All Saints' Church Martock
The Church Building
The Parish Church of All Saints’ has been a place of worship for over 800 years. Morning, noon and evening prayers are still said in it.
The present building dates from the 13th century after the then Bishop of Bath retrieved it from the Abbot of Mont St. Michel in Normandy. (Martock’s Church, lands and tithes were given to him by William the Conqueror after the Battle of Hastings.) Since then the church has been constantly cared for, enlarged, and served by its parishioners.
The tower, originally placed at the central crossing, was moved for reasons of safety to its present position at the west end of the nave. A shield in the vestry still records that of the magnificent “angel” roof completed in 1513.
Losses have been the heraldic glass in the clerestory, thanks to Cromwell’s snipers in 1645, and the beautiful rood screen and loft sold in the 18th century to pay for much-needed repairs.
All Saints’ has a uniquely complete depiction of all twelve apostles in the clerestory niches. Its services are accompanied by a splendid organ rebuilt in 1994. Its peal of eight bells was repaired and rehung in 2009.
In July 1645 the church was used as a billet and damaged by the troops of Oliver Cromwell after a battle at Bridgwater, this included the removal of the statues of saints from niches in the clerestory.
The church was restored by Benjamin Ferrey who was architect to the Diocese of Bath and Wells from 1841 until his death, and also in 1883–84 by Ewan Christian when a new pulpit was installed. The interior includes a stucco plaster altar and an organ which was previously in Wells Cathedral.