A still point in a turning world, feel your whole self relax into the tranquil calm of St Nicholas 12th century church in Bratton Seymour.
The Grade ll* listed church of All Saints dates from around 1460 but experts believe there has been a church on this site since Saxon times. The 560 years of heritage recorded in the building through its many features and monuments, reflect the human story as well as the architectural; industrial as well as rural; and secular as well as spiritual.
The 15th century font, replacing a Norman one, the Tudor door and brass plaques from the 17th to the 19th centuries all illustrate the history which includes the Civil War, the rise of Nonconformity, Industrialisation, and education (Cary had the first Sunday School in the country).
Cary features widely in Parson Woodforde’s famous diaries 'Diary of a Country Parson'. He was born in Ansford where his father was Rector and Vicar of Castle Cary. On being ordained, he acted as curate for his father until he obtained a living in Norfolk In 1774. His writings provide invaluable source material for church life in the 18th century, telling of problems with his disobedient choir in Cary and his tendency to over indulge.
During the Civil War, the church fell into disrepair. However, In Victorian times, with the coming of the railway and the success of John Boyd and TS Donne’s rope and horsehair manufacturing business, the church was restored, extended and modernised by Benjamin Ferrey. He was the Diocesan Architect, who had worked on the restoration of Wells Cathedral and a pupil of Pugin. His aim was to make the church large enough to accommodate the whole community. He lengthened the nave, redesigned the chancel, and increased the height of the tower from 86 to 139 feet making it not only taller but grander with the addition of castellation, grotesques and the pinnacles. This late gothic perpendicular style of the spacious interior, with its soaring height and broad windows can only be found in England.
The steeple can be seen from far away and is distinctive even in Somerset where there is a tradition of elaborate towers. It is an iconic feature of the town landscape.