Tour of South Somerset and Dorset
This two day coach excursion will visit some of the finest churches in the South-West, containing some of the finest monuments in England. Also one of the churches is only accessible by written permission and a second is a family chapel which is kept locked, so this is a tour not to be missed. The society normally runs excursions only lasting for a single day so this will prove to be a special weekend. On the tour will be experts who will be commenting on the monuments which will give members a very informative visit to each church. The tour will start at 10.30 and finish 17.00 each day from Sherborne railway station where parking is available if members are traveling by car. Accommodation is not provided but should members wish to stay in the town there is plenty of accommodation.
Churches that we will be visiting:
Trent: The majority of monuments are situated in the north chapel, which includes two fourteenth century civilians; a knight of c.1400; large tablet with pilasters to William Gerard ob.1604; Ann Gerard ob.1633 plus many others.
Montacute: This lovely church sits in one of Somerset’s best preserved villages.
The monuments of note are in the north transept to the Phelips family of Montacute House; David and Ann ob.1484 on a tomb-chest; Bridget ob.1508; canopied tomb with effigies of Thomas ob.1588 and his wife Elizabeth ob.1598. On the west wall of the transept is a tall wall monument to Edward ob.1680.
Hinton St George: The crowning glory here is the Paulett mausoleum where several members of this family are buried and a true gem. The Poulett monuments include Sir Amyas ob. 1537; Sir Hugh ob. 1572; effigy in alabaster of Sir Amyas II died 1588 with an inscription, removed from St Martin-in-the-Fields; canopied tomb with figures to Sir Anthony ob. 1600 and his wife ob. 1601. The finest, in Baroque plasterwork, commemorates John, Baron Poulett ob. 1649. Others include John, First Earl Poulett, died 1745, by Rysbrack; Vere Earl Poulett, died 1819 by Sir R Westmacott. There is a fine knightly tomb to Sir John Deneband c.1440.
Sherborne Abbey: Not a large number of monuments in the abbey but what there are is of high quality. Highlights – three Purbeck marble effigies to abbots, one c.1150 the other two thirteenth century; John Digby, Earl of Bristol ob.1698 and his two wives by Nost; huge monument to John Leweston ob.1584 and his wife with canopy held-up by six Corinthian columns.
Melbury Sampford: Very few churches in England can match Melbury Sampford for quality: highlights include two alabaster effigies of knights c.1470 with Purbeck marble canopy/tomb-chests and many monuments to the Strangways family.
Dorchester St Peter: Two late fourteenth century cross-legged knights lying semi-recumbent; Sir John Williams ob.1617 and wife; Denzel Lord Holles 1699.
Puddletown: One of Dorset’s jewels with many monuments placed in the south transept; fabulous alabaster knight to Sir William Martyn, late 15th century, on Purbeck marble tomb-chest; another alabaster effigy to a Martyn and wife on a high tomb-chest c.1470; plus two knights made of Ham Hill stone.
Milton Abbey: An incised slab to an abbot, c.1280/1320; Brass of Sir John Tregonwell ob.1565 with Purbeck marble tomb; Lady Milton ob.1775 and Lord Milton who built the house. Designed by Robert Adam in white marble.
The cost for the two day excursion is £70 (non members £80) – this does not include lunch on both days (there are public houses at Montacute and Dorchester to get lunch).
Click here for booking form.
Please send the booking form including a s.a.e. if no email is available to Mark Downing, 9 Kestrel Drive, Sundorne Grove, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 4TT, email email@example.com, tel. 01743464780.
NB. Unless otherwise stated, refunds will only be given for cancellations notified at least two weeks before the event.
Note that paths, floors, steps and fittings in and around historic buildings may often be uneven and participants are expected to take reasonable care. None of the officers, committee or members of the Church Monuments Society and no leader or organiser of any event, visit, walk or programme promoted by the Society shall be liable in respect of the death of, or injury, damage or loss to, any person or the property of any person, which may occur or arise out of participation in any such event, visit, walk or programme.