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Shepton Beauchamp, Somerset

(50°57′0″N, 2°51′4″W)
Shepton Beauchamp
ST 403 171
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
medieval Wells
now Bath & Wells
  • Robin Downes
  • Robin Downes
13 April 2005

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The village of Shepton Beauchamp lies 4 miles (6 km) NE of Ilminster between the Blackdown Hills and the Somerset Levels. The first part of the name of the village means sheep settlement. The second part was added to honour the Beauchamp family who held the manor from the mid 12thc (VCH). The church of St Michael is located in the centre of the village. It is built of local Ham stone and has 13thc origins, although it has been extensively changed since then, with major renovations in 1865 by G. E. Street. The font has been described by some historians as Romanesque, and there is a reused window-head in the chancel wall. Some sculpture fragments from the church are in Taunton Museum.


Shepton Beauchamp was held in 1066 by Algar, and in 1086 it was held by the Count of Mortain. The overlordship of Mortain is not referred to again and by the mid 12thc the tenant was Sir Robert de Beauchamp (II). Ownership of the manor and advowson then descended in the Beauchamp family (VCH).


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration





Pevsner, and the official listing text, describes the font as a 'Norman tub font'. However, the fact that there is no evidence of any lock-fittings on the font, together with the lack of tooling marks, and the presence of two different stone types inevitably casts some doubt as to its date. It could well be 13thc (or later), inspired by earlier Romanesque forms.

  1. F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications (London, 1899), III, 252.

A. P. Baggs and R. J. E. Bush, 'Parishes: Shepton Beauchamp', in A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 4, ed. R W Dunning (London, 1978), pp. 210-222. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.k/vch/som/vol4/pp210-222 [accessed 27 July 2022].

Historic England listing 1237246

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England; South and West Somerset (Harmondsworth, 1958), p.287