St David, Barton St David, Somerset

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Feature Sets (2)


Barton St David is a sizeable village towards the E of central Somerset, 5 miles SE of Glastonbury in the valley of the river Brue. The church is on the SW edge of the village, and is cruciform in plan with a 2-bay chancel, a 3-bay nave with a N porch, single-bay transepts and an octagonal NE tower. Construction is of local lias ashlar and the church dates from the 12thc to the 15thc. There was a major 19thc restoration. The only Romanesque feature is the N nave doorway.


The Domesday Survey records two manors here. The larger, of 3½ hides, was held by Edmund son of Pain from Humphrey the Chamberlain in 1086, and had been held by Eadwulf before the Conquest. The manor also included 50 acres of meadow, 60 acres of pasture and a mill. The second manor was of 1½ hides and was held by Norman from Roger de Courseulles in 1086, and had been held by Alstan before the Conquest. There was another mill here, and 24 acres of meadow and as many of pasture. One hide in Keinton Mandeville belonged to this manor in 1066.

According to VCH the subsequent history of the smaller estate is obscure. The larger, held in 1086 by Edmund son of Pain, came to Pain of Walton by 1198 and the tenancy remained in the Walton family until the mid-16th century, when the male line failed and the manor passed by marriage to the Cheverells.

The church and the advowson were given to Wells cathedral to form a prebend by Robert de Meisy in 1215. The dedication to All Saints is found in 1279. In 1791 it is recorded with its present dedication.


Exterior Features


Nave N doorway

Single order, round-headed under later porch.

The main entrance is at the N, facing the village. The doorway is entirely in Hamstone or similar.



h of apex of arch above impost 0.90m
w of opening 1.05m
1st order.

Attached nook-shafts of the normal 7 blocks, on shallow double-torus bases with sawtooth decoration on the lower torus and a spur at the angle. The bases stand on chamfered plinths. Capitals are very shallow and decorated with very shallowly incised zigzag, 2 units on each face. Imposts are chamfered with incised zigzag on the chamfers; the W has a recess below the face carved with a row of stars, and the E a low roll between face and chamfer. The arch is of 10 voussoirs, decorated with a trellis design, the outer fields decorated with plain pellets. The label has zigzag on the chamfer and a groove on the face; its W termination overhangs the impost slightly.


Pevsner dates the doorway to the 12thc, as does the present author. The NMR dates it to the 13thc. The bases and trellis ornament of the doorway may be compared with Kingweston, a mile to the W.


  • Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 51472.

  • D. E. Greenway (ed), Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1066-1200, vol 7, London 2001, 38-39.

  • EH, English Heritage Listed Building 262807.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset, Harmondsworth 1958, 83.

  • VCH, Victoria County History: Somerset, X, London 2010.

Exterior from E


Site Location
Barton St David
National Grid Reference
ST 540 317 
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Somerset
now: Somerset
now: Bath & Wells
medieval: Sherborne (to 909), Wells (to 1090), Bath (to 1245), Bath & Wells (from 1245)
medieval: All Saints
now: St David
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Robin Downes 
Visit Date
14 November 2005