Within the parish of Chipstable with Raddington we have two Churches and one Church and Community Hall, one church is in Chipstable, the other is in Raddington, they are unique and very different charm. They are for the most part old and weather-beaten, going back well nigh to Saxon times, both have fine towers and Chipstable has a grand peals of bells. Our Church and Community Hall is located in Waterrow at the gateway to Chipstable. For more information on the activities within the parish check out their website.
All Saints - Chipstable
The Church is delightfully situated at the centre of the peaceful village of Chipstable, set among green hilly pasture and woodland combes. The first Rector mentioned (see succession of Priests in the Parish) is "Stephen, Parson of Cyppestable" in 1248. However, he was by no means the first as the Doomsday Book notes a Church at Cipestable in the time of King Edward.
The old nave and the present tower probably date from around 1239; the external evidence furnished by the tower points to this date with the capitals of the three-bay arcade with their figures of angels. The present Nave of the Church (rebuilt in 1869 in the Geometrical style) stands precisely where the old Nave Stood, and is thus practically a reproduction of it. The Tower and two of the main pillars were retained, and the form of the Church then, as now, was twin aisle. The beautifully carved oak bench ends (date around 1530) were also retained.
Both the old and the newer parts of the Church are in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles. In the rebuilding of the Twin Aisle, Chancel and Porch, local building stone was supplemented by re-using material from the old Church. The ringing chamber with its handsome oak front was built in the 1990’s. The Church has 6 bells with a tenor of 7 hundredweight.
St Michael's - Raddington
"Balanced on the top of a small round hill looking like a picture in a fairy tale"
Such a situation is significant -- as is the dedication itself to the saint, Michael. Two things can be deduced.
- That this ancient sacred site was formerly a pagan one; all st. Michael's sites are likely to have been such since he, it is believed was the angel who threw the Devil out of Heaven. Anglo-Saxons called him when consecrating pagan sites for Christianity.
- That as is claimed for many if not all St. Michael's Churches, it lies directly on a Ley line -- one of those mysterious lines of energy that are believed to radiate outwards from that most hallowed of English sites -- Glastonbury. All such churches are on Tor sites overlooking farm lands.
The origins of this Church could go back as far as King Alfred's time, or beyond. It's style is certainly early English with just a west tower, a nave with south porch and a chancel. There is one feature extant that could lend authenticity to such an early dating -- the stoup for Holy Water inside the porch. Such stoups were common in very early churches, went out of fashion in medieval times and returned only in the 16th century.
Some items to note when visting the church
- The Tower is 13th century restored in 1695, roughcast rendered in 20th century.
- The windows are 14th/15th century.
- The Main Door is 14th century and is well preserved with beautiful iron hinges and back-plates .
- The bells are 14th/ early 15th century and were renovated and re-hung 1986.
- You can see evidence of medieval wall painting beneath the plaster in the nave.
- The Rood Screen is very old and a gem, it bears on it some of the very finest naturalistic foliage carving executed undoubtedly by the same carver as at Uffcombe.
The ravages of time and reconstructions of dubious quality have left their marks, but despite this it retains its medieval character and great charm.
Waterrow Church and Community Hall
Waterrow is a pretty little hamlet on the Taunton to Barnstable road on the southern edge of the Brendon hills in the parish of Chipstable, and lies about a mile south of that village.It was known for many centuries as East and West Skirdal until the early 20th century. From the latter half of the 18th century, the name Waterrue, then Waterrow crept in, and for over a century both old and new names were in use.
The original name is taken from the Old Norse "Skir", meaning clear, bright, pure, referring to the river and the Saxon "Dael", a valley. The old name of the hamlet lives on in the names of two houses locally, Skirdale and East Skirdale.
In the 19th century, Waterrow was bigger than it's neighbour Chipstable, and most of the inhabitants of the parish lived in the lower lands around Waterrow. A Church Hall was built in 1908 for services and social events to avoid the mile and a half climb to the church at Chipstable. Both the Church of England and the Congregationalists held 'Cottage Meetings' in the 'Hall' until the building of the 'Bethel Chapel (since closed) in 1890.
The building of a Church Hall for Waterrow was undertaken in 1906 at a cost of £350 (which included furniture) and completed in 1908. A most admirable site, just off the main road, convenient and central, was generously given by Thomas Davys, Esq., of Trowell, and conveyed to the Trustees viz. :--Messrs. A Capel, W H Pool. J Surridge, T J Stone, and the Rector. The land conveyed was about 12 perches, and the conveyance was made on 11th October 1907
The Church & Community Hall at Waterrow -- "is serving a most useful and valuable purpose, is utilised for all manner of good objects, and is a boom to the whole Parish as a Hall." from 'Chipstable a Brief Sketch of the Parish and Church' 1919
The Hall is just as valuable today to the people of Waterrow, Chipstable and Raddington, as has been the case over the100 years since its conception. It has also recently been extended with new kitchen, storage area and disabled toilets. An excellent venue for social events within the village and for private functions it is hoped the hall will serve the community for another 100 years and more!
Succession of Priests incumbent in the Parish
1248 Bro. Stephen
1297 Bro. Adam
1305 Richard de Clapton
1327 John de la Mere
1335 Will Wyman
1346 William Grudeston
1355 Henry Danz
1361 Richard Fond
1370 William Spelisbury
1382 William Fewery
1409 Henry Hilacre
1419 John Storthwaite
1425 John Dawney
1439 John Crous
1469 George Donne
1470 Richard Miryman
1505 Thomas Rowerton
discontinuity following dissolution of the monasteries
1597 Nick Brown
1628 Tobias Davies
1670 John Gibbs
1695 Robert Wyatt
1707 Stephen Pearse
1751 Simon Richards
Succeeded by his son & grandson
1819 Charles Templar
1853 Walter Dare
1857 William Nicholetts
1901 Harry Norman
1905 John Rees
1908 John M Baldwin
1913 Thomas Cameron
1924 Frank Herth
1927 Maurice Ham
1935 Verner Stewart
1945 Frank Brimson
1950 Henry Haddon
1956 Jonah Pope
1960 John Painter
1964 Arthur Stevens
1967 John Fowler
1971 Alan Cox
Chipstable & Raddington united & linked with Huish & Clatworthy
1977 Michael Balchin
1988 Jerry Bird
1993 Chris. Marshall
The Hill parishes made part of the Benefice of Wiveliscombe
1997 Peter East
1998 Graham Owen