Lewcombe (St. James)

Lewcombe Church

The Church of St James, Lewcombe (East Chelborough), Dorset

A small church, well off the beaten-track, between Halstock and Melbury Osmond. The RCHM volume on West Dorset notes that the building stands in the extreme NW angle of the parish of East Chelborough, and that it is built of local rubble with some ashlar and dressings of the same material. Newman and Pevsner comment that the building "seems to be of the early C16 and early C18." Their description demonstrates that they are not so sure about the prominent circular east window:

W front with doorway and a circular window over. Bell-turret on the top. That is C18. Side windows straight-headed and with uncusped lights. That is C16. But what is one to make of the E window? It is large and circular and has tracery of Second Pointed character: two interlocked triangles and daggers and trefoils in their interstices. Ther glass records a death in 1893. If the tracery is of that date, what was it like in the C18? The size of the circle is C18. That is proved by the ALTAR SURROUND, handsomely panelled, and so large a circle can hardly have been undivided.

Monica Hutchings comments that the old rectory house was known as Lewcombe, and that this was the old name for the parish.


Lewcombe Church

The Church of St James, Lewcombe (East Chelborough), Dorset: the approach to the west door.

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Maintained by Michael Day, Last updated: 18 October 2010.