St Thomas of Canterbury, Cothelstone, Somerset

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Feature Sets (2)


Cothelstone is a small village five miles NW of Taunton, consisting of the church, the manor farm and a few dwellings built along a lane off the road running N out of Bishops Lydeard.  The church is of red sandstone with limestone & hamstone dressings, and has a 2-bay nave with a S aisle & porch, a chancel with a N vestry and a W tower.  It is chiefly 15thc, and was restored c.1864, but the S arcade incorporates a 12thc pier and a corbel of c.1200.


Cothelstone is not noted under that name in the Domesday Survey.  It is in the hundred of Taunton and Taunton Deane, which anciently belonged to the bishops of Winchester.  By 1189 it was held by Geoffrey of Staywell (identified with Geoffrey of Cothelstone) and it apparently stayed in this family until the 17thc.


Interior Features



S arcade

Of two bays and Perpendicular, but incorporating a central 12thc cylindrical pier of coursed ashlar and a moulded W respond capital of c.1200. The W respond is an applied half-shaft, visible only at the top, and the capital has a concave bell with an overhanging roll abacus, supporting an impost with a fat roll above a half-cylinder.


The W respond corbel is probably early 13thc rather than 12thc.


  • English Heritage Listed Building 270300 

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Harmondsworth 1958, 135.

  • Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 40218

  • Victoria County History: Somerset, VII (1999), 233.

  • Victoria County History: Somerset, VIII (2004), 180-84 (on Stawell).

General view from SW
Manor house and church, view from SE


Site Location
National Grid Reference
ST 181 319 
now: Somerset
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Somerset
medieval: Sherborne (to 909), Wells (to 1090), Bath (to 1245), Bath & Wells (from 1245)
now: Bath & Wells
medieval: not confirmed
now: St Thomas of Canterbury
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Robin Downes 
Visit Date
26 January 2005