List of Somerset towers

Church of St. John the Baptist, Churchill.jpg
Compton martin church.jpg
The Somerset towers, church towers built in the 14th to 16th centuries, have been described as among England's finest contributions to medieval art. The paragraphs and descriptions below describe features of some of these towers. The organization follows Peter Poyntz-Wright's scheme for grouping the towers by what he understands to be roughly the date and group of mason-architects who built them. Poyntz-Wright's scheme came under criticism in the 1980s.

These churches have smaller towers with a single window in each face of the top stage; a pierced top parapet without merlons and four square-set corner pinnacles above.

These churches have three windows in each face of the top stage; diagonal buttressing; some with squareset corner pinnacles; some with buttress pinnacles. These range from simple to elaborate designs: (Bleadon, shortly before 1390; Brent Knoll, about 1397; Mark, about 1407; Weare, about 1407; Banwell, about 1417; Cheddar, about 1423; and Winscombe, around 1435.)

Continues with the triple windows, but with a heavier groundplan featuring heavier buttresses braced diagonally back onto their walls and across the corner; pinnacles diagonal to the tower plan: (Shepton Mallet, about 1423; Cranmore, about 1440; Mells, 1446; Bruton, about 1456; and Leigh-on-Mendip, about 1464)

These churches are contemporary with the Mendip Generation, but more akin to the Churchill group; conveying a sense of great height; single window per face in the top stage as well as lower stages; buttresses set back away from the corners and stepped at stage junctions and middles of stages; square-set pinnacles and most without merlons: (Portishead, about 1420; Backwell, possibly 1428; Winford and Chew Magna, about 1437; Kilmersdon, about 1443; Dundry, 1448 or earlier; Batheaston, about 1458; Publow, about 1467; Wellow, about 1475; and Yeovil St. John the Baptist, around 1480)

This group (including Wrington, about 1449; Wells St. Cuthbert, about 1456; and Evercreech, about 1462) -- window or bell-opening panels rise through several stages, emphasizing the towers' verticality.

This page was last edited on 29 January 2018, at 17:39.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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