Maperton is a village in the South Somerset district of the county, 3 miles SW of Wincanton, on the S side of the A303 trunk road. The village is clustered around the junction of the three minor roads, with the church at its centre. The church consists of a three-bay chancel, a four-bay nave with a S porch, small N and S transepts, and a W tower. The tower is late 15thc, and the remainder was rebuilt in 1869. Construction is of local stone cut and squared, with Doulting or Ham stone dressings. The font is Romanesque, as are a carved head reset in the porch and another in the tower. The worn lower stone of a niche in the porch is also included here, although a Romanesque date is by no means secure.
Maperton was held by Alwold in 1066, but by 1086 it had passed to Goisfrid who held it from Turstin fitzRolf. The manor descended with North Cadbury, the overlordship passing from Turstin to Wynebald de Ballon (1092), and thence to his daughter Wynebald’s son Henry Newmarch (d.1198), who was succeeded by his two sons William (d.1204) and James (d.1216) in turn. The later history may be seen on the VCH website.
A generally worn corbel-like human head carving reset in the interior E wall of the porch. The head is pear-shaped with a straight closed mouth, triangular nose, and close-set eyes, drilled for pupils. The crown of the head is pointed and apparently bald.
|Distance from outer portal arch||0.12m|
|Height above pavement||2.00m|
In the E wall of the S porch is a niche with a continuous pointed chamfered arch above a cill that is a damaged, reused carved stone of uncertain date. The cill may once have been a capital. It is trapezoidal with the narrow side at the bottom, and has a lattice design inscribed on the front face and remains of deeply carved foliage below the upper angles.
|Height above pavement||0.90m|
|Height of cill stone||0.26m|
|Maximum width of cill stone at top||0.36m|
An oval male human head mask carved in relief and set in the inner N wall of the tower. The chin is pointed, the crown bald and broad, the eyes narrow and oval, the nose long and narrow, and the mouth open. Condition is good.
|Distance from W wall||0.535m|
|Height above pavement||1.44m|
|Height of head||0.085m|
|Width of head||0.08m|
The font stands in a confined space in the SW part of the nave, W of the S doorway and very close to the W wall of the nave, adjacent to the S pier of the tower arch. It consists of an octagonal bowl, curved in at the bottom, on a cylindrical shaft showing fairly regular vertical tooling.with a double-roll base and a square plinth. Between the shaft and the bowl is a torus of modest dimensions, and the upper rim of the bowl projects strongly. There is no lead lining, and the notably smooth internal sides curve gently into a dished bottom. It is of a grey/yellow stone, with damage around the rim.
|Depth of basin||0.31m|
|Height of base||0.20m|
|Height of bowl (inc. lower torus)||0.41m|
|Height of plinth||0.08m|
|Height of stem||0.33m|
|Overall height of font||1.04m|
|Circumference of base||2.18m|
|Circumference of stem||1.51m|
|Dimensions of plinth||0.83m x 0.83m|
|External width of bowl (across flats)||0.75m|
|Internal diameter of bowl||0.60m|
English Heritage Listed Building 262062
N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Harmondsworth 1958, 229.
Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 52179
Victoria County History, Somerset XI. Draft Text accessed 28/09/12.