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St Lawrence, Cucklington, Somerset

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Feature Sets (2)

Description

The village of Cucklington is 3 miles E of Wincanton in the South Somerset district, close to the Dorset and Wiltshire borders.  It is perched on the E side of Blackmore Vale, and the church of St Lawrence stands on the main street to the N of the village centre.

The church is of local Lias and Cary stone, cut and squared with ashlar dressings.  It has a 2-bay chancel with a N chapel, and a 3-bay nave with a N aisle communicating with the chancel chapel and a 2-bay chapel on the S side.  The earliest fabric is 13thc, but the tower was rebuilt in 1705 and there was a major rebuilding by G. R. Crickmay in 1880.  The font is the only Romanesque feature.

History

Before the Conquest Cucklington was held by Lyfing and Sven, and it paid geld for 7 hides.  In 1086, Bretel de St Clair held it from Count Robert of Mortain.  In addition to the ploughland it contained 22 acres of meadow and woodland 18 furlongs by 4.  After Count William of Mortain’s rebellion of 1106 the overlordship passed to the crown.  Bretel de St Clair’s tenancy passed eventually to Walter of Ashley (d.1195) and to his son and namesake, also called Walter of Stoke on account of his holding of Stoke Trister as well as Cucklington (1212).   Thereafter the two estates descended together.

The advowson of the church descended with the lordship of the manor until 1953, when it was transferred to the Bishop of Bath and Wells. A church was first mentioned in 1264.  It was a sole rectory until 1767 when it was united with Stoke Trister.  In 1980 the combined rectory was united with Charlton Musgrove.

Features

Furnishings

Fonts

Font

The font is located centrally at the W end of church. Since the tower is elsewhere, there is little room between the font & the W wall. Its plinth elides with a dais against that wall; there are pews against the wall. It is of a light yellow/grey stone. The font consists of a relatively shallow bowl; cylindrical above its curved bottom. There is a fine ring of fluting around the lower part of the bowl, with a scalloped upper edge and the tops of the scallops emphasized with semi-circular incisions and by having triangular recesses incised between them. The rim has no chamfer nor obvious signs of a previous lock-fitting. There is no lead. Internal sides slope into a flattish bottom.

The bowl stands on a cylindrical stem with a roll necking at the top and a low waterholding base standing on a round hollow-chamfered socle, which in turn stands on a plinth with its E angles cut away flush to the base of the font. The condition is generally good, but there are renewals to the base at the W, and to the to the bowl rim at the NE, NW and S.

Dimensions
1
Height of base and socle 0.34m
Height of bowl 0.32m
Height of plinth 0.14m
Height of stem 0.24m
Overall height of font 1.05m
2
Depth of bowl 0.23m
External diameter of bowl 0.69m
Internal diameter of bowl 0.54m

Comments/Opinions

Pevsner (1958) describes the font as Norman, but the EH listing text suggests a 1705 date in a Norman style, possibly because the rim lacks signs of lock fittings.  This is likely to be the result of shaving the rim (it is unusually regular).

Bibliography

  • English Heritage Listed Building 261698 

  • N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Harmondsworth 1958, 143. 

  • Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 51001.  

  • Victoria County History: Somerset, VII (1999), 177-84.

Exterior from SE
Exterior from NE

Location

Site Location
Cucklington
National Grid Reference
ST 755 278 
Boundaries
now: Somerset
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Somerset
Diocese
medieval: Sherborne (to 909), Wells (to 1090), Bath (to 1245), Bath & Wells (from 1245)
now: Bath & Wells
Dedication
medieval: not confirmed
now: St Lawrence
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Robin Downes 
Visit Date
12 December 2005