St Nicholas, Dinnington, Somerset

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Feature Sets (2)


Dinnington is a village in the South Somerset district of the county, 5 miles E of Chard and on the Fosse Way(now just a minor road at this point).  The village is clustered on the Roman road and a network of side roads.  The church is on the E edge of the village, and comprises just a 2-bay chancel and a 3- bay nave, with a S porch and a bell-cote on the W gable, all in Hamstone ashlar.  It is mostly 15thc in date and was restored in 1863.  The only Romanesque feature is the font.


Siward, one of the king’s thegns, held the manor of Dinnington in 1086.  It consisted of 3 hides of which 3 virgates were held from the church of Glastonbury, the rest directly from the king.  It also contained 8 acres of meadow, pasture 3 furlongs by 2, and woodland also 3 furlongs by 2.  It had been held by Eadmaer before the Conquest.





The font is located in NE corner of SW part of church defined by central aisle & an aisle from the S door. It is in hamstone or similar & in good condition: clean & tidy (just one of the rim billets cut out), except that the moulded base is somewhat disfigured by damp mould. The font surface is finely polished, there being no obvious signs of tooling.

The substantial square plinth has the unusual feature of an overhanging upper edge. Unfortunately, but not too disastrously, a small portion has been cut off to make room for flooring timbers. The moulded cylindrical base of the stem is a strong & handsome example in the attic form. The scotia is very boldly recessed to make a water-holding profile. At the top of the cylindrical stem, articulating the junction with the bowl, there is necking in the form of a toroid ring. The bowl carries around its middle a strong cable in very good condition. The top edge of the bowl has been neatly cut back at well-chosen intervals to make billets. The internal face of the cuts is at a chamfer angle, so that the billets are triangular in profile. I know of no local analogues for this decoration. There is no lead, although there is clear provision for it in the rebating of the inner edge of the rim. The internal sides of the bowl drop to a flat bottom. The external sides taper in at the bottom.

Circumference of base 1.52m
Circumference of bowl 1.80m
Circumference of stem 1.00m
Exterior diameter of bowl 0.59m
Interior diameter of bowl 0.465m
Depth of basin 0.23m
Height of base 0.14m
Height of bowl (including torus below) 0.38m
Height of plinth 0.20m
Height of stem 0.17m
Overall height of font 0.93m


The EH list description describes the font as 'apparently C13, possibly recut,' and it is not mentioned in Pevsner.  It appears to this author to be typically Norman and 12thc.  There is no clear indication of much, if any, recutting, and if this has been done, the original design has probably been respected.


  • English Heritage Listed Building 264091

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Harmondsworth 1958, 149.

  • Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 56686.  

  • Victoria County History: Somerset, IV (1978), 147-51.

Exterior from SW


Site Location
National Grid Reference
ST 403 128 
now: Somerset
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Somerset
now: Bath & Wells
medieval: Sherborne (to 909), Wells (to 1090), Bath (to 1245), Bath & Wells (from 1245)
medieval: not confirmed
now: St Nicholas
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Robin Downes 
Visit Date
05 May 2005