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St John the Baptist, North Cheriton, Somerset

(51°1′50″N, 2°26′51″W)
North Cheriton
ST 687 258
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Somerset
now Somerset
medieval Wells
now Bath & Wells
  • Robin Downes
  • Robin Downes
5 Dec 2005, 2 June 2008, 10 May 2022

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North Cheriton lies about 3 miles WSW of Wincanton on the modern-day A357. The church of St John the Baptist (at c.120m altitude) makes a group with its attendant manor house and farm. The present church has 14thc origins but was largely rebuilt in 1878. It is built of local stone quarried from Cheriton Hill, some 150m from the church, and Hamstone. The Romanesque elements comprise the font and a corbel sculpture.


Two DB estates may be identified with two manors, each of which was later called North Cheriton. Eiritone or Ciretona was held by Ernwy in 1066 and by Warmund of William de Mohun in 1086. Ciretune was held by Alfwold before 1066 and by Robert under Turstin son of Rolf in 1086. Turstin's lands passed to Wynebald of Ballon who by 1166 had been succeeded by his grandson Henry Newmarch. In addition, two hides in Lattiford in 1066 'could not be separated' from Glastonbury abbey. In 1086, however, they were held of the king but belonged to the abbey's manor of Butleigh. Aelfric was tenant of the abbey before 1066 and Humphrey the chamberlain in 1086.


Interior Features

Interior Decoration





It has been suggested that the tub font is perhaps 12thc. This, and the corbel, constitute the only surviving traces of what must have been a reasonably substantial Romanesque building if it had baptismal rights. The original function of the corbel and the reason for the holes subsequently drilled in it are both unknown.

  1. F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications (London, 1899), III, 83.

A. P. Baggs and M. C. Siraut, 'North Cheriton', in A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 7, Bruton, Horethorne and Norton Ferris Hundreds, eds. C R J Currie and R W Dunning (London, 1999), 93-101. Online at http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/som/vol7/pp93-101 [accessed 13 May 2022].

Historic England listing 1274277, online at www.historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1274277

N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset (Harmondsworth, 1958), 257.