Extraordinary churches, enchanting art, deep history
If you enjoy art, peace, beauty, architecture, history… or sharing faith, then Devon’s churches are time well spent, one of the most remarkable groups in Britain…
Fantastical carvings, breathtaking images, gorgeous stained glass, powerful stone architecture, old colours, new colours, no colours, light and shadow, ancient and modern, faith and love…
For in this field and woodland draped landscape of deep valleys and ragged hills, battered by seas on two coasts, the fierce-faithed folk of medieval Devon created wonders of stone, oak and glass; saints and symbols, coloured and carved, foliage laced, divinely whispered, glowing down through the centuries…
… and then their Victorian descendants sprinkled their own magic across the county. Please come in and enjoy.
Hidden away in the hills of west Devon, Marystow Church of St Mary the Virgin is so peaceful yet so rich in beauty.
It is a big barn of place, high ceilinged and lots of light, only a few stained glass windows, with a graceful arcade of granite pillars.
It is a fine little building too, with a very late tower, 1550 to be exact, with a Norman south doorway and a 15th century nave and chancel
Inside it is an ocean of deeply browned box pews lapping against gentle cliffs of crooked walls, whispering hello from the 18th century.
That tower is Norman, and that tiny chancel is also suspiciously small, early chancels were much smaller than later ones generally
It is a big church inside as well, light and airy with plenty of echoes. The nave and chancel, seem to be 14th century the rest 15th.
There is a lovely neatness inside, combined with the soft lighting that gently paints the browns and whites with glowing shades.
Inside Sheepstor church is a very clean space. Those granite pillars are a delight, it is a stone always with an interesting texture.
It is a lovely church, full of little pleasures, modest and charming as the best can be in deep rural Devon
Hidden high above the River Teign, deep in tumbling valley and loping hills, Bridford seems a universe away from the modern world.
The inside has been well partied up by renovators, that screen is early twentieth century, the whole is now a pleasing combination
The church is a doozy, with a probable thirteenth century tower, fourteenth century chancel and fifteenth century rest.