Mells, St Andrew's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Norman tub font, Asquith and Horner memorials
As you enter the churchyard look beside the path for a memorial to poet Siegfried Sassoon.
The nave and clerestoried aisles make the interior spacious and filled with light, even on a dull day.
There are further memorials to the Horner family throughout church. A table tomb in the Lady Chapel also acts as a cover for the Horner family vault.
Opposite the Lyttleton memorial is a memorial to Raymond Asquith, the son of the Prime Minister Sir Herbert Asquith, who died in WWI. The inscription is carved over a laurel wreath designed by Lutyens. A sobering reminder of Asquith's death is a wooden cross on the wall of the Lady Chapel. The cross was brought back from France after Asquith's death while leading his men at the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916.
In the south aisle is a brass plaque to the Fussell family, dated 1826. Beside it is a rather lovely tapestry designed by Burne-Jones and stitched by Lady Frances Horner. Beside the tapestry is one of the oldest objects in the church, a mid-17th century Italian reading desk with carved Biblical figures including King David paying his harp.
Most of the benches are 19th century, though a few Jacobean benches remain. Other 17th century pieces of benches have been reused as panelling. Other features include a brass chandelier of 1721 in the chancel, a Norman tub font, and fragments of medieval stained glass in the north aisle windows. Most of the window glass was made during the 1840s when the Horwood brothers established a craft school in the rectory. The Victorian pew ends were also made at the craft school.The marble altar was brought from India by the Horners. Nearby is a late 17th century wall monument to the three daughters of George Horner.
St Andrews is a delightful church. The setting, surrounded by the manor and medieval buildings of New Street, is picture perfect, and the combination of the 15th century tower and porch is a thing of beauty. It is rare that I'm so fascinated by Victorian and 20th century memorials as I was at Mells; the Horner and Asquith monuments are fascinating, and give a real insight into more modern history.
Address: 6 New Street, Mells, Somerset, England, BA113PW
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: At the end of New Street. Park on Selwood Street (the main road). Usually open daylight hours.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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Leigh on Mendip, St Giles Church - 2.5 miles (Historic Church)
Holcombe Old Church - 3.6 miles (Historic Church)
Stoney Littleton Long Barrow - 5 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Longleat - 6.3 miles (Historic House)
Batcombe, Blessed Virgin Mary Church - 6.8 miles (Historic Church)
Farleigh Hungerford Castle - 7 miles (Castle)
Nearest Accommodation to Mells: