Church Of St Mary

27 Oct 1999
Church Of St Mary, Woolfardisworthy, Mid Devon, Devon
Photograph (Digital)
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.

WOOLFARDISWORTHY SS 80 NW 6/299 Church of St Mary - 26.8.65 GV II*

Small parish church. Medieval origins, rebuilt completely in 1845 by J Hayward.

Mostly snecked volcanic stone and mudstone, but tower more rubble laid to rough courses; Bathstone and volcanic ashlar detail, mostly Beerstone internal detail; slate roofs. Nave with lower and narrower chancel, west tower, vestry on side of chancel, and south porch. Perpendicular Gothic-style. Tower of 2 stages with low buttresses, diagonal to west end, angle on east. Embattled parapet. Some of tower masonry may be C15 work, but all detail renewed in 1845. 2-light trefoil headed belfry windows and trefoil headed single light to ringing floor on south side.

Stair turret projecting square on north side. West side of tower has 2-centred Bathstone arch with moulded surround and roll stops containing a studded plank door with massive wrought iron strap hinges with fleur-de-lys finials. Above the door is a 3-light window with moulded hoodmould and large human face labels; the Perpendicular tracery is possibly original C15 work. 3 windows to south side of nave; all Bathstone, 2 lights with cinquefoil heads. Porch left of centre with kneelers and coping to gable end and moulded Bathstone outer arch. Buttress right of centre and angle buttress at right end. Chancel has cinquefoil-headed Bath stone lancet on south side. East end has diagonal buttresses and a 3-light window with moulded hoodmould and human face labels and includes original C15 Perpendicular tracery. On north side of chancel roof carried down over vestry; which includes a square-headed fixed pane window containing leaded diamond panes on east side. North side of nave has three 2-light windows similar to those on front and with buttresses between.

Interior: Nave has an open 5-bay roof. Trusses have moulded arch-bracing springing from moulded corbels. Moulded wall plate and square-sectioned purlins. Chancel has an ornate boarded wagon roof, apparently good but heavily restored late C15-early C16 carpentry. It has moulded ribs and the panels have slightly projecting moulded straight cross braces, carved oak bosses on all intersections and decorative crestwork along the edges of the ribs, purlins and braces. Richly carved wall plate with deeply undercut fruiting vine pattern and crestwork. Cresswell suggests that this may be derived from former rood screen. Beerstone chancel arch has double- chamfered arch ring, the inner chamfer with moulded capitals. Plain high tower arch with chamfered soffit. Marble floor to nave, stone flags to chancel.

Beerstone piscina in south side of chancel with cinquefoil head. Furnishings and fittings are all C19 gothic-style. Oak altar rail supported on open gothic-style arcade. Similar style choir stalls and lectern. Beerstone gothic-style pulpit with carved ogee-headed panels each side. Oak pews appear to reuse sections of earlier box pews. Beerstone Perpendicular style font with panelled sides with cusping and 4-leaf enrichment. There is some C19 painted decoration including texts in Gothic- style lettering around chancel arch, piscina arch and on south side of chancel.

Chancel roof brightly coloured with blue panels and gold leaf stars and gold and red highlighting to ribs, bosses and braces. East window flanked by painted Commandment boards with illuminated lettering. South side of chancel has mid C19 carved Beerstone monument in C16 Gothic-style in memory of the Reverend John Dole (died 1797) and his family. North side of nave has a simple early C18 rectangular marble plaque with moulded plaster bolection frame in memory of Rev. John Croker (died 1719) and includes a sonnet elligy. Also Gothic-style wall brass in memory of the Rev Anthony Bell (died 1904) on north side, and an Art Nouveau brass in memory of H.R.Beer of Okareka, Rotorua, New Zealand (died 1911) and features bas relief angels gazing at a sunset over the sea. Stained glass by Bear of Bristol and Warrington.

Listing NGR: SS8275608598


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, Bath Stone, Beer Stone, Rubble, Shale, Slate, Stone, Medieval Parish Church, Tudor Religious Ritual And Funerary, Elizabethan Church, Place Of Worship, Commemorative Monument, Commemorative, Plaque, Commemorative Brass