The Parish of High Ham is in Somerset, England. Within the Parish of High Ham
are the three villages of Henley, High Ham and Low Ham. The Parish also
encompasses Picts Hill, Union Drove, Wagg Drove, Paradise and Beer.
Ham, recorded in Domesday Book (1086) as Hame meaning ‘home’ from the Old English ham,
sits on an elevated peninsular 280 feet above sea level, with panoramic views
across the Levels. In times past it was an island rising from the surrounding
marshes. Today the parish includes the hamlets of Low Ham and Henley.
High Ham boasts a fine
village green surrounded by tall trees and a fine group of listed buildings
including an Elizabethan schoolhouse. The light and airy
church of St Andrew lies to the side of the green and,
for such a small village, the church is quite grand. Other than the lower part
of the tower the records of an Elizabethan incumbent, Adrian Schell, state that
the church was completely rebuilt in one year – 1476. It is a very good example
of Somerset Perpendicular style in its final stage of development.
The church at Low Ham,
standing isolated in a field next to a farm, appears to be an example of
standard Somerset Perpendicular. It was, however, built from 1623 to 1669 and
is a rare example of early Gothic Revival (or late Gothic Survival - depending
on your architectural interpretation!).
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