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St Mary, Moorlinch, Somerset

(51°7′38″N, 2°51′41″W)
ST 398 368
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
medieval Wells
now Bath & Wells
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Robin Downes
  • Robin Downes
07 Nov 2005, 10 Nov 2005

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The parish of Moorlinch, which is on the southern slopes of the Polden ridge, lies 6 miles E of Bridgwater. Most of the land lies on Keuper marl, with irregular areas of clay and limestone on the higher slopes, and alluvium between the marl and the peat of Sedgemoor. The church of St Mary, which is in a prominent position and dates from the 13thc., consists of a nave with S porch, chancel and W tower. The outer doorway contains restored Romanesque work. The tub font is also perhaps Romanesque work.


The settlement is not mentioned in DB. It probably formed part of Glastonbury abbey's estate on the Polden hills known as Pouelt or Pouholt, apparently acquired in the earlier 8thc. The church was mother church to the five chapelries of Catcott, Chilton Polden, Edington, Stawell, and Sutton Mallet and the parish was probably, therefore, an estate centre (VCH).


Exterior Features





S doorway: The fieldworker considers that only the outer order is clearly Norman in origin. The inner order appears to be later medieval in date. Font: The fieldworker would accept only the bowl as original and even then is sceptical about the authenticity of the top of the bowl, which almost looks as if it might be an addition. There is claw tooling visible, and this could imply that in all probability it post-dates the Romanesque era, maybe the 13th or 14thc, but perhaps inspired by a Romanesque form.

  1. F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications (London, 1899), III, 204.

Historic England listing 1060121

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England; South and West Somerset (Harmondsworth, 1958), 248 (see under ‘Moorlynch’).

'Moorlinch', in The Victoria County History of the County of Somerset: Volume 8, the Poldens and the Levels, ed. Robert Dunning (London, 2004), 125-134. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/som/vol8/pp125-134 [accessed 20 February 2023].

A.J. Webb (ed.), Ancient Church Fonts of Somerset Surveyed & Drawn by Harvey Pridham (Taunton, 2013), 81.