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All Saints, Ashcott, Somerset

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Feature Sets (2)

Description

Ashcott is 4 miles W of Glastonbury on the higher ground to the N of King’s Sedge Moor. The village stands on the N side of the Roman road that runs from Street to Puriton, and the church is in the centre. It consists of a nave with a S porch, chancel and W tower, all rebuilt in the 15thc. The tower bears the initials of John Selwood, abbot of Glastonbury (1456-92). The church was restored, and the nave widened to the N in 1831, apparently to designs by J. Baron Beard of Taunton. There was another restoration by Edward Dampier of Colchester in 1888. The font is the only item recorded here.

History

An estate here was held of Glastonbury by two thegns in 1066, and by Walter of Douai in 1086. Walter’s sub-tenancy had passed to Baldwin of Ascott by the early 12thc, but his son Ywain was disinherited and the abbey resumed the fee, holding it in 1189.

The church was originally a chapelry of Shapwick, and was so described in 1168 in a list of the churches and chapels of Glastonbury abbey. In 1269 the vicar of Shapwick moved his residence to Ashcott, and thereafter the living was often described as a vicarage. It continued to be attached to Shapwick after the Dissolution, and Burtle was added to the benefice in 1974.

Features

Furnishings

Fonts

Font

At the W end of the nave, towards the N, a greyish, fine-grained stone tub font with a bowl with convex sides and chamfered at top and bottom and inside the upper rim. The bowl is unlined and stands on a cylindrical stem of two blocks, and that on an octagonal base and plinth. The bowl is in very good condition, but with big repairs clearly visible at NW & SE, including evidence of a lock at the SE of the rim. There are some vertical & horizontal tooling marks.

Dimensions
Circumference of bowl (at top) 2.03m
h of base 0.13 m
h of bowl 0.34m
h of plinth 0.11m
h of stem 0.33m
Inner diameter of bowl: 0.52m
Outer diameter of bowl 0.65m
Total height 1.04m

Comments/Opinions

NMR describes the font as Norman, it is not mentioned by Pevsner.

Bibliography

  • Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 13498.

  • EH, English Heritage Listed Building 269237.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset, Harmondsworth 1958, 77.

  • VCH, Victoria County History: Somerset, VIII, London 2004, 13-25.

Exterior from SE
Ashcott, All Saints, groundplan by J.B. Beard, 1831-39. Image from Church Plans Online (Published by the NOF Digitise Architecture England Consortium)

Location

Site Location
Ashcott
National Grid Reference
ST 437 371 
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
medieval: All Saints (1244)
now: All Saints
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Robin Downes 
Visit Date
10 November 2005