B u r t o n P y n s e n t
( C u r r y R i v e l )
This area of Somerset saw its fair share of conflict during the Civil War, as mentioned on the Burrow Mump page. Overlooking the site of the later 1685 Battle of Sedgemoor, you have this marvellous column.
Situated just outside of Curry Rivel at Burton Pynsent, it also bears an uncanny resemblance to that of the column at Rockbourne
Height 140 foot
There is a height difference of 40 foot though between this and the Rockbourne one, this coming in the higher at 140 foot, as well as also being the older of the two, having been constructed in 1765.
The unusual name of Curry Rivel, comes incidentally from the Celtic word 'crwy', meaning boundary and 'Rivel' from its 12th Century landlord Sir Richard Revel.
A Thank You
The reason for its construction by Sir William Pitt (yes it is he, the William Pitt of Prime Minister fame) was as a posthumous thank you to Sir William Pynsent, who left the Burton Pynsent estate to Pitt.
The column incidentally was designed by Capability Brown, the 18th century answer to Alan Titchmarsh.**
A Bovine Accident
Like Rockbourne there is also a viewing platform at the top of the lovely Tuscan column, but in this instance it is no longer accessible. This is because a cow allegedly tried to climb to the top on more than one occasion. It seems it managed to come back down backwards ( somewhat unlikely ? ) on the first two occasions, but on its third - and last - attempt it actually got to admire the view from the top. Its descent however was fairly quick this time, and it did not use the stairs, therefore the awful decision was made to close the entrance.
One day maybe this decision might be reversed, and one of the nicest columns in the south of England may once more be open again.
Cows seem to afflicted with the desire to climb towers as a similar thing occurred at Boot's Folly in Yorkshire.
One showing the top in detail, and also an overall view from a short distance away.
There is a footpath past the column, this starts at Co-ords 338120 125160.
* Footnote:- The column is also known as Burton Steeple or the Pynsent Monument
** Footnote:- Alan Titchmarsh Anyone not from the UK will wonder who he is. Mr Titchmarsh is a popular gardening 'expert' on British Television
337695 125160 / ST 376251
Bookmark this Page
Reproduction of part or all of the contents of any of these pages is prohibited except to the extent permitted below.
These pages may be downloaded onto a hard disk or printed for your personal use without alterations. Any other use needs consent of the web site owner Mr C Curtis :- see Contact Page. These pages may not be included in any other work or publication, or be distributed or copied for any commercial purpose except as stated above.