Burrow Mump Church, Somerset

Both Burrow and Mump mean “hill” – so this is Hill Hill!

In keeping with this mixed meaning, the site is a confusion of different uses and historical periods. In the Dark Ages and beyond this area was one of swamps, marshes and occasional hills – most famously the nearby Isle of Athelney where King Alfred famously fled in the 870s.

It would appear that at the same time Burrow Mump was turned into a fortified site. Excavations have also found the remains of a 12th Century structure on top of the Mump which is believed to have been from the first church. Sometime during the middle of the 15th Century Athelney Abbey (now long gone) had a church built here. Even though there is no evidence that the church was fortified, it’s natural position of strength meant that it was used as a sanctuary twice by Royalists during the Civil Wars (in 1642 and 1645) and was occupied by the King’s Army during the 1685 Monmouth Rebellion.

All of this presumably left the Church in a state of disrepair as the decision was made to build a new church in 1793. This church would be smaller and was to be paid for by public subscription. Unfortunately money ran out and so the little roofless ruin that stands here today came into existence.

The Mump is also a memorial for World Wars I and II and came into the guardianship of the National Trust in 1946.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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