St Bartholomew's Ogwell - History

The present church building dates back to the mid 15th century.  It consists of a nave with rood screen between the chancel, a tower with six bells, north aisle with Lady Chapel and a south transcept (the Reynell Chapel).   The church was restored in 1886. In the Lady chapel are stone slabs which covered the graves of two Abbots of Torre Abbey: William Norton 14th Abbot and Richard Cade 18th Abbot who died in May 1400.

In front of the Chancel step is the burial slab of yet another Abbot of Torre Thomas Dyare the last Abbot who died in 1522. It seems likely that these slabs were sold after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. Outside the church there are two halves of an early carved Christian burial stone built into the gables at the east and west end of the north aisle. The inscription is in Latin and reads "CAOCI FILI POPLICI (Caocus Son of Peblig) presumably a local chieftain who was given a Christian burial sometime around the year 500 AD.

In the late 18th century Archdeacon Polwhele described his approach to East Ogwell village in these words, "When we reached the top of the hill that commands a view of Ogwell village, we were struck by a number of agreeable objects - the church lying in the bottom amidst various scattered houses, the tuftings of the hedges, the plough and meadow land between, the little green hills where Ingsdon rises, the dark spots of the woods that add richness to fertility and the gentle undulation of the remoter hills that bound the horizon."

Nearby is the old West Ogwell parish church which ceased to be used for regular worship in 1981. It is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.  The architectural historian Sir Nikolaus Pevsner considered the church to be of exceptional interest in that it is an unaltered building of around 1300 with Georgian fittings. 


Photographs of St Bartholomew's Church, Ogwell



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