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The tower alone is reason enough to visit this church, a distinctive landmark high in the Mendips. It is one of the tallest Somerset towers and one of the finest, and its date of 1541 also makes it one of the last to be built before the Reformation. The church to which it was added is much older – look for Norman work in the north door and in the east wall of the nave and chancel arch. People in trouble could use the ‘frith stool’ or sanctuary seat, built into the wall under a window on the north side of the chancel. It entitled them to claim the protection of the church.

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Quality Assured Visitor Attraction
St Mary Magdalene
Chewton Mendip

Features

About The area

Discover Somerset

Somerset means ‘summer pastures’ – appropriate given that so much of this county remains rural and unspoiled. Ever popular areas to visit are the limestone and red sandstone Mendip Hills rising to over 1,000 feet, and by complete contrast, to the south and southwest, the flat landscape of the Somerset Levels. Descend to the Somerset Levels, an evocative lowland landscape that was the setting for the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685. In the depths of winter this is a desolate place and famously prone to extensive flooding. There is also a palpable sense of the distant past among these fields and scattered communities. It is claimed that Alfred the Great retreated here after his defeat by the Danes.

Away from the flat country are the Quantocks, once the haunt of poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. The Quantocks are noted for their gentle slopes, heather-covered moorland expanses and red deer. From the summit, the Bristol Channel is visible where it meets the Severn Estuary. So much of this hilly landscape has a timeless quality about it and large areas have hardly changed since Coleridge and Wordsworth’s day.

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