Milverton, Somerset

Milverton stone head

Stone head
Milverton stone head

Milverton stone head, found in 1982 is dated to the twelfth century, circa 1170.

During work in the 1980’s in the garden of the Manse, the occupier was clearing an area close to the boundary on the church side. Whilst sitting down drinking a cup of coffee, he was aware of a face looking at him from a pile of old stones. These stones may have been left over from the building of the congregational chapel in 1820/21 or the restoration of the St Michael’s Church in 1848, or maybe from an even earlier time given its age of nearly 800 years! He picked it up and realised it was a worked stone in the shape of a head. As the village did not want to house it, he loaned it to the Taunton Museum.

So, in 2017, 35 years later when I found its whereabouts, I contacted the museum’s curator who was happy to allow access. A small group, including the wife of the finder, visited the Somerset Heritage Centre where it was stored in a drawer. Amal, the Curator, was so helpful. We had over an hour to examine the stone head which is about 23 cms by 14 cms and were even given tea! Amal agreed to allow the head to come back to Milverton on loan for the upcoming Milverton Street Fair in 2018. Luckily, the head was on loan and not donated so she was able to release it to be shown to the village .

Having given Amal more information of where the head was found, Amal realised the age and Importance of the stone head so she arranged for the head to go on display in the Taunton Museum where you can now see it today .

Maggie Dinning
MIlverton and District Archive