During the 19th century, the village was home to the notorious religious cult of the Agapemone.
The Church of St Margaret has some parts from the 12th and 13th centuries but is predominantly from the 15th century, and was restored in 1895. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building.
Spaxton is a small village and civil parish on the Quantocks in the Sedgemoor district of Somerset, South West England.
Near the village is Hawkridge Reservoir which supplies water for Bridgwater, constructed between 1960 and 1962, and the Ashford Reservoir which was constructed in 1932.
A History of the County of Somerset: Volume 6, andersfield, Cannington, and North Petherton Hundreds (Bridgwater and Neighbouring Parishes). Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1992.
Continue on and follow the lane which will bring you back to the centre of Spaxton village. When you reach the main street turn right and follow the road back to the church, which is about 1/2 a mile from the junction, the first turning on the left.
Entrance to 'Abode of Love' chapel
At the cross roads turn right signposted Enmore, on the right you will pass the infamous chapel of the Abode of Love and the house which is now divided into three houses. Then there is the Lamb the village Inn, a good place to stop for light refreshments.
It is also part of the Bridgwater and West Somerset county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election, and part of the South West England constituency of the European Parliament which elects seven MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation.
Follow the lane for about 1 mile. On the right you have the lovely house Barford Park, just the right age of building for the setting of a Jane Austin novel. There is a footpath that runs behind the house which cuts off the corner and will bring you out by Pightley covert. If the weather has been wet then just follow the lane to the end of the drive and turn right down the lane.
The church is a beautiful building and since the closure of Charlynch’s Church in 1988 now also houses the altar from there in the south chapel. The churchyard, which is well maintained and a place well suited to contemplate the finer aspects of life, contains the remains of the medieval cross.
Prince was visited by the Holy Ghost, who advised him to seek a larger congregation, so he moved to Suffolk to the parish of Stoke where again he had a powerful effect on the women of the parish and battles raged. Once again the Local Bishop became involved and Prince was given his marching orders. Prince was incensed and denounced the Church of England.
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Spaxton Methodist Church, High Street, Methodist You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Spaxton area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map. Church Records Transcriptions from the registers of Spaxton parish church provided by Roy Parkhouse.
Along the main road through the village there are a number of old cottages mixed with new developments. On one side there is the old village school, which is still in use, and just down the road there is the village hall which is being extended through the kind donation of a past resident who left the village some money to use in this way.
Part of the 'Abode of Love'
“Prince was the visible manifestation of God on earth, the Holy Ghost, how could he toil in the same vineyard as these sinful mortals?” (The Reverend Prince and his Abode of Love, C Mander p73)
You can also see Family History Societies covering the nearby area, plotted on a map. This facility is being developed, and is awaiting societies to enter information about the places they cover.
The sect died out on Sister Eve's death and the buildings were auction off in 1958. (“The Reverend Prince and his abode of Love” by Charles Mander tells Princes’s story if more information about this extraordinary character is required.)
Spaxton was part of the hundred of Cannington.
The name of Spaxton originates from "Spakr", a Dane who settled in the area in about the 9th century. An alternative derivation relies on it being recorded as Spacheston in the Domesday Book, meaning 'The councillor's enclosure', from the Old English spæcas and tun. It was the property of Alfred of Spain.
He then decided that he was going to go his own way. Prince and his followers moved firstly to Weymouth but this was not big enough, he wanted a large house in the country, secluded from ungodly eyes. He decided that the best place to build his paradise was in Spaxton, that lovely valley set in the beautiful Quantock Hills, where he had his little chapel.
“In me you see Christ in the flesh, Christ in my flesh”
Detail of the 'Abode of Love'
The Church Of All Saints, Aisholt dates from the 14th and 15th centuries.
To enjoy a look round the village a good place to start is at the church where it is possible to leave the car. Turn left from the church gate towards the manor house, cross the road and turn right passed the restored Alms Houses. At the end of the road turn left and follow the road to the crossroads at Four Forks, on the way you will pass the village Hall and playing fields on your left.
Somerset County Council is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as education, social services, libraries, main roads, public transport, policing and fire services, trading standards, waste disposal and strategic planning.
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Gothelney Hall at Gothelney Green was built in the 15th century and has been designated as a Grade I listed building. To the south is Barford Park.
The village falls within the Non-metropolitan district of Sedgemoor, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of Bridgwater Rural District, which is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.