This article came from the Chronicle published November 1986. Page: 108.


The “Stonying Door” at Tintinhull

Author: Brian and Moira Gittos


A brief note in the September issue of the Tintinhull Parish News­letter speculates on the remarkable pillar of masonry which stands in the churchyard, to the south-west of the Church of St.Margaret. It takes the form of a blocked archway with a gabled top, bearing two black-letter texts. Pevsner refers to it as the “so called Stonying door” and the note in the Newsletter asks what the meaning of such a term might be. The county historian, Collinson, sheds no light on the matter and it is up to Arthur Mee to give the most useful information. He relates that the term is based on a reference in the church records dated 1515. Tintinhull is fortunate in having Churchwarden’s accounts which go back to 1430, they have been published in summary form in Vol.IV of the Somerset Records Series. A fuller version of the relevant entry is given in an article by the Rev.J.B.Hyson, a former vicar, in Vol.Xll of the Somerset Archaeological Society Proceedings (1886). He describes the entry as being “on a fly-leaf and pinned into the church books”. Amongst other items is recorded,
“Stuff for making of the “Stonyng’ Door 8s 0d”.
In Hyson’s time, the “Stonying Door” stood at the western entrance to the churchyard. He suggested that it may have been brought from the former castle of Earl Moreton of Montacute but this is pure speculation. It is remarkable how a single entry in a very old account book can found a whole tradition and fuel such discussion. Perhaps Chronicle readers would like to take the matter further. We are grateful to Mr.Peter Wedden of Tintinhull for bringing the matter to our attention.

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