© Mrs Judie Burman
CHURCH OF ST BARTHOLOMEW, CHURCH STREET (north side)
CREWKERNE, SOUTH SOMERSET, SOMERSET
Mrs Judie Burman
12 June 1950
Date of last amendment:
12 June 1950
The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.
ST4309 CHURCH STREET
876-1/6/46 (North side)
12/06/50 Church of St Bartholomew
Parish church. C15 and early C16 with earlier origins;
MATERIALS: dressed limestone and Ham Hill stone with lead
PLAN: cruciform plan, with extended north aisle, chapel to the
north-east corner, and crossing tower: a part of a late C13
arch incorporated in the east wall of the south transept
suggests that the C13 church was also of cruciform plan.
EXTERIOR: all windows, unless mentioned, are pointed-arch with
hoodmoulds, casement moulding and Perpendicular tracery, each
light with a cinquefoil top; a moulded string-course encircles
the building below the parapet, and all parapets, except those
to the east gable end and gable to south transept, have
moulded embattlements. The set-back buttresses are diagonal to
the tops, and the aisles have crocketed finials and gargoyles
at string-course-level. A plinth with a string-course above
it, encircles the building, though the moulding varies.
The east end has a plain shouldered gable and crocketed
finials to the buttresses; a 4-light window is above a former
chantry, now demolished, though the lintels to the former
doors to the sides remain.
The north-east corner is in 4 steps from the chancel: the
north side of the chancel, which has one 4-light window; the
end of the extended north aisle; a small north-east chapel;
and the north transept, which has a 4-light window without a
hoodmould. The east end of the north aisle is slightly higher
than the chancel at the junction, but the roof slopes down to
the same level over a 5-light window to the east side, and two
of 4-lights to the north.
The small chapel is early C16, with shallow pointed arches to
a 4-light window on each side; the east side has a slightly
The north transept is more elaborate and higher, a slightly
pitched gable to the north side has gargoyles to the centre
and sides; a 7-light, elliptical-arched, transomed window has
a quatrefoil frieze between cill and plinth. The east side has
one similar 4-light transomed window, the west side a 5-light
window, both with similar friezes below, ending at a door
close to the north aisle, which is below a small 4-light
The north aisle has 3 large Y-traceried windows with headstops
to the hoodmoulds and gargoyles in the string-course, above
the points; and below the crocketed finials of the buttresses.
The 5 segmental pointed clerestory windows which do not
correspond to the arcade below, are under a continuous
dripmould. The shallow gable to the west front has a small
crocketed niche to the apex. A large transomed 8-light window
is over elaborate carving round the planked and studded door
which is panelled to the front; this is set in a deep moulded
architrave with a crocketed ogee top, large quatre-foils in
the spandrels, flanked by square, diagonally-set columns with
crocketed finials; to the sides are large half-figures over
crocketed finials to empty niches. The figure to right is in
poor condition, but that to the left is crowned and carries a
Octagonal stair turrets with 4 slit windows each, gargoyles to
each angle and doors to the north and south sides, separate
the nave from the aisles, and give access to the galleries
inside. The jointing-in of the naves is clearly visible, they
have 4-light transomed windows with Y-tracery, that to the
north aisle has head stops and a gargoyle above, that to the
south aisle has plain stops. Elaborate gargoyles project from
the tops of the buttresses.
The south side is simple toward the east end; the 3 windows to
the chancel and the 2 to the south transept are without
dripmoulds, and the buttresses have gargoyles without
The south side of the south transept has a plain shouldered
gable with stepped stone coping, and a 5-light window under a
dripmould. The west side of it has no windows, but a small
door with a labelled dripmould. Between the buttresses at the
south-east corner is a large niche with a Tudor arch and
sloping stone roof; inside is a stone seat.
The south porch is flanked by 6-light, Y-traceried windows
with head stops to the dripmoulds and gargoyles above. It is
single-storey, though as high as the aisle; shallow embattled
gable with a niche under a crocketed canopy has 3,
trefoil-headed panels to each side. The buttresses are similar
to the others with gargoyles but no finials. The C20 door has
square, diagonally-set columns with crocketed finials flanking
the moulded architrave. The south side has a 2-light window
The tower is in 3 stages with string-courses between, blank to
the base and tall 2-light, Somerset traceried windows with
mullions level with the middle string-course in the two stages
above; these have hoodmoulds with head stops; to the
south-east corner, a hexagonal stair turret, slightly taller
than the tower, and a door below 6 slit stair-windows facing
south-east, has gargoyles and crocketed finials to each angle.
In 1902, the clock, commemorating the coronation of Edward VII
was installed replacing one made in 1802.
INTERIOR: the chancel is mostly late C19: the roof was raised
and trusses rest on large figure corbels; polychromatic tiled
floor; C19 stained glass in 5-light east window, above a 1903
reredos which is flanked by blocked entrances to a former
chantry. These are pointed arches in square-headed frames with
small unornamented shields to the centres. The spandrels to
the left door have carved boars in them, those to the right
door have angels.
NORTH-EAST CHAPEL, which is a continuation of the north aisle,
has a C15, slightly pitched, richly panelled ceiling; this has
deep moulded beams with bosses to all joints, and quatrefoils,
shields and crosses in the recesses. Plain glass to the
windows with a 1950 inset to the east. Small CHAPEL in the
angle of the north-east chapel and the north transept:
ceiling, dated 1867, a copy of that in the north transept, and
the Merefield memorial, are described later. North transept
has moulded beams to the panelled ceiling.
North aisle: almost as wide as the nave, with a C15 panelled
ceiling, the main rafters of which are supported on the
capitals to colonnettes extending to the floor. Early C19
gallery to west end, and on the west wall is a large
segmental-arched frame containing a list of Crewkerne
charities and benefactors.
NAVE: 3 high and wide bays almost square in plan, have
casement-moulded pointed arches without capitals, except to
the 4 colonnettes on the diagonals of the piers, which have
rounded colonnettes at impost level. The depressed
waggon-vaulted ceiling is of coursed rubblestone with moulded
beams; full figure corbels support main rafters.
A C13 blocked window, high to the top-left of the east end, in
the tower, below a trefoil-headed squint with a flat arch and
pierced spandrels and the massive crossing piers indicate that
this is a survival of an earlier church.
The clerestory has cinquefoil heads to the five 2-light
segmental-pointed arched windows between wall shafts. The
7-light west window has C20 stained glass above a door which
is rough, diagonally planked-and-studded to the back, and
panelled to the front.
The south aisle has a similar ceiling to that of the north
aisle with C19 stained glass and gallery to the west end, and
a similar frame to that on the north aisle which contains a
painting of the royal arms.
The south porch has a high fan-vaulted ceiling with foliate
bosses and round columns at the corners, descending to stone
seats to the sides. The south transept is simple and houses
the organ; it has a panelled ceiling and a brattished
MEMORIALS: most of the memorials are C19 brass plaques, but
one dated 1525 to Thomas Goulde is in the chancel. The
Merefield family memorial in the small north-east chapel, is
notable; 2 large marble panels inscribed with the names of the
members of the family from 1666 onwards, are separated by a
colonnette and flanked by plain round columns on strapwork
plinths, with Corinthian-style caps and cornices below an
entablature richly decorated with fluting, egg-and-dart,
bead-and-reel, and dentilled below a cyma moulded cornice;
this steps forward over the columns and the colonette.
FITTINGS: the font, probably C13, is of Purbeck marble; a slab
supported by a cylinder with columns to the corners with round
caps and plinths. An oak chest with elaborate hinges to the
top, panelled to the front, bears the inscription along the
bottom rail 'Robert Smythe. Richard Warlock. Wardens. A.D.
HISTORY: The earlier church was a minster, serving as the
mother church of a late Saxon estate. The VCH suggests that
the prescence of royal chaplains between 1479 and c1536 may
explain both the splendour of the building and some elements
of the design, such as the twin turrets on the west front
which Pevsner has compared to examples at Bath Abbey and the
Tudor Royal chapels.
(The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: South and West Somerset:
London: 1958-: P.137-9; Pulman GPR: The Book of The Axe:
Kingsmead Reprints Bath: P.292; Victoria County History:
Somerset: Oxford: 1978-: P.4 & 31-2).