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St Lawrence, Stanton Prior, Somerset

(51°21′44″N, 2°27′49″W)
Stanton Prior
ST 678 627
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
medieval Wells
now Bath & Wells
  • Robin Downes
  • Robin Downes
15 December 2009, 27 January 2010

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Stanton Prior is little more than a tiny hamlet comprising a manor house, a farm and a church. Although only less than a mile from Marksbury on the main A39 between Wells and Bath, it is remote. At about 100m above the sea level, it lies in a valley between hills rising to about 170m (geologically speaking, on White and Blue Lias Limestone between Inferior Oolite Limestone). Historically, it will be seen from Domesday Book entry that the medieval affiliation of Stanton Prior was with Bath Abbey rather than with Keynsham Abbey. The former priory was 200m E of the church (at ST 680 627).

The parish incorporates the Iron-Age enclosures of Stantonbury and Winsbury Camps and (skirting the N edge of Stantonbury Camp, one of a line of forts on the dyke, to the N of the church) a fragment of the Wansdyke — probable boundary between Mercia and Wessex.

The church has a 12th-13thc origin, but is mainly a 15th-c building and was heavily restored in 1860. The font is Romanesque; there is also a Romanesque scratch-dial and a cross on the chancel wall.


Domesday Book records that 'Stantonone' was held by Bath Abbey. In the Taxatio Ecclesiastica of 1291, the manor was still in the possession of the Abbey.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration





  1. F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications, London 1899, III, 264.

Historic England listing 1129527.

'Houses of Benedictine monks: The cathedral priory of Bath', in W. Page (ed.), A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 2, London 1911, 69-81. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/som/vol2/pp69-81 [accessed 19 July 2022].

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, Harmondsworth 1958, 263.