«SOME OLD DEVON CHURCHES» BY JOHN STABB; 97-108
Exeter, St. Lawrence ; Exeter, St. Martin ; Exeter, St. Mary Arches ; Exeter, St. Mary Major ; Exeter, St. Mary Steps ; Exeter, St. Olave ; Exeter, St. Pancras ; Exeter, St. Petrock ; Exminster ; Farway ; Feniton ; Gidleigh .
EXETER. St. Lawrence. The principal object of interest in this church is the carved screen across the chancel [plate 97], it is said to have come from the Cathedral. It has been cut down from its original height, but there is some good carving, of elaborate design, with clusters of small heads round each pinnacle. Mr. Bligh Bond says it is probably not later than 1330.
The registers date: baptisms, 1873; marriages, 1754; burials, n.a.
EXETER. St. Martin. The old church was dedicated on July 6th 1065, but of this church there are no remains. The present building dates from the 15th century, and consists of chancel, nave, and north tower, with one bell dated 1675. The chancel is divided from the nave by an arch, on the north side of which is a niche for an image, but the figure is missing. The west gallery dates from the 17th century; on the panels are angels with trumpets and the arms of the City of Exeter, the Royal arms, and the arms of the See of Exeter. There is a very good Perpendicular west window with the arms of Courtenay, and the See of Exeter. On the south side is another window of about the same date, with shields of arms, including those of Bishop Lacey [elected 1420]. The pulpit was erected about 1804.
The altar is surrounded on three sides by rails [plate 98a], and on the north and south sides are seats for the communicants. When nearly every church had its chancel screen, altar rails were not so necessary, but in Elizabethan days [ca. 1560-1600], when the rood screens were removed, the need became apparent. Objections were raised early in the 17th century to the rails being placed round three sides of the altar, and in the days of [Archbishop] Laud [elected 1633; executed 1645] it is common to find instructions for the rails to be placed across the chancel from north south. There are a few survivals of the three-sides rails in Devonshire, of which St. Martin's is one. We have here also the seats at each side of the chancel for the communicants; a great change from the time when the only seats in the chancel were the sedilia for the officiating priests. At Ermington, some years since, the altar was at some distance from the east end, and was entirely surrounded by rails, but this has now been done away with, and the altar is at the east end.
The font [plate 98b] is, I believe, unique in Devonshire in possessing the bowl at the side to take the water dripping from the child at a baptism. It used to be the custom to consecrate the water for baptism once or twice a year, when the font was filled. When submersion was the general use, it was the practice to use the water over and over again, but after a time people became more scrupulous, and when affusion became general, it was even felt wrong to allow the water falling from the child's head to return into the font. Different plans were devised to prevent this; in some cases the font was divided into two parts, in others a smaller basin was attached to the side of the font to catch the water.
I think in this font we have an example of the latter custom. I found by blowing down the main drain, that the hole in the projection on the shaft communicated with the main drain, and I do not think that there is a doubt that we have here a specimen of the secondary bowl. The position certainly seems inconvenient, but allowance must be made for the fact that the present top is comparatively modern, and is most probably larger and deeper than the original one, besides, these small bowls were often used for pouring away the water that had been received in a vessel held by an assistant at the baptism. The west gallery dates from the 17th century; on the front are panels bearing the Royal arms, those of the See of Exeter, and of the City of Exeter.
The wall behind the altar is panelled and has the Creed, Lord's Prayer, and Commandments, and shields with the arms of the See of Exeter, and the arms of the Hooper family. On the north wall is a monument in memory of Mr. Philip Hooper, who died in 1715; he is represented kneeling before a desk, on which are a skull and some books, and wears a flowing wig; there is a long Latin inscription. A tablet, commemorating Mrs. Judeath Wakeman, who died January 5th 1643, has the following epitaph:—
"This is my dwelling this my trewest home
A howse of clay best fitts a guest of lome
Nay t'is my howse for I perceave I have
In all my life been walking to this grave."
The epitaph of Mrs. Elizabeth Butler, who died October 17th 1644, is as follows:—
"So good a neighbour, mother, friend, and wife
That Heaven and Earthe, about her were at strife.
Earthe was desirous here to have her rest
Heaven was desirous there to have her blest
To please them both herself in twain divides
Earthe has her body, the soul in heaven resides."
The registers date: baptisms, 1784; marriages, 1754; burials, 1783.
EXETER. St. Mary Arches. The church [plate 99] consists of nave, chancel raised on shallow steps, north and south aisles, and tower with three bells, two dating from the 15th century, the third was cast in 1827.
The church takes its name from the Norman arches of the nave, on each side there are four bays supported on plain circular Late Norman columns, with square capitals with scallop moulding. The roofs are waggon shape, and have been pierced at intervals with dormer windows. Behind the altar is a 17th century reredos, erected in 1696, and the altar and rails are of about the same date. At the east end of the north aisle there was formerly the Chapel of the Holy Trinity, mentioned in the will of John Mainard, bearing date December 4th 1546. He left certain lands to provide for a yearly service to be held in this chapel "to pray for the soul of John Bradmore, his father-in-law, his father and mother's soul, and all the souls he is bound to pray for."
In the south aisle there was a chantry chapel dedicated to St. Andrew and St. Thomas, founded by Thomas Andrews, who was Mayor of Exeter in 1504; in his will, dated April 23rd 1517, he left lands and tenements to find a priest to pray for his soul, and to sustain for ever twelve poor men. His monument is in the south aisle with his recumbent figure beneath an arch, the spandrels of which are carved with angels holding shields with armorial bearings; on the four panels on the front of the tomb are angels holding shields with the same arms — those of the Merchant Adventurers. This Company of Merchants is the most ancient of any in England, having been incorporated in 1296, in the reign of Edward I [1272-1307]. The inscription at the top of the tomb is as follows:— Hic jacet Magister Thomas Andrew, quondam Maior Civitatis Exonie, qui obiit anno Dni Mcccccxviii, et nono die Marcii, Cujus anime propitietur Deus. Amen
There are several monuments commemorating former mayors of Exeter, the oldest being that of John Davy, who was mayor in 1584, 1594 and 1604. Another monument is in memory of Thomas Walker, with kneeling figures of himself and wife; he was mayor in 1601, 1614, 1625, and died in 1628. There are also monuments to Richard Crossing, mayor in 1654; Nicholas Brooking, mayor in 1655; Christopher Lethbridge, mayor in 1660; and Burnet Patch, mayor in 1813. Dr. Richard Walker, the author of the Sufferings of the Clergy, was Rector of St. Mary Major; and many members of his family were buried in this church.
There is an old altar covering made out of two ancient vestments in the 18th century, part of it was taken from a chasuble of 15th century date. The central cross has a figure of our Lord, with angels on each side. The border is composed of male and female saints, some in a fair state of preservation.
There is some good church plate; a chalice dated 1573, a pewter flagon dated 1628, a silver flagon dated 1691, a paten dated 1688, and two alms dishes dated 1706.
The first rector on record is Sir Henry Sake, 1321.
The registers date from 1538.
EXETER. St. Mary Major. The church, which consists of chancel, nave, and south aisle, was rebuilt in 1865-67, and does not contain much of antiquarian interest. The old rood screen was taken down at the rebuilding of the church, and the major portion given to the church of St. Mary Steps. There are, however, two bays remaining, which have been made into a screen for the south chapel [plate 100]. Judging from what is left, it must have been a very handsome screen, the cresting, of angels holding scrolls, is remarkably fine. There are paintings of saints on the lower panels, of which Mr. Bligh Bond gives the following description:— (1) St. Matthias (?); (2) St. James Minor; (3) St. Philip (?); (4) St. Bartholomew.
In the tower there is an old carving in stone of St. Lawrence on the gridiron; it was, I believe, formerly outside the church, possibly it came from the church of St. Lawrence.
The first rector was William de Newtone, 1283.
The registers date: baptisms, 1561; marriages, 1562; burials, 1562.
EXETER, ST. MARY STEPS. The church is situated in West Street and may be known for the ancient clock projecting from the tower with three figures popularly known as Matthew the Miller and his two Sons. The dial is embellished with designs representing the four seasons; above the dial is an alcove containing three automatic figures; seated in the centre is a statue of Henry VIII [r. 1509-1547], and when the clock strikes the hours he inclines his head at each stroke; on each side of the central figure is a soldier with a hammer in one hand and a javelin in the other; beneath their feet are bells on which they strike the quarters with the hammers. There is an old local rhyme respecting these figures which runs:—
"Adam and Eve would never believe
That Matthew the Miller was dead,
For every hour in Westgate Tower
Matthew the Miller nods his head."
There are the remains of a rood screen [plate 101a] which formerly stood in the old church of St. Mary Major; when that building was demolished the screen was re-erected here. The groining and cornices are gone, and the top of the chancel portion is little more than the bare boards of the framework.
On the lower panels there is a good series of paintings of saints, of which Mr. C. E. Keyser gives the following list in «Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts», Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 1903:¾
"Nave screen, north to south, (1) St. Anne instructing the Blessed Virgin, (2) ? St. Margaret, (3) St. Blaise, (4) An aged male saint; (1) St. Mary Magdalene, (2) St. Stephen, (3) St. Andrew, (4) St. John Baptist." "Panels on the doors varnished over: (1) The Virgin and Child, (2) St. Peter, (3) St. Bartholomew, (4) St. James Minor; (1) St. Paul, (2) St. Clement, (3) St. Lawrence, (4) St. Sidwell; (1) St. Anthony, (2) St. Matthias, (3) St. Jude, (4) St. John the Evangelist." On the doors, (1) St. Gregory, (2) St. Jerome, (3) St. Ambrose, (4), St. Augustine. On end compartment, south (1) St. James Major, (2) St. Simon, (3) St. Thomas, (4) ? St. Philip."
The Norman font [plate 101b] is very fine, and noted for a rather unusual feature in font ornament, viz., zigzag. It is said to be one of the four finest specimens of the period in Devonshire. There is a good font cover with small opening in front.
The registers date from 1655.
EXETER. St. Olave. The church consists of chancel, nave, double north aisle, and tower on the south side with two bells. Dr. Oliver says there was probably a church erected during the reign of Canute [1016-1035], that is was given to Battle Abbey in Sussex, by William the Conqueror [r. 1066-1087], and that the presentation of the rector was vested in St. Nicholas' Priory from the close of the 11th century, until the suppression of the said monastery in the autumn of 1536; but the present fabric did not exist before the reign of King Edward III [1327-1377].
In 1685 the church was granted to a large body of French Protestants [Huguenots], who had left their native land on the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes [by Louis XIV on October 18th 1685]. They had possession of the church until the death of their last minister in 1759; later, the church was used for some time as a garrison chapel for the accommodation of the troops stationed in Exeter. In 1815 the church was considerably repaired, and since that date has remained one of the parish churches of Exeter. There is an old carving in stone on the east wall of the tower representing the Scourging of our Lord. The arch of the rood staircase and a few steps remain, but there is no vestige of an old screen. Across the chancel is a modern oak screen of five square-headed lights [plate 102], surmounted by a cross, with an angel on either side; according to an inscription it was:— erected to the Glory of God, and in memory of Mrs. Ellen Stephens Ingle, wife of the Rev. John Ingle, for 24 years Rector of this Parish; and of her sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Agnes Vallance, Easter, A.D. 1902.
There are some old tombstones, but they have been very badly treated, and in many cases the inscriptions are unreadable. One, at the west end, has the inscription:— Here lieth the body of M. Nicholas Aubin who was minister of Gravan, in Xaintonge, in France, he preached 6 years last March in this St. Olave's Church. Deceased ye 3rd of April 1788, aged 59 years the 6th of January last.
The first rector is Nicholas de Totton, 1276.
The registers date: baptisms, 1602; marriages, 1601; burials, 1601.
EXETER. St. Pancras. The church [plate 103a] consists of chancel and nave, with bell turret. The building bears evidence of greater antiquity than almost any other church in Exeter, the font [plate 103b] is probably the oldest in Exeter. It is massive and circular, with a decoration of pellet moulding round the top; it has been restored by scraping it as smooth as possible, so removing the appearance of the antiquity it undoubtedly has. The chancel has some old windows; the east is a lancet of three lights with trefoiled head; on the north side of the chancel is one of two lights and a single lancet of great age. On the south side of the chancel is a piscina with pointed trefoil arch, and over the piscina is square opening in the wall of no great depth; it may have been an aumbry, but hardly seems large enough, and it is rather too high in the wall, possibly the explanation offered of a similar opening at Buckland Monachorum may apply here.
The east window, filled with glass, representing our Lord on the Cross, St. Pancras, and St. Boniface, was given by Bishop Tozer. There are many memorials of the now demolished church of All Hallows, the pulpit, mural tablets, the organ at the west end, and the panelling round the walls, all came from that church, and the altar cross was brought with the proceeds of the sale of the All Hallows' bell. The Tudor pulpit is well carved, but bears evidence of having been cut in half; there are two figures beneath the book-rest, at one time there must have been figures at the other corners as well. Close to the pulpit is the entrance to the rood staircase, part of the stairs remain, but the upper doorway has been walled up. Near the east end of the south wall of the nave is a recess, which may have been a piscina, it there was a small altar in front of the old screen; I do not think from its position it could have been a holy water stoup.
The arms of Charles II [r. 1660-1685], with the date 1680, are preserved near the door. On the south wall is a tablet in memory of Loveday Bellett, with the following inscription:— Loveday the daughter of Christopher Bellett late of Bochim in the county of Cornwall Esq by Bridget the Daughter of William Pendarves of Roskrow in ye sd County Esq, Lyes buried near this place. She died in this City the 16th day of Sept Anno Dom. 1711 of ye smallpox a Distemper so remarkably fatal to her family that no less than four of her sisters died of it in the Months of Feby and March 1716-17 in the Boroughs of Penryn & Fowey in Cornwall aforesaid.
On the north side of the chancel is the tombstone of Anne Salter, wife of Anthony Salter, who died July 14th 1606; and on the south side that of Peter Vilvaine, sometime Steward of Exeter, who deceased September 5th 1602, and Ann Vilvaine, his widow, deceased September 24th 1616.
The ancient bell in the turret has the inscription:— Quamvis sum parva, tamen audior ampla parva, R.N.
The initials R.N. probably refer to Robert Norton, of Exeter, a well-known bell founder in the reign of Henry VI [1422-1461 & 1470-1471].
The registers date: baptisms, 1664; marriages, 1676; burials, 1666.
EXETER. St. Petrock. Originally the church [plate 104] consisted of chancel, nave, and tower, but it has been much altered at different times. In 1413 a south aisle was added, and a century later another aisle was built forming a double south aisle. The church was enlarged in 1587, and again in 1828. In 1881 the old chancel was converted into a baptistery and a new chancel built. The capitals of the pillars are carved with angels holding shields. There have been so many interments in the church, that there has not been room for tombstones for each, and in many cases several families' names are cut on the same stone. Close to the entrance door, in what was formerly the nave, is the monument of William Hooper and Maria his wife, with portrait busts, and long Latin inscriptions; she died September 25th 1658, and he on January 17th 1682. Another monument commemorates John and Faith Mayne, 1679, 1680. Over the north door is a mural tablet in memory of Jonathan and Elizabeth Ivie; this was brought from St. Kerrian's Church when it was taken down in 1873. Behind the south door is a fine piece of carving which also came from St. Kerrian's with the Ivie tablet. It represents the Resurrection of the Dead; above, there are angels blowing trumpets, and below, the dead rising from their graves; at the base are two skulls. The following story is on record of Mr. Jonathan Ivie, who was churchwarden during the years 1687, 1688. When the Prince of Orange arrived at Exeter in 1688, his chaplain, Mr. Whittle, applied to Mr. Ivie for permission to preach at St. Kerrian's, but was refused. The parish clerk, who had the keys, let the chaplain in, "for which insubordination Mr. Ivie very rudely broke the clerk's head in several places." For this he was brought before Colonel Cutts, and on submission and acknowledgement of his fault, was dismissed with a sharp reprimand. An entry in the register states that Mr. Whittle "preached here from viii Isaiah, v. 12-13, on the 18th November, 1688, ten days after the Prince arrived in this city."
In a glass case, in the baptistery, are preserved the old chained books which were purchased in the 16th century.
The name of the first rector, for whom I can find a date, is David Lawelyn, 1318, and before him Walter de Lewtrenchard, without any date.
The registers date: baptisms, 1539; marriages, 1538; burials, 1539.
EXMINSTER. St. Martin. The church [plate 105a] consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, south porch, and west tower with six bells. The nave is divided from the aisle by four arches resting on sandstone pillars and the aisle chapel from the chancel by one arch. Against the north wall of the chancel is a monument [plate 105b] divided into two compartments by Corinthian pillars; in the right hand division are two female figures kneeling on cushions, the left of these two figures wears long head-dress, frilled ruff, bodice with long waist and full dress, the front embroidered with crosses; the figure behind wears the same description of dress, but not such a full ruff, and the underpart of the ruff is decorated with crosses, and the head-dress is close-fitting. In the left hand division are three male figures kneeling on cushions, they wear short hair, beards and moustaches. They are clad in full armour with full pantaloons, the foremost figure wears sabbatons on the feet, the middle, shoes with rosettes, the feet of the third are missing. On the frieze are six scallop shells, above the frieze on each side of the centre piece kneels a female figure before a prieu-dieu with a death's head and bones carved on the side. The figures are arrayed in ruffs, long-waisted bodices and full skirts, behind each figure there is a shield with arms. The centre piece contains a brass with inscription and coat of arms, the whole being surmounted by a shield bearing arms.
The inscription is as follows:—
In Sempiterna memoria Othonis Petri Armgeri
Mæstissimus eivs filius paterni amoris et funibris
Moeroris ergo hoc Monumentum. P. P. P.
"Conditur hac petra pietatis petra petræus
Omen habet nomen nam petra vera fvit
Vicinis pacis sponsæ constantiæ amoris
Natis pavperibvs petra patrocinii
Indole tam propria quv stemate fulsit avito
Marti suo ciarvs conjve prole patre
Fama fidesq. vivi nobiscum in sarevia perstat
Mens generosa deu coelitvs orta petit
Sic petra petra operit corpvs petra nempe petræi hæc
At Christo frvitvr mens meliore petra"
Obiit die Junii 1607.
The monument bears the date 1608. There is a screen of five bays across the chancel needing restoration, the doors are missing, across the aisle there is a screen of five bays retaining the doors, the parclose screen of five bays remains.
The roof [plate 105c] of the south chapel is divided into squares ornamented with figures in plaster of St. Matthew, St. James Minor with club and book, St. Thomas with spear and book, St. John with chalice, St. Mark with lion, St. Simon with book and knife, St. James Major with staff, water bottle and pilgrim's hat with scallop shell, St. Peter with key, St. Luke with ox, St. Bartholomew with key, St. Andrew with his cross, St. Matthias with battle axe, St. John with eagle, and St. Judas. I suppose this figure is intended to represent the Judas who according to Eusebius was the 15th Bishop of Jerusalem [ca. 111-154]. Around the top of the east window of this chapel are carved the Nativity, the Baptism, the Bearing of the Cross, and the Resurrection.
On the left side of the east window is a mural monument with the inscription:— This monument is erected to the memory of Grace Wife of William Tothill of the Middle Temple who havinge issue Henry, died the 24th day of Februarye 1623 in the 18th year of Her age and lieth buried in this Ile, she being the daughter of Henry Tothill of Plamount thrice Sherife of Devon and Mary his wife.
"If Grace could length of days thee give
Or Virtue coulde have made the live
If Goodnesse could Thee here have kept
Or Tears of friends which for thee wept
Then had'st thou lived amongst us heere
To who thy virtues made thee deere
But thou a Sainte did'st Heaven Aspire
Whiles heere on earth wee the admire
The rest deere Corps in Mantle Claye
Till Christ thee raise the latter daye."
"Thy yeres were fewe Thy Glasse beinge run
Were death ende thy lyfe begun."
Beneath is a recumbent figure, in alabaster, of a female, the elbow resting on a pillow, the hand supporting the head. She wears ruff, mantle open at the front, showing the tight-fitting bodice, and long full skirt. Beneath the figure are the lines:—
"Speake statue tell her story
Its grace inherits Glory."
In the chancel are the remains of a piscina and on the walls several tablets in memory of the Kekewick family of Peamore.
Beneath the south window is a coffin shaped stone with the inscription:— Here lyeth the Body of Henry Tothill of Peamore Esq: who dyed the 9th day of December Ano 1640, ætatis suæ 78. Mary the only wife of ye aforesaid Henry and sole Daughter and Heire of Nicholas Sparke, Gent: lieth also here.
Near the parclose doorway is a stone with the inscription:— Here lye the bodyes of W . . . Tothill and Anne his wife who departed this life, shee ye 24th of June 1635 and hee ye 9th of June 1636 and by their desires interr'd together.
On the north wall is a large monument with the inscription:— In Memory of Philippa ye Deare Wife of John Cooke of Kenbury within this Parish, Merchant, who was one of the Daughters and heiress of Samuel Thoms descended from Thoms of Merthen and Tremaine in ye County of Cornwall. She died 15th of March 1690 and of fourteen children nine survived her. Et Virtus Post Funera. Aetatis suæ 37. Also in memory of ye abovesaid John Cooke who died the 28th day of July 1685. Aetatis suæ 45. Nine of his children likewise survived him.
Beneath this monument on a marble slab is the inscription:— In Memory of Samuel Cooke of Kenbury Esq: who died the third day of September 1740. Aetatis suæ 64. Also in memory of Elizabeth the wife of the above Samuel. She was one of the daughters of John Beresford late of Taunton Castle in the County of Somerset, Gent: and died the 3rd day of March 1740 Aetatis suæ 71, and of eleven children five only survived them.
There is a restored holy water stoup near the south door, and several old tombstones in the aisle.
Nearly all the guide books give but a very short account of Exminster Church, but it is as well worth a visit as many a church to which more space is devoted.
The registers date from 1562.
FARWAY. St. Michael and All Angels. The church [plate 106] consists of chancel with priest's door, nave, north aisle separated from nave by four arches, south porch, and west tower with three bells. The north aisle was added to the nave about the first half of the 12th century. The circular Norman piers, dividing the nave from the aisle, are still in position, but the capitals were partly cut away, when pointed arches were substituted for the old semi-circular ones about the year 1300. It is probable that at about the same time the aisle was widened. The altar table in the chancel is interesting, it dates from the time of Elizabeth [1558-1603], and is 4 feet long by 2 feet broad and 3 feet high. The legs, of which all four are carved, are bulbous shaped, and the lower and upper rails are well carved. Dr. Cox says:— "It is in a good state of preservation, and may rank among the six best examples. These tables with bulbous legs were in use from about 1572 to 1606, this one probably dates from about the last quarter of the 16th century."
The church was restored by Sir Edmund Sanderson-Prideaux, and was re-opened September 27th 1876, shortly before his death by which this branch of the family became extinct.
On the north wall of the chancel is a mural tablet in memory of Richard Blake, rector of the parish for 31 years, who died September 22nd 1788:— He was a liberal benefactor to the poor, a sincere and steady friend and vigilant pastor. From his mind, replete with knowledge flowed instruction to all, and his heart equally benevolent ever expanded the gate of his hospitable Mansion. To whose memory this monument is erected by order of his affectionate relative, Hannah Atkinson.
Another tablet is in memory of John Hawkes Merles, rector of the parish for 20 years, who died on the Feast of the Holy Innocents [28th December], 1893, aged 80.
At the east end of the north aisle is a tablet:— To the memory of Sir Peter Prideaux Bart, son of Sir Peter Prideaux Bart, by Susanna his wife, sister to Lord John Poulett, Baron of Hinton St. George, which Sir Peter Prideaux married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Sir Bevill Granville of Stow in Cornwall Kt, and sister to ye Right Hon. John, late Earl of Bath, by whom he had fower sons and six daughters. This monument was erected at ye sole and proper cost of Susanna Prideaux, eldest daughter of Sir Peter Prideaux, his sole executrix. Obiit 22nd Novembris Anno Dom: 1705, ætatis suæ 79
At the east end of the aisle, against the north wall, is the monument of Sir Edmund Prideaux. Two figures are lying at full length, one above the other, beneath a circular arch, surmounted by a coat of arms. The upper figure is clothed in forensic costume, cloak, coif, and ruff, the hands raised in prayer; on his left arm is his shield. The lower figure wears armour on which are the Prideaux arms, and long boots, both hands clasp the sword. He has long hair, a deep collar, and his head rests on a helmet with a plume of feathers; at the back of the monument is the inscription:— In memorie of Sir Edmund Prideaux Baronette who died ye 28th day of March Anno Domini 1628. ætatis suæ 74.
On the north wall is a portrait bust with the following inscription:— This parte of the church was new Builte in ye yere of our Lord 1628. By the Benevolence of Humphrie Hutchins of this parish.
On the wall there is also a brass tablet with the inscription:—
In pia memoria Richardi
qui moritur Ano Dni 1632
"He that procured this sacrcd edifice
To be erected here, now here he lies
His zealous care was the efficient cause
To build this fabric for the use of God's Lawes
In life a saint in death a happy soule
None but the envious can this controll.
"He loved our Nation and hath built us a synagogue."
The registers date: baptisms, 1567; marriages, 1574; burials, 1573.
FENITON. St. Andrew. The church consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, and west tower with grotesque gargoyles and six bells. There is a very fine rood screen [plate 107a] to the nave and aisle consisting of eight bays, five in the chancel, and three in the aisle; one of the bays in the chancel has been cut to give access to the pulpit. There is a good cornice of three rows, the upper cresting is good, but the old work of the upper cresting has been replaced with plain moulding, the doors are missing. In the north wall of the chancel, there is a Memento mori; an emaciated figure in winding sheet, probably the figure of a priest; it is in an exceptionally good state of preservation [plate 107b]. The church was restored in 1887, the reredos is modern, and was erected in memory of Mary Pinckney, May 8th 1891. In the vestry is preserved the old sounding board of the pulpit, which has been converted into a table. The old west gallery has been removed, and the organ, which formerly stood there, has been placed in a new organ chamber built out from the north wall of the nave; the dormer window which gave light to the gallery still remains. There are some old carved bench-ends and some of good modern workmanship.
The font [plate 107c] is interesting, as it retains the shelf at the side of the bowl for holding the baptismal bowl, or the cruets for the chrism oil, etc.; the bowl of the font has been re-cut, which gives it a new appearance, and might cause it to be overlooked as being of no great age. The south parclose screen is very fine, the head of the doorway being well designed.
There is an extension to the aisle, forming a lobby and south entrance to the church; in this lobby are preserved the arms of George III [1760-1820]. In the vestry will be found the old parish chest with three locks.
The first vicar was Gifford de Baketon.¾¾¾ The second, Robert de Polammesforde, 1263-1264.
The registers date: baptisms, 1549; marriages, 1550; burials, 1549.
GIDLEIGH. Holy Trinity. The church consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, divided from the nave by three arches, resting on octagonal pillars with plain capitals, and west tower with four bells.
There is a good Perpendicular rood screen [plate 108] consisting of five bays, the doors remaining; the groining is gone, and the spandrel spaces have been covered with some of the old carving. The cornice is composed of two rows of fruit and leaf carving, and is without cresting; on the lower panels are paintings of saints, some old, but the greater number are coloured pictures pasted on the panels and varnished. The rood staircase remains; the space between the entrance and exit doors is exceptionally low.
This might well be called the «granite» church, as reredos, pulpit, font, and reading desk are all made of granite. There is some ancient glass in the window of the aisle, two half figures; the one on the left side representing the Blessed Virgin, with the face missing. Outside the church, against the north wall, are a row of gravestones, probably removed from the floor of the church. The building was restored in 1841.
The first vicar was Michael de Leghe, September 20th 1259.
The registers date: baptisms, 1613; marriages, 1599; burials, 1599.
Exeter, St. Lawrence: Screen
Exeter, St. Martin: Altar Rails
Exeter, St. Martin: Font
Exeter, St. Mary Arches: Interior
Exeter, St. Mary Major: Remains of Screen
Exeter, St. Mary Steps: Rood Screen
Exeter, St. Mary Steps: Font
Exeter, St. Olave: Interior
Exeter, St. Pancras: Interior
Exeter, St. Pancras: Font
Exeter, St. Petrock: Interior
Exminster: Petre Monument
Exminster: Roof of South Aisle
Feniton: Rood Screen
Feniton: Memento Mori in Chancel
Gidleigh: Rood Screen
«Some Old Devon Churches»:
[Dr. R. Peters: firstname.lastname@example.org]