St John the Baptist, Carhampton, Somerset

Feature Sets (1)

Description

Carhampton is on the eastern edge of Exmoor and less than a mile from the Bristol Channel coast at Blue Anchor Bay.  It is a good-sized village on the main road from Minehead and Dunster to Taunton and Bridgwater; once the coast road.  Carhampton has little from the Norman period to testify to the continuing importance of the place. At least in the Saxon period, the coastal settlement of Carhampton played a very significant role. It was the pivotal centre locally, centre of the hundred named after it. It was a minster, and important enough to attract the repeated attention of the Vikings.

The present church consists of an undivided nave and chancel with a 6-bay 15thc S aisle (4 bays in the nave and 2 in the chancel), and a W tower.  The nave is of lias and red sandstone random rubble, the chancel of blue lias, and the tower of squared and coursed red sandstone.  The church is substantially 15thc in date, extensively restored and the N wall rebuilt in 1862-3.  The tower and its arch were rebuilt in 1868-70 and a vestry was added at the same time.

The original Norman font has now been removed to the chapel-of-ease dedicated to St Bartholomew at Rodhuish 2 miles to the S (at NGR: ST 013 396), and is recorded at that location. No Romanesque sculpture remains at Carhampton.

History

In 1086 the king held a manor in Williton, Cannington and Carhampton that had been held by King Edward before the Conquest.  Its size in hides was not known, but it was very large with land for 100 ploughs.  In addition to the ploughland there were 104 acres of meadow, pasture 5 leagues by 3, and woodland 4 leagues by 2½.  There were also 2 mills.  The Domesday Survey also recorded a holding of 1½ hides belonging to the church of Carhampton, with a priest.  This holding also included 40 acres of pasture and 15 acres of woodland, and was presumably part of the king’s manor.

Features

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Location

Site Location
Carhampton
National Grid Reference
ST 009 427 
Boundaries
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Somerset
now: Somerset
Diocese
now: Bath & Wells
medieval: Sherborne (to 909), Wells (to 1090), Bath (to 1245), Bath & Wells (from 1245)
Dedication
now: St John the Baptist
medieval: not confirmed
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Robin Downes 
Visit Date
26 January 2005