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St Mary, Laverton, Somerset

(51°16′32″N, 2°19′10″W)
ST778 530
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
medieval Wells
now Bath & Wells
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Robin Downes
  • Robin Downes
24 Aug 2007

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Feature Sets

The manorial hamlet of Laverton lies in rich farmland 8.5 miles S of Bath, about halfway between Frome and Norton St Philip. It is in a dip: the N-facing side is a valley of the Hennambridge Brook, a tributary of the river Frome. The manor house (now belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall) and church of St Mary are adjacent. The church, which is built of rubble, consists of an unusual W end, which Pevsner finds to be reminiscent of a westwerk (described as a tower in the HE listing), nave, N porch, chancel and vestry. It is mostly of the 11thc, with 15thc alterations. There was a restoration in 1859. The Romanesque elements consist of N (and possibly S) nave doorways and two windows in the western section.


In 1086 the estate was held by William de Eu.


Exterior Features




The N door is a conundrum. Was there originally a sculptured tympanum which collapsed, or is the entire inner order an insertion of c.1500? The unusual bases may perhaps anticipate water-holding bases of the 13thc, or perhaps are more likely a variant of the roll-hollow-roll of an Attic base, reconfigured or misunderstood. The S doorway may represent a former Norman door, although the evidence is far from conclusive. As the plan shows, it is immediately opposite the N doorway, as is typical for Norman parish churches.

  1. F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications (London, 1899), III, 177.
  1. N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol (Harmondsworth, 1958), 216.

Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 20723, online at http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/text.asp