St Thomas à Becket Church, Pensford

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St Thomas à Beckett Church
Pensford (disused) church.jpg
St Thomas à Becket Church, Pensford is located in Somerset
St Thomas à Becket Church, Pensford
Location within Somerset
General information
Town or cityPensford
Coordinates51°22′16″N 2°32′59″W / 51.371025°N 2.549796°W / 51.371025; -2.549796Coordinates: 51°22′16″N 2°32′59″W / 51.371025°N 2.549796°W / 51.371025; -2.549796
Construction started14th century

St Thomas à Becket Church in Pensford, Somerset southwest England, dates from the 14th century, active in 1341, although only the tower remains from that date, the rest of the church having been rebuilt in 1868 by Giles and Robinson Architects and the church was reconsecrated in 1869.[1][2]

The church became derelict as a result of flood damage caused by the River Chew in 1968. It remained in disuse until 2008.

The west tower and tierceron vault date from the 14th century. The west doorway with a two-centered arch, dates back to the 15th century, and the font which has quatrefoils and roses, is of similar age. The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1869, by Charles Edmund Giles of Taunton.[3]

It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building,[4] and was on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register,[5][6] following damage in a flood in 1968. The church was declared redundant on 30 July 1971,[7] and the tower is in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.[8]

During the 1980s an attempt was made to turn it into an arts centre but this was abandoned when the extent of the repairs required to make the building safe became clear. In 2007 the church was put on the market for redevelopment,[9] and in 2008 purchased for repair and use as a private dwelling.[10] The conversion[11] was recorded for a documentary as the first episode of the BBC television programme Restoration Home, which also explored the history of the church.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robinson, W.J. (1915). West Country Churches. Bristol: Bristol Times and Mirror Ltd. pp. 100–103.
  2. ^ "Church". Restoration Home. Series 1. Episode 1. 19 December 2011. BBC.
  3. ^ Pevsner, Nikolaus (1958). The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-300-09640-2.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Thomas à Becket, Pensford (1136393)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  5. ^ "St Thomas a Beckett Church, Pensford". English Heritage. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
  6. ^ "South West England". Heritage at Risk. English Heritage. p. 243.
  7. ^ Diocese of Bath and Wells: All Schemes (PDF). Church Commissioners/Statistics. Church of England. 2011. p. 4. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  8. ^ Church of St Thomas a Becket, Pensford, Somerset. Churches Conservation Trust. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  9. ^ "For Sale — Pensford Church". Chew Valley Gazette. October 2007.
  10. ^ "Church sold". Mendip Times. May 2008.
  11. ^ "Planning application: Former St Thomas à Becket Church Pensford". Bath & North East Somerset Council. Retrieved 6 July 2011.
  12. ^ "Church". Restoration Home. BBC. Retrieved 5 July 2011.


  • Durham, I. & M. (1991). Chew Magna and the Chew Valley in old photographs. Redcliffe Press. ISBN 1-872971-61-X.
  • Janes, Rowland, ed. (1987). The Natural History of the Chew Valley. ISBN 0-9545125-2-9.

External links[edit]