St John's Church Cutcombe
Our local church is St. John’s Cutcombe. It dates back to the Norman Conquest and was mentioned in the Domesday Book (1086).
The local manor belonged to the Mohuns who also built Dunster Castle. The church and land belonged to the Demesne family and was given to the Bruton Priory early in the 12th century.
Image credit: Leanna Coles
The church as we know it today was probably built soon after 1100AD. It consisted of a small nave and chancel. The church was lit by small round-headed windows and the roof was probably made of thatch. The north aisle, the east window and the right hand window of the north wall were added in the 14th century. In 1573 the beautiful Elizabethan chalice and paten were presented to the church. The royal arms over the chancel were added after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.
In 1713 the east wall of the chancel was rebuilt at the east end. Under this window is a finely carved Reredos, representing the Last Supper. It can now be found in the south aisle. The tower was erected at the west end in the 15th century. Box pews and a double decker pulpit were added in the 18th century and five of the peal of six bells were cast by William Evans of Chepstow.
The south aisle and the south arcade of the nave were added in 1863 and the treble bell was added in 1904. The bells were rehung in 1962 to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11. In 1963 a new stained glass window was placed at the east end of the north aisle. The organ was placed in the church by public subscription in 1965 and in 1966 a new frontal was presented for the altar.
In the late 1990s the church was once again in need of remedial work on the tower, north west wall, the porch, the altarpiece, guttering and replastering. General Beckett set the parish a target of £150,000 to pay for the structural repairs required on the tower etc. This seemed an enormous task but thanks to his very hard work and contacts, grants from English Heritage and other charities and the many fund raising events and donations the target was reached in early 2001. There is more work to be done on the interior of the church and fundraising will be on going for many years to come.