THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST. ETHELDREDA,
ALSO KNOWN AS ST. AUDRIES, WEST QUANTOXHEAD. TA4 4DS
Our 13th century Church needed repairs in the 1850s but thanks to the huge generosity of the Acland and Acland-Hood families who offered to build anew. The Architect John Norton of London designed and oversaw the work of the new “Early Decorated” style Church that was consecrated on St. Etheldreda's day 17th October 17th 1856 at a cost of £16,000.
It now seems likely that the old Church, Churchyard and buildings of the original village were partly demolished, buried deep under the present Churchyard and the area landscaped to give the attractive parkland setting we see today below the A39.
The exterior of the rather exceptional present Church is built of sandstone from Sampford Brett and the interior of Doulting stone from beyond Shepton Mallet. Its arches are supported on columns of Babbacombe marble. Interesting Minton encaustic tiles display the arms of the Acland-Hood family on the floor of the Chancel tiles. Both the steps leading to the altar and the plinth below it are of plymouth marble. The fine stone corbels and decorations are by Farmer of London.
There are outstanding examples of stained glass windows produced by Kempe, Hardman, O’Connor, Powell and more recently Burlison and Grylls.
The Organ is by J.W.Walker, the Barrel Organ by Bevington and Sons.
The font originating from the medieval Church is possibly pre-Norman. The octagonal marble Victorian font was removed from the base of the tower and sits outside the west door.
The tower has six bells, two of which are dated 1440 and one of 1790 came from the medieval Church. The Church clock is by Dents of London who built “Big Ben.”
A temporary wooden Church was erected whilst the present Church was built. In 1866 it was taken to Stolford where it is still in use.
We are a welcoming Church, capable of seating about 130 persons, we have a morning service most Sundays, we are pet friendly, and very rarely closed.
Wedding receptions can be provided within a few hundred metres at the St.Audries Park Wedding Venue that was once the home of the Acland-Hood family.
West Quantoxhead precisely describes the location of the village from where there is access to the Quantock Hills. Farms and woodland spread out over undulating land below and valleys run down to the Bristol Channel cliffs and beaches.
There are many holiday venues locally. There is a garage, a filling station, an inn and a shop.
Acting Secretary Duncan Stafford 01984 632268 email@example.com
Treasurer Wendy Philipson 01984 631947
Tower Captain Mark Philipson 01984 631947