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The Cothelstone Church and the Stowell family

Located in County Somerset, six miles from the Bristol Channel, lies the village and civil parish of Cothelstone. It is situated in the Quantock Hills, six miles north of Taunton in the Taunton Deane District. The village was the home of my Stowell ancestors since the time of the Norman Invasion of 1066.

“During the English Civil War, Sir John Stawell of Cothelstone had raised a small force at his own expense to defend the King. When Taunton fell to parliamentary troops and was held by Robert Blake he attacked Stawell at Bishops Lydeard and imprisoned him. After the restoration, Charles II conferred the title of Baron Stawell on Sir John's son, Ralph.” (Source: Cothelstone page at

Cothelstone Church, Quantock, England – “The church is quite near the Manor House and was always a part of it and the livings and advowsons* belonged to the Stowell family. It is of great antiquity and contains old medallions of ancient stained glass and monuments and tombs of the Stowell family dating back to 1300. Members of the Stowell family have worshipped here since 1066.” [Stowell Genealogy]

*An advowson is the right to nominate a person to be parish priest (subject to episcopal approval), and such right was often originally held by the lord of the manor of the principal manor within the parish. Source: Saul, Nigel (2000). A Companion to Medieval England 1066–1485. Stroud: Tempus. p. 11.


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