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


Ordnance survey map of CHURCH IN THE FIELD
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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)
High Ham
National Grid Reference:
ST 43240 29100


This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 09/06/2016

ST42NW 5/50

HIGH HAM CP LOW HAM Church in the Field

(Formerly listed as Church without Dedication)


GV I Anglican Parish Church, formerly private chapel to manor. On site of earlier church, started early C17, damaged in Civil War, completed in 1690. Local lias stone cut and squared, Ham stone dressings; Welsh slate roofs, coped gables behind castellated parapets. In a Gothic survival style. Four-unit plan of 2-bay chancel, 3-bay nave, north and south aisles, and a west tower. Chancel has plinth, cill and eaves courses, crenellated parapet with corner gargoyles, and angled corner buttresses of nearly full height; east window of 3 lights in hollowed almost semi-circular arched recess, with stilted headstop label, cinquefoil cusped lights below elaborate circular/ stellar tracery; in north and south walls 2-light windows in pointed- arched hollowed recesses without labels, lights 'Y' traceried with reversed 'V' subtracery; in north west corner a moulded cambered arched doorway with 3-panel plank and covermould door with carved toprail incorporating arms and initials of George Stawel, who completed the church. Nave clerestorey has elaborate lead stackheads each side; 3-light cinquefoil cusped windows in hollowed pointed-arched recesses, with quasi-gothic tracery of three quatrefoils with added cusping, battlemented parapet above. Aisles match; plinth, cill and eaves courses, crenellated parapets, bay buttresses; in both east walls and west wall of north aisle are single-light windows to match detail of side chancel windows; in side walls 3-light cinquefoil cusped windows with almost reticulated tracery, in almost semi-circular arched hollowed recesses. Tower of 3 stages; plinth, offset string courses, eaves course with gargoyles and low crenellated parapet, half-height angled corner buttresses to west face, and half-height square-plan stair turret on south east corner, with monopitch tarred stone roof: stage 1 has plain sides, but a west door with triangular head in flat-arched hollowed surround having carved spandrils, framing 4-panel door with carved sunburst overthrow and C17 hinges; above a 3-light window with 'correct' C15 tracery, possibly a re-use; to 3 sides of stage 2 a single-light trefoil cusped window in rectangular chamfered recess without label, that on west masked by clockface; to all faces stage 3 a 2-light C15 style traceried window in stilted pointed arched recess. Inside, the chancel mostly C19, with arch-braced collar truss roof, C19 side panelling but C17 reredos and panelling to east wall, C17 altar table, also 2 C17 benches; chancel arch a double unpanelled C15 style, with fine C17 screen which appears to incorporate C15 fragments. Nave has C19 arch- braced collar truss roof, C15 style arcades, original stone flag floors and C17 fittings including fine pulpit (originally in SS Peter and Paul, Muchelney, q.v.), reading desk and box-type pews without doors. Aisles have matching pews, and lean-to roofs mostly C19 but with earlier fragments. Under the tower a C19 octagonal font, a C17 chest and an elaborate stone and glazed screen with double doors is c1800, and was removed by a former Mayor of Bristol, Sir Charles Wathen also Lord of the Manor from his private chapel there. Stone version of Royal arms in east wall, north aisle, and under it monument to Sir Edward Hext, died 1624, with effigies of him and his wife, enclosed by wrought iron railings; on east wall of south aisle marble monument to Ralph Stawell, died 1681; a curtained plaque on elaborate plinth with flanking cherubs, to sides of plaque Corinthian columns carrying segmental pediment with cartouche of arms, all enclosed by C17 railings, some with twists and a variety of spearheads. Much C17 stained glass in chancel, including whole of east window. Two medieval bells in tower, one c1500, the other not later than 1350.

Until 1921 this church was the private chapel of the Lord of the Manor: the manor house was demolished in late C17 and a sumptuous new manor begun south of the church, but never finished - it was eventually demolished.

(Pevsner N, Buildings of England, South and West Somerset, 1958; Rev. Terrell, R.C.P. A Guide to Low Ham Church, Unpublished, Undated).

Listing NGR: ST4323929099


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset, (1958)
Terrell, Reverend R C P , A Guide to Low Hams Church


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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 01 Sep 2004
Reference: IOE01/12587/13
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Michael Cook. Source Historic England Archive
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