HATCH BEAUCHAMP CHURCH
THE CHURCH as it stands today is mainly late
mcdieval with some 19th century additions in matching style. It
is built for the most part of blue has stone. The Patent Rolls of
1206 establish that an earlier church existed at the close of the
I2th century There is no record of the date of this earlier
church but it was certainly standing on the same site during the
THE AGE OF THE PRESENT CHURCH
The tower, the nave and the north aisle are
late I5th/early 16th century. The chancel is earlier, but many
alterations have been made to it through the ages. The chancel
arch is 19th century.
19th CENTURY ADDITIONS AND RESTORATIONS
(I) The north aisle of the chancel is early
19th century. The Faculty for erecting this "Private
Pew" by H. P. Collins Esq. is dated July 6th 1825, and this
extension to the church must have been carried out very soon
thereafter (see page 10).
(2) The south aisle and the transept-like vestrty were added in 1834. A board will be found in the vestry describing these enlargements to the church.
(3) 1867 Restorations. From a contemporary account quoted in Edward Jeboult's "West Somerset" (published 1873) "The church of Hatch Beauchamp as it stood a year or two ago was in a very ruinous condition. It was built of Curry Mallet stone which in many parts was literally crumbling away." According to Jeboult the following restoration work was done: The coat of rough-cast which covered the whole of the walls was taken off, all repairs were effected with "Langport stone", and the whole carefully pointed. The buttresses of the tower were removed and rebuilt, and the parapets and pinnacles taken down and refixed. The old chancel arch with its zig-zag ornamentation indicating a Norman date was replaced by the present chancel arch which was erected to the east of the old arch. This has resulted in the nave being extended slightly eastwards at the expense of the chancel. To effect this work the small pointed arch of the arcade of the south aisle, and the small eastern arch of the north arcade had to be inserted. Finally a1 singer's gallery in the lower part of the tower was removed, thus opening the tower and the western window to the church. These restorations were done under the direction of George Gilbert Scott, and they cost £1,500. Towards this the parish paid by rate £200, and the remainder was by subscription, W. H. P. Gore Langton Esq. bearing the larger share.
(Note: In the old church guide the north and south aisles are both dated as 1530. The south aisle was definitely added in 1834 because inter a/ia the 1832 Buckler drawing shows no south aisle whilst the 1842 drawing shows both the south aisle and the transept-like vestry. The old guide also states that the north aisle of the chancel was added in 1867 when the correct date is as stated above.)
Mr. Peter Poyntz Wright, an Authority on
Somerset church towers, has classified the Hatch Beauchamp tower
as belonging to the "West Somerset generation", and as
having been built by the masons responsible for the towers of
this great period of architecture, which began with Taunton St.
James and Bishops Lydeard, and ended with the beautiful tower of
Huish Episcopi. The Huish Episcopi tower is depicted on the 9p
stamp issued in June.1972. From a study of the pinnacle
arrangement the merlons (upright parts of the battlement). The
parapet, and tower belfry; windows, and comparing these features
with other Somerset towers, the lineage and date of the Hatch
Beauchamp tower can be established very accurately. Mr. Poyntz
Wright gives the date as cira 1493, with a tolerance of plus or
minus five years.
The Pinnacle Arrangement. This is a perfect example of the fully developed West Somerset pinnacle plan. It consists of a cluster of five pinnacles at each corner, made up of a large pinnacle set square with the tower plan and surrounded by four subsidiaries, each one attached lightly to each corner of the main shaft. In the centre of each face is a single diagonally set pinnacle rising through the central merlon.
The.Merlons and parapet. The merlons are each pierced with a single arch, and the parapet itself is pierced with quatrefoils with a shield in the centre of each quatrefoil.
The Belfry Windows are of the wide three light type, and over each window are fairly heavy mouldings, or dripstones, which run sideways into each buttress. The two mullions dividing the three lights run the full length of the window from top to bottom. This indicates a late date. Except in the case of the two-light window on the north side, the secondary tracery in the lights of the belfry windows has no mouldings, and may be regarded as never having been completed.
The Tower Buttresses. To support the tower diagonal buttresses are used, and not angle buttresses, which are found on all other West Somerset towers. An interesting feature is that the buttresses, which finish in the belfry stage, support small detached shafts which rise upwards to form the outside subsidiary pinnacles of each corner cluster. These shafts run up clear of the corner of the tower, and are crossed by grotesques at upper string course level.
The Staircase Turret is semi-octagonal and is embattlemented with pinnacles at each angle and is capped by a spirelet.
The West Doorway consisting of a 15th century arch under a square head has no carving on the spandrels. The work is therefore incomplete.
The West Window above the west door has four cinquefoiled ogee headed lights with trefoiled headed tracery above.
The West Porch. There are three surviving springers inside the tower which were for vaulting which was never completed. Instead the tower porch has a wooden ceiling. In Collinson's "History of Somerset" the author writes: "The singers' gallery is placed in the belfry, and behind it is the front of an organ." It was removed in 1867. The glass in the west window is 19th century and is in memory of Lydia King Raban.
The Tower Arch or West Arch 0f the Nave has
small moulded capitals to the shafts and is 15th century in
The nave has three bays on each side plus the two narrow arches at the eastern end which were inserted in 1867 when the old chancel arch was replaced by a new one. The three arches of the northern arcade are late medieval. The arcades have depressed arches, clustered pillars with wreathed capitals, and normal arch mouldings. The capitals are nearly vertical in section and are slightly hollowed on each side. The southern arcade (3 arches) was constructed in 1834 when the south aisle was added. It matches the northern arcade except that the capitals are fully vertical.
The waggon roof with only a single purlin may date from the early 17th century. New timbers can be seen at the east end where the 1867 reconstruction was done.
The Pulpit is of Caen stone and is 19th century
The Chancel Arch is the work of Sir George Gilbert Scott and was built in 1867
The Dove on the lectern is in memory of Rear Admiral Hugh Webb Faulkner, C.B., C.B.E., D S.O., D.L.
THE NORTH AISLE OF THE NAVE
The West window has three lights with ogee cinquefoiled heads and tracery divided into three divisions by mullions carried up direct to the arch, the tracery consisting of four trefoiled lights. The splays of the window have trefoil headed stone panels. The window has been heavily restored. The glass in the window is 19th century in memory of Lt. Colonel W. Raban and his son Lieut. W. G. Raban (see page 12).
The oak screen at the west end of the aisle seems to be made from 17th century carved pulpit paneling.
The North Door-way. It is suggested that this narrow doorway, now blocked up, was the entrance to the family pew of the Lord of the Manor. which was in the north aisle of the nave.
The Three North Window's all have three lights with ogee trefoiled heads. The spandrels of the windows are richly carved with foliage. Immediately above the windows are flat wooden Lintels, giving an unusual effect Medieval glass. In the tracery lights of these windows are some interesting fragments of medieval glass. In the east most window is a figure of the Virgin Mary from an Annunciation scene. The other figure represents St. Paul. The middle window contains fragments of glass including the head of a male saint in profile. The westernmost window contains a male head high up in the tracery, and below, portions of two figures of angels of suns, and of canopy work. The date of the glass is circa 1500 A.D.
The Aisle Roof is of low pitch with moulded beams forming panels which are divided and subdivided by lesser ribs without bosses It is largely late medieval
The Eastern Arch leading into the north aisle of the chancel was built soon after 1825-
THE SOUTH AISLE
The south aisle was added in 1834.
The Windows. The two south windows and the west window are very similar to the west window of the north aisle (for description see above).
The glass in the west window is 19th century and the work or A. Gibbs. It is in memory of Ellen, widow of Lt. Colonel W. Raban.
The roof is of similar construction to the roof of the north aisle.
The font is octagonal, with quatrefoiled panels, and has narrow trefoil headed panels on the shaft. It is probably of the 15th century. The Arch leading into the south transept vestry is 19th century
Brigadier Hamilton Gault Bronze (1882-1958). in the floor of the south aisle is a bronze tablet in memory of Brigadier A. Hamilton Gault, D.S.O., E.D, C.D. (see Historical Note page II).
The South Doorway viewed from the porch has a depressed pointed arch under a square head with the date 1530 on a shield in one of the spandrels. The other spandrel -has a floral device. This doorway was probably the entrance to the nave and was moved to its present position when the south aisle was added.
List of Rectors. Inside the church near the south door is a list of Rectors going back to the year 1311. There is an earlier record of a rector dated 1206.
The Chancel Arch was built in 1867. The North Arch leading into the north aisle was built soon after 1825.
The waggon roof has a central purlin and two lateral ones. At fifteen points where the purlins and rafters cross are bosses in the form of flowers. The bosses and purlins are brightly painted.
The East window with three cinquefoiled headed lights is early 15th century. The glass is 19th century.
The Altar and Reredos are 19th century and so are the floor tiles near the altar. The Kneelers were embroidered by the ladies of Hatch Beauchamp in the 1960's.
The South window near the west end was formerly an outside window. It is rather sharply pointed and has two cinquefoiled ogee headed lights. It is in the 15th century style. The mullion has been removed because of the addition of the south transept where the organ is now situated. The North window near the east end is similar in style and was formerly thought to be a 15th century window heavily restored. However, a plan of the church by George Gilbert Scott shows no window in this position and it must therefore be a 19th century window put in after 1867.
The aumbry or credence below is also 19th century, and so is the Piscina in the south wall near the east end. The Door in the south wall with a pointed arch formerly led to the outside. It is the oldest architectural feature of the church and is 14th century or possibly earlier. The wall through which it leads is 3 feet 3 inches thick, which could indicate a 13th century date for the masonry
The Painting is thus described by Collinson in his "history of Somerset" (1791): "In the Chancel over the altar is a tine painting of Our Saviour just taken down from the cross. This painting is 8 ft. by 9' 6"., in a gilt frame, and above is painted a crimson festoon curtain, fringed with gold, which fills up the whole end wall." The painting is in the Flemish 17th century style. The identity of the artist has not been satisfactorily established. The picture was moved to its present position in the 19th century.
The Chard Memorial window is the large three-light window on the south side of the chancel near the altar. It was installed in 1899 replacing an earlier window and it is in memory of Colonel J. R. M. Chard, v.c. (See Historical Note page 12)
The Sedilia below was erected at the same time as the window.
NORTH AISLE OF CHANCEL
The faculty for building this 'Family Pew' by 11. P. Collins is dated July 6th 1825. This extension to the church must have been done soon after this date, and almost certainly before 1827, when H. P. Collins was High Sheriff (see Historical Note page 10).
The two arches, the one leading into the north aisle of the nave and the other into the chancel are both early 19th century. The east window of this aisle was formerly the east window of the north aisle of the nave, and was moved to its present position when the "family pew" was built. The north window is early 19th century and is a copy of the north windows of the north aisle of the nave. The glass in the north window is in memory of W. H. P. Gore Langton, and the glass in the east window is in memory of Lady Anna Eliza Mary Gore Langton .
THE SOUTH TRANSEPT
This Vestry room was added to the chancel in 1834. It has the old chancel doorway leading into it, and a new doorway to the outside in its east wall. It has a gable and a south window modelled on the windows of the south aisle but greater in height. The organ by Osmond of Taunton is in memory of Mr. I. T. Johnston, a churchwarden, who died in 1936. The Board in the vestry describing the enlargement of the church in 1834 should be noted.
There are some remarkable bench-ends and seat-backs with vigorous and unusual carving. Approximately one third are late medieval, and the rest were carved in the 19th century by Samuel Blackmore, a member of the congregation. In the Churchwardens' accounts of 1839/40 it is recorded that a sum of £35.1 8.343-d was paid to Mr. Samuel Blackmore "for repewing part of the church and setting up the oak seats." Samuel Blackmore died in 1886, aged 86. His grave is in the churchyard. Amongst the subjects illustrated on the bench-ends are St. John the Baptist, St. George and the Dragon, and the Resurrection. There are also three bench-ends depicting cocks fighting.
The 18th century oak chest with plain panels should be noted.
There are five bells viz: (I) Treble Bell 1951 by Mears and Stainbank,
Whitechapel Bell Foundry Ltd; (2) Secoirci Bell by Thos. Purdue of Closworth 1681: (3) Third Bell by Ceo. Purdue of Taunton 1622/3:
(4) Fourth Bell Pre-Reformation, Exeter Foundry; (5) Tenor Bell by Thos. Bilbie ofCullompton 1804. The treble bell was paid for by voluntary subscription which was organised by Mr. William Mills. He died in 1968, having been a member of the choir for 72 years. The bell has engraved upon it 'All Safe Rome" in gratitude for all the men of the village having returned home alive from the 1939-45 war. In the 1914-18 war 12 men of the village were killed. Their names are recorded on the Cross in the Lady Alice Gore Langton Memorial Field (see page II).
THE CHURCH PLATE
This consists of: (1) Silver 9" Communion Paten 1839; (2) Silver Communion Flagon 1790. This is made from a Hester Bateman lidded tankard to which has been added a lip and abase; (3) Silver 8 Tazza 1714. made by Thos. Port; (4) Silver~Communion Chalice, 1755.
THE CHURCH RECORDS AND REGISTERS
The older ones consist of: (I) Baptisms 1760-1811(2)1760 Marriage. one entry; (3) Burials 1761-1812; (4) Marriages and Banns 1779-1812; (5) Marriages 1813-1840; (6) Marriage Licences 1816-1870; (7) Church-wardens' Accounts 1726-1919; (8) Faculty for Family Pew 1825; (9) Plan of Church by George Gilbert Scott; (10) Vestry Minute Book 1828-1879. These records are in the Somerset County Record Office and can be seen on application.
The united benefice of Hatch Beauchamp with Beercrocombe is in the patronage of the Church Trust Fund Trustees of London.
THE CHURCH YARD
On the south side of the church is a curious monument. It bears the following inscription on its west side: "In memory of John Symes, who departed this life March 19th, 1798, aged 67. He lived a servant with ye late John Collins Esq. of this Parish upwards of 34 years." On the north side will be found: "W.H. 1688." The significance of the latter inscription is not known, but the period of the obelisk and base seem to he 17th century. To the north west of the tower is an early gravestone in memory of Francses Peres, son of Thomas Peres. The interest of this is that the oldest house situated in the village, part of which dates back to 1500, is called by this name but now spelt Perris.
HISTORICAL NOTE ON THE CHURCH
AND ITS ASSOCIATIONS
IN SAXON times Hatch Beauchamp was called
Hache, the Beauchamp having been added at some time after the
Norman Conquest when the manor was held by the illustrious family
of that name. The meaning of the 'Place Name' Hache is a gateway,
usually the gateway to a forest.
Hache was then the gateway to the ancient forest of Neroche which lies to the south west of the church, the little river Rag, which flows through Hache Green, having been the northern boundary of the forest.
In the reign of Edward the Confessor Hache was held from the King by Godric, Godwin and Bollo. At the time of the Domesday Survey (1086) it was held from the Count of Mortain, a half brother of William the Conqueror, by Robert Fitz Ivo, who was known as Robert the Constable.
In 1092 one Robert Beauchamp, probably of the same family as Fitz Ivo, held Hache direct from the King, the Count Mortain lands having been forfeited to the Crown. This first tenant-in-chief, who shall be called Robert Beauchamp I, was succeeded by Robert Beauchamp II. In 1166 Robert [1 certified that he held of the King in chief, 17 Knights' fees which were known as the 'Honour' of Robert Beauchamp in Somerset and Dorset.
From early times the Beauchamp's chief residence must have been at Hache. The 'caput' of the Beauchamp Honoun The exact site of this mansion, which was called Hache Court, has not been established but from a description of its ruin written in 1633 it was near to the church, and was therefore not far from the site of the present house of that name.
Robert Beauchamp II was succeeded by his son Robert 1ll who died in 1195 leaving no son to succeed him. His daughter had married Simon de Vautort, and they had a son born circa 1191, who took the name of Beauchamp, and on coming of age he became seized of the Honour of Beauchamp as Robert Beauchamp IV. During his minority the custody of the Honour was in the hands of Hubert de Burgh, Chamberlain to the King. However, the King himself had retained the advowsons of the Churches of the Honour and it is recorded in the Patent Rolls of 1206 that King John presented Henry de Hereford to the benefice of ".Hacch" church. This Patent Roll is important, particularly as its wording confirms that a church, earlier than the present one existed at the close of the 12th century. There is no record of the date of this church but it was probably built early in the Norman period when the Beauchamps first became seized of the Manor of Hache.
Robert Beauchamp IV died in 1251 and was succeeded by Robert Beau-champ V, who was repeatedly summoned by King Henry Ill to perform military service against the Scots and Welsh. He died in 1264 and was succeeded by his son, John Beauchamp I. At about this time it had been established that the Beauchamps held their land "per Baroniam", and as Hache was the "Caput Baroniac", the title of the head of the family was Lord Beauchamp of Hache. They were a distinct family from the Beauchamps of Warwick, though probably of the same original Norman stock. Amongst their holdings of land in Somerset were Hache, Marston Magna, Shepton and Stoke-sub-Hamdon.
John Beauchamp I built a second manor house at Stoke-sub-Hamdon. He was governor of Carmarthen and Cardigan castles, and was called to attend at Worcester with horse and arms to combat the rebellious Prince Lewellin of Wales. He died at Hache in 1283 and was buried in the Chapel of St. Nicholas at Stoke-sub-Hamdon. His son John Beauchamp II (1274-1336), Lord of Hache, was Governor of Bridgwater Castle. He fought in the Scottish wars, and was regularly summoned to attend Parliament. In 1333 he obtained a licence from Edward Ill to crenellate his mansion of llacche' (i.e. to fortify it). He was succeeded by his son John III (1306-1343), who served in the wars in France and attended Parliament from 1337 to 1342. His son John Beauchamp iv (1330-1361) married Alice, daughter of Thomas Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. There was no issue from the marriage and so the male line of the Beauchamps of Hache died out. The manor of Ilache went to Cecily, a sister of john Beauchamp Ill. who had married Roger Seymour. Thereafter Hache Court and the manorial lands passed to the Seymour family.
The direct descendants of Roger and Cecily Seymour were Edward Seymour and his sister, Lady lane, the third wife of Henry VIII. and mother of Fdward VI. On her marriage to the king, her brother. Edward Seymour, was created Viscount Beauchamp of Hache. A little earlier in 1531 he had been Sheriff of Somerset and during this time he probably resided at Hache Court. Later he was made Earl of Hertford, and Duke of Somerset, and during part 9f the minority of Edward Vi he virtually ruled England as Lord Protector until over ambition led to his execution in 1552. However, by this date Hach Court must have been falling into decay for 81 years later when Thomas Gerard in 1633 wrote his "Description of Somerset" he described Hache in the following words: "The mansion house in which theis nobleman lived which I went to see is soe ruined that were it not called Hach Court you would not believe that it were any of the remaynes of a Barons house. yet I sawe in the Hall Beauchampes Armes and in a little Chappell on the top of the house Seymer's, Winges 'Or' in a red shield, and going a little further to the church to see some monuments I find not one, the church having bin new built long since the Beauchamps time."
After the death of the Lord Protector the manor of Hatch continued in the possession of the Seymour family for a further five generations. The succession was as follows:
Edward, Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector, died 1552.
Edward. 2nd son, cr, Earl of Hertford (1559), died l621. Edward, Lord Beauchamp, 1561-1612.
William, 2nd son, 1588-1660. Cr. Marq. of
restored as 2nd Duke of Somerset, 1660.
Henry, 3rd son, Lord Beauchamp, died 1654.
William, 3rd Duke of Somerset, died 1671. He
was succedeed in the estates of the family by his sister
In 1676 Lady Elizabeth Seymour, only surviving daughter of Henry Seymour, Lord Beauchamp, married Thomas Bruce, 3rd Earl of Elgin and 2nd Earl of Ailesbury. From this marriage the lands of Hatch passed to the Bruce family but not many years later they were sold away.
In the Hatch Church rate book of 1726/27 John Collins, gentleman, is recorded as paying rates for the farm and lands near the church, and Mr. John Uttermare for Hatch Green Farm. The Collins family lived in Ilminster and had accumulated considerable wealth in the wool and cloth making trade during the 17th century. John Collins died in 1738 when his son, John, was 13 years old. In the Oxford University Alumni it is recorded that John Collins, son of John Collins of Ilminster. matriculated from New College in 1743-44, aged 19. From 1743 onwards his name appears in the Hatch Church rate book as paying rates "for the farm". In 1755 he built Hatch Court. The architect of this elegant Palladian style house was Thomas Prowse of Axbridge. He was a most talented Somerset gentleman, and he was also a member of Parliament.
John Collins was High Sheriff of Somerset in 1757, and in 1769 he married Jane Langford of Hertfordshire, who in the Hatch church baptisms is recorded as being "daughter of Jonas Langford Esq. late of the island ofAntigua in America." Jane brought to her husband considerable wealth which presumably came from the West Indian sugar trade. John Collins was a prominent member of Hatch Church but apparently he was never a churchwarden. He died in 1792 when his five children were minors, and he was buried in Ilminster. By his will his eldest son, John Raw. was to succeed to Hatch Court, but he died in 1807. The Church rate book shows that his second son, Henry Powell Collins, resided at Hatch Court from 1809 to 1821. In 1822 Thomas Clifton Esq. is recorded as residing there. H. P. Collins was a Churchwarden from 1814 to 1819 and again in 1821. He married Dorothea, daughter of Sir John Lethbridge of Sandhill Park, and from 1811 to 1820 he was M.P. for Taunton. In early 1820 he resigned his parliamentary seat because of his wife's ill health, and in an open letter to the electors of Taunton dated 8/2/1820 he writes that he is taking his wife abroad to a warmer climate.
On February 21st 1822, his only child Dorothea Jacintha was married in London to William Gore Langton son and heir of William Gore Langton Esq. of Newton Park. In the announcement in the Taunton Courier H. P. Collins is described as 'late of Hatch Court'. On June 26th 1822, his wife, Dorothea, died in the Pulteney Hotel, London, and her body was brought to Ilminster to be buried.
Amongst the church records is a Faculty dated July 6th 1825, for thc building of a private pew by H. P. Collins Esq. "owner and occupier of a newly erected messuage or mansion in the parish of Hatch Beauchamp." This mansion was Hatch Park, a property which was left absolutely to H. P. Collins in his father's will, and on which a house was a-building or an old house being rebuilt when his father, John Collins, died in 1792. From the wording of the Faculty it seems clear that H. P. Collins must have recently completed or enlarged the house for his occupation. H. P. Collins was High Sheriff in 1827 and the Church records show that he was a churchwarden almost continuously from 1827 until he died in 1854. He was buried in Ilminster. In 1834 he had been the prime mover in the extension of the Church by the addition of the south aisle and the transeptlike vestry.
On his death in 1854 his grandson William Henry Powell Gore Langton succeeded to Hatch Park and to the family pew. He was M.P. for West Somerset and was a churchwarden from 1855 to 1869. In 1867 he was mainly responsible for the restorations which were done to the church under the direction of George Gilbert Scott. He married Lady Anntt Elixti Mary, only.dattghter of the 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos and he died in 1873. Memorial windows to W. H. P. Gore Langton and to Lady Anna Eliza Mary will be found in the family pew. They had two sons: (I) William Stephen, 4th Earl Temple of Stowe, and (2) Henry Powell Gore Langron of Hatch Park, both of whom were at one time or another churchwardens.
H. P. Gore Langton's son, Commander Hubert Edwin. married his cousin, Lady Alice Mary Temple Gore Langton, daughter of Earl Temple of Stowe. Commander H. F. Gore Langton served in both world wars. and he was the fifth member of his family to be a churchwarden. In the 1914/18 war he commanded destroyers on the Dover Patrol and he took part in the epic battle of Zeebrugge. For his services on the French coast he was awarded the D.S.O. and the Croix de Guerre of France. In memory of his wife he presented to the village in 1964 The Lady Alice Gore Langton Memorial Field. He died in 1968.
Early in the 1939/45 war several evacue children from London were billeted in Hatch Park. During the night of February 3rd, 1940, the house caught fire and Miss Sarah Tennant. the Gore Langton family nurse. and at the time the housekeeper, met her death whilst searching a burning room to make sure that all the children were safe. Her funeral in Hatch Beauchamp church on February 8th was attended by a great concourse of friends and villagers in tribute to her act of self sacrifice and devotion. The old house was totally destroyed and now a new and smaller house stands on its site.
During the early 19th century Hatch Court had many different occupiers. From 1838 to 1855 William Oakes owned it He was a churchwarden and there is a memorial to him in the west porch. From 1856 to the end of the century various members of the Hardstaff family resided at Hatch Court. They were Methodists, and Henry Hardstaff built a small Methodist chapel on the edge of the park. However, the Hardstaff family as owners of Hatch Court retained the right to the use of five pews in the north aisle of the church, and this is Shawn on the Gilbert Scott plan of the church (1867).
In 1899 William Henry Lloyd Esq., uncle by marriage of Mrs. Hamilton Gaunt, purchased the estate and lived in Hatch Court until his death in 1917. He spent nearly 20 years of his life renovating the house and improving the woods and parks. He fitted up the Methodist chapel as a reading room for the village boys, and this room is now used by the P.C.C< for meetings, at a nominal rent by courtesy of his niece. Mrs. Hamilton Gaunt. Although Mr. Lloyd was a Quaker he frequently attended services in Hatch church, and his wife, a devout member of the congregation, had the joint patronage of the Living of Hatch Beauchamp Church.
From 1923 Brigadier and Mrs. Hamilton Gault made Hatch Court their home, and in 1931 Brigadier Gault bought the property and gave it to his wife. He was a churchwarden and was M.P. for Taunton from 1922 to 1935. He gave the Hamilton Gault and Galmington playing fields to the Borough of Taunton, and for these benefactions he was made a Freeman of the Borough. He died in Canada in 1958, and there is a Bronze Memorial in the floor of the south aisle placed there in his memory by his widow. Part of the inscription reads: '1882-1958. Brigadier A.Hamilton Gault, D.S.O., E,D., C.N., of Hatch Court and Mount St. Hilaire, Canada. Founder of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Freeman of the Borough of Taunton." Brigadier Gault came with this famous regiment to France in 1914 and took command of it in 1915. He was the last private citizen of the British Empire to raise and equip a regiment.
There are other memorials in the church to be noted. In the west porch are several stone tablets to the Raban family, some of whom lived at Beauchamp House and others at Beauchamp Cottage. Colonel William Raban of the Honourable East India Company's service was for several years a churchwarden. He died in 1843 and the west window of the north aisle is to his memory, and to that of his son, Lieut. W. 0. Raban, who was killed in action at Cabool in 1841. Also in the porch is a tablet to the Uttermares, an old Somerset family, now apparently extinct. John Uttermare (died 1750), James Uttermare (died 1800) and John Uttermare (died 1841) were all in their time churchwardens. They lived at Hatch Green Farm (now called 'Lodge') and they held the Lordship of the Manor of Hatch Beauchamp, John Uttermare having purchased it in 1722.
In 1905 Mr. F. J. Rails purchased Hatch Green Farm with its 174 acres o together with the Lordship of the Manor from Mr. R. J. Liston Foulis, a descendant of the Uttermares. On the wall on the north side of the west door is a stone tablet to the memory of Frank Hall, who was a lay reader for over 40 years, 14 of which were in the service of Hatch Beauchamp Parish.
In the south east wall of the Chancel is the Chard Memorial window in memory of Colonel J. R. M. Chard, v.c. He was the second son of W. W.Chard of Pathe, near Othery, and he died at Hatch Beauchamp in 1897. He won the Victoria Cross for his gallant defence of Rorke's Drift in the Zulu war, 1879. For many years a wreath sent by Queen Victoria was preserved beneath the window. Colonel Chard's brother, the Rev. C. E.Chard was Rector of Hatch Beauchamp from 1885-1911. There is a brass tablet in his memory on the wall to the north of the chancel arch. Both the Chard brothers lie buried in the churchyard.
The most recent memorial to be installed is the Dove on the lectern which can be illuminated by a spot-light from the nave roof. It is in memory of Rear Admiral Hugh Webb Faulkner, C.B., C.B.F., D.S.O., D.L., and it was given by his widow. Admiral Faulkner was a churchwarden and Vice-chairman and Secretary of the P.C.C. He died in office when High Sheriff of Somerset on May 24th 1969. In the First War he served as a midshipman. He joined his first ship, H. M. S. Australia, when only just 16 years old. This appointment must have pleased him as he was born in Australia. In the Second World War he had a distinguished career in many scenes of action. After the war his last appointment was Flag Officer Malaya, 1950, from where he was invalided home in December 1951, and out of the service in June 1952. His home was The Close, which was the Old Rectory, where the Rev. C. E. Chard and his brother Colonel Chard, v.c. lived.
The author is grateful to Mr. A. D. Hallam for help with the architectural features of the Church, to Mr. P. Poyntz Wright for the information on the tower, and to Dr. R. W. Dunning for advice on the Historical Note. He is indebted to the Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society for information taken from John Batten's Paper, 'The Barony of Beauchamp of Somerset", Vol.36, and "Hatch Beauchamp Church"; Vol. 91; and also to the staff of the Somerset Record
Office for making available further valuable information.
Authors Christopher Cookson. 1972