Listed building grade 2*
50°16’13.4″N 3°51’45.4″W (enter these in your smartphone navigator)
A striking church perched above the main village street near some of the best south Devon beaches, Thurlestone well repays a leisurely visit.
It was extensively renovated in the Edwardian era, and stunning stained glass installed in nearly every window over the next thirty years or so.
Outside the windows are a good mix of ages, the tower is magnificent and the porch a sturdy survivor.
Inside the church really comes into its own, with a deep atmosphere of peace and healing, the many memorials to the WWI dead making this an elegy for the dead and wounded of that war, both the soldiers and the civilians.
The rood is a lovely 1919 creation by Herbert Read, a few beautiful foliage benchends in the chancel, a grand Norman font in Devon red stone, roof bosses in the chancel and a south chapel with some good old memorials.
But the real heroes are the atmosphere, very strong in this one, and the stained glass.
There are four rich windows by AJ Davies from the 1930s and then more; a beautiful window showing four saints in golds and browns with great foliage, and…well, and a lot more.
- West tower
- South aisle
- Earliest fabric is C13 (windows in the chancel)
- Major rebuilding in C15
- Repair in 1685 (new windows in aisle, nave north wall and possibly vestry)
- Restored in 1904 by G. Fellowes Prynne
- Roughly coursed slatestone rubble walls
- Gabled slate roofs
- 3 stage crenellated west tower
- Set back buttresses
- 5-sided stair turret on south side rising above parapet
- 1 and 2-light cinquefoil belfry openings
- West doorway is of the characteristic rubble South Hams arch with recessed inner arch
- West window renewed in the restoration in Perpendicular style
- North wall has 2 debased Perpendicular windows (presumably of 1685)
- At the chancel end is a break in the stonework beyond which is a single C13 lancet window
- Partly obscured by the vestry
- Built on to the north of the chancel
- Large rubble stack built onto the side of the north chancel wall
- Early C16 3-light mullion window re-used in the vestry
- East window completely renewed Perpendicular style
- Late medieval granite Perpendicular window at east end
- 4 bays with a chapel at the end
- Chapel has a Perpendicular 3-light window
- Aisle has larger debased Perpendicular windows with no tracery.
- Buttresses between the windows
- Buttress above the priest’s door divides to form a shallow porch
- 2 storey
- Crenellated porch
- Diagonal buttresses at the front
- Small segmental headed light on front above doorway
- 4-centred moulded granite arch with square hoodmould
- 2-centred double tower arch with projecting imposts
- 5 bay granite arcade of Pevsner A-type piers
- Simple moulded cup capitals
- Chamfered 4-centred arches
- Plastered walls
- Wagon roofs entirely renewed
- The High Altar crucifix was carved by one of the actors in the Oberammergau Passion play
- 12 of the original 15 roofbosses of 1450 remain in the chancel
- Good foliage carved intersecting beamed ceiling with central boss
- Floor above has been removed
- Simple 4-centred arched chamfered south doorway with carved spandrels
- Good C12 red sandstone tub font
- Chevron and cable moulding
- Carved honeysuckle ornament around the outside
- 17th century memorial to Thomas Stephens (died 1658) and his wife Julian (died 1677) of Clannacombe House (q.v.)
- A lady and gentleman kneeling at prayer with 3 sons and 4 daughters.
- On the south wall a memorial depicting the figure of a divine kneeling in front of a desk
- Inscription to Henrie Luscombe, Rector of the parish
- An excellent collection of windows by AJ Davies
- Epiphany, Flight into Egypt, Sir Galahad, St Christopher
The stained glass in this church is worth the trip alone. A top notch collection
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