St Mary Magdelene Church

St Mary Magdelene Church in Somerset

St Mary's church was probably established as part of the reorganisation of Taunton by Henry of Blois, Bishop of Winchester, by 1180, and has been the town church since 1308.  Prior to 1308 the church was dependent on the Augustinian Taunton Priory.  A new chapel was consecrated in 1437.

It is built of sandstone and has a painted interior. Most of the statues and stained glass date from the Victorian restoration.  Within the church are a variety of memorials and tablets including War Memorials for soldiers from Somerset, including the Somerset Light Infantry.

The 163 feet (50 m) tower was built around 1503, financed by the prosperity created by the wool trade,  and was rebuilt in 1858–1862 (in replica) by Sir George Gilbert Scott and Benjamin Ferrey,  using Otter sandstone from Sir Alexander hood's quarry at Williton and some Igneous Diorite from Hestercombe. It is considered to be one of the best examples of a Somerset tower and a 163 feet (50 m) tall landmark.

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