Membury: The River Yarty and Castle Mound

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Membury lies within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in East Devon, four miles north-west of Axminster and seven miles south-west of Chard. The parish is four and a half miles long (north to south) and is bordered by the River Yarty to the west, extends over the A30 to the Somerset border to the north and is within one and a half miles of the Dorset border to the east. Membury derives its name from the Anglo-Saxon Maenbeorg ('strong fort') and appears as Maaberia in the Domesday Book. Artefacts from the Stone Age have been found and Membury Castle, an Iron Age fort, provides evidence of early settlement. This is a rural parish of scattered farms, dating back to before Anglo-Saxon times (and mentioned in the Domesday Book) containing the hamlets of Crawley, Furley, Rock and Webble Green – all within three miles of Membury Village centre, where there is a school, village hall, C of E church and a licensed post office, shop and meeting place. The parish is connected by a maze of narrow sunken lanes derived from original trackways and is defined by its open, sweeping views across valleys.

Church of St John the Baptist:
the present building incorporates work of every century from the twelfth to the twentieth, proof of continual existence of Christian worship on the site. As you enter the churchyard by climbing the semi-circular stone steps and pass under a wrought iron arch and lamp, notice the series of windows beneath the battlemented parapet of the aisle to your right. These are of positively Romanesque character and some are strongly reminiscent of the characteristic Norman bird's beak features in many corbel tables of that period. Since the present south aisle of the church was built late in the fifteenth century, it would be reasonable to assume that these carved heads, which now serve as stops to the hood-moulds, once supported a corbel table in the original Norman church building and have been re-used here. 
Entering the south porch, notice two badly weathered carved heads, one each side of the outer door; they come from the same set of Romanesque carvings. Other surviving features can be seen if you move to a point just in front of the screen below the tower arch. On the south side you will see a sturdy Norman column and scalloped capital embedded in the end of the south wall of the nave. One certain fact is that the column and capital are good quality work of about 1100AD and appear to be in situation. Windows of the Norman date were crowned with single-centred or semi-circular arches.

England - South West England - Devon - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Castle, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Moor, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
29/07/2017 - James Wallington-Smith

A great walk along the valley following the river followed by a slow climb up to the castle mound and excellent views. My spaniel loved the walk but some of the roads, whilst quiet, don't let you see that far ahead so the dog had to be at my heel.

12/09/2016 - Barry Hood

A lovely walk in the unspoilt South Devon countryside and thankfully most of the stiles have now been replaced with gates. Dog owners beware, there were a lot of bulls in the fields in a lot the fields around the midway section.

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13.1 Miles
31.1 Miles