Symondsbury

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Postcode for SatNavDT6 6HB
O.S. Landranger Map reference193-444937

Symondsbury

Symondsbury

St. John the Baptist

 

 

This is a wonderful mellow church in a most attractive village setting.  It is essentially C14 and constructed from golden-coloured sandstone in cruciform with a central tower, supported by great arches.  To the right and high up on the chancel arch is a stairway, which once led to the rood loft, from where more stairs lead to the upper part of the tower. The wagon roof was constructed by shipwrights from West Bay.  Note, the squints (or hagioscopes), the C18 pulpit and the Victorian font, which came from Bedfordbury Chapel in St. Martin's Lane, London, when it became redundant in 1920.  Also, the three-sided altar rail. The organ was a gift in 1920 to commemorate the loss of two sons from one family within three years of each other.  

Symondsbury has been the subject of two major renovations.  The first in 1835 involved plastering over the internal walls and roof, which ruined some medieval frescoes.  The stone mullions and traceries were ripped out from the windows and replaced with small panes between iron bars.  Galleries were erected and pews installed in the chancel; some with their backs to the altar.  However by 1919, C.E.Ponting, the diocesan architect, had been called in and the second great renovation was put in hand.  This work, which was undertaken almost entirely by the congregation and the rector, more or less undid the damage done by the Victorians.  The plaster was removed, the mullions replaced in the windows and the galleries torn down.  Central heating was installed.  The carvings on the choir stalls representing all the works of Creation are by members of the congregation of this period.  This was a huge undertaking for amateurs and future generations must be grateful for an amazing achievement.

There is an excellent church guide.

The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©

 

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