St James, East Lambrook, Somerset

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Feature Sets (2)


East Lambrook is a villlage in the South Somerset district of the county, 5 miles S of Langport. It is the easternmost of the three Lambrook villages, and overlooks the brook of the same name, a tributary of the River Parrett.  The village is at a junction of minor roads, just N of the A303, once the Fosse Way. The church stands on the southern edge of the village, near to the Lambrook Stream. Recent archaeological work (Mudd and Brett (2012)) has uncovered and excavated a multi-period prehistoric and historic site on the S bank of the Lambrook Stream some 500 yards E of the church, not far from its confluence with the Parrett. That evidence suggests a long settlement dating at least from the Neolithic.

The church consists of a chancel and a nave with a double bell-cote on the W gable and a small W porch. A S nave doorway has been blocked. The earliest feature is the late-12thc chancel arch, described below, but the church also contains 13thc, 14thc and later medieval work, and an 18thc gallery and pulpit inside. The bell-cote is 19thc. Construction is of coursed and squared rubble in a local stone related to hamstone, with slate roofs.


Lambrook is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey, and is probably included with Kingsbury Episcopi, a substantial manor held by the Bishop of Wells, before and after the Conquest.


Interior Features


Chancel arch/Apse arches

Chancel arch

The chancel arch is pointed and of two orders to E and W.

1st order

The arch is carried on corbels consisting of a short engaged half-shaft on a tapered foliate cone, carrying a trumpet-scalloped capital with circular shields. The imposts are also round in plan and are moulded with heavy, undercut rolls. The conical base section of the N corbel has lost its lower end. The arch is chamfered to E and W.

2nd order

A plain continuous order, chamfered to E and W. The arch is stilted, so that its springing points are much higher that the 1st order.


Both Pevsner and the List Description date the chancel arch c.1190 based on the form of the corbels.


  • J. Collinson, The History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset, ┬áBath 1791, II, 469.

  • English Heritage Listed Building 264371

  • A. Mudd and M. Brett, 'A Neolithic and Bronze Age Monument Complex and its early Medieval Reuse: Excavations at Netherfield Farm, South Petherton, Somerset, 2006', Archaeological Journal 169 (2012), 3-86.

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Harmondsworth 1958, 162.

  • Somerset Historic Environment Record 22392

Exterior from SW
Nave from NE
Chancel, N exterior wall
S nave wall, blocked doorway


Site Location
East Lambrook
National Grid Reference
ST 432 187 
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 James
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Robin Downes 
Visit Date
13 April 2005