south aisle has plain stops. Elaborate gargoyles project from the tops of the buttresses. The south side is simple toward the east end; the 3 windows to the chancel and the 2 to the south transept are without dripmoulds, and the buttresses have gargoyles without crocketed finials. The south side of the south transept has a plain shouldered gable with stepped stone coping, and a 5-light window under a dripmould. The west side of it has no windows, but a small door with a labelled dripmould. Between the buttresses at the south-east corner is a large niche with a Tudor arch and sloping stone roof; inside is a stone seat. The south porch is flanked by 6-light, Y-traceried windows with head stops to the dripmoulds and gargoyles above. It is single-storey, though as high as the aisle; shallow embattled gable with a niche under a crocketed canopy has 3, trefoil-headed panels to each side. The buttresses are similar to the others with gargoyles but no finials. The C20 door has square, diagonally-set columns with crocketed finials flanking the moulded architrave. The south side has a 2-light window with dripmould. The tower is in 3 stages with string-courses between, blank to the base and tall 2-light, Somerset traceried windows with mullions level with the middle string-course in the two stages above; these have hoodmoulds with head stops; to the south-east corner, a hexagonal stair turret, slightly taller than the tower, and a door below 6 slit stair-windows facing south-east, has gargoyles and crocketed finials to each angle. In 1902, the clock, commemorating the coronation of Edward VII was installed replacing one made in 1802. INTERIOR: the chancel is mostly late C19: the roof was raised and trusses rest on large figure corbels; polychromatic tiled floor; C19 stained glass in 5-light east window, above a 1903 reredos which is flanked by blocked entrances to a former chantry. These are pointed arches in square-headed frames with small unornamented shields to the centres. The spandrels to the left door have carved boars in them, those to the right door have angels. NORTH-EAST CHAPEL, which is a continuation of the north aisle, has a C15, slightly pitched, richly panelled ceiling; this has deep moulded beams with bosses to all joints, and quatrefoils, shields and crosses in the recesses. Plain glass to the windows with a 1950 inset to the east. Small CHAPEL in the angle of the north-east chapel and the north transept: ceiling, dated 1867, a copy of that in the north transept, and the Merefield memorial, are described later. North transept has moulded beams to the panelled ceiling. North aisle: almost as wide as the nave, with a C15 panelled ceiling, the main rafters of which are supported on the capitals to colonnettes extending to the floor. Early C19 gallery to west end, and on the west wall is a large segmental-arched frame containing a list of Crewkerne charities and benefactors. NAVE: 3 high and wide bays almost square in plan, have casement-moulded pointed arches without capitals, except to the 4 colonnettes on the diagonals of the piers, which have rounded colonnettes at impost level. The depressed waggon-vaulted ceiling is of coursed rubblestone with moulded beams; full figure corbels support main rafters. A C13 blocked window, high to the top-left of the east end, in the tower, below a trefoil-headed squint with a flat arch and pierced spandrels and the massive crossing piers indicate that this is a survival of an earlier church. The clerestory has cinquefoil heads to the five 2-light segmental-pointed arched windows between wall shafts. The 7-light west window has C20 stained glass above a door which is rough, diagonally planked-and-studded to the back, and panelled to the front. The south aisle has a similar ceiling to that of the north aisle with C19 stained glass and gallery to the west end, and a similar frame to that on the north aisle which contains a painting of the royal arms. The south porch has a high fan-vaulted ceiling with foliate bosses and round columns at the corners, descending to stone seats to the sides. The south transept is simple and houses the organ; it has a panelled ceiling and a brattished wall-plate. MEMORIALS: most of the memorials are C19 brass plaques, but one dated 1525 to Thomas Goulde is in the chancel. The Merefield family memorial in the small north-east chapel, is notable; 2 large marble panels inscribed with the names of the members of the family from 1666 onwards, are separated by a colonnette and flanked by plain round columns on strapwork plinths, with Corinthian-style caps and cornices below an entablature richly decorated with fluting, egg-and-dart, bead-and-reel, and dentilled below a cyma moulded cornice; this steps forward over the columns and the colonette. FITTINGS: the font, probably C13, is of Purbeck marble; a slab supported by a cylinder with columns to the corners with round caps and plinths. An oak chest with elaborate hinges to the top, panelled to the front, bears the inscription along the bottom rail 'Robert Smythe. Richard Warlock. Wardens. A.D. 1616.' HISTORY: The earlier church was a minster, serving as the mother church of a late Saxon estate. The VCH suggests that the prescence of royal chaplains between 1479 and c1536 may explain both the splendour of the building and some elements of the design, such as the twin turrets on the west front which Pevsner has compared to examples at Bath Abbey and the Tudor Royal chapels. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: South and West Somerset: London: 1958-: P.137-9; Pulman GPR: The Book of The Axe: Kingsmead Reprints Bath: P.292; Victoria County History: Somerset: Oxford: 1978-: P.4 & 31-2).

Listing NGR: ST4394809802


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

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Books and journals
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Somerset, (1978), 4
Page, W, The Victoria History of the County of Somerset, (1978), 31-2
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset, (1958)
Pulman, G P R, The Book of the Axe, (1969)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Reference: IOE01/10090/22
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