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Withyditch Baptist Chapel

A Grade II Listed Building in Dunkerton, Bath and North East Somerset

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Latitude: 51.3328 / 51°19'58"N

Longitude: -2.4274 / 2°25'38"W

OS Eastings: 370318

OS Northings: 159387

OS Grid: ST703593

Mapcode National: GBR JY.WB3T

Mapcode Global: VH899.WR2N

Entry Name: Withyditch Baptist Chapel

Listing Date: 13 September 2006

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1391753

English Heritage Legacy ID: 496260

Location: Dunkerton and Tunley, Bath and North East Somerset, BA2

County: Bath and North East Somerset

Civil Parish: Dunkerton and Tunley

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

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Listing Text


13-SEP-06 Withyditch
Withyditch Baptist Chapel

Non-Conformist one-roomed chapel, dating from 1839 with vesty of 1874.

MATERIALS: Roughly coursed Bath stone rubble with some minor brick infill. It has a gabled, slate roof with a wooden finial.

PLAN: a rectangular plan oriented north-south, with a small single storey vestry with a pitched roof to its west.

EXTERIOR: The south front has a central arched doorway with a vertical boarded door with two round arched windows with dressed Bath stone surrounds. The east and west elevations have two similar round arched windows, with service hatches on basement level with vertical boarded doors. On the west elevation is a vertical line of brick infill, probably the line of a former flue to a stove in the chapel. The two round arched windows to the north have been replaced with uPVC copies, and below at basement level, is a blocked doorway, formerly leading into the chapel.

INTERIOR: The interior layout probably dates from the 1870s re-using its early C19 fixtures. The pulpit stands at the north end, probably with later alterations, with a door to its left leading to the vestry. The timber pews have recessed panelling to the pew ends, with alternating brass and cast iron umbrella holders. At the north-east side of the chapel, under the floor boards, is a baptismal font for full immersion (early C19). Opposite, a gap within the rows of pews probably accommodated a former stove. At its south end is a raised gallery (early C19) fronted in timber with raised beading, resting on two square timber clad columns, accessed via a dogleg stair with rounded newel posts, stick balusters and swept rail. The entrance lobby is below the raised gallery. Along the walls are a series of identical decorative wrought iron brackets with hooks for lighting. The vestry room was heated with a small fireplace (now removed).

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: The chapel plot is enclosed by stone rubble retaining walls, probably dating from circa 1839, and includes a small burial ground at its north with a number of C19 grave headstones (not of national importance) and a small rubble stone shelter with a pitched slate roof. The burial ground is entered via steps running along the north side of the chapel (formerly covered with an arched entrance) in which a tombstone is set marking the grave of Mr Ricket, who was Minister at Withyditch from 1832 to 1852.

HISTORY: Withyditch Chapel was erected and opened in 1839, and replaced an earlier chapel built in 1828 that, according to the Baptist Magazine of 1840, had become too small for the growing congregation and was in a decayed state. In 1874 a vestry was added to the west and the interior of the chapel was altered re-using the early C19 fixtures. According to the Chapel's Guide (1990s), the chapel's orientation was to the east, with galleries along three sides, accessed via a door in the north wall.

`Withyditch Baptist Chapel Dunkerton, nr Bath', guidebook printed in the late 1990s
C Stells, Inventory of Nonconformist Chapels in South-West England, RCHME, 1991, p171

Withyditch Chapel, dating from 1839, in the wider context of rural chapels within the West of England, is a fairly rare survival of a largely unaltered baptist chapel. Its exterior displays humble but elegant Classical architectural detailing, clearly expressing the Non-Conformist culture and tradition. Despite alterations of the 1870s, the interior carpentry displays good quality craftsmanship and its documented internal re-ordering has not affected its architectural interest. Withyditch Chapel is sited in a prominent position, within the small hamlet of Withyditch and the wider rural landscape setting of the Cam Valley and merits designation on a national level.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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