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St Andrew, Aller, Somerset

(51°3′19″N, 2°51′47″W)
ST 396 288
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset and Somerset
  • Robin Downes
10 November 2005

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Aller is in central Somerset, 2 miles NW of Langport and 8 miles SE of Bridgwater, on the edge of the low drained moorland of the river Parrett floodplain. Behind the village to the E rises the wooded Aller Hill. The village clusters around the junction of the A378 with a minor road that runs into the moorland, and the church is at the end of this, some 0.4 mile E of the village centre. Alongside it is Aller Court farm. The church has a nave with a N aisle and N and S porches, the latter blocked, a chancel and a W tower. It is of local Lias, cut and squared, with Hamstone dressings, and there was a major restoration in 1861-62. The S doorway is 12thc, as is the font. For the rest the S porch is 14thc and the remainder largely 15thc.


A location with a long history (including the baptism of Guthrum the Dane by King Alfred in 878) but with little pre-Conquest material evidence.

The manor of Aller was held by Wulfweard before the Conquest, but by 1086 had passed to Ralph de Limesy who held it as tenant-in-chief. It paid geld for 2 hides, with 15 acres of meadow, 10 acres of woodland and 200 acres of pasture in addition. The overlordship evidently descended with the barony of Cavendish (Suffolk) to Ralph de Limesy (II), who died c.1129, and Ralph's son Alan (died by 1162). Alan was succeeded by Gerard (died by 1185), whose son John de Limesy died without issue in 1193. The overlordship then apparently passed to his sister Basile, wife of Hugh de Odingselles (d. 1239), for in 1284–6 and 1303 it was held by her grandson Hugh (II) (d. 1305), son of Gerard de Odingselles (d. 1267).


Exterior Features





Pevsner (1958) describes the doorway as Late Norman, on the basis of the chevron, but the bulbous bases suggest that the story may be more complicated. These profiles are typical of late-11thc work, as at Bosham (Sussex) or, within the county, the single base at Combe St Nicholas

According to the Church Guide, the font was recovered from the vicarage garden in 1862.


Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 51754.

EH, English Heritage Listed Building 263068.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset, Harmondsworth 1958, 76.

VCH, Victoria County History: Somerset, III , London 1974, 61-71.