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St Peter, Staple Fitzpaine, Somerset

(50°57′30″N, 3°3′2″W)
Staple Fitzpaine
ST 263 182
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
medieval Wells
now Bath & Wells
medieval St Peter
now St Peter
  • Robin Downes
  • Robin Downes
27 September 2004, 10 March 2005, 05 April 2022

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Feature Sets

The small settlement of Staple Fitzpaine is sited near where a road (unclassified but well-used) running roughly NNW/SSE between Taunton to Chard crosses a stream running WSW/ENE down from the Blackdown Hills. The former mill using that watercourse is sited a very short distance NW of the crossroads at the village centre. Crossing the Taunton-Chard road at that crossroads, a lane runs roughly SW-NE, parallel to the stream, along the S side of the shallow valley from Staple Hill towards lower ground to the NE and major communication lines of road and rail.

Emphasising the political standing of the Count of Mortain, the parish still includes (at its SE corner) his castle, Castle Neroche. By area, the parish is the second largest in the county, but by demography it is diminutive, probably having changed very little over time. Staple Fitzpaine has its own manor-house, adjacent on the N side of St Peter’s church. Resting on the large block of Blue Lias which stretches from here NE far into the central area of the county, the village has a good source of favoured building-stone. Inevitably, the area is almost entirely agricultural in character.

The church, which consists of a W tower, a nave with N and S aisles, a S porch, avestry and a chancel is Norman in origin but has been largely rebuilt. The Romanesque S doorway has been reset in the S aisle.


Before 1066 Staple Fitzpaine was held by two thegns. After the Norman Conquest the Count Robert of Mortain was responsible for this area and held the village himself.


Exterior Features


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

Historic England listing 1060274.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset, Harmondsworth 1958, 295.