Upton Tower, St James Church
Upton Tower, St James Church
A landmark for visitors to Exmoor, Upton Tower is the only remaining part of a 14th century church. The church fell out of use in the Victorian period when a new church was built nearby, and the body of the old building was eventually pulled down, leaving only the tower, sometimes called Upton Old Church.

The tower stands beside a cluster of farm buildings and overlooks Wimbleball Lake. The tower arch features lovely tracery.

The only part of the body of the church remaining are short sections of the nave and chancel walls, reaching two feet high. Inside the tower is a painted Decalogue board and a painted inscription recordding the addition of seating to the church in 1793.

A small 19th century buttress supports the south-east angle of the tower, but it was built without any additional support. The church bells are no longer used and have been dispersed to other churches, including one as far away as New South Wales in Australia.

The tower is constructed of local rubble stone and rises in three stages, with a string course between each stage. At the top is a peculiar parate with gabled corners. There are bell openings on all sides, but only the south side is unblocked. There is another panel, also illegible, on the inner wall of the blocked west window.

On the south front of the tower is a very worn tablet of Ham Hill stone, but the inscription is illegible.

The church tower is now cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust but unfortunately there is no access to the interior. The tower stands at the end of a long lane off the B3190 west of Upton village.