All Saints' Church


There has been evidence of a church being on the site of All Saints' Church at the time of the Norman Conquest, but not a trace of it remains.  In 1228 the Treasurer of Wells became Rector of Martock, and he initiated the building of a new and larger church. Of this church only the east windows, the outside walls of what were originally the north & south transepts, and a portion of the west wall survives. The church was probably cruciform in shape, with a central tower. It is possible to identify remains of the earlier church by noting the larger, 13th century stones, whilst the smaller masonry belongs to the rebuilding of the 15th and 16th centuries

The glorious oak angel roof was completed in 1513; there is a switch on the pillar by the pulpit which will illuminate it for a few minutes. The twelve niches high up in the nave are filled with paintings of the twelve apostles. Those with dark backgrounds are thought to be early 17th century, whilst those with more elaborate backgrounds date after the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. There is little doubt that these paintings, and the carved angels in both stone and wood are contemporary effigies of local worthies.

In 1645, Cromwell and his Parliamentary army came to Martock. Legend has it that he and his officers were quartered at Hurst Barton, but the troopers and their horses were lodged in the church. Musket balls have been found embedded in the oak, and it is certain that the coloured glass in the clerestory windows were destroyed at this time.

The church organ is 19th century,  but has recently been restored and repaired.

All Saints has eight bells in the tower, the oldest dating back to the 16th century and they are rung regularly.

A full guide book is available from the bookstall inside the church; there is also a visitors book, which all are encouraged to sign.