We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

Rodney Stoke, Somerset

(51°14′42″N, 2°44′36″W)
Rodney Stoke
ST 482 498
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
medieval Wells
now Bath & Wells
  • Robin Downes
24 July 2007

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=929.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.


Rodney Stoke is one of many small settlements strung out along the main A371 from Wells to Axbridge via Cheddar running along the SW scarp of the Mendip Hills in Somerset. As The parish extends on to the high ground to the NE and SW across the moors of the valley of the Axe, which river now runs less than 2 miles SW of the church. This is an area steeped in history: the diocesan centre of Wells is only 5 miles SE, the once-royal centre of Cheddar only 2.5 miles NW, and the once-thriving lead mines on Mendip only 4 miles N. The church, which is built of coursed and squared rubble with freestone dressings, consists of a W tower, nave, N porch, chancel and N chapel. The Romanesque elements comprise a sculptured head on the W face of the tower and a possible font.


In 1086 Rodney Stoke belonged to the Bishop of Coutances


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration





The font is described as 12thc in the official listing description, perhaps on the basis of the rounded top edges of the main motif. However, in CRSBI's opinion, this date is open to interpretation. The moulded octagonal base and tooling suggest a Gothic date, perhaps 13th-14thc (Dr. Ron Baxter, pers. comm.) or even mid-14thc (Dr. Toby Huitson, CRSBI editorial team). However, there is a simialr font nearby at Nunney, which has a stronger claim to a 12thc date.

The four little crosses were a feature otherwise unknown to the fieldworker, although a similarly inscribed font rim was subsequently discovered by him at Ashley, in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, on 23 Sep 2009. The Ashley crosses are very much rougher than those at Rodney Stoke.

  1. F. Arnold-Forster Studies in Church Dedications (London, 1899), III, 237.

Historic England listing 1058592

  1. N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol (Harmondsworth, 1958), 251.

Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record 21935. Available online at http://webapp1.somerset.gov.uk/her/text.asp