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St. Martin Shipton Gorge  

Shipton Gorge owes its name to the Old English 'sceap' and 'tun' meaning 'Sheep farm' and Gorge which comes from the de Gorge family who had fought at the Battle of Hastings and, later when King John lost Normandy, had remained loyal and taken refuge in England. The modern village is a peaceful and very attractive rural settlement surrounded by incredibly beautiful countryside.There has certainly been a church here for a very long time.  The tower is C14, but there was probably a rebuild in the C17 with box pews and galleries.  However, apart from the tower, the whole thing was rebuilt in 1862, using stone locally quarried in the parish and Bath stone, to a design by John Hicks of Dorchester.  This more than doubled the seating of the old building.  There was a big overrun of the budget culminating in a final cost of just short of £1100. The font is early C14 and there are some excellent, beautifully sculpted capitals by Benjamin Grassby (see Powerstock and North Poorton).  Note the colourful organ.This is a delightful little country church, well worth visiting.  The Trust gratefully acknowledges images and text by Robin Adeney ©



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