St Julian’s has played an important role in the lives of Wellow’s villagers for more than 600 years. It is recognized as being one of the finest churches in Somerset and has a Grade 1 listing.
Most of the building is thought to have been built by Sir Thomas Hungerford and his son, Walter, in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries. Sir Thomas was the local landowner and parliamentarian who became the leader of the House of Commons and the first man to be known as ‘the Speaker’. It was dedicated in 1372 and replaced a much older building, possibly dating from the 8th century.
It is the only church in England dedicated to St Julian the Hospitaller, a 4th century saint, and contains some extraordinary treasures like its 15th century wall paintings, the only ones surviving in an English parish church. There are also carved 15th centrury oak pews and a painted 15th century rood screen. The wooden angels that support the roof are exquisite and rare too.
Within its walls are smaller features such as stone carved heads, woodwork, metalwork and tapestries created by local artists and craftsmen, testament that this fine building has been cherished by many of Wellow’s past inhabitants.
Their dedication has ensured that we, today’s 21st century parishioners and visitors, can enjoy its beauty and tranquility and experience a strong and tangible sense of our village’s history.