Listed building grade 1
Church of St Andrew’s
50°47’39.6″N 3°56’35.0″W (enter these in your smartphone navigator)
A stunning church this one, both inside and outside as well as a powerful connection to the 16th century Prayer Book Rebellion.
First, the exterior, the tall tower and south face being built of massive granite blocks. For all the use of this heavy stone there is a huge grace about the whole structure. The porch alone is worth a good few minutes of appreciation.
Entering, notice the door, thought to be the original medieval one. Lovely.
Inside there is a feeling of enormous space and light; This church has minimal stained glass, unusual for Devon, and very large windows, not so unusual but relatively uncommon. The light floods in brilliantly.
There is an amazing collection of medieval roof bosses up high, from scintillating foliage to pigs to very powerful Green Men to various fascinating heads. A fine ‘Three Hares’ too, plus a cute dragon on a wallplate.
There are bits and bobs of fine medieval stained glass scattered around. Some lovely angels, coats of arms, a fading Virgin Mary, and a plough which is probably the most fascinating.
The pulpit and the font are well worth time too, along with the impressive tower arch.
At the end though, I suspect it is the architecture that wins the game. It really is superb.
Oh, and that history. Such a terrible time.
- North and south aisles
- West tower
- South porch
- C15 and early C16
- Restored in l899.
- The difference in stonework externally suggests 2 different building dates,
- As does the differing form of the 2 arcades.
- Probably the nave, chancel and north aisle pre-date the south aisle.
- At which phase the tower was built is not entirely clear
- Its stonework corresponds to that of the south aisle and porch
- May well have been added as part of the high quality early C16 re-modelling
- The date of the vestry at the east end of the chancel is also uncertain,
- In style it resembles the south aisle with its battlements
- Could be a later addition in traditional style
- Granite ashlar walls to tower, south aisle and porch
- North aisle and chancel are of stone rubble.
- Gable ended slate roof
- G. Fellowes Prynne, 1899 (major restoration)
- The rood screen was removed in 1831
- Later to be partially reconstructed by Herbert Read of Exeter.
- 3 stages
- Battlemented with crocketted pinnacles
- Set back buttresses and moulded plinth
- Large granite west doorway with 4-centred head
- Richly moulded with quatrefoils in the spandrels
- Heavily moulded square surround with hoodmould above.
- 4-light Perpendicular west window
- Row of quatrefoils in panel below.
- 3-light belfry openings with simple tracery.
- On north side small ogee-headed light on 2nd stage.
- Stairs adjoining front buttress with slit lights
- 3-light early C16 tall granite mullion windows
- Segmental heads and square hoodmoulds.
- Granite north doorway
- Moulded with 4-centred head.
- Rectangular projection for rood stair turret between aisle and south chapel
- 3-light Perpendicular window at east end of aisle
- Renewed tracery
- North side of chancel has similar smaller windows to aisle.
- At east end of chancel is 1 storey battlemented vestry
- 5-light east window of late Perpendicular style
- Segmental heads
- Smaller lights above forming arch
- 3 most easterly windows are 3-light early C16 tall granite mullion windows
- Segmental heads and square hoodmoulds.
- Remaining south aisle windows are completely restored in Perpendicular style.
- Small priest’s door has granite jamb
- 2-centred arched red sandstone bead
- Shallow buttresses between the windows
- Crenellated 1 storey
- Set-back buttresses and moulded plinth
- Richly moulded 4-centred doorway
- Arched hoodmould
- 2-centre arched granite south doorway
- Double roll and fillet moulding.
- Possibly contemporary oak plant door in 2 parts
- Very large wooden lock
- Granite seats with chamfered soffits
- Roof completely restored
- The internal walls have C20 render.
- Tall 4-centre moulded tower arch with imposts
- Small pointed arch granite doorway to stairs in south-west corner.
- 5 bay granite arcade on north side
- Double chamfered 4-centred arches
- Pevsner A-type piers.
- Foliage carved capitals
- Apart from the most easterly arch which has moulded cup capitals.
- Polyphant stone for the first 3 bays
- Polyphant piers have 4-petal flower carving to their capitals
- Apart from the most easterly which is plain.
- The 3 most easterly piers have moulded cup capitals
- Mahogany Cl8 pulpit on newer oak base.
- C12 square tub font of Purbeck marble
- Arcading to sides
- Later octagonal granite pedestal and case
- The nave chancel and north aisle retain their medieval wagon roofs.
- Those to the nave and chancel have carved 4 petal flower decoration to ribs
- Large carved bosses of various designs.
- Carved wall plates in foliage of trailing vine designs.
- Where timbers or bosses have been replaced in the 1899 restoration they are stained darker to distinguish them from the old.
- The north aisle has moulded ribs and smaller bosses.
- Above the south aisle is a probably early C16 flat panelled ceiling
- Carved flowers to ribs and foliage or floral bosses.
- The south chapel has a wagon roof similar to that of the north aisle
- Ceilure and timber arch over the nave-chancel division
- Carved angels below each rib to the chancel
- Late C19
- Dividing the south chapel from the south aisle is the rebuilt C15 wooden screen
- Substantial parts reconstructed
- Some of the outer framework still has early green and red colouring to it
- C18 marble wall memorial on south chapel wall
- Rev. John Heath and his sister Hannah who died 1772 and 1768
This is an important medieval church with impressive exterior and a good interior.
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