The ecclesiastical parish of Chantry, Somerset, England was formed in 1846 from parts of the parishes of Whatley, Elm, and Mells. This review of the new Parish church of Holy Trinity was published in The Ecclesiologist Published by the Ecclesiological Society in that year.
Holy Trinity, Chantry, Somerset. – A munificent individual, already departed, crowned his life by building and endowing this church, which he did not live to see consecrated. These circumstances must bespeak a favourable consideration, besides which there is so much to please in the work as to demand considerable praise. The plan consists of a nave, south porch, bell-turret, chancel, and sacristy, Messrs. Scott and Moffat being architects. The style adopted is Middle-Pointed. The western elevation consists of two single trefoil-headed lights, separated by a buttress which supports the crocketed bell-turret. This, as well as the porch and the priest’s door, is sadly overdone. We cannot conceive why Mr. Scott, who is clearly a clever man, and who has had so much experience of Pointed architecture, should be ever dealing in that crambe repetita of ornament by which at a glance any work of his can be identified, with little fear of a mistake. He can, if he likes, do better, in proof of which we appeal to his church at Sudbury, near Harrow, where he was somewhat restricted in means, in consequence of which he produced the most satisfactory work of his which we have ever seen. The internal effect of Chantry church is very solemn, as all the windows are glazed with painted glass, by Mr. Wailes. In one of the western windows is a curious emblematic Passion, copied from Mere church. The side windows are of two lights. The seats, as also the stalls and screen, are oak, open and massive, and, we are happy to say, uninjured by varnish or polish. The pulpit of stone is on the Gospel side, but approached by a stair-case from the sacristy. The font occupies Mr. Scott’s favourite position, the western part of the central alley. There is a rood-screen with holy doors, somewhat heavy, but still laudable. Within it are miserere stalls (unreturned) which we were happy to learn are used by the choir. We were however sorry to find that the original intention of the priest’s performing the service within the chancel has been abandoned. A lectern is now used, placed sideways at the east end of the nave. The lessons are read from a wooden eagle. The chancel and sacrarium are richly tiled. (We observed the sacrarium rails with no pleasure). The altar is of wood, and chairs supply the place of sedilia; one however is, we learn, to be removed. The founder’s tomb, a low coffin-shaped one, with a brass inlaid, and under a canopy, is placed on the Gospel side of the sacrarium. The footpace has not been forgotten. The east window is of three lights. We were less displeased than usual with the contrivance for warming the church, though sorry to find it placed in the chancel. It consists of an opening like a window, filled with a pierced brass plate, through which the hot air comes. This is at least real and honest. We trust that mural polychrome will not be forgotten—so much richness of form and material, and the partial employment of colour in the floor and the painted windows, calls for it. The church is lit by sconces, the candles being protected by glasses, which has an un-ecclesiastical appearance. Because we have criticized much, we must not be supposed to cavil. Any feeling of discontent ought to be checked by the reflection, “what would people have thought of this church, had they fifteen years ago had a vision of it?”