Milton Clevedon is a small hamlet of approximately 60 residents with its church at the heart of this rural Somerset village. The Church of St James is known locally as the church in the farmyard.


The first church in Milton Clevedon dates back to the 12th century and was under the ownership of Bruton Abbey. In 1545, with the dissolution of the monasteries, the church was dedicated to St James. The Grade II* listed building was rebuilt in 1790 using the stone from the local Bruton Abbey and incorporated some of the original features of the medieval church. It has a three-stage tower, housing five bells and supported by diagonal buttresses. It was restored in the 1860s as part of the widespread Victorian restoration of churches in England.

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

On the 24th May 2021, Toby Pitt, Heritage Roof Master, at West Country Tiling, met with the scholars of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) to talk about the recent restoration work carried out on the church of St James.

The three visiting SPAB scholars were two architects and a surveyor who are undertaking a year of study into the different crafts needed to restore and refurbish old buildings.

To learn more about how lead is cast, the scholars visited the West Country Tiling head office near Frome, so they could watch our sand-casting process. When meeting with Toby on site at St James’ church, they then saw this lead being used in the re-built box gutters.  There was also a discussion regarding the techniques used to ensure that a stone slate roof will stand the test of time in conjunction with good leadwork detailing.

Restoration work

The work carried out by our Master Roofers at the Church of St James took five weeks in total and as well as re-casting the lead gutters, we also carried out quite extensive boarding replacement and masonry consolidation.

We also stripped the stone slate roofing tiles and replacing them with 85% new slate, as sadly only 15% of the original stone could be salvaged.

It was a pleasure to have hosted the scholars from SPAB at the idyllic location of the Anglican Church of St James in the farmyard.

Why choose West Country Tiling

With over 30 years’ experience working on the restoration of churches, our master roofers have extensive knowledge and expertise gained while working on buildings throughout the South West of England.

If you need an experienced team for a roof restoration project, please get in touch on 01373 462 224 or by emailing us on