Church Of St Thomas Of Canterbury / Parish Church Of St Thomas A Becket

25 Oct 1999
Church Of St Thomas Of Canterbury, Puddington, Mid Devon, Devon, EX16 8LP
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Parish Church Of St Thomas A Becket, Puddington, Mid Devon, Devon, EX16 8LP
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.

PUDDINGTON PUDDINGTON SS 81 SW 3/215 Church of St Thomas of Canterbury - 26.8.65 (formerly listed as Parish Church of St Thomas a Becket) GV II*

Small parish church. Late C15; thoroughly restored in 1838 by W Bowden including rebuild of nave and chancel and addition of north aisle and south porch. Original work of roughly squared blocks of mostly volcanic trap but including some purple mudstone, restoration work of snecked volcanic and mudstone; volcanic ashlar and Beerstone detail; slate roofs, with crested ridgetiles to north aisle. Continuous nave and chancel under same roof, north aisle, west tower and south porch. Late Perpendicular throughout. Low unbuttressed west tower with moulded plinth and embattled parapet. Tower fabric largely original C15 but most of detail replaced in 1838. All belfry windows are restored Beerstone twin round-headed lights and south side has small flat-arch headed window to ringing loft immediately above drip course level which survives only on west and north sides. West side of tower is roughcast and includes now blocked original volcanic stone doorway with 2-centred arch, moulded surround and cushion stops. Restored Beerstone window above door is square- headed, 2-lights with flat-arched heads, sunken spandrels and hoodmould with simple labels. Stair turret projects square from north side and includes tiny unrestored volcanic stone lancet windows. 2-window front to nave, both Beerstone, square- headed, 2-lights with cinquefoil heads, sunk spandrels and hoodmould. Left end window maybe only partly restored but right window apparently wholly 1838 work. C19 gabled porch between 2 windows has plain round-headed front arch which includes a studded plank door with applied trellis pattern on front. Nave and chancel right of porch appear to be completely rebuilt in C19 of snecked masonry without a plinth.

Chancel has single south-facing window, an arch-headed Beerstone lancet with cinquefoil head. East end of chancel has 1838 Beerstone almost round-headed 3-light window with cinquefoil heads, Perpendicular-style tracery and simple hoodmould. The gable end has stone coping surmounted by a fleuree cross. East end of north aisle is set back a little from end of chancel and includes a Beerstone 3-light window similar to that in chancel. North front of aisle has Beerstone single light lancet window with cinquefoil head to east chapel at left end, a buttress to right, then 3 Beerstone square-headed 2-light windows with cinquefoil heads and sunken spandrels, no hoodmoulds. Blind roughcast west gable end.

Interior: porch has plain plastered vault and benches each side. Plain restored arch-headed south door. Ceiled wagon roof to nave was extensively restored in 1838 but appears to include some reused timber. Chancel has ceiled wagon roof of entirely 1838 work and contemporary north aisle has ceiled flat-arched roof with exposed chamfered ribs. Plain high tower arch is probably C15. Beerstone 4 bay 1838 Perpendicular style arcade from nave to north aisle, with one bay overlapping into chancel. It comprises moulded piers with plain capitals and low flat arches between. C18 fielded panel oak wainscotting to nave and plainer 1838 wainscotting to north aisle. Chancel includes C18 black and white marble chequer floor but altar on 1838 encaustic tile floor. Most of furnishings are C19 including mahogany altar rail on gilded gothic-style iron supports with spiral twist centre sections cusped brackets with fleur-de-lys. 1838 gothic-style oak choir stalls incorporate high quality C17 oak bench with highly ornamented chip-carved 2-panel back, and front of seat rail and legs are also carved, the latter with guilloche. 1838 Perpendicular- style hexagonal stem pulpit with fielded panel sides with crockets and finials between and richly-carved cornice. C20 oak lectern. Oak benches are 1838 work but incorporate some late C15-early C16 bench ends with simple geometric or linenfold decoration with moulded surrounds. Good late Perpendicular Beerstone font; square base, octagonal stem carved with arched panels and cinquefoil heads, the corner panels including shields over the bold cushion stops; roll moulding below bowl and sides of bowl carved with alternate arches with cinquefoil heads and quatrefoils.

1838 gothic-style timber screen to tower. No monuments of note. North aisle has painted board recording gift in 1662 by Humphrey Brooke of Cruwys Morchard of 10 to the poor; it is dated 1729 when William Pleace was church warden. Some moderate stained glass of 1867 and 1872 (nave) and 1877 (north aisle chapel). Sill of west window of nave has plaque containing moulded plaster skull and crossbones rescued from the C17 Blagdon monument in Honiton Church after fire of 1911. North aisle has display of 2 bells and part of a mid-C16 oak bell frame: the tenor is inscribed with letters of alphabet and thought by Reverend J G Scott to be C16 rather than C14, the treble is inscribed "John Blackdon: Ward. 1742. TW" and was cast by Thomas Wroth of Wellington. A second trefoil of 1787 cast by Thomas Bilbie of Cullompton is still in use.

Listing NGR: SS8335210659


This is part of the Series: IOE01/2255 IOE Records taken by Michael Woodhead; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Michael Woodhead. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Woodhead, Michael

Rights Holder: Woodhead, Michael


Ashlar, Beer Stone, Shale, Slate, Medieval Parish Church, Tudor Religious Ritual And Funerary, Church, Place Of Worship, Plaque, Commemorative, Commemorative Monument