Stanton Prior

Number of Burials: 
560 (1572-1991)

From the Bath Chronicle of Thu 21 Oct 1869 p7:

On Sunday, Oct. 10, the church of St. Lawrence, Stanton Prior, was re-opened, after having been closed for four months, during which time it has been thoroughly restored. At morning service there was a celebration of the Holy Communion, the sermon being preached by the Rector, the Rev. W. S. Browne. In the afternoon the Rev. J. Wood, Minister of Christ Church, Bath, delivered an impressive discourse to a full and attentive congregation. The collections in aid of the restoration fund amounted to £17 15s. The work has been carried out, under the supervision of Mr. C. E. Davis, by Messrs. R. Mann, Hunt, and Gregory. The church fitted with open sittings for 90 persons, which is ample accommodation for the small population. The chancel is handsomely paved with encaustic tiles, which form also the characteristic feature of the reredos. . . .

The church has been restored without attempt at display or extravagance, and is good keeping with the simplicity of the original edifice and the requirements of the proper celebration of our services. A simple stone pulpit is the nave of similar character, with an oak lectern The seats are open and the font is raised upon steps at the entrance.

The earliest register dates from 1572. On the first page is written:

Stanton Prior

Regyster Booke

Anno dni 1572, tempore Johannes

Prymer Rectoris ibidem

At the end of this register under a title ‘Briefes’ is a list of collections for various causes. One dated 10 Aug 1670 was for ‘captured seamen by the Turkes’ with 10s. 5d. collected. Raids by Barbary pirates on the southern coast of England to capture slaves was prevalent in the mid-1600s. A petition to King Charles I in 1641 referred to ‘the violence of the Turkish pirates . . . thousands of His Majesty's subjects have been taken by them, and do still remain in miserable slavery’. Despite various treaties, it was only in 1816 that an attack by the British and Dutch on Algiers led to the freeing of 3,000 Christian slaves and the reduction in this activity.

The Revd Ethelbert Horne, of Downside Abbey (a noted authority in “scratch dials”) has stated that the one on the Church of Stanton Prior is one of the best in Somerset. 


Somerset Heritage Centre:

  • D/P/sta.p 2/1/1 1572-1764
  • D/P/sta.p 2/1/2 1764-1812
  • D/P/sta.p 2/1/6 1813-1991

The burial register 1764-1812 also includes an index to burials from the previous register but this is limited to names and years. In this register the burials start in 1777. There is no indication why there is a gap between 1754-1777.

Coverage in Index: