SomersetCHARLTONMUSGROVEStStephen(jeremysellickPERMISSIONBYEMAIL)1 JeremySellick

St Stephen

A small medieval church in a peaceful rural setting.

Charlton Musgrove, Somerset

Opening times

Open daily from around 9am to shortly before dusk.


Rectory Lane
Charlton Musgrove

St Stephen's church is 13th century in origin and was enlarged during the 15th century.

A 'humble west tower, but complete with two light bell openings, battlements, gargoyles, and pinnacles' (Pevsner) was added around 1500. Built of local stone rubble with Doulting stone dressings on exterior, much of the external masonry is original. There are three bells, now able only to be chimed. The largest, tenor, bell weighs 8 hundredweight and is dated 1718. There is a surprisingly accurate sundial over the entrance to the south porch, and inside the porch, to the right of the door, can be seen the remains of a scratch dial, which suggests that the porch is a later addition.

Contents include a font 'octagonal with carved flowers, cross on square panels; it might be of 1660-70; pulpit of carved oak thought to be late 17th century; fine oak pews with unusual, slender and club headed ends; some stained glass in windows, particularly early 20th century in chance.

The rood screen has long gone, but the access door is still in situ above the pulpit, from which stairs would have given access. There is another door into the chancel visible from outside but blocked-off internally.

An 'Achievement' bearing the Royal Arms hangs inside above the font by the south door, and in the base of the tower are 'hatchments' commemorating the deaths of John Turner (d1793) and Selina (nee Frewen). Ancient records show that a Rector, Philip de Halstead, was appointed in 1322, and there is a record of all his successors up to the present. There are memorials in the church to the Leir family, which provided Rectors from 1617 to 1914.

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Steps to enter the church or churchyard

  • Ramp or level access available on request

  • On street parking at church

  • Dog friendly

  • Car park at church

  • Church of England

  • Cornerstone Grant, £17,000, 2019

  • Our Cornerstone Grants fund urgent repairs and essential community facilities such as toilets and kitchens to help keep churches open.

Contact information

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