North Somerset Church Crawl, 17th June

Visits to three fine churches in North Somerset led by Andrew Foyle

We are privileged to have persuaded Andrew Foyle to lead this crawl.  Andrew is the author of two volumes in the Pevsner Buildings of England series: Somerset North and Bristol (2011) and Bristol City (2004). He studied architectural history at the University of Bristol and the Courtauld Institute of Art, winning the Hawksmoor Medal in 1998. Andrew now works as a freelance architectural historian based in North Somerset.

St Peter, Camerton (BA2 0PU)

We begin at 2.00 pm at the church of St Peter, Camerton, a large part of which dates from 1638, although the font is 300 years older and the first recorded vicar was in 1237.  Alongside the chancel is the Carew chapel containing an impressive collection of Carew tombs dating from that time (17/18 century) including recumbent effigies and kneeling children.  Look out for the stone carvings of a rhinoceros and an elephant.  During the Victorian era the church was enlarged and beautified, many fittings dating from 1891.92 including the rood screen

St Luke & St Andrew, Priston (BA2 9EF)

We then go on to St Luke & St Andrew, Priston getting there by 3.15 pm. On the face of it, a fine church of Norman origins with Norman arches beneath a central tower.  First recorded vicar in 1207 and south door from 1350-1400.  However, Pevsner says “All is confused by an illiterate Neo-Norman restoration” in 1860/61. Much original work was retooled.  Our leader will be able to elaborate.  Some striking modern stained glass.  A fine weathercock “1813, very big at 5 ft” in gold.

St Julian, Wellow (BA2 8PU)

We then go on to St Julian, Wellow getting there by 4.30 pm.  Originally built in 1372, this magnificent church remains remarkably unaltered since that time.  Externally, the “robust west tower is dominant” (Pevsner) and inside it is a “light and noble place aglow with bright windows” (Arthur Mee) and a high level clerestory.  The 500+ year old nave roof is supported on 40 wood and stone angels with hundreds of bosses.  14th century benches with finely carved ends and poppyheads.  Rood screen painted and gilded.  Various effigies including a series of 12 “excellent small carved heads” (Mee).

Toilet facilities are available at all three churches.  Tea will be served at Wellow.  At Camerton there is a car park down the church drive alongside the Vicarage.  On-street parking at the other two churches.

Crawl organised by William Newsom              01963 441533