Bickenhall, a parish 1 m. S.W. of Hatch Beauchamp station. The church is modern, but contains on the chancel wall a monument, with a kneeling effigy, to a lady of the Portman family (1632).
Bicknoller, a little village 2-1/2 m. S.E. of Williton, nestling under the W. slopes of the Quantocks. Its name (and that of Bickenhall likewise) is probably connected with beech (cp. the numerous names containing ash-, oak-, elm-, withy-). The church, which used to be a chapel of Stogumber, has a picturesque parapet N. and S. In the interior the chief features that call for remark are (1) the capitals of the N. arcade, with their bands of "Devonshire" foliage, (2) the fine screen (1726) with beautiful fan tracery, (3) some good seat-ends, (4) monument to John Sweeting of Thornecombe (d. 1688), (5) squint in chancel pier, (6) piscina. In the churchyard is the shaft of an ancient cross.
A little above the village is Trendle Ring, the site of an encampment; whilst on the road to Crowcombe is an old house called Halsway, said to have been a hunting lodge of Cardinal Beaufort, the son of John of Gaunt, and guardian of Henry VI.
Biddisham, a small parish 4 m. W. of Axbridge. The small church is reached by a lane from the Bristol and Bridgwater road. It retains a square Norm, font, a piscina, and a Jacobean pulpit. Outside is the shaft of an old cross.
Binegar, a small village on the top of the E. Mendips, with a station on the S. & D. The church, rebuilt 1859, has a plain Perp. tower with a representation of the Trinity on one of its battlements.
Bishop's Hull (hull is merely hill), a village 1-1/2 m. W. from Taunton. The church is a ludicrous example of Philistinism. A small but interesting Perp. church has been enlarged by the simple expedient of replacing the S. aisle by a spacious chamber furnished with galleries. On the N. is a slender octagonal E.E. tower (cp. Somerton). In the original part of the church note (1) on N. of sanctuary, elaborate Jacobean tomb with effigy, in legal robes, of J. Farewell (1609); (2) effigies of three grandchildren tucked away in a small recess in wall opposite; (3) grotesque corbels on E. wall of N. chapel; (4) good bench-ends (observe representation of the Resurrection in N. chapel, and of a night watchman near font). By the side of the Taunton road is a fine Elizabethan mansion of the Farewells, date 1586.
Bishop's Lydeard, a village 5 m. N.W. of Taunton, with a station on the Minehead line. It gets its name from the land having been bestowed by Edward the Elder upon Asser, Bishop of Sherborne, in 904. Its church has an exceptionally fine tower, with double windows in the belfry. The W. window is good and the tower arch very lofty. Note (1) the fine screen, with the Apostles' Creed in Latin; (2) the series of quaintly carved bench-ends, the designs (windmill, ship, stag, etc.) standing out well against the coloured backgrounds; (3) the good, though plain, roof; (4) oak pulpit; (5) brass in S. transept of Nicholas Grobham and wife (d. 1585 and 1594). In the churchyard is a fine cross (14th cent.), with the figure of St John the Baptist on the shaft, and bas-reliefs on each face of the octagonal base. There is also the base and broken shaft of what was once the village cross.
Bishop's Sutton, a village 2-3/4 m. W. of Clutton, with a modern church.
Blackford (near Wedmore), a village 6 m. S.W. from Cheddar (G.W.R.). The church is an eccentric octagonal structure built in 1823.
Blackford (near Wincanton) is a small village, lying rather low, 3 m. E. of Sparkford. The church, which formerly belonged to Glastonbury Abbey, is small and plain, but possesses a Norm. S. doorway and a Norm. font. There are also the remains of a stoup in the S. porch and of a piscina in the S. wall.
Blagdon, a village on the N. slope of the Mendips, 12 m. S.W. from Bristol. A light railway from Yatton has its terminus here. The beauty of the neighbourhood, naturally considerable, has been enhanced by the formation of a large artificial lake, 2-1/2 m. long, intended as a reservoir for Bristol. A charming view across the valley is obtainable from the hillside above the church. The church is remarkable only for its elegant Perp. tower. The rest of the building is an ugly Victorian substitute for the original fabric.
Bleadon, a village 1 m. E. of Bleadon and Uphill Station, lies at the foot of Bleadon Hill. The church has a tall tower with triple windows in the belfry; but it is inferior to others of the same class, since too much space is left between the base of the windows and the string course (cp. Long Sutton). The chancel (the oldest part) is Dec. and possesses a low side-window (cp. Othery, East Stoke, Ile Abbots). The position of this and of the recess in the S. wall points to the chancel having once been longer, a conclusion confirmed by traces of foundations said to exist in the churchyard E. of the present east end. Note in the S. porch a bas-relief of the Virgin and Child; and in the interior of the church, (1) stone pulpit; (2) Norm. font; (3) two effigies (attributed to the 14th cent.), one near the pulpit, the other in the sanctuary (the slab upon which the latter is lying is supposed by some to be an Easter sepulchre, though its position on the S. is unusual); (4) piscina on the N. of chancel—perhaps displaced. In the churchyard is a mutilated cross. On the hill above there are traces of earthworks.
Blue Anchor, a hamlet 3 m. E. of Dunster, with station. There is a pleasant little bay here which possesses possibilities as a future watering-place, but at present the accommodation for visitors is extremely limited. The cliffs that border the foreshore are strikingly coloured and are veined with alabaster. The view towards Minehead is charming. It is said that the sea at very low water uncovers the remains of a submerged forest.
Bossington, a hamlet 1 m. from Porlock, lying under Bossington Beacon, which is the W. end of the North Hill (see Minehead). It is a picturesque place, noteworthy for its huge walnut trees. It is separated from the sea by a stretch of shingle. There is a little chapel of some antiquity, which has a good E. window (restored). The summit of the Beacon may be reached either from the hamlet itself or from Allerford (whence numerous zigzag paths lead through the woods).
Bradford, a parish on the Tone, 4 m. S.W. of Taunton, with a church ded. to St Giles. The stair-turret is on the S. face of the tower (as at Wellington). The piers of the arcade seem to be E.E. or Dec., with two in the Perp. style at the E. end, one of them being of the normal Somerset type, whilst the other has the "Devonshire" foliage. There is an effigy of a knight of the time of Richard II. in the S. wall; and there is also preserved the base of a Norm. font (with foot ornament), supporting a bowl of later date. Under the W. window of the S. aisle are the old stocks.
An ancient bridge across the Tone (perhaps dating from the 13th cent.) carries the road to Nynehead and Milverton: the parapet is modern.
Bradley, West, a small village 4 m. E.S.E. from Glastonbury. The church is an unattractive-looking little building, but of more interest than its appearance suggests. It has a short, battlemented W. tower (with pyramidal cap), supposed to date from 1400. The vault is groined. In the S. porch is a mutilated stoup. Within, note (1) in chancel, image brackets and defaced piscina; (2) rood loft stair and window. The nave roof is original.
Bratton Seymour, a village conspicuously perched on a hill 3 m. W. from Wincanton. The church has been rebuilt. Its prominent position makes it an excellent landmark. W. of the church is a tumulus where have been discovered the remains of a Roman watch-tower.
Brean, a scattered hamlet 4 m. N. of Burnham, near the estuary of the Axe. Its little church, with its foundations much below the level of the neighbouring sand-dunes, is noteworthy merely for its lonely situation. To the N. is Brean Down, a narrow promontory extending more than a mile into the sea, with traces of earthworks. From Weston it may be reached in the summer months by a ferry; the road from the same place is a circuitous one, by way of Bleadon or Lympsham.
Brent, East, a village 2 m. E. of Brent Knoll Station. The name may refer to the knoll, brent meaning a steep hill. The place has a church with a stone spire. Its most interesting features are, externally, the sculptures on the W. face of the tower ((1) Virgin and Child, (2) the Father holding the Crucified Son, (3) Christ crowning the Virgin), and, internally, the roof, the woodwork, and the ancient glass. The nave roof, of plaster, may be compared with that of Axbridge; its date is 1637. The Jacobean or rather Caroline pulpit dates from 1634, and the columns supporting the gallery from 1635. The seat-ends (15th cent.) are good: among the carvings note the symbols of the Evangelists (that of St Mark is missing, both here and at S. Brent) and the initials of John Selwood, the antepenultimate Abbot of Glastonbury (d. 1473). The old glass (late 14th cent.) will be seen in two windows in the N. aisle. Two effigies, one an ecclesiastic, the other probably a layman, have been placed under two of the windows. The frescoes (in S. porch and chancel) and the cross in the churchyard are modern: on the latter are statuettes of apostles, and mediaeval and modern ecclesiastics.
Brent Knoll is a conspicuous eminence of lias, drowned with a cap of inferior oolite, about 450 ft. above sea-level and four acres in extent. On the summit is a camp with a single rampart (though there are, in addition, external terraces in certain positions), British in origin, but utilised by the Romans. It commands a splendid view, embracing the Mendips and Quantocks, Glastonbury Tor, the Channel, and the River Parrett.
Brent, South, 1 m. from Brent Knoll Station, has a church very picturesquely situated on the side of the knoll. Though in the main Perp., it contains examples of earlier work. The S. doorway is Norm, or Trans. (12th cent.), and there is also a small Norm. pillar (perhaps part of a piscina) attached to the E. wall of the N. aisle. The S. wall is in E.E. (note the corbels); and a large S. chapel (note piscina), now used as a vestry, is Dec. (about 1370). The Perp. W. tower, with triple belfry windows, has unusually short buttresses for a tower of its class. Within the church the most noticeable features are (1) fine wooden roof of N. aisle; (2) mural monument of John Somersett (d. 1663) and his two wives; (3) font of unusual shape; (4) the seat-ends (assigned to the 15th cent.), with their curious carvings, partly sacred emblems and partly humorous scenes, the latter depicting a fox (1) in the robes of an abbot or bishop, (2) brought to trial, (3) executed.
Brewham, South, a village 3 m. N.E. of Bruton. It lies in a dell through which flows the Brue (whence its name). The church, chiefly Perp., is not of much interest, though beneath the tower at the S.W. corner is a doorway of rough construction but peculiar character; near it is a stoup. In the churchyard is a cross and an old font. North Brewham is a small hamlet 1/2 m. away.
Bridgwater, a seaport of more than 15,000 inhabitants, on the tidal part of the Parrett. It has a station on the G.W.R. main line to Exeter, and is the terminus of the S. & D. branch from Glastonbury. The general aspect of the town is uninviting, and its immediate surroundings are almost as uninspiring as its buildings. The river, which ministers largely to its prosperity, adds little to its attractions. It, however, furnishes the town twice a day with a mild sensation in the shape of a bore, which at the turn of the tide rolls up the river-bed like a miniature breaker. Though the name, Bridgwater, hardly savours of antiquity it really conceals quite a venerable origin. The not uncommon combination of a bridge and water has nothing to do with the nomenclature. The name appears to be a corruption of Burgh Walter, from Walter of Douay, one of the followers of William the Conqueror. In the Great Rebellion the place proved to the Royal cause in the West a kind of Metz. The castle was supposed to be impregnable, and was held in force for the king by Colonel Wyndham, but on the destruction of the suburb of Eastover by Fairfax, the royal colours were, much to the chagrin of Charles, unexpectedly hauled down from the stronghold, and the garrison, 1000 strong, tamely walked out. The Parliamentary commander made a huge "bag" by the capture. It was, however, in connection with Monmouth's ill-starred enterprise that Bridgwater attained its chief historical notoriety, for it was here that the Duke had his headquarters before the fatal engagement on Sedgemoor. Of the castle—founded by a De Briwere, who is said to have been the bearer of Richard I.'s ransom—hardly a vestige remains. King's Square now occupies its place, and a few fragments of its walls and portions of the water-gate are incorporated in some of the cellars which border the quay. In the centre of the town is the parish church of St Mary, a spacious building with a low W. tower of red sandstone crowned by a tall and graceful spire. It is chiefly Perp., with an ugly and inharmonious modern clerestory; but there are some remains of the Dec. period in the N. porch. Over the altar hangs a picture of the "Descent from the Cross," said to have been found in the hold of a captured privateer. The noteworthy features are (1) black oak screens and pulpit, (2) the blocked squints, in the porches, (3) stoup and geometric rose window in N. porch, (4) mural monument to Sir Francis Kingsmill and two sons. In the churchyard are two timeworn, recumbent figures recessed into the N. wall of N. transept, and an altar-tomb to Oldmixon, mentioned in Pope's "Dunciad." In front of the town-hall is a good statue of Blake, the famous Cromwellian admiral, whose birthplace, much modernised, will be found in Blake Street. An arched doorway in Silver Street is said to have been the gateway of a college of Grey Friars. A house E. of the churchyard has a fine panelled ceiling. The modern church of St John in the suburb of Eastover (for the name, cp. Northover at Ilchester and Southover at Wells) stands upon the site of a former hospital of the Knights of St John, founded by William de Briwere in the 13th cent. Besides its shipping trade, Bridgwater does a large business in bricks and tiles, and possesses a unique industry in the manufacture of Bath bricks—presumably so called from their resemblance to Bath stone. Beds of mingled mud and sand are left by the tide in recesses excavated in the river-banks. The deposit is dug out, moulded into bricks, and dried, and then exported for cleaning metals.
Brislington, a rapidly growing suburb of Bristol, 1-3/4 m. S.E. of the city, with a station on the Frome branch. The church has a tower which is characteristic of a considerable class of Somerset towers. On its S. face are two quaint little effigies (supposed to represent the founders, Lord and Lady de la Warr), and each side of the parapet has a niche containing a figure (cp. Tickenham and Wraxall). The S. aisle has a waggon-roof, and there is a piscina in the S. chapel. The square font is presumably Norm. Brislington Hill House is a 17th-cent. brick mansion.
Broadway, 2-1/2 m. N. of llminster, derives its name from its situation on an ancient track cut through what was once a surrounding forest. The church (dedicated to SS. Aldhelm and Edburga) is cruciform, with E.E. lights at the E. end, though the W. tower and nave windows are Perp. Its most interesting features are the 15th-cent. hexagonal font with six figures (seemingly of apostles) at the angles, and the churchyard cross, with two effigies under a single canopy on its W. face.
Brockley is a small parish on the road from Bristol to Weston (nearest stat. Nailsea, 2 m.). The church lies a little to the R. of the main road from Bristol; it is E.E., but retains a Norm, font. There is an ancient court-house close by.
On the left of the road is Brockley Combe, a beautiful glen between two wooded hills, flanked on one side for some distance by rocky cliffs, which are unfortunately being quarried in places. The wealth of foliage in summer makes the ascent of the combe a delightful walk or drive. It affords access to Chew Magna and Stanton Drew.
Brompton Ralph, a parish 4 m. from Wiveliscombe, on the road to Watchet. The church is conspicuous by its position and has a tall tower, but is not otherwise remarkable, though it retains its old oak seats.
Brompton Regis or King's Brompton, a village 5-1/2 m. N.E. of Dulverton Station, lying amongst the hills which form the more cultivated fringe of Exmoor. The church has the usual local characteristics—a plain tower of the Exmoor type, and the Devonshire foliage round the arcade capitals. Note plain large squint on S., and another, of more ornate character, on N. There is a plain Jacobean pulpit.
Broomfield, a parish situated at the S. end of the Quantocks, 5 m. N. of Taunton. In the church, which has a plain embattled tower and square turret, the chief features of interest are: (1) stoup in S. porch, (2) the foliaged capitals of the arcade (on one note the emblems of the Passion), (3) the seat-ends, sadly needing repair, one of which bears the name of Simon Warman (whose name occurs on the woodwork at Trull), (4) the fine old glass in the S. window of the chancel. In the churchyard is the headless shaft of a cross. The mansion close by is Fyne Court. A mile away to the N.N.E. is Ruborough Camp. It is remarkable for its shape, being triangular in plan (cp. Tedbury, near Mells), and occupies the extremity of a ridge between two declivities. It covers 27 acres, and is overgrown with firs, which make inspection difficult. On the W., the only vulnerable side, it is defended by an additional vallum and fosse, thrown across the ridge 100 yards from the base of the triangle (where the entrance to the camp is supposed to have been). It is regarded as Roman, the usual rectangular plan being adapted to the nature of the ground.
Brushford, a parish near Dulverton Station, but 2 m. S. from Dulverton itself. It has an aisleless church, interesting only for (1) a good 15th-cent. screen, (2) a font, of which the bowl and base date from the 13th cent. There is a splendid oak tree in the churchyard, which is reputed to be 600 years old.
BRUTON, a small town of 1788 inhabitants, 7 m. S.E. from Shepton Mallet, with a station on the G.W.R. Frome and Weymouth line. It is also served by bus from Cole Station (S. & D.), 1-1/2 m. away. It is a quaint little place, lying at the bottom of a deep valley watered by the Brue, to the proximity of which it owes its name. Bruton makes no show of business; its activities are chiefly educational. The antiquarian will, however, find here much to interest him, for there is a fine church, and the town has many ecclesiastical associations. It was at one time the site of a Benedictine Priory, which was subsequently converted into an abbey of Austin Canons in 1525. Of this foundation nothing now remains but a three-storeyed pigeon-house (which stands out conspicuously on the summit of a little knoll behind the town) and the abbey court-house in High Street (see below). The abbey itself stood on the site of the present rectory, which is said to incorporate one of its walls. At the Reformation the monastery went down in the wreck of the religious houses, and Sir M. Berkley, who as the king's standard-bearer was not without friends at Court, came in for the spoil. The church is a handsome Perp. building, with a noble W. tower of the Shepton type, decorated with triple windows and a rich parapet. A second small tower rises above the N. porch (a very unusual feature). The interior is remarkable for the painful incongruity of the chancel—a pseudo-classical structure, built in 1743, to replace the dismantled monastic choir. It contains in a recess on N. recumbent effigies of Sir M. Berkley and wives (1559-85), and on the opposite wall a tablet to W. Godolphin (1636). The nave is extremely handsome, and is covered with a fine roof. Note (1) niches between clerestory windows (cp. St Mary's, Taunton), (2) stepped recess in N. aisle (cp. Chewton), (3) indications, on N. and S. walls, of stairway to rood-loft, which, unless the building was once shorter, must have stood in an unusually forward position, (4) piscina in S. aisle, (5) fragment of mediaeval cope in N.E. corner of nave, (6) chained copies of Jewel (1609) and Erasmus (1548), (7) Jacobean screen under tower. At the W. gateway is an ancient tomb, said to be that of Abbot Gilbert, whose initials, W.G. are cut on one of the battlements of the N. wall. Near the school is a quaint pack-horse bridge ("Bruton Bow") spanning the river (cp. Allerford). In High Street (S. side) will be noticed the old Abbey Court-house (now a private residence), bearing on its wall the "canting" device of Prior Henton (1448). On the same side of the street is Sexey's Hospital, an asylum for a few old men and women, founded in 1638 by Hugh Sexey, a Bruton stable-boy, who in the "spacious days" of Good Queen Bess rose to be auditor in the royal household. It consists of a quadrangle, the S. side of which is formed by a combined hall and chapel of Elizabethan architecture, finely panelled with black oak. The surplus revenues of Sexey's estate support a local Trade School. Bruton also possesses a well-equipped Grammar School, of Edward IV.'s foundation, which replaced an earlier school established here in 1520 by Richard Fitz-James, Bishop of London (1506-22).
Brympton d'Evercy, a small parish 3 m. W. of Yeovil. It gets its name from the D'Evercys, who seem to have possessed the estate in the 13th cent., but it subsequently passed to other families, till in the 15th cent. it fell to the Sydenhams, changing hands again in the 18th cent. The church is a very interesting structure of the Dec. period. It is cruciform in plan, with a N. chapel of Perp. date, and has on its W. gable a large bell-cot (cp. Chilthorne Domer). Within, note (1) stone screen (Perp.), remarkable for the seat along its W. front, (2) piscinas in chancel, transepts, and chapel, (3) font (Dec.), (4) pulpit (Jacobean), (5) chandeliers (said to be Dutch), (6) squints. There are several effigies, which are not in their original positions, but are conjectured to have belonged to a chapel now destroyed. They are, (1) in the N. transept an abbot and a nun beneath recesses carved with modern reliefs; (2) in the chapel a knight in armour and a lady. Between the chapel and chancel is the large coloured tomb of Sir John Sydenham, 1626 (the curious epitaph is worth reading). In the chapel is some ancient glass, and in the churchyard there is the base of an old cross and two early fonts.
N. of the church is a building of two storeys, variously described as a chantry house (a chantry was founded here by Sir Peter d'Evercy, 1307) or a manor house, with an external octagon turret containing a staircase. Brympton House (the residence of Sir S.C.B. Ponsonby-Fane) has a good W. front of Tudor date (note arms of Henry VIII.), with a porch added in 1722, and a S. front built in the 18th cent., though from designs by Inigo Jones (died 1697), with terrace leading to the garden.
Buckland Denham, a village prominently perched on a hillside 3 m. N.W. from Frome. It was once a busy little town with a flourishing cloth trade. The church has a W. tower with an unusual arrangement of windows (cp. Hemington). The Norm. S. doorway and the device by which the upper part of the porch has been converted into a parvise should be noticed. Three chapels are attached to the church. The one at the N., originally the chantry of Sir J. Denham, has on the floor the figures of a knight and his lady in relief. In two of the chapels are piscinas, and there is a large one in the chancel. Some ancient glass, with emblems of the Evangelists, will be found in one of the chapels. The Norm. font, with different mouldings on opposite sides, deserves attention.
Buckland St Mary, a parish 5 m. N.W. of Chard, has a modern church (1853-63), very richly decorated, which it owes to the munificence of the rector, though to some its ornateness will seem a little out of harmony with its rural surroundings. The wooden cover of the font is said to be all that remains of the former church. Not far away are a number of flint stones which are conjectured to be Celtic memorials.
Buckland, West, 5 m. S.W. of Taunton, has a Perp. church, preserving earlier materials, but of no great interest to the ordinary observer. The W. tower has the bell-turret on the S. side (cp. Wellington and Bradford). Note (1) the Norm. font (on a modern base), (2) the entrance to the former rood-loft. The churchyard commands a fine view.
Burnett, a small village 2-1/2 m. S.E. of Keynsham. The church is a tiny late Perp. building of poor workmanship. In the organ-chamber is a small brass to John Cuttle (1575), once Mayor of Bristol. An attendant family are all quaintly labelled.
Burnham, a watering-place on the Bristol Channel, 24 m. S.W. from Bristol and 8 N. from Bridgwater. The S. & D. branch line from Edington Junction has a terminal station here. Neither art nor nature has done much for Burnham. Though a good deal exploited by the local railway company as a half-holiday resort, it possesses few attractions for the summer visitor. It has shown recently some signs of improvement, but no enterprise can make a first-rate watering-place out of a muddy estuary and a strip of sandy shore. A small pier, a narrow esplanade, and some small gardens form its chief artificial recommendations, and its one natural merit is an invigorating breeze which never seems to fail. A tall lighthouse, standing some considerable distance away from the sea, is a conspicuous landmark on the N., and a supplementary light burns from a wooden erection on the beach. The church of St Andrew, near the esplanade, is early Perp. Its two features of interest are its leaning W. tower, and an altar-piece designed by Inigo Jones for Whitehall Chapel, but eventually erected in Westminster Abbey. It appears to have been turned out of the abbey as lumber on the occasion of George IV.'s coronation, and to have been placed in Burnham Church by the then vicar, who was also Canon of Westminster.
Burrington, a small village in the Vale of Wrington, with a station on the Light Railway. It possesses a remarkable ravine, which would be considered fine by any one unacquainted with Cheddar. It has the magnitude but not the grandeur of its famous competitor. The hillsides present merely a series of steep slopes broken by protruding masses of rock. The combe runs up to the shoulders of Blackdown, and is throughout wild and picturesque. Like the Cheddar gorge, it abounds in caverns, there being no fewer than four, all of which have been prolific in "finds." It was whilst taking shelter here that Toplady composed "Rock of Ages." On one of the hills above the combe is a Roman encampment fenced with a rough wall of stone, locally known as Burrington Ham. Another picturesque spot in the neighbourhood is a glen called Rickford. The church, which stands in some fields near the mouth of the gorge, is a Perp. building with a low W. tower and a peculiarly graceful spirelet over the rood-loft turret. There are some good parapets to the aisles, but the roof of one of the chapels projects in an ugly manner above that of the chancel (cp. Yatton). Note (1) ancient glass in window above N. door, (2) pieces of an old bell with maker's mark (a ship), c. 1470.
Burrow (or Borough) Bridge, 1-1/2 m. N.E. of Athelney Station. It is noteworthy for its conical hill, locally called the Mump, crowned by a ruined church (St Michael's). It affords an extensive view over the surrounding plain, and may be the site of Alfred's fort (see p. 13).
Burtle, a parish 1 m. N. of Edington Station. (S. & D.). The church is modern.
Butcombe, a village 2 m. N. of Blagdon, prettily situated in a nook of the Wrington Vale. Several monastic bodies originally owned property here, but the church does not seem to have benefited largely by their proprietorship. It is a small Perp. structure, of no great interest.
Butleigh is a pleasant village, 4 m. S. of Glastonbury. Of its church the only old portions are the tower (which is central), the nave, the porch, and the chancel, to which N. and S. transepts and a N. aisle have been added in modern times. Most of the windows of the nave and chancel are Dec., with foliated rear arches. The large W. window is Perp., and contains some ancient glass. In the S. transept is a monument to the three brothers Hood, with a long epitaph in blank verse by Southey. In the N. aisle are preserved figures (Jacobean) of a man and woman, with a kneeling child between them, obviously portions of an old tomb. The neighbouring mansion is Butleigh Court (R.N. Grenville). The tall column which is so conspicuous from the Glastonbury Plain was erected to the memory of Sir Samuel Hood.
Cadbury Camp, near Tickenham. See Tickenham. The name is perhaps connected with the Welsh cad (battle). There is another near Yallon.
Cadbury, North, a village 2-1/2 m. E. from Sparkford Station (G.W.R.). It possesses a remarkably fine Perp. church, built by Lady Eliz. Botreaux (1427) for a college of eight priests. The tower, of more than ordinarily plain design, is of rather earlier date, and the arcades have probably been preserved from some previous structure. The interior, though not rich, is imposing, owing to its size and excellent proportions. The chancel is of great dignity, and some elaborately carved tabernacles, bearing traces of colouring, flank each side of the E. window, and form a fine architectural addition to the E. end. The roofs and bench ends (1538) should also be observed. Note (1) altar slab fixed to N. wall of sanctuary, (2) rood-loft stair and turret, (3) three altar-tombs under tower, one (early 15th cent.) bearing effigies of Sir W. and Lady Eliz. Botreaux, (4) fragments of glass in W. window. Of this church, Ralph Cudworth, the famous Cambridge philosopher, was once rector.
At the S.E. of the church is Cadbury Court, a fine gabled Elizabethan mansion, with a curiously incongruous modern front on the S.
Cadbury, South (2-1/4 m. E. of Sparkford), is a village on the N.E. side of Cadbury Camp, with a church dedicated to St Thomas a Becket, who is perhaps intended by the fresco of a bishop which is on the splay of a window in the N. aisle. The responds of the aisle arches are curiously banded. There is a good reredos, a piscina, and a hagioscope.
Cadbury Castle, near Sparkford (2 m. away), is the most remarkable of all the Somerset earthworks. Besides its antiquarian importance, the "Castle" derives a romantic interest from its popular association with the fabled Camelot. The hill is best ascended by a lane near a farm-house to the S. of S. Cadbury Church. Though much covered with timber, the fortifications are still clearly traceable, and consist of a quadruple series of ramparts and ditches. The interior "ring" is faced with wrought masonry. The fortifications enclose an area of some 18 acres, and the crest of the hill is crowned by a mound locally known as King Arthur's Palace. The defensive works must originally have been of great strength, and are impressive even in their decay. The S. face of the hill is fashioned into a series of terraces, possibly with a view to cultivation. A well, called King Arthur's Well, will be found within the lowest rampart by taking the path to the right of the entrance gate. Another well—Queen Anne's—is in the neighbourhood of the keeper's cottage. The country-side is rich in Arthurian traditions. King Arthur and his knights are said on moonlight nights to gallop round the fortifications on steeds shod with silver shoes. A hardly traceable forest-path runs at the base of the hill in the direction of Glastonbury. This is King Arthur's hunting track. Apart from these legendary associations, Cadbury must have played a considerable part in the British struggle for freedom. It may have been here (instead of at Penselwood) that the West Welsh made their last effort against Cenwealh, when he drove them to the Parrett (see p. 12). For so low an eminence, the "castle" commands a remarkably extensive view. The great plain of Central Somerset spreads away at the foot of the hill. In the foreground is the ever-conspicuous Glastonbury Tor; the Mendip ridge closes the horizon on the right; the Quantocks and Brendons are in front; and the Blackdowns and Dorset highlands lie jumbled together on the left.
Camel, Queen (1 m. S.W. of Sparkford Station), is a large and attractive village, owing its name to the neighbouring stream, the Cam. Its church is a dignified structure with a lofty tower, which has its turret unusually placed at the N.W. angle (cp. Yeovil and Martock). The arcade has octagonal piers. Two of them have small niches, and there is a clerestory above. The roof has embattled tie-beams, the space above them being filled with Perp. tracery. The E. window is lofty. The chancel has a screen and rood-loft, with fan tracery E. and W.; the staircase is in the S. pier of the arch. At the E. end is a piscina and a sedile, each under an elaborate triple ogee canopy. The Perp. font is unusual, being supported on pillars which have niches containing figures. On the S. side of the church there is an incongruous "classical" porch (cp. Sutton Montis). In the parish is a mineral spring with properties resembling those of Harrogate waters.
Camel, West, a village 2 m. S.W. of Sparkford Station, has a church with many features of interest. In plan it is cruciform, the S. transept being under the tower, which is on the S. side, and is crowned by a small spire. The arches of the tower, chancel, and N. transept are probably Dec. The E. window is Dec., with the interior arch foliated. The rest are Perp. The nave roof deserves notice. The chancel contains a double piscina under a large foliated arch, and triple sedilia. The font is Norm., with shallow arcading round the basin. Near it is a fragment of the shaft of a cross, ascribed to the 9th cent., with the interlaced carving generally associated with Celtic and Irish crosses. In a window behind the pulpit there is some ancient glass.
Camely, a parish about 1-1/2 m. S.W. from Clutton Station, deriving its name from another Cam. The church is a solitary building standing back from the roadside. It has a good Perp. W. tower, but a very uncouth-looking nave and chancel.
Camerton, a flourishing colliery village lying in a deep valley about 2 m. N.N.E. of Radstock. It has a terminal station on a small branch line running up from Hallatrow. The church, which is rather obscurely situated at the back of the rectory, has been well restored, and is handsomely furnished. The chancel is new. A side chapel contains two altar-tombs to members of the Carew family (1640-86), said to be mere replicas of the original tombs in Carew Church, Pembrokeshire. Note (1) stoup inside N. doorway, (2) piscina in organ chamber. Camerton Court (Miss Jarrett), a modern building with a colonnade, stands over against the church on the other side of the dale.
Cannington, a large village 4 m. N.W. of Bridgwater, is a place of some interest. It is the birthplace of a distinguished man, for at Brymore House, hard by, John Pym was born. The church has some unusual features, for a single roof covers nave, aisles, and chancel; and there is no chancel arch. The whole building is very lofty, and it has good E. and W. windows. The tower, which will be seen to be out of line with the axis of the nave, is richly ornamented with niches. Note externally the turret above the rood staircase, and the series of consecration crosses (12) on the E. and S. wall of the chancel; and in the interior observe (1) the carved oak cornice, (2) the screen (the upper part restored), (3) Norm. pillar (a survival of an earlier church) in the vestry, (4) old Bible of 1617. A priory of Benedictine nuns, founded by a De Courcy (of Stoke Courcy) in 1138, once existed here. The large house with mullioned windows, near the church, now occupied by a Roman Catholic industrial school, was once a court-house belonging to the Clifford family.
Down a road running E. from the church is Gurney Street Farm, an old manor-house. It has a small chapel, with piscina, aumbry, niches, and carved roof; above is a chamber (probably for the priest), reached by stairs, each of which consists of a single block of oak, while behind is a room panelled in oak, with a window looking into the chapel.
A mile from the village on the Stowey road (take path to left) is another manor house, Blackmoor Farm. It has a good porch, and retains its chapel (note piscina and niches), over the W. end of which some of the chambers on the first floor project.
Carhampton, a village on the Dunster and Williton road, 2 m. S.E. of Dunster. The church has been restored and in parts rebuilt. It still contains a fine and richly coloured screen, evidently copied from the one at Dunster (cp. Timberscombe), but there are no indications of a stairway. Note (1) piscinas in S. aisle and chancel, (2) carved wall-plate in S. aisle. There is the base of a cross in the churchyard. On the road to Blue Anchor there is an ancient manor-house, called Marshwood Farm, which has in its porch some curious plaster figures.
CASTLE CARY, a small market town at S.E. corner of the county, with a station (1 m.) at the junction of the G.W.R. Weymouth line with the Langport loop. Its population in 1901 was 1904. The town has a pleasant air of old-fashionedness about it. The castle which gave it its name long since disappeared from history, and until recently from knowledge. It was only in 1890 that its site was revealed. Some excavations in a field at the bottom of Lodge Hill brought to light the foundations of a large square Norm. keep. Its outlines are now marked by pillars. It seems to have acquired notoriety chiefly in the disorderly days of Stephen. The Church possesses a good spire, and is conspicuously situated. But though outwardly picturesque, it has little of interest within. Note, however, (1) piscina in chancel, (2) oak screen, (3) carved pulpit, (4) panel and canopied effigy over S. porch. There is also a shallow font (temp. Henry VI.) on a pedestal of curious design.
Castle Neroche, locally known as Castle Ratch, a remarkable earthwork of problematical origin, 7 m. S. of Taunton. It crowns the edge of a precipitous hillside, over which runs the main road to Chard. The camp is of quite exceptional strength, and occupies a position of great strategic importance. Recent excavations have proved it to have been occupied and strengthened, if not originally made, by the Normans. On the accessible side looking towards Chard the station is defended by a triple row of ramparts and ditches, but the side overlooking the vale of Taunton is so precipitous that the only protection provided appears to have been a kind of citadel surmounted probably by a keep. The centre of this once formidable military position is now incongruously occupied by a farm-house. The view from the citadel or beacon across Taunton Dean is far-reaching and exhilarating. The outlook on the other side is circumscribed by the high ground beyond.
Castle of Comfort, a lonely public-house on the top of the Mendips, standing by the side of the Bristol and Wells road. For the tourist it forms a very convenient landmark from which to indicate the more interesting features of the Mendip plateau. (1) The Roman road from Uphill to Old Sarum may be traced across a field near the house. (2) The Devil's Punch Bowl, one of the most notable swallets on the Mendips, is 1/4 m. nearer Bristol (climb a wall on the R. and the swallet, a funnel-shaped hollow, partly overgrown with brushwood, will be seen in a field about 100 yards from the roadside). (3) The old Roman lead mines are 2-1/2 m. away on the road to Charterhouse. (4) The "Lamb's Lair" cavern (now unexplorable) lies 2 m. to the N. near the Bristol road. (5) Nine Barrows, to find which take the Wells road; 1/2 m. to the S. is another solitary inn, and opposite are the barrows.
Catcott, a village on the Poldens, 3 m. S. of Edington Station. The church is quaint; note, in particular, the old oak seats, and the odd means by which they can be lengthened. There is an old octagonal font.
Chaffcombe, a secluded village on the slope of Windwhistle Hill, 2-1/2 m. N.E. from Chard. The church is a small Dec. building with a Perp. W. tower containing a pre-Reformation bell.
Chantry, or Little Elm, a small village 4-1/2 m. S.W. from Frome. The church is a beautiful bit of modern Gothic, designed by Sir G. Scott.
Chapel Allerton, a village 4-1/2 m. S.W. from Axbridge. The church is a 13th-cent. building which has been subsequently altered and enlarged. In the parish are the remains of an old "hundred stone," marking the boundaries of the hundred of Bempstone.
CHARD, a market town of 4437 inhabitants, at the S. extremity of the county, served by both the G.W.R. and L. & S.W.R. Chard is a pleasant variant upon the usual cramped type of Somerset county town. It spreads itself out up the side of a hill with a magnificent disregard for ground values in one broad and breezy street a mile long. Its situation is remarkable for the impartiality of its maritime predilections, for the runnels at the side of the thoroughfare are said to discharge their contents, the one into the Bristol, the other into the English Channel. Its early name, Cerde (for Cerdic), implies its Saxon origin, but it was a benefaction of Bishop Joceline, who gave half his manor for its extension, which really made the town. Chard has figured a little in history. Charles I. and Fairfax both made some stay in it. Penruddock suffered a severe reverse in the neighbourhood in 1655, and Monmouth, in 1685, marched through Chard en route, as he thought, for the throne, a circumstance which Jeffreys did not allow the town to forget. "Hangcross tree," which once stood near the L. & S.W. station, was long locally reputed to be the gibbet on which some of the Duke's sympathisers expiated their treason. The town is nowadays chiefly dependent upon a large lace works and some collar factories. The church, which stands in the "old town" (turn down Axminster Road), is said to have been erected about 1400, and is a spacious Perp. building without a clerestory. It has a squat W. tower, some good porches (cp. N. porch with Ilminster), and some bold gargoyles. Within note (1) squints, (2) rood-loft stair with external turret, (3) indistinct traces of mural paintings in N. transept, (4) Brewer monument (early 17th cent.) in N. transeptal chapel. The main street contains some notable examples of domestic architecture—(1) gabled hostelry, "The Choughs" (opposite street leading to church), (2) fine old house opposite Town Hall, date about 1580, supposed to have been the court house of the manor (containing an exceptionally fine room, with two mullioned windows of 20 lights, and a moulded plaster ceiling), (3) grammar school, at foot of the town opposite a fountain. A leaden pipe carries the date 1583, though the present school was not founded till 1671.
Charlcombe is a parish 2 m. N. of Bath, with a very small church, which has a Norm. S. door. Note (1) the font (probably Norm.), (2) the massive stone pulpit, (3) the reredos. There is a fine yew tree near the porch.
Charlinch, a parish 5 m. W. of Bridgwater. The second syllable (recurring in Moorlinch, Redlynch) means a level terrace on the side of a hill; the first is probably a personal name. Its church illustrates many periods of architecture, for it has a Norm. font and S. door (with depressed arch), a Trans. chancel arch (pointed), a Dec. E. window, and Perp. tower, chapel (or transept), and nave windows. The altar-piece, in memory of Lady Taunton, is a modern copy of the 15th-cent. painter Francia. There are two interesting epitaphs, one on the S. wall of the chancel, the other on a brass on the floor. There are also some fragments of ancient glass; and a stone, with a consecration cross, is built into the porch.
E. of the church, on the road to Wembdon, is Gothelney Hall, an old manor house, with a good front, and walls of great thickness. The banqueting-hall (now divided into rooms) was on the first floor and had a minstrel gallery, whilst the chapel was probably at the top of the tower. There is an interesting collection of portraits of (it is believed) former owners of the house.
Charlton Adam, a village 3 m. E. of Somerton, has a church which contains a few features of interest. The chancel has two foliated lancets; in the S. chapel there is the canopied tomb of Thomas Baker (d. 1592); and in both chancel and chapel are some curious old seats. Note also (1) the piscina, (2) Norm. font, (3) a Jacobean pulpit, (4) rudely carved figures in S. porch. There seems to have been here a chantry of the Holy Spirit from 1348 to 1547.
Charlton Horethorne is a pleasant village 1-1/2 m. N.W. of Milborne Port Station. The church has a well-proportioned Perp. tower with bold buttresses; the rest of the building appears to be earlier. Note (1) the recesses and niches in the N. and S. walls, (2) piscina, (3) heavy cylindrical font. The church porch is old. In the parish are some barrows which have been opened and found to contain remains.
Charlton Mackrell, 3 m. E. of Somerton, has a cruciform church with a central tower, in the piers of which are large foliated squints. The church contains little of interest; but note (1) the roof of the chancel, with the angels above the corbels, (2) the piscina, (3) the carved seat-ends (especially the figure of a satyr). The churchyard cross has figures carved on it, perhaps the symbols of the four Evangelists. Within the parish but nearer the village of Kingsdon is Lytes Cary House, situated a little distance from the Glastonbury and Ilchester road. It is an interesting example of domestic architecture, the chapel dating from 1340, the rest of the building from the 15th cent. The E. front has two oriels, whilst the S. front, crowned with a parapet, bears the arms of Lyte (a chevron between 3 swans) and Horsey (3 horses' heads), and the initials I, E (John Lyte and Edith Horsey). The chapel has a Dec. window and ruined piscina and stoup. The hall, now divided by a wall, has a fine roof and cornice. An upper room retains a good moulded ceiling, decorated with heraldic blazons.
Charlton Musgrove, a small village 1 m. N. of Wincanton. The church is early Perp. and has a fair W. tower. Note (1) panelled chancel arch, (2) square blocked squint, (3) odd-looking font. One of the bells is pre-Reformation, and has the inscription Regina coeli, laetare.
Charterhouse on Mendip, a lonely hamlet at the W. end of the Mendips, 3 m. N.W. of Priddy. Here the Carthusians of Witham had a cell (hence the name), but all traces of the building have now disappeared. The locality is, however, still of interest as the scene of the Roman mining industry. Here lead was unearthed and transported across the hills for shipment at Uphill. The settlement seems to have been a sort of Roman "Roaring Camp," where the miners relaxed the tedium of their exile by the excitements of the gaming-table. The surrounding heaps of slag have been rich in revelations. Discarded trinkets, spoons, forks, beads, and dice bear eloquent testimony to their habits, whilst on a shoulder of the neighbouring upland is an amphitheatre. (Take Blagdon road and turn up a grassy lane on L.: the amphitheatre is in a field near the top). The workings have now been abandoned, but many attempts have been made since Roman times to re-start them. A Roman road is distinctly traceable in the fields beyond the mines. It ran in a straight line from Uphill to Old Sarum. The rounded upland on the N.W., a mile or so farther on, is Blackdown (1067 ft.), the highest point of the Mendips.
Cheddar, a large village 2-1/2 m. S.E. of Axbridge and 12 S.E. from Weston-super-Mare. The G.W.R. line from Yatton to Wells has a station here. There are few to whom Cheddar is not known by name as possessing one of the most remarkable bits of scenery in the British Isles. The gorge, the sides of which form the famous cliffs, cleaves the edge of the Mendips very abruptly, and at its mouth lies the village. The most impressive introduction to the sight is to approach Cheddar by road from Priddy and to descend the ravine from the top of the hills, as the cliffs increase in grandeur in the course of the descent, and the best is thus kept till last. To the majority of sightseers who arrive by train this is, of course, a counsel of perfection, but it is as well that those who ascend from the village should be warned that the top of the pass emerges upon open tableland, and that nothing remarkable awaits them at the end of their climb. The grand canon is only a quarter of a mile or so from the mouth of the gorge. Here the road winds in and out like a double S at the foot of the cliffs, which, gracefully festooned with creepers, tower above the spectator like the bastions of some gigantic castle. Possibly there are higher walls of rock elsewhere, but there are none which, for their height, have the same perpendicularity. In some cases they rise sheer from the roadway with a vertical face of 450 ft. Unfortunately an energetically worked quarry has wrecked one side of the ravine, and the clatter of the machinery detracts considerably from the repose of the scene. Near the entrance of the pass a detached mass of rock roughly resembling a crouching lion guards it like a sentinel. At its feet is spread a pretty little sheet of water fed by subterranean streams. In these hidden rivulets we have no doubt the instrument which nature has used to fashion the cliffs. Geologists assert that the gorge is but the ruins of a collapsed tunnel which once carried the water of some primeval river. A series of caverns at the entrance of the valley are vigorously exploited by their owners as "side shows" to this exhibition of natural marvels. Of these caves Cox's, the one nearest the village, was discovered as early as 1832, and has long been known to excursionists as one of the sights of Cheddar (entrance fee 1s.). The stalactites within are highly fantastic in shape and peculiarly rich in colour. There is, however, more to be seen for the money at Gough's, a little higher up, where a similar charge is made. A long natural gallery, rendered in places more accessible by excavation, runs for a quarter of a mile into the heart of the rock and opens up a series of vast chambers elaborately hung with stalactites. When the electric light is thrown on these pendants an almost pantomimic effect is produced. The scientific interest of the cavern consists in the abundant remains of extinct animals that from time to time have been discovered here. Amongst other specimens on show at the entrance are the bones of a pre-historic man unearthed in 1903. At a point along the gallery will be heard the rumble of a hidden river.
The village itself is not particularly picturesque. In its centre is an ancient hexagonal cross (cp. Shepton) of no great merit, and much doctored. The cheeses for which Cheddar is also famous are not the exclusive product of the locality but are extensively made throughout Somerset. The church is worth inspection. It is a fine Perp. building, with a lofty W. tower of four stages. It has triple belfry windows, and a spired stair turret, but the shallowness of the buttresses detracts from its impressiveness. Within there is a good coloured roof, some Perp. screens, a good 15th-cent. stone pulpit (also coloured), some carved benches, and a rich S. chantry chapel of the Fitz-Walters. In the sanctuary note the fine piscina and the brasses to the De Cheddars—one to Sir Thomas on a recessed altar-tomb on the N., and a smaller one to his wife on the floor below. The piers of the arcade stand on some curious bases, probably the foundations of earlier columns. The general effect of the interior is spoilt by the fantastic modern colouring at the E. end.
Cheddon Fitzpaine, a parish 2 m. N.E. of Taunton, preserving, like Stoke Courcy, Stoke Gomer, Norton Fitzwarren, the name of its Norman lord. It has a nice church, which, however, contains little that is noteworthy. The piers of the S. arcade have figures on the capitals (cp. Taunton St Mary's), and there are a few bench ends and two piscinas.
Chedzoy (2-1/2 m. from Bridgwater) is, with its neighbour Weston Zoyland, a village of great historic interest, since between the two is the field of Sedgemoor. The final -oy is probably identical with the -ey (isle) which occurs in Athelney and Muchelney, whilst chedz- may be the possessive of Cedda, a Saxon personal name. The church of St Mary well deserves inspection. The embattled tower has double belfry windows, and is noteworthy for the unusual way in which the buttresses are finished. From its summit, in 1685, the approach of the royal troops towards Sedgemoor was discovered through a telescope. Over the S. porch is the date 1579, and the initials R.B. (Richard Bere, Abbot of Glastonbury), R.F. (Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester), and H.P. (unknown). The interior is remarkable for the difference in the width of the aisles, which are separated from the nave by an E.E. arcade, above which there is a clerestory. Over the N. aisle there is a curious arch, with some defaced carving (apparently a crucifixion) above it. The chancel originally had a lateral chapel on the S., of which traces are visible both within and without. On the W. buttress of the S. transept there are still marks where Monmouth's rustics sharpened their scythes and axes. On both the S. and N. walls of the church there are consecration crosses. One of its most notable features is the excellence of its woodwork: note in particular (1) the bench ends, one of which has M (Queen Mary), surmounted by a crown, with the date 1559; (2) the lectern, dated 1618; (3) the pulpit, with linen-pattern carving; (4) the railings near the organ, and the base of the tower, bearing the dates 1620 and 1637. The rood-screen is partly modern, but contains some old work. Note also the holy-water stoup, squint, sedilia, and double piscina. Three altar frontals have been constructed out of a beautiful cope which was discovered under the pulpit. There is a good brass (about 1490), said to belong to a Sydenham, near the S. entrance. Recently (1904) a curious sale took place in accordance with a custom which is said to have been observed since 1490, when a piece of land was left to be sold every twenty-one years to provide for the repairs of the church, the auction to last during the burning of half an inch of candle, and the last bidder before the candle was consumed to become the purchaser. A similar method of sale is stated to prevail at Tatworth, near Chard.
Chelvey is a village 1 m. S.W. of Nailsea Station. Its church, ded. to St Bridget, preserves a Norm. door within the S. porch, and a Norm. font on the S. side of the building. There is a large chapel containing three recesses beneath ogee canopies. Note the corbels on either side of the chancel to support the Lenten veil, and some curious old seats. There is some old glass in the windows, and a cross in the churchyard. In a farmhouse near are the remains of Chelvey Court, once the residence of the Tynte family, who have memorials in the church.
Chelwood, a small parish 2 m. S.E. of Pensford. Its little church contains nothing of interest except an ancient font (probably Norm.) and a medley of early glass (probably French) in the W. window.
Cheriton, North, a pleasant village 3 m. S.W. of Wincanton. It has a restored church, which preserves a pulpit of Charles I.'s time (1633), and a tub font. The screen is, in the main, modern, though part dates from the 15th cent.
Chesterblade, 2 m. N.E. of Evercreech, perhaps owes the first part of its name to its contiguity to the camp on Small Down (mentioned below). Its church has a Norm. S. door. Note also (1) the quaintly carved Norm. corbels at the N.E. and S.E. angles of the nave, (2) the Norm. font, (3) the stone reading-desk (16th cent.), (4) the bell-cot, (5) the base of a very ancient cross in the churchyard. On the adjoining height of Small Down there is a camp, defended on the E. side by two ditches. In it remains of flint implements and pottery have recently been found, and are now preserved in the Taunton Museum.
Chew Magna (originally Bishop's Chew) is a village on the Chew, 3 m. W. from Pensford Station. As its appearance suggests, it was once a small town. The main street has a raised causeway and several old houses. The church, supposed to have been built by Bishop Beckington, whose arms appear on the fabric, is a large and stately building with a lofty Perp. W. tower. It has N. and S. aisles, but no clerestory. The S. arcade is Dec. A fine gilded Perp. screen stretches right across the church. Note (1) round-headed piscinas in sanctuary and S. aisle, (2) Norm. font. There are several interesting monuments: (1) in S. chapel an elaborate Elizabethan tomb with recumbent effigies of E. Baber and wife (1575), (2) in N. chapel an altar-tomb with effigies of a gigantic knight and a diminutive lady (Sir J. St Loe and wife), (3) in recess beneath window in S. aisle a gaudily painted wooden figure of Sir John Hautville (temp. Henry VII.), said to have been brought from Norton Hautville Church (see Stanton Drew). The churchyard contains the base of a cross. At the entrance to the churchyard is a fine old mediaeval building with a good roof, where the manorial courts were once held. Hard by is Chew Court, an old manor house, possessing a Tudor gateway with a solar above. Down a lane leading off from the Chew Stoke road is the Manor House, rebuilt in 1656 on the site of an earlier residence.
Chew Stoke, a village 4-1/2 m. S.W. from Pensford Station. The church stands back from the road, and has a graceful tower (restored), with spirelet. The building is Dec., but much restored. On the R. hand side of lane leading to the church is the old rectory, a quaint 15th-cent. building, with small octagonal turrets and a front much decorated with heraldic devices.
Chewton Mendip, a prepossessing village, held in some repute by sightseers, on the N.E. edge of the Mendips, 5 m. N.N.E. from Wells. It may be reached from either Hallatrow (G.W.R.) or Binegar (S. & D.) Stations. Its chief attraction is its singularly interesting church, which possesses one of the most stately towers in the county. This, as the most meritorious feature, should perhaps be noticed first. The arrangement of double belfry windows in the two upper stages is unusual, and the conventional lines of the elaborately pierced parapet above are relieved by the projecting stair turret and spirelet. The general effect is rich and impressive. The figure of our Lord, surrounded by four pairs of adoring angels, over the W. doorway should also be observed (cp. Batcombe). In the body of the church note should be taken of the good Norm. doorway forming the N. entrance. The interior is remarkable for an ugly bit of mediaeval vandalism. To render the altar observable from all parts of the church, a Norm. triplet, which once formed the chancel arch, has been mutilated; a pointed arch has been inserted, and the corner of the S. wall pared away. The chancel contains the only extant specimen in Somerset of a frid stool, a rough seat let into the sill of the N. window of the sacrarium for the accommodation of any one claiming sanctuary. Note (1) piscinas of different dates in chancel; (2) change of design in arcading of nave, showing subsequent lengthening of church—the earlier columns stand on Norm. bases; (3) rood-loft doorway and ancient pulpit stairs near modern pulpit; (4) Jacobean lectern and Bible of 1611. The "Bonville" chantry, S. of chancel, contains a 15th-cent. altar-tomb with recumbent effigies of Sir H. Fitzroger and wife, and a modern mural tablet with medallion to Viscountess Waldegrave. In the churchyard is a weather-worn but fine cross, with a canopied crucifix. The Communion plate is pre-Reformation, dating from 1511. The neighbouring Priory (Earl Waldegrave) is an unpretentious modern building, occupying the site of an ancient Benedictine house, afterwards tenanted by Carthusians. Portions of the old causeway which once connected the priory with the church are still traceable.
Chilcompton, a village picturesquely situated at the bottom of a valley through which flows a rivulet. The stream forms a pretty margin to the village street. The church was entirely rebuilt in 1839, and a chancel of better type added in 1897. On the hill above, which commands an attractive view of the vale, is a station (S. & D.).
Chillington, a small village 4 m. N.W. from Crewkerne. It has a Perp. church possessing an early font and some well-preserved early Communion plate.
Chilthorne Domer, a village 3 m. N.W. of Yeovil, has a small church with some interesting features. Like the churches of Ashington and Brympton, it has no tower but a curious square bell-cot over the W. gable. There is a piscina attached to the N. pier of the chancel arch. Some of the windows are Dec., and a lancet in the S. wall has the interior arch foliated. The remains of a second piscina are observable on the sill of one of the chancel windows. Under a recess in the chancel is an effigy of a knight in chain armour, supposed to be Sir William Domer or Dummer (temp. Edward I.). The Jacobean pulpit bears the date 1624.
Chilton Cantelo, a village 5 m. N. of Yeovil (nearest stat. Marston Magna, 2-1/2 m.), which gets its name from the Cantilupe family. The church, which has been rebuilt, has a good tower, with pinnacled buttresses and a row of quatrefoils under the belfry storey. The body of the building retains four piscinas (in the chancel and the two transepts). Most of the windows have foliated rear arches. Note, too, the screen and the massive font.
Chilton-upon-Polden a village 1 m. S.E. of Cossington Station, possessing a church rebuilt in 1888-89.
Chilton Priory is the church-like structure by the side of the main road from Bridgwater to Wells, about half a mile from Chilton village. It is a modern building, though incorporating old material said to belong to a Benedictine priory, and was once a museum. The top of the tower commands a fine view both of the plain of Sedgemoor and the Brue Level, with the Quantocks and Mendips in the background.
Chilton Trinity, a parish 1-1/2 m. N. of Bridgwater. Its church is of little antiquarian interest.
Chinnock, East, a village 5 m. S.W. of Yeovil, has a church which retains no remains of antiquity except a piscina and a font.
Chinnock, West, 3 m. N.N.E. of Crewkerne, is a parish on the Parrett. Its church has been wholly rebuilt (1889), the only parts of the original fabric retained seemingly being a lancet-window in the N. wall of the chancel and a Perp. one in the S.
Included in this parish is the village of Chinnock, Middle, which lies a little to the E. of W. Chinnock. The church has been restored, but retains several features of interest. The low embattled tower has a very wide staircase-turret. The S. door is Norm., with the zigzag moulding on the jambs and arch, and a carved tympanum. Under one of the stone seats in the porch is a canopy, protecting the head and shoulders of a small effigy (apparently an ecclesiastic). There is a (late) Norm. font, with an unusual moulding. Note, too, an old carved stone built into the exterior of the N. transept. The gable of the porch carries a curious sundial (as at Tintinhull).
Chipstable, a picturesquely situated village, 3 m. W. from Wiveliscombe. The church is of ancient origin, but it is difficult to say how much of the original fabric survives. The Perp. W. tower appears to have been restored merely, but the nave and aisles were rebuilt in 1869. The window tracery is good, and the clustered columns with angel capitals on the S. are noteworthy.
Chiselborough, a parish near the Parrett, 4-1/2 m. N.N.E. of Crewkerne. Its church has a central tower and spire, built over unusually low E.E. arches, with a groined vault. One of the bells bears the inscription "Carmine laetatur Paulus campana vocatur," and the name of the maker. The body of the church was rebuilt in 1842. The chancel is a makeshift.
Christon, a parish 3 m. S.W. of Sandford and Banwell Station, has a small but very interesting church. It is without aisles or transepts, but has a low central tower. The tower-vault has quadripartite groining, with curious ornaments at the base of the ribs, and is supported by two Norm. recessed arches, with double chevron and other mouldings, resting on fluted pillars. The S. door has likewise a fine Norm. arch with the lozenge moulding. The chancel windows have rear foliations. The other windows are modern restorations.
A fine view is obtainable by crossing the hill on the N. which separates Christon from Hutton.
Churchill, a parish 1-1/2 m. E. of Sandford and Banwell Stations. Like Wellington, it is associated (though perhaps distantly) with one of the greatest soldiers our history has known, for Churchill Court, a mansion near the church, was once the home of the family from a branch of which the Duke of Marlborough sprung. The church itself is not without interest. There are two aisles, separated from the nave by arcades of different styles. The N. aisle has a good wooden roof, whilst the S., in which are hung some pieces of armour, contains a brass (protected by a carpet) to "Raphe Jenyns" and his wife (1572), who are said to have been ancestors of Sarah Jennings, who became Duchess of Marlborough. Note (1) the old font, (2) the carved seat ends, (3) the squint looking from the S. aisle, (4) the monument to Thomas and Sarah Latch, with a quaint inscription, said to have been written by Dr Donne.
A little way S.E. of Churchill, on the summit of a conspicuous hill, is Dolbury Camp. It occupies 22 acres, is irregularly oblong in shape, and is defended by a rampart, constructed of fragments of limestone piled together, outside of which is a ditch, traceable in places. The camp is presumably British in origin, but was used by the Romans, who seem to have made their ramparts within the British earthwork.
Clandown, a small unlovely village on a hillside a little to the R. of the Bath road, 1-1/2 m. N. from Radstock. The church, which is almost screened from observation by the workings of a colliery, is a small, modern building, rather foreign in appearance. The Fosse Way strikes right through the village, and may here be inspected with advantage. The modern Bath road deserts the Roman trackway to make an easier descent into Radstock, but the Roman road, more suo, regardless of obstacles, clambered up hill and down dale, and made straight for Stratton. The lane which passes in front of the post-office and mounts the opposite embankment keeps the line of the original route.
Clapton-in-Gordano, a parish 4 m. N.E. of Clevedon. The description, in Gordano, still attached to four places in this neighbourhood, Clapton, Easton, Walton, and Weston, and formerly affixed to Portbury and Portishead besides, goes back to the 13th cent. The prevailing English form seems to have been Gorden or Gordene, and the name was probably applied to the triangular vale in which all these places are situated, from gore, a wedge-shaped strip of land (cp. the application of the term to a triangular insertion in a garment), and dean or dene, a valley (as in Taunton Dean). Clapton Church and manor house are both of considerable antiquity. The church has a plain W. tower, which is said to be of the 13th cent., though the main building has Perp. windows; it contains a large monument to the Winter family. At the entrance to the tower is a curious wooden screen, which is not ecclesiastical but domestic, and originally belonged to Clapton Court, the 14th-cent. manor house mentioned above, which is near the church.
Clatworthy, a village 4 m. N.W. from Wiveliscombe. The church is a small Dec. building, of no particular interest, though it contains an ancient font. About a mile away is an encampment.
Claverton (said to be a corruption of Clatfordton; cp. Clatworthy) is a parish 3 m. E.S.E. of Bath, situated near the Avon in very picturesque surroundings. In 1643 it had its peace rudely disturbed by an engagement between the Parliament forces (under Sir W. Waller) and the Royalists. The parish church, which has a squat tower surmounted by a gable, contains within the chancel rails the coloured effigies of Sir W. Bassett and his wife, whilst in the churchyard is buried Ralph Allen, the friend of Fielding and Pope. His tomb is under an ugly canopy, supported on arches. Above the village, to the N.W., is Hampton Down, where there is a large British encampment.
Cleeve, a parish 2 m. E. from Yatton, on the Bristol and Bridgwater road, with a modern church. Near it is Goblin Combe (take the road that leaves the highway near the "Lord Nelson" inn, and when past a schoolhouse enter through a gate). It is a long cleft in the mountain limestone, wild and solitary, and covered with tangled vegetation. The whole neighbourhood round is picturesque.
Cleeve Abbey, the ruins of a Cistercian monastery, 1/2 m. S. from Washford Station (G.W.R. branch to Minehead). Leave the station by the Taunton road, and take first turning to R. It is only recently that these interesting remains have been rescued from the farmer and made accessible to the public. The abbey was founded in 1188. With the proverbial monkish eye for a fine situation and a trout stream, its builders set it in a fertile valley, to which old chroniclers gave the name of the Flowery Vale. Contrary to the usual fate of such ruins, the domestic portions of the monastery have survived; the church has gone. Entrance is gained through a gatehouse standing well apart from the main block of buildings. It is generally believed to have been a kind of combined guest-house and porter's lodge, where the casual visitor found temporary entertainment. Over its hospitable doorway is graven the salutation "Patens porta esto, nulli claudaris honesto" (This gate shall ever open be To all who enter honestly). The floor which divided the upper chamber from the passage below has disappeared. Note on the front face (1) Perp. window; (2) empty niche; (3) niched figure of Virgin and Child; and on the back (1) name of the last abbot, Dovell; (2) crucifix flanked by two empty niches. Crossing a rough field, the visitor enters the monastery proper by a doorway pierced in the cloister wall. (Admission 1s. for one, 6d. for each additional person.) The entrance opens at once into the quadrangle. Immediately on the L. are the W. cloisters (Perp.), once surmounted by the sleeping apartments of the lay brothers. Opposite on the E., and easily distinguishable by its E.E. lancet windows, is the large dormitory which occupies the whole length of the upper storey of the E. side of the quadrangle. The chambers beneath this on the ground floor should be carefully inspected. In succession, from L. to R., are (1) sacristy, lighted by a broken rose window and containing a painted piscina and aumbry; (2) treasury; (3) chapter-house, partly vaulted and entered from the quadrangle by a beautiful E.E. doorway; (4) library and staircase to dormitory; (5) a passage; (6) entrance to monastic common room. This last was a kind of parlour running under the S. end of the dormitory and divided from it by a vaulted ceiling of which only the supporting piers now remain. On the R., or S. side, of the quadrangle is the refectory, the most striking feature of the whole group of buildings. It is a beautiful room, finely proportioned, and well lighted by some lofty Perp. windows. It still retains its original roof and some faded wall paintings. Note the stairs for reader's pulpit, and contrast outer doorway of entrance staircase with doorway of dormitory. The basement below is taken up by various offices of E.E. date, and the rest of the block consists of the buttery, abbot's lodgings, and kitchens. The "lie" of the refectory (parallel with the church) is unusual for a Cistercian house, but it is the exception which proves the rule, for in the garden outside, standing in the orthodox position at right angles to the present structure, is the tiled floor of the original building. The church stood on the N. side of the quadrangle and was divided from the cloister garth by a blank wall in which will be noticed a recess. It has now entirely disappeared, but the site may be inspected by passing through an opening at the N.E. corner of the quadrangle. The foundations are traceable, and a few fragments of the tiled pavement and the bases of the piers are still visible. A stone cross in the turf marks the site of the high altar.
Cleeve, Old, village half way between Washford Station and Blue Anchor, 5 m. from Minehead. From the Minehead road the church tower will be seen picturesquely protruding above the trees. The village has nothing to recommend it but its rural seclusion. The church has a fair Perp. W. tower, in which the usual string course is replaced by a band of quatrefoils. Within, it contains by N. wall under an ogee canopy an effigy in lay costume (cp. Norton St Philip), with a cat at its feet—perhaps some local Dick Whittington. Note also (1) foliated squint; (2) good Perp. font. In the porch are some rough oak benches. The churchyard contains the base and shaft of a cross, and the remains of another cross will be passed on the road to Washford. Between here and Blue Anchor is an ancient lady chapel, once a shrine of considerable local repute.
CLEVEDON, a watering-place 12 m. W. of Bristol, reached by a line from Yatton. A light railway thrown across the intervening mud flats connects it directly with Weston. The population in 1901 was 5898. Like Weston, Clevedon is the outcome of the modern craze for health resorts. It is now a fashionable collection of comfortable villas, profusely disposed over the W. and N. slopes of a range of hills which run with the channel on its way to Bristol. Though approached on the E. by miles of uninviting marshes, the situation of the town is pleasant and picturesque. Clevedon offers several points of contrast with its enterprising rival and neighbour. Besides other things it retains some remnants of ruder days. A humble row of cottages to the L. of the station, and an ancient church dumped down in a hollow of the W. headland, preserve the savour of a former simplicity. To one of these "pretty cots" Coleridge is said to have brought his bride in 1795. The reputed house still stands in Old Church Road, but the identification is now questioned. Along the sea-front there is a pleasant little promenade, flanked with turf and shrubs. The shore is rocky, and though the ebb tide uncovers a considerable stretch of mud in the bay, along the road to Walton the sea is never far away, even at low water. There is nothing romantically bold about the coast scenery, but it is pervaded by an air of quiet retirement much in keeping with its literary associations. The esplanade leads at one end to a pleasant walk along the cliffs in the direction of Walton, and at the other to a pathway across the meadows towards the "old church." The main interest of the church is its association with "In Memoriam," but archaeologically, too, it is well worth a visit. It is a building with a low central tower, which is pierced with some Norm, belfry windows, and rests upon fine Norm. arches N. and E., cut with rather unusual mouldings. The pointed arches leading to the nave and S. transept are later (14th cent.). The arcading of the nave is peculiar; above is a Perp. clerestory. A quaint little altar-tomb, with recumbent effigy of a child, stands on the S. side of the tower arch, and within the arch is a slab with the rudely incised figure of a knight. The S. transept (Dec.) is spacious. Beneath its floor lie the hero of "In Memoriam" and his father, H. Hallam, the historian. The memorial tablets in marble are hung against the W. wall. Note also the roof corbels, the windows, and the founder's niche. The corresponding chapel on the N. is unusually small, and deserves notice (observe window at E.). In the nave remark (1) Dec. W. window, defaced to carry modern glass, (2) stone pulpit and adjoining window. In the porch is a staircase, said to have once led to a priest's chamber over the S. aisle. The other churches in the town are modern.
Clevedon Court, "one of the most valuable relics of early domestic architecture in England," dates from the reign of Edward II. It underwent both restoration and extension in the days of Elizabeth, and has been considerably modified since. The porch (containing a portcullis groove), hall, and kitchen are part of the original fabric. A room in the first floor, with a window of reticulated tracery, is believed to have been the chapel. The place is, of course, closely associated through the Hallams with Tennyson, and Thackeray worked at "Esmond" whilst a visitor here. The grounds are open to the public on Thursdays, Walton Castle, on the top of a hill E. of Clevedon, is an old house, octagonal in shape, and surrounded by a low wall with round towers at the angles. The hill offers a very picturesque view.
Clifton Suspension Bridge, one of the famous sights of Bristol. It is a structure of remarkable grace, thrown across the gorge of the Avon, which affords a much-needed means of communication between the Somerset and Gloucestershire banks of the river. The history of the bridge is a strange record of commercial vicissitudes. It was originally projected by a Mr Vick of Bristol (d. 1753), who, with an inadequate conception of the cost, left L1000 for its construction, which was to be undertaken when the accumulated earnings of the sum had multiplied it tenfold. In 1830, the amount in the bank was L8000, and an Act of Parliament was obtained sanctioning the raising of additional capital, With L45,000 in hand, the work was commenced under the direction of Brunel; but funds gave out long before the bridge was complete. For thirty years the work was at a standstill, but in 1861 another start was made, and in 1864 the bridge was opened for traffic. The supporting chains, which were brought from old Hungerford Bridge, are thrown over lofty turrets, resting in one case on a projecting bastion of rock, and in the other on a solid pier of masonry. These slender suspenders carry a roadway and two footpaths across a span of 700 feet. The bridge stands 245 feet above high-water level, and its altitude seems to furnish an irresistible temptation to people of a suicidal tendency. The prospect from the footway is extraordinarily impressive. Looking down the river, the spectator commands the romantic gorge of the Avon, and turning round he can view the panorama of Bristol shut in on the right by the lofty height of Dundry.
Cloford, a small village, 2 m. N.E. of Wanstrow. The church, rebuilt in 1856, has a tiny side chapel, containing a monument to Maurice Horner (d. 1621), and a tablet with some quaint-coloured busts to Sir G. Horner and his wife (1676).
Closworth, a village 2 m, S.E. of Sutton Bingham (L. & S.W.). The church is Perp. In the churchyard is the shaft of a cross. The rectory bears date 1606.
Clutton, a parish (with station) 2 m. S. of Bristol, with collieries in its neighbourhood. The church has been rebuilt (1865), but preserves a good Trans. S. doorway, and a chancel arch of the same date. The tower, rebuilt in 1726, is constructed of rather curious stone.
Coker, East, a village 3 m. S.S.W. from Yeovil. The church and hall are prettily grouped together on rising ground above the roadway. The church is chiefly Perp. with debased transepts and a N.E. tower of the same character but greater dignity. Note (1) cylindrical arcade on S., (2) panelled arches to transept, (3) old oak door on N., (4) Norm, font with cable moulding. In the churchyard is the effigy of a woman, and another old tomb with incised figure stands near the church door. The Court hard by is a modernised 15th-cent. hall. A dignified row of 17th-cent. alms-houses lines the common roadway to the church and court. Near the bridge on the Yeovil road is the old manor house, now a farm. It has a two-storeyed Perp. porch and some good windows. It was the birthplace of Dampier, the navigator (1652). A Roman pavement, bronzes, and coins have been discovered in the neighbourhood. Naish Priory, 1-1/2 m. away, is now a private residence. It retains its chapel and one or two other relics of its early conventual days. It is assigned to the 14th cent. or 15th cent.
Coker, West, a large village 3 m. S.W. of Yeovil, on the London and Exeter road. The church is spacious, with an unusually low tower; some small windows in the turret are of horn. The body of the church seems to be partly Dec. and partly Perp. It contains some seats dated 1633, and a monument to two daughters of Sir John Portman. In the village is a 14th-cent. manor house, formerly belonging to the Earls of Devon.
Coleford (4 m. S. from Radstock) is an unattractive colliery village, with a modern church (1831). The tower is of fair design.
Combe Down (a large parish 2 m. S.E. from Bath) possesses some large freestone quarries. The church is modern (1835).
Combe Florey, a very pretty village 1-1/2 m. N.W. of Bishop Lydeard Station, which gets its name from the Floreys, the ancient owners of the manor. Its church, Perp. in the main, contains some interesting memorials. There are three effigies in the N. aisle—a knight (supposed to be one of the Merriet family, to which the manor passed from the Floreys) and two ladies (perhaps his successive wives). In the N. wall the heart of a lady, "Maud de Merriette," who was a nun of Cannington, is recorded to have been buried. On the floor at the W. end of the N. aisle is a brass to Nicholas Francis, who possessed the manor subsequently to the Merriets. Sydney Smith was rector here (1829-45), and the glass in the E. window is in memory of him. Note also (1) angels on piers of arcade (cp. St Mary's, Taunton), (2) carved seat ends, (3) restored cross in churchyard. In the village is a Tudor manor house.
Combe Hay, a small village 1-1/2 m. N. of Wellow. The Paulton Canal here boldly climbs the hillside by a series of locks. The church, which has been much altered and enlarged, is the burial-place of Sir Lewes Dyves, the defender of Sherborne Castle.
Combe St Nicholas (21 m. N.W. of Chard) has a spacious Perp. church, preserving in the N. aisle a jamb of a doorway belonging to the original Norm. church, and in the chancel a piscina of the succeeding E.E. building. There are also piscinas in the N. and S. chapels. Near the organ are some remains of the old rood-screen, whilst two ancient fonts are kept in the W. end of the church. In the neighbourhood some barrows have been discovered, and at Higher Wadeford a Roman pavement has been found, forming part of a villa.
Compton Bishop, a small parish under the shadow of Crook's Peak, 2 m. W.N.W. of Axbridge. The church contains a Norm. font (with a wooden cover dated 1617) and some E.E. work (note especially the jambs of the S. doorway and the fine double piscina). There is a very good carved stone pulpit, some ancient glass in the E. window, and a cross with traces of carving on the shaft.
Compton Dando, a small village on the Chew, 2-1/2 m. E. of Pensford. The church is of 14th-cent. workmanship, but the chancel and S. porch respectively bear the dates 1793 and 1735 (probably referring to repairs). Within is a piscina and Norm. font. The churchyard contains a good sundial.
Compton Dundon, a village 5 m. S. from Glastonbury Station (S. & D.), on the main road to Somerton. In the centre of the village of Compton is the remnant of an old cross. The church, in the hamlet of Dundon, is half a mile away on higher ground at the foot of Dundon Beacon. It has a Perp. nave and a Dec. chancel, with a fine E. window. The whole fabric has been carefully restored. There is a good specimen of a Caroline pulpit (1628), let into the N. wall, and reached by means of the rood stairway. The sanctuary contains a sedile and piscina, and a stoup and a rougher piscina will be found in the nave. In the churchyard is a very fine yew tree, locally credited with an age of almost 1000 years.
To the E. of the church rise the wooded sides of Dundon Beacon, a striking-looking hill with the summit encircled by a camp. A cist, containing a skeleton and some metal rings, is said to have been discovered here.
Compton Martin, a village 3 m. E.S.E. of Blagdon. The church is quite remarkable, and is one of the finest bits of Norm. work in the county. The nave is entirely late Norm., and possesses the unusual feature of a clerestory. The fine arcades, with their cylindrical columns and circular abaci, are too obvious to escape notice, but particular attention should be paid to the twisted pillar on the N.E. The chancel has an extremely low quadripartite vault, the effect of which is rather spoilt by the distortion of the chancel arch through some defect in the foundations. The aisles are Perp., and the one on the S. curiously encloses the clerestory. Note (1) the junction of the Perp. arch and Norm. pillars, (2) recessed effigy of a lady at E. end of N. aisle, (3) semi-circular recess, probably for additional altar (cp. Cudworth); (4) Norm. font on a fluted pedestal, (5) Perp. screen, said to have been an importation. There is a Perp. W. tower of weak design and poor workmanship, opening into the nave by a panelled arch.
Compton Pauncefote, a village 2-1/2 m. from Sparkford. It lies in pretty country, and has a church to which the possession of a slender spire adds picturesqueness. Internally there is little that calls for remark. There is a squint in one of the piers, and a piscina in the chancel.
Congresbury (pronounced Coomsbury), a parish 2 m. S. of Yatton. It is said by tradition to derive its name from St Congar, an Eastern prince who took refuge here to avoid an unwelcome marriage, and became a hermit. In Alfred's time the village had a monastery, given by the king to Asser. The church has a W. tower surmounted by a good spire, a rare feature in Somerset. The S. arcade is E.E., with modern detached shafts, which, unlike the original which they have replaced, do not support the arches above them. The N. arcade is later (early Perp.). The clerestory is rather unusual, with curious coloured figures between the windows. Note (1) the parvise or gallery over the S. porch, (2) the elaborate sedilia and double piscina, (3) the rood-screen on a stone base, (4) the Norm. font.
Near the church is the Vicarage House, with a fine carved doorway on the S. side (15th cent.), bearing, amongst other heraldic devices, that of Bishop Beckington. There are the remains of two ancient crosses, one in the churchyard, the other in the roadway.
Corfe, a parish 3-1/2 m. S. of Taunton. It has a church which was originally of Trans. character, but has been completely restored, the only remains of the early building being part of the chancel, two corbels in the nave, and a fine font bowl. The bells are ancient, and have inscriptions.
Corston, a village 4 m. W. of Bath (nearest stat. Saltford, 1 m.). Southey was at school here, and did not like it, but the place seems pleasant enough to the casual visitor. The church, which has been altered and enlarged, has an E.E. chancel and W. tower, capped by a short octagonal spire. Note large unique foiled piscina built into the E. wall of the church, and Norm. doorway.
Corton Denham, a village 2-1/2 m. E. of Marston Magna. The church is modern, but stands on the site of the original fabric. Its tower is good, and, standing against the green hillside beyond, makes a pretty addition to the landscape. The fragment of a canopy will be noticed built into a wall on the road-side. Some Roman remains have been found in the neighbourhood.
Cossington, a picturesque village on the Poldens, with a station on the S. & D.J.R. Its church is beautifully situated, but retains little to interest the antiquarian, except a brass of the 16th cent.
Cothelstone, a parish at the base of the Quantocks, 2 m. N.N.W. of Bishop's Lydeard Station, has a church dedicated to St Thomas of Canterbury. Its most interesting feature is a large S. chapel, separated from the nave by two arches supported on a Norm. or Trans. pier, and containing two tombs (each with the effigies of a knight and lady) belonging to the Stawell family. The one dates from the 14th, the other from the 16th cent., and both are well worth examining. Note also (1) stoup, (2) fine Perp. font, (3) large squint, (4) some good bench-ends, (5) medallions of ancient glass, with figures of St Thomas a Becket, St Dunstan, St Aldhelm, etc.
Adjoining the church is Cothelstone Manor, the home of the Stawells, a Jacobean house, partially destroyed by Blake in the Civil War. It is built round three sides of a quadrangle, the fourth being occupied by a curious gatehouse or porter's lodge. Note the banded mullions of the windows. On the arch by the road Judge Jeffreys hung two adherents of Monmouth's by way of retort to Lord Stawell for remonstrating with him for his cruelty. On the S. extremity of the Quantocks is Cothelstone Beacon. a round tower, which is a conspicuous object from the valley. The site affords a fine prospect over Taunton Dean and the adjoining levels.
Coxley, a village 2 m. S. from Wells, served by Polsham Station, on the S. & D. branch to Glastonbury. The church is modern (1839).
Cranmore, East, 1 m. E. from Cranmore Station (G.W.R.), has a small modern church in close proximity to Cranmore House (Sir R. Paget). On the summit of the neighbouring hill is a tower, one of the most conspicuous objects on the E. Mendip range. It is a square structure, with projecting balconies, built in 1862. Though of no artistic merit, it is worth a visit on account of the extensive panorama which it commands.
Cranmore, West, a village with station on the G.W. branch line to Wells. The church has a good Perp. W. tower of the Shepton type, with triple belfry windows. Within is an ancient bier and some monuments to the Strode family.
Creech St Michael is a village lying 3 m. E. of Taunton, on the edge of the alluvial plain, and perhaps owes its name to an inlet of the sea which once covered the latter. The embankment which is cut by the road from Taunton once carried the Chard Canal. The church, which is said to date from the 12th cent., looks as if it had once been cruciform, with a central tower. The latter is supported on piers, three of which are E.E., and the fourth Perp. The present nave is Perp., but there is an E.E.S. door, concealed by a porch. The chancel arch is exceptionally wide, and there is an unusual number of niches. Note (1) the carved reading-desk (1634), (2) the bench-ends in the choir, (3) the oak cornice, (4) the tomb of Robert Cuffe (d. 1597), (5) carving on face of the tower.
CREWKERNE, a market town of 4226 inhabitants, at the S. extremity of the county, on the borders of Dorset. The station, on the L. & S.W. line, is a mile away. Crewkerne is a clean and compact little place, with some reputation for the manufacture of sailcloth, twine, and shirts. The streets conveniently converge upon a central market-place. It has, however, few features of interest, with the exception of its church, which stands on rising ground above the market-place. This is a fine cruciform structure, with a central tower and a quite remarkable W. front. The doorway is enriched on either side by carved niches, and flanked by a pair of octagonal turrets. The W. window is good, and is surmounted by a niched dragon, which has lost its companion, St George. Externally should also be noted (1) the vigorous, though defaced, series of gargoyles above the S. porch, representing an amateur orchestra; (2) the remains of a stoup; (3) the curious chamber at the S.E. end of the S. transept. This last is a unique feature; it is supposed to have been the cell of an anchorite. Beneath the E. window is a railing which marks the former existence of a sacristy (cp. Porlock, N. Petherton, Ilminster). The original doorways communicating with it will be noticed inside. The interior is a trifle disappointing, and contains few features of interest. Observe, however, (1) wooden groining to tower, (2) windows and roof of N. transept, (3) ancient square font on modern base. In the S. transept there are traces of an earlier church: here, too, note the image of St George. There are several brasses, but none of much interest. The earliest, on the chancel wall, bears date 1525. One in the S. transept carries a crest with a ludicrous resemblance to a well-known advertisement. Note also two old chests. On the N. side of the churchyard is an old building, once the grammar school, founded 1499. Some spacious new buildings for the school have now been erected outside the town, on the Yeovil road. The road to Chard, which crosses St Rayne's and Windwhistle Hills, is a breezy highway, and affords an extensive prospect.