Religion

Anglican Church

    St Gregory's church was built in the 14th century, with an octagonal tower whose upper stage was added in the 15th century. There is a south porch with a sundial over its outer arch and a statue of St Gregory the Great over its inner arch. The church was restored in 1844 and 1886-8. There is an interesting 17th Century pulpit with 4 carved figures representing faith, hope, charity and justice, and another, unidentified. Pieces of medieval glass can be seen at the top of the west window.

    The five bells have the following inscriptions and dates: 1 'First I call to wake you all' 1628; 2 'God save the Church' 1714; 3 1818; 4 1828; 5 1823. The clock was installed in 1897 in commemoration of Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The money was raised by public subscription and the chime was specially commissioned.

Non-Conformists

    In 1869, the North Curry Baptist Church bought the chapel belonging to the Bible Christians at the bottom of Griggs Hill, but as numbers grew, the Stoke Baptists decided to build their own church. The new chapel building was formally opened in May 1896.

    Two hundred years before, Stoke was an important centre for the Somerset Quakers. In 1684, Joseph Hemborrow, weaver, had applied for quiet enjoyment of a house in Huntham manor, Stoke St Gregory, as a Quaker Meeting House. It was later recorded in the Friends minute book about 'the two great meeting houses of Ilminster and Gregory Stoake'. This was later converted to a dwelling and let to a local family, but its exact location has not been identified. The Quaker burial plot, however is clearly marked on the 'Lords' Map' of 1787.

Church from the NW, 1830s

Copyright 2017 - All enquiries to gregorystoke@aol.com

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