Curry Rivel, St Andrews Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
In 1251 the de Lorty family gained possession of Curry Rivel manor, and it was Sabina de Lorty who was responsible for the north chapel, the earliest surviving part of the current church. This Sabina was the last of the line of the Revel family from whom the village of Curry Rivel takes its name. The manor of Curry Rivel later passed to the Montacute family, and still later, to the earls of Somerset.
he church is largely Perpendicular in style, built from a mixture of blue lias and Ham Hill limestone. The exterior boasts some wonderful grotesques (not gargoyles, for they do not sport water spouts). In this region of Somerset grotesques are usually called hunky-punks, and Curry Rivel has a wonderful collection, among them figures of a fiddler, a piper, a dog, and a man playing bagpipes. The south porch is a very fine two story structure with a parvise, or priest's room, above the door.
The imposing tower was rebuilt in 1861, with the addition of pinnacles, but only 14 years later one of the pinnacles fell off and crashed through the roof of the south aisle. As a precaution, the remaining three pinnacles were removed.
A tomb thought to be Sabina's grandson, Henry de Lorty II, is also in the chapel. There are also three small carvede effigies, thought to represent de Lorty's three children. A 14th century piscina is set in the south wall, and there is a carving of a priest's head projecting from a window ledge though to date to 1275.
The most imposing monument in St Andrews is to be found in the chancel. This grand tomb is to the memory of Marmaduke Jennings and his son Robert. The former died in 1625 and the latter in 1630. The effigies of the two men are beautifully made, and portray them as troopers wearing jackboots and jerkins. The tomb is surmounted by a slender, coffered canopy arch, adorned with cherubs. There are two old chairs in the sanctuary; one, carved with tulips, foliage, and a fleur-de-lys, dates to 1441.
About Curry Rivel
Address: Butt Lane, Curry Rivel, Somerset, England, TA10 0HQ
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Turn up Water Street from the A378, then carry on around to Butt Lane. Small parking area, and easy on street parking.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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