Listed building grade 1
Church of St Peter
50°34’50.5″N 4°06’05.3″W (enter these in your smartphone navigator)
A mighty impressive church is Peter Tavy, beautiful outside with some remarkable enchantments within.
The outside first, a lovely combination of dressed and undressed granite, some impressive old granite windows and an elegant (granite, naturally!) tower, with huge West Devon style crocketted pinnacles on top, all this situated in a very pretty churchyard in the Dartmoor foothills.
A simple inside at first glance, with a solid Medieval granite font, and some very good stained glass dotted around.
On the west wall of the nave though are the remnants of the old rood screen wainscoting, with some fine paintings of the apostles all the way from the 16th century. Almost naive in their composition and style, and all the better for that.
Enter the south transept though, a delightful space in itself, and two things catch the eye. One is the entrance to the rood stairs. Good and solid showing traces of the plaster that would have covered the church…
The other is some of the best Renaissance carving work in Devon, 16th century again, now hung on the west wall as a screen but originally pew decoration. They are marvellous, a series of panels full of leafy sprites and twirling foliage, with a good selection of Romaine Heads. Well worth a good long look of awesomeness.
In the nave there are some grand medieval roof bosses, more recently coloured and very well done at that, along with a 20th century altar back with some more strikingly high quality foliage carving.
So all in all a church well worth dabbling in, very much so.
- North aisle
- South transept
- West tower
- Probably C14 origin
- Much rebuilt in C15
- Restored in the 1870’s
- Granite rubble walls
- Tower and porch constructed granite ashlar
- Gable ended slate roofs
- With coping stones
- 3 stage crenellated
- Large polygonal pinnacles
- Also crenellated and crocketted
- 2-light belfry openings
- Simple tracery
- Moulded plinth
- Ornate west doorway of volcanic stone
- Richly moulded with quatrefoils in spandrels
- Square hoodmould
- 3-light west window
- Perpendicular tracery
NAVE SOUTH SIDE
- 3-light window with cinquefoiled heads as on the north aisle
- Mullions renewed
- Gabled single storey
- 4-centre arched moulded granite doorway
- Arched hoodmould above.
- Moulded stringcourse
- Set-back buttresses
- A very large 4-light window
- Granite Perpendicular tracery
- Crude possibly mutilated
- East window restored in Perpendicular style
- South wall a C15 2-light window to the right
- Cinquefoiled heads
- Reconstructed C15 window to its left
- In between a granite 4-centre arched priests doorway
- In the angle with the South Transept a rood stair turret
- With a granite slit
- 5 windows
- All 2-light with restored tracery
- Except for the central window which is circa late C15
- Taller with cinquefoiled heads and square hoodmould
- East end of aisle has 3-light Perpendicular windows
- Renewed mullions
- 4 bay granite arcade to north aisle
- Pevsner A-type piers with moulded capitals
- Double chamfered depressed 4-centred arches
- Similar arch to transept corbelled out from wall
- Tall 4 centred tower arch with columns
- Restored plaster chancel arch
- Roofs all circa early C20
- Wagon roof over chancel
- Plain pews are late C19
- Other fittings are generally C20
- Font is C15 or C16
- Octagonal with carved panels
- North wall of the chancel is a good wall memorial of 1722
- To Revd. Thomas Pocock, rector of the parish
- 2 sections of panelling from the rood screens are preserved
- Hung on the west wall of the nave
- 2 sections of a carved pew-front are preserved in the transept
- Dating from the early-mid C16
- Judging from the Renaissance motifs used in the carving
The Church may originally have been cruciform but heavily remodelled in C15 when a north transept would have been absorbed into the new aisle and the west tower and south porch added.
Despite alterations to its interior this church preserves a number of early windows with a particularly good tower.
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