Barony of North Cadbury
Somerset, England                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 St Michael's Church, North Cadbury



The Church of St Michael in North Cadbury, Somerset, England dates from 1417. It has been designated as a Grade I listed building. Elizabeth Daubeny, Baroness Botreaux (d.1433), wife of William de Botreaux, 1st Baron Botreaux (d.1391) which held the manor of North Cadbury in dower, rebuilt the parish church of North Cadbury in 1427, though there had probably been a church on the site from the 12th or 13th century. A dean of Cadbury was recorded in the early 13th century and a rector in 1239. Lady Elizabeth was licenced in 1427 to estabish a college of five chaplains in the church. One of them to preside and have the government thereof, and to be called the rector of the College of St. Michael the Archangel of North Cadbury; and four clerks, to pray for the good estate of the King, of her the said Elizabeth, and of Sir William Botreaux, the younger, Knt. 

Papal approval was given in 1418 when the church named St. Michael the Archangel. As a result the nave and chancel were rebuilt although the earlier three-stage tower was left intact. Elizabeth Lady Botreaux died in 1433. In the 17th century the church was under the patronage of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The church includes elaborately carved bench ends dating from the 1530s. The decoration includes not just religious imagery but also birds and animals along with local people at work.

A medieval family coat of arms in the St Michael's Church of North Cadbury


North Cadbury remained a sole rectory until 1966 when it was held with Compton Pauncefoot, Blackford, Maperton, North Cheriton and South Cadbury with Sutton Montis. In 1975 the new Camelot parishes benefices was formed comprising North Cadbury, Galhampton, Compton Pauncefoot, Blackford, Maperton, North Cheriton, South Cadbury and Yarlington. The parish is part of the Camelot Parishes benefices within the Bruton and Cary deanery. During the 1980s the interior fittings and decoration of the church were damaged beyond repair. The local sculptor John Richardson designed modern figures to replace them. Some controversy arose about the figures and they were eventually placed on the wall of the adjacent North Cadbury Court which overlooks the churchyard. North Cadbury Church has a delightful heavy (19cwt/978kilo) ring of six bells. They were recast from five by Thomas Bilbie II in 1770 for the sum of £112.13s.0d. (£112.65p). They hang in an oak frame of this date. The heaviest bell was again recast in 1818 as were two others in 1928 when the bells were re-tuned and refurbished on the initiative of Mr W. A. Osborne, a local ringer. Although North Cadbury has six bells, they have only five regular ringers which means they can only ring five bells on a Sunday.  Consequently, they are looking to recruit ladies, men and children (aged 10 and over) to a small but enthusiastic band.