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The Church of St Mary in Ilminster, Somerset, England, dates from the 15th century and has been designated as a Grade I listed building.[1]

Church of St Mary
Elaborately ornamented stone building with square tower.
LocationIlminster, Somerset, England
Coordinates50°55′38″N 2°54′41″W / 50.92722°N 2.91139°W / 50.92722; -2.91139Coordinates: 50°55′38″N 2°54′41″W / 50.92722°N 2.91139°W / 50.92722; -2.91139
Built15th century
Listed Building – Grade I
Designated23 September 1950[1]
Reference no.383479
St Mary's Church, Ilminster is located in Somerset
St Mary's Church, Ilminster
Location of Church of St Mary in Somerset

Ilminster takes its name from the River Isle and its large church of St Mary, which is known as The Minster. The 15th-century Hamstone building was refurbished in 1825 by William Burgess and the chancel restored in 1883. Further restoration took place in 1887–1889 and 1902.

Among the principal features are the Wadham tombs; those of Sir William Wadham of Merryfield and Edge and of his mother, dated 1452, and Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham, 1609 and 1618, co-founders of Wadham College, Oxford.

The tower, which was built in the first quarter of the 16th century,[2] rises two storeys above the nave. It has three bays, with a stair turret to the north-west corner. The bays are articulated by slender buttresses with crocketed finials above the castellated parapet. Each bay on both stages contains a tall two-light mullioned-and-transomed window with tracery. The lights to the top are filled with pierced stonework; those to the base are solid. The stair turret has string courses coinciding with those on the tower, and a spirelet with a weathervane. It contains a ring of 8 bells, with the 4th and 6th of the ring dating from 1611 and 1614 respectively (cast by George Purdue), the 5th dating from 1732 cast by Thomas I. Bilbie, and the tenor from 1790 cast by William Bilbie of the Bilbie family.[3][4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Parish Church of St Mary". English Heritage. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
  2. ^ Poyntz Wright, Peter (1981). The Parish Church Towers of Somerset, Their construction, craftsmanship and chronology 1350–1550. Avebury Publishing Company. ISBN 0-86127-502-0.
  3. ^ Moore, James; Rice, Roy; Hucker, Ernest (1995). Bilbie and the Chew Valley clock makers. The authors. ISBN 0-9526702-0-8.
  4. ^ "Ilminster-Blessed Virgin Mary". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. 23 December 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2017.

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