Burnham’s seafront church…
Burnham-On-Sea’s parish church of Saint Andrew (seen here in our photo) stands on the seafront and has always been a focal point of the town.
Dating back to 1316, the church contains component parts of an altar piece designed by Inigo Jones and carved by Grinling Gibbons, which was commissioned by James II for the Chapel of Whitehall Palace.
The original piece comprised a tableau of cherubs, flanked by two angels mounted on pedestals. The altar piece was later moved to Westminster Abbey, where it was placed behind the High Alter.
It remained there until 1820 when the Bishop of Rochester, who was also the vicar of Burnham, acquired it and used fragments to decorate the Chancel of Saint Andrews. The sculptures are now dispersed over various parts of the interior of the building, including the nave windows and behind the altar.
The leaning church tower The leaning tower of the church arouses much comment and it is said that if a plumb line were dropped from the top of the tower on the north side it would land some feet away from the base.
Near the church stands the house named Tregunter. This house stands on the site of an old farmhouse, which was owned by the Roper family.
The sons of farmer Roper fought at the Battle Of Sedgemoor, and were deported to America by Judge Jeffreys. The house was bought by John Gunter, a chef to King George The Third in 1760 and he lived there for 60 years.
The house that stands now was rebuilt in 1826 and the original cellars of the house were reported to be connected by secret passages to the Church and the Old Vicarage for smuggling purposes but if indeed this was so, they have long been blocked by sand.