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Midsomer Norton Society

Researching and appreciating our history

Influencing the present and future development of our town

Midsomer Norton Society

Researching and appreciating our history

Influencing the present and future development of our town

Contact us

History Tour

Diary & Events

Home Page

Midsomer Norton Society

Researching and appreciating our history

Influencing the present and future development of our town

Finding the vicarage tunnel

 

The vicarage tunnel linking the vicarage and the church chancel is part of Midsomer Norton folklore. It is the cherished aim of the Society to find it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work to date has focused on memories of older residents of the town who played in the cellar of the vicarage in the High Street as children and can remember running around in tunnels accessed in the basement.

 

The Society is greatly privileged to have the owner of the Vicarage amongst our members. The search is hampered by the fact that the church has been rebuilt several times over the centuries since, stories handed down relate how the vicar appeared as if by magic from behind the altar at Sunday services.

 

The present parish church of St John the Baptist was largely rebuilt in 1830 and 1936, retaining only the 15th century west tower from the earlier church. Collinsonís account of the church in 1791 indicates that it incorporated Norman features and the Norman font still survives today. Robinson (1915 pg 51) states that the parish church occupies the site of a building presumably erected about 1150. He dates the two Norman archways in the vicarage gardens and the Norman font to the early 12th century. He also suggests that when the old Norman church was repaired in the later 15th century, fragments of the medieval parapet were preserved in the vicarage garden, a portion of which contains the arms of Sir John Cheddar. Robinson concludes that this man probably gave a large amount of money for the repairs carried out in about 1483.

 

Whether the vicarage tunnel survived the laying of the main town sewer in 1871 is also a question that needs to be answered. Did the workmen digging the sewer find the tunnel?

 

 Our Projects

River Somer Project

Streetscape Plan

Midsomer Norton Knight

Video Memories

St Chad's Well

Jubilee Lamp & Fountain

Vicarage Tunnel

Midsomer Norton Fair Day