A Brief History of All Saints', Kingston Seymour


All Saints' church is set among mature trees and is almost surrounded by water. It is an idyllic place. The Domesday Book tells us that Alvric was a priest here during the reign of Edward the Confessor. So Christ has been worshipped here for over 1000 years.

The present building dates from about 1300 AD. The only relic of an earlier one is the base of the Font, which is early Norman. The Chancel arch is continuous and multimoulded with an acute angle at the apex. A window in the vestry is of the same period. The Tower with massive rectangular buttresses and broach spire indicates a similar date.

During the latter part of the 15th century, probably during the reign of Edward IV, many alterations were made. About two feet of masonry was added to the Nave walk. This may be clearly seen in the exterior of the north wall. Raising the roof by that amount allowed new windows in the Perpendicular style to be introduced, leaving a building filled with light except on very dull days. The Tower stairway was extended to allow access to a parapet. All Saints' tower and spire are thought to be unique, having a parapet resting on the lower courses of the spire. The Wagon Roof and Arcade date from the same period. It seems likely that the latter was a replacement of an earlier one.

By 1865, the 13th/14th century Chancel had become dilapidated and Faculty was granted to rebuild most of it. Only a little masonry from the old structure remains in the south wall. Much of the roofs of the Nave and South Aisle were renewed. Inside a new Altar replaced the old Communion Table. The delightful Lecturn and Pulpit we see today were made. The old box pews were replaced with the pitch pine ones we continue to sit on. The old two decker pulpit was discarded.

In 1969 the organ was removed from the east end and a new one built at the rear of the Nave. It incorporated some of the old pipes. In 1980 the Chancel was reordered. The choir stalls were removed and a new floor laid and carpeted. The Altar and altar rail were moved forward.

The Tower leans noticeably to the north. There is a sweet toned peel of six, the Tenor weighing just over 17cwt. The three oldest bells were cast by "Roger and George Purdue of Bristol" in 1632. The clock, by "Dell of Bristol", has given good service for almost 140 years.