The story of Nunney Church and its roof

709 St Aldhelm St Aldhelm, Bishop of Sherborne, died in Doulting. He founded monasteries in Frome and Bradford on Avon, and other churches in the region.

1178 First parson Nunney Church’s first known parson, Thomas de Tornai, was appointed by Bishop Reginald Fitz Jocelin of Wells.

Norman origins Nunney Church retained evidence of the influence of the Norman period, namely the font and the lancet windows in the chancel.

Saxon cross The shaft of a Saxon cross discovered in Nunney Church in 1901 was stolen in 2003.

1260 Market charter Henry de Montfort obtained a royal charter from King Henry III for a weekly Wednesday market and annual three-day fair in Nunney.

1250 Alterations The church was largely rebuilt. This included the extension of the nave.

1373 Nunney Castle Sir John De la Mere obtains a licence to ‘crennelate his manse at Nunney’ from Edward III. The church is c200 years older

1394 Oldest effigy The oldest surviving effigy in the church is often said to be that of Sir John De la Mere. The style of armour

Chantry priest Sir John De la Mere’s son, Philip, founded a Chantry chapel at the altar of St Katherine “for the good of his soul and

1320 Chapels added

1173-80 Aisles added

1348 Advowson dispute King Edward III wrote to Ralph of Shrewsbury, Bishop of Bath and Wells, on a number of occasions about Nunney Church. The reason

1548 Effigies A description of the De la Mere tomb (now in the window) says that it was surrounded by 300lbs of iron railings, which were

c1475 Tower added The south porch and west tower were added by the Paulet family. The tower is strikingly similar to that of St Mary the

c1548 Chantry dissolved The Chantry was dissolved. The last Chantry priest was awarded a pension of £5 in 1553. Elizabeth I granted the Chantry priest’s mansion

c1575 Barrel vaulted ceiling The original nave roof and barrel vaulted ceiling were built.

1644 ‘A faire neate church’ Richard Symonds, travelling with Charles I’s army, described Nunney Church as a ‘faire neate church’ and included a sketch of Nunney

1645 Siege of Nunney Castle Nunney Castle falls to Parlementarian troops under Colonel Fairfax after a three-day siege. There is no evidence that they used the

1742 Pulpit added The oak pulpit – originally three-tier – was created by Henry Spencer, a builder and carpenter from Frome.

1786 Map A drawing of the church is included on a map of Nunney made for James Theobald, Lord of the Manor.

1797 Riots Riots broke out in Nunney in 1797 and again in 1821 in protest against weaving factories. Child labour was common, poverty wide-spread. Rev. John

1819 Effigies moved The side aisles were extended to create space for Sunday School. Effigies were moved into the St Katharine Chapel.

1825 Repairs The church authorities paid T. Hillier for ‘repairing chancel by order of the Bishop £7 10s 0d’.

1829 More repairs ordered The Archdeacon gave orders for the repair of the church. The side aisles were extended westwards. The effigies were relocated to the

1853 Sacristy added

1860 Earliest photographs The earliest known photos of the interior and exterior of the church were taken.

1864 First fundraising The first fundraising events were held to raise money for repairs to the church.

1869 Living conditions It was reported to the Privy Council: “The conditions of the cottages in Nunney is very bad. There are many very small, and

1871 Chancel rebuilt The chancel was rebuilt at the Rev. Theobald’s own expense, new pews installed, the organ moved and the west gallery demolished.

1871 Chancel rebuilt The chancel was rebuilt at the Rev. Theobald’s own expense, new pews installed, the organ moved and the west gallery demolished.