SomersetSTOCKLINCHStMaryMagdalene(mikesearleCC-BY-SA2.0)1 MikeSearle

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.

Stocklinch, Somerset

Opening times

Information about keyholder on the noticeboard.


TA19 9JQ

This building has stood in Stocklinch for nearly 700 years. The church's first incumbent was Robert de Schapwyke who took up his duties in 1334. The church was therefore built in the early part of the 14th century.

The church is constructed of local stone, mostly in random blocks, with buttresses at the four corners giving the building a solid appearance. There are finials topping the gables of chancel and nave and a bell turret at the west end. Over the entrance to the porch there is a sundial. The face appears to read ‘Watch and pray. Redeem the time(s)’.

The most special wildlife feature of the churchyard is that it is a remnant of ancient meadow grassland. It incorporates flower and grass species which would have been found on the site in the swamps and boggy clearings thousands of millennia ago.

The present building contains eight windows including the one in the vestry. Of these the four biggest ones, one on each wall, are certainly original. These conform to the Gothic pattern found in the second half of the 13th century.

Collinson's Somerset Antiquities describes the church as a small Gothic building 62' long and 12' wide consisting of a nave, chancel and south aisle. This leaves out the porch which seems to be very ancient, although the vestry is certainly a later addition. It is at this point worth remembering that the space inside a medieval church was quite uncluttered.

In the 18th century the pews were installed and this dictated that the gallery should be built, for the pews limited the number of people able to take part in a service, and the population of Stocklinch over the centuries seems to have remained constant at about 100 souls, more or less.

Also in the 18th century the pulpit was introduced. In order to get the pulpit in place you will notice that the lower part of the chancel arch was cut away, if you compare it with the other side by the piscina. A window was then made beside the pulpit to catch the light. The pulpit is the lower part of a three decker. Given the height from which present sermons may be delivered to us it is perhaps just as well that the whole three decks did not make their arrival.

Stocklinch is a Doubly Thankful village, for being spared any fatalities in both world wars. Inside the church is a brass plaque listing the names of the 19 villagers who went to the Great War and returned to their loved ones.

  • Wildlife haven

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • National heritage here

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Space to secure your bike

  • Parking within 250m

  • On street parking at church

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Dog friendly

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

Contact information

Other nearby churches

St Mary

Ilminster, Somerset

There has been a church on this site since at least 762, but the present building dates from the second half of the 15th century.

All Saints

Isle Brewers, Somerset

Wolff's wonder in Somerset.