Church of St Philip and St James, Norton St Philip

Coordinates: 51°18′01″N 2°19′41″W / 51.30028°N 2.32806°W / 51.30028; -2.32806
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Church of St Philip and St James
LocationNorton St Philip, Somerset, England
Coordinates51°18′01″N 2°19′41″W / 51.30028°N 2.32806°W / 51.30028; -2.32806
Built13th and 14th century
Listed Building – Grade II*
Designated11 March 1968
Reference no.1345373
Church of St Philip and St James, Norton St Philip is located in Somerset
Church of St Philip and St James, Norton St Philip
Location of Church of St Philip and St James in Somerset

The Church of St Philip and St James in Norton St Philip within the English county of Somerset is a Grade II* listed building.[1]

The parish is part of the Hardington Vale benefice within the archdeaconry of Wells.[2]


The current building has elements dating back from the 13th and 14th centuries, however it is likely there was a church on the site before the Norman Conquest.[3]

In 1345 the fair which had been granted to Hinton Priory was transferred to Norton St Philip which provided much of the income for the church.[3]

Samuel Pepys visited the church in the 17th century and described the tomb of one of the Knights Templar which is now thought to be that of a lawyer or merchant from 1460. He also described the story of the "Fair Maids of Foscott", believed to be conjoined twins from a local village now known as Foxcote.[4][5]

The north aisle was probably added in the 17th century.[5]

A major Victorian restoration was undertaken by George Gilbert Scott in the 1840s.[1] In 2000 further restoration work was undertaken with new wood and steel vestry, toilets and meeting facilities being installed.[6] As a result of this work, known as "The Hub", and the services it provides to the community, the church was awarded the Village Church for Village Life Award in 2008.[7]


The building is made of rubble Doulting Stone which is rough in some areas with more finely dressed ashlar to the south and east sides, which was probably added during 19th century renovation. It has a slate roof above an oak barrel roof and a three-stage west tower.[1]

The tower has a clock by Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy and Charles Frodsham dating from 1841, and six bells.[5]

The east window has stained glass by Christopher Webb. In other windows there is much older glass.[4]

The memorials in the church include one to a soldier slain in Norton St Philip in 1643 during the English Civil War.[5] There were further military casualties in the village during a skirmish in the Monmouth Rebellion.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Historic England. "Church of St. Philip and St. James (1345373)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  2. ^ "St Philip & St James, Norton St Philip". A Church Near You. Church of England. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b Gathercole, Clare. "An archaeological assessment of Norton St Philip" (PDF). English Heritage Extensive Urban Survey. Somerset County Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 February 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Taylor, Jeremy; Smyth, Sita; Lawless, Pat. "brief historical guide to Norton St Philip". Norton St Philip. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Norton St Philip". Parish of Hardington Vale. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  6. ^ "St. Philip and St. James, Norton St. Philip, Somerset". Chedburn Dudley. Retrieved 28 January 2014.
  7. ^ Strong, Roy (31 July 2008). "Winner of Village Church Award". Country Life. Retrieved 28 January 2014.