Some Somerset church towers have particular distinguishing features. The ‘long-panelled’ design of the belfry at Wells S Cuthbert (1) is one such. John Harvey commented that its design was doubtless influenced by the fashion of the W towers of Wells Cathedral and attributed the basic design to William Wynford. Stones had been given for this tower by 1426, with gifts to the tower fund known to have been made shortly afterwards. At 122’ high, it is the third highest parish church tower in Somerset. This style of belfry window is found in a few other towers, such as Evercreech (ND May 2012) and Batcombe (ND April 2010), as well as Wrington (2).

The 134’ tower of Glastonbury S John (3) is another singular effort, dating from the late 15th c., at 157’ 9” second in height only to Taunton S Mary Magdalene (ND Dec 2019). It features pinnacled steps both above the first set-off of buttresses and also at bell-stage level. Its impressive crown may possibly leave it a little top-heavy.


Bibliography: John H. Harvey, ‘The Parish Church Towers of Somerset’, Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society, 1984, pp. 158–173.