Listed building grade 2
50°55’43.3″N 3°27’38.6″W (enter these in your smartphone navigator)
A beauty, yet the vast majority of folk will pass by without enjoying this tiny delicacy.
It was designed by the one of the best Victorian church architects of his generation, it is still almost exactly as he intended, and it requires only a slight joy of imagination to wonder at how much it contains.
First the design. SImple yet finely detailed, the light falls ‘just so’ and the little window arches are a lovely touch. The sanctuary has no High Church carving, no altar back (reredos) yet the East window is an adornment of subtly coloured flowers through good leading.
Then the tale it tells about radical change. It was built as a chapel before becoming a parish church, and was probably one of the first in Devon to follow the new approach to Christian service. The altar is the main thing here, the Holy Communion, the pulpit relegated to a side position.
Finally three very Victorian characters associated with it, each one very much part of the birth of the modern world in his own way:
William Rayer, the reforming priest who believed that we are all equal before God.
Benjamin Ferrey, who rose from being a draper’s son to being one of the best Victorian church architects.
John Heathcoat ,the farmer’s son, who made a fortune through inventing a new lace-making machine and whose great grandson became a country gent hereabouts, got a knighthood, and helped turn this into a parish church.
Oh, as a bonus, the outside. Such a cute little neogothic building, almost a fairytale cottage. Delicious again.
So take a moment and drop by here. It is so good.
- Middle Pointed style
- North vestry
- Extension north of nave
- South porch
- 1843 by Benjamin Ferrey
- Under the Rev. William Rayer
- Red local stone
- Squared and brought to course
- Dry slate roofs with coped gable ends
- Over west gable
- Complex rose window
- Corner buttresses and buttresses dividing bays
- 2-light windows
- Trefoil-headed lights and quatrefoil tracery
- Varied naturalistically-carved heads as stops
- 3-light east window
- Simple mullioned windows
EXTENSION NORTH OF NAVE
- Wide window with complex tracery
- Richly-coloured stained glass
- Borders to grisaille glass below
- Tablets to Heathcote-Amorys
Easily overlooked, this charming work by one of the earliest and most famous church architects in Victorian England is a delight. Well worth a visit.
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