St John's Church - Yeovil - "The Lantern of the West"

Information from The Parish Church of Saint John Baptist, Yeovil

A Guide, compiled by Leslie Brooke.

St. John's Church about 1750
Presented by Gerard Phelips Esquire of Montacute House September 1929 At the Community Heritage Access Centre.

Note that the Chantry on the left hand side of St. John's Church is a now a separate building



Yeovil's Parish Church was started by its Rector, Robert Sambourne, some time about 1380.

He was also a Canon of Wells Cathedral. It replaced an earlier church, which had its beginnings in Saxon times. The present St. John's Church that stands today was completed about 1405. The Church was designed by William Wynford, then 'master mason' - architect in charge - at Wells who had already designed Winchester College and was responsible for the south-west tower of Wells Cathedral.

The light and airy appearance of the church, with its large area of window space, earned for it the title 'Lantern of the West'. The Church is built of 'Yeovil Stone' with Hamstone dressings. The building measures 146ft in length; is 50ft wide (80ft including the transepts) and the tower rises to 92.5ft.


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