St Mary the Virgin

Like so many Somerset churches, Isle Abbots has a splendid tower, and this one is especially graceful, built of Ham stone between 1510 and 1520, with three distinct stages.

About this church

Very often in such towers the niches that originally held statues are empty, but here ten remain, and they are very fine examples of early 16th century sculpture. They include figures of the Virgin Mary, the risen Christ and saints.

Beneath the delicately traceried battlements at the top of the tower are eight hunky punks, the carved stone figures that are such a speciality of Somerset churches. Inside, the nave and chancel have barrel vaulted roofs, while the north aisle has an almost flat panelled roof.

In the 14th century chancel are an elaborate piscina, surrounded by carved panels, and a sedilia formed of three tub like stone seats. The Norman font is covered in strange carvings, one of which looks like a strange upside down sea creature, but with legs.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard
  • On street parking at church
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

Other nearby churches

St Mary Magdalene

Two legendary sisters both fell in love with the vicar and each built a church for his benefit, so even though Stocklinch is a small village, there are two churches.

St Andrew

The church tower is a landmark for a long way around, and was rebuilt in 1861 to the original medieval designs, but in blue lias stone, rather than the Ham stone from which the rest of the church is built.

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