St Peter

The history of the building is entwined with two local noble and gentry families, Portman and Farnham, whose connection can be seen in the many memorable memorials connected with the church.

About this church

The church of St Peter, Staple Fitzpaine occupies a site on rising ground to the south of the village centre of Staple Fitzpaine diagonally opposite the Greyhound Inn. 

The church consists of a large, high nave with a chancel at the east end and a tower at the west. There are north and south aisles of equal length, a vestry to the north east which is accessed from the raised sanctuary, and a south porch. Access to the tower chambers is via a vice turret on the north side.

The church is constructed in squared and coursed blue lias limestone with Ham stone dressings, Welsh slates sloping roofs with coped verges and lead or stainless steel flat roofs behind plain parapets. The interior has lias flagstone floors, unplastered walls, wagon roofs to the nave and chancel and shallow pitched panelled ceilings to the aisles.

The church is Norman in origin and the south doorway is notable being overwhelmed with decorative zigzags, small heads, diaperwork, rosettes, oxen and birds. The doorway was repositioned from the nave wall when the south aisle was added in 1841. The windows from the south nave were also repositioned and in this building campaign the south porch and north east vestry were added. Previous to this the chancel was built in the 14th century followed by the north aisle in the 15th century when the windows were renewed, the splendidly ornate tower is 15th century. The church was reseated and restored in 1894 and reroofed in the mid 20thcentury.

The tower is a tour de force of the medieval mason’s art. It is linked by Pevsner in a group of ‘masterpieces of tower design in the Vale of Taunton’ with Bishop’s Lydeard, Huish Episcopi, IsleAbbots, Kingston Episcopi, Kingston, North Pethertonand Taunton. It is a crenellated 3 stage tower with setback buttresses.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Fascinating churchyard
  • Wildlife haven
  • Social heritage stories

Visitors information

  • Level access to the main areas
  • Car park at church
  • On street parking at church
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Café within 500m
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike

Other nearby churches


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.

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