We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Decuman, Watchet, Somerset

(51°10′33″N, 3°20′20″W)
ST 065 427
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
medieval Wells
now Bath & Wells
  • Robin Downes
13 August 2009

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=11837.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.

Feature Sets

Watchet, a harbour town about 15 miles W of Bridgwater, lies at the mouth of the Washford River, where it flows into the Bristol Channel. Watchet is believed to be the place where St Decuman was killed. Geologically, the church on its eminence above the town and the valley of the Washford River rests on Triassic bedrock — Rhaetic shales/marls/limestones above Upper Marls. These formations give rise to a well very near to the NE of the church: no doubt an early focus of Christianity preceding the church itself. The church consists of a W tower, a nave with aisles, a chancel, two side chapels and a S porch. The Romanesque sculptural elements consist of several label stops to many of the windows.


An estate called 'Wacet' held by Dodeman of William de Mohun in 1086, has been identified with the later holding of Kentsford. Between 1154 and 1189 land between St. Decuman's church and Kentsford, part of the estate and the fee of Ralph son of William, grandson of Durand de Mohun, was given to the abbey of Neath (Glam.). Around 1190 the church of St. Decuman became a prebend of Wells cathedral.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration


A. P. Baggs, R. J. E. Bush, M. C. Siraut, 'Parishes: St. Decumans, including Watchet and Williton', in A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 5, ed. R W Dunning (London, 1985), pp. 143-171. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/som/vol5/pp143-171 [accessed 16 February 2022].

Historic England listing 1057662 (included in Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Records).

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Harmondsworth 1958, 329.

Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 30001. Online at http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/text.asp