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St Peter, Charlton Adam, Somerset

(51°3′17″N, 2°39′48″W)
Charlton Adam
ST 536 286
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
  • Robin Downes
14 November 2005

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Feature Sets

Charlton Adam is one of a pair of villages (the other being Charlton Mackrell) lying some 3 miles E of Somerton on the N bank of the river Cary in south central Somerset. The Fosse Way, linking Bath with Axminster and Exeter, runs less than a mile to the E of the village. The church stands in the centre of the village, and is of local lias cut & squared with Hamstone dressings. It consists of a 2-bay chancel; a 3-bay nave with a 1-bay S chantry chapel and a S porch; and a W tower. The church is 14thc in origin, but dates largely from the 15thc. It was restored by H. Wilson in 1892. The only feature described here is the font.


Before the Conquest Charlton Adam was held by three thegns with one clerk, and in 1086 by Reginald de Vautort from Robert, Count of Mortain. It was assessed at 5 hides with 50 acres of meadow and 40 acres of pasture and 20 acres of scrubland.

The overlordship presumably passed from Robert of Mortain to his son William, who forfeited his estates to the crown in 1106. By 1160-61 the tenancy had passed to John, son of Hamon whose family had been Domesday tenants of Count Robert at Buckhorn Weston (Dorset). It stayed in this direct line until 1243 when, on the death of Henry, son of Richard, it was divided between five coheirs. Arrangements between these heirs resulted in a moiety of the manor passing to Geoffrey de Mandeville. The complex later history of the manor may be found in VCH. The church along with the rectory estate was granted by John, son of Hamon to Bruton Priory, between 1142 and 1166. A vicarage had been ordained by 1291, and the advowson descended with the rectory and its lands until at least 1626 (i.e. with Bruton Priory until the Reformation). The benefices of Charlton Adam and Charlton Mackrell were united in 1921.





The plain font is similar to those at Charlton Mackrell and nearby Kingweston, and one suspects a single workshop provided these fonts for contiguous parishes. (Apparently, the medieval Kingweston estate, more extensive than now, incorporated the Charltons). VCH dates it to c.1200, and this date is accepted here. NMR describes it as a simple tulip bowl font on a turned base, probably early C14; Pevsner makes no mention of it.


EH, English Heritage Listed Building 262830.

C. Hamilton, Some Account of the Parishes of Charlton Adam and Charlton Mackrell, 1961, passim.

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset, Harmondsworth 1958, 120.

Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 51495.

VCH, Victoria County History: Somerset, III , London 1974, 81-94.