Church Of St Mary The Virgin

25 Mar 2003
Church Of St Mary The Virgin, Cheriton Bishop, Mid Devon, Devon, EX6 6HY
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.


10/34 Church of St Mary the Virgin 26.8.65


Parish Church. Norman origins. C13 chancel. C15 nave, north aisle and tower; south wall and porch rebuilt and interior renovated 1884. Chancel of plastered rubble with volcanic dressings; north aisle and tower of granite ashlar with some granite detail replaced by Beerstone; south wall of nave and south porch of snecked volcanic stone with granite, Beerstone and volcanic detail; slate roofs and red tiles to porch. Early Decorated east window to chancel but side lancets suggest earlier date; the rest is Perpendicular. Plan comprises nave with lower and narrower chancel; a north aisle with east chapel under separate roof; west tower; south porch and small C19 south porch to chancel. Large unrestored west tower of three stages has diagonal buttresses rising above embattled parapet as pinnacles; 2-light, round-headed granite belfry windows on all sides, and, in west side, a moulded, arched doorway and 3-light Perpendicular window with granite tracery and hood mould (the lower drip mould rises over top of window). South side of nave is largely 1884 work. Gable-ended porch with diagonal buttresses, moulded granite arch and moulded volcanic under-cloaking beneath gable which is surmounted by terracotta fleure cross. 3 nave windows; restored C15 volcanic 2-light window with round heads to left of porch, C19 volcanic Decorated-style to right, and, to right end, beyond a buttress, a 3-light Perpendicular window apparently in situ (original granite sides and hood mould but restored Beerstone tracery). At right end C19 masonry encloses turret for rood stair. Chancel with 3 lancet windows has broad pilaster buttress left of centre and small monopitch stone-roofed porch with shoulder-headed doorway right of centre. Partly restored early decorated window with geometric tracery in east end and single lancet to north.

North aisle with off-set buttresses to corners and 5 restored Perpendicular windows (original granite sills) with intervening buttresses.

Interior. Nave, aisle and chancel have ceiled wagon roofs; original in chancel with carved oak bosses and moulded wall plate with 4-leaf motifs at intervals: aisle retains some original carpentry but nave appears mostly C19 renovation-work.

5-bay granite arcade to north aisle (fifth arch between chancel and north chapel) resting on moulded piers (Pevsner's Cornish A type) with undecorated capitals.

High tower arch has square sides, chamfered corners, plain imposts and chamfered double arch ring. C15 south door of studded oak plank construction with applied tracery defining 4 trefoil-headed panels in C19 stone arch. Flagged floor includes several inscribed C17 gravestones. Granite arch to stairs to rood loft in south wall. South chancel wall includes small arch-headed piscina. Hollow-chamfered rear arches to north aisle windows which include fragments of C15 stained glass.

Small isolated patches of mural painting on north wall. 3-bays of late C15 8-bay oak rood screen reset as parclose with central door across north aisle. Although partly restored it is of very high quality with delicate carving and includes 12 original painted figure panels in blind tracery. Another painted fragment of the screen is mounted on south wall. Late C11 Beerstone font is a profusely decorated girdled tub on a circular base on C20 granite plinth. Partly restored C16 oak pulpit with octagonal drum on stem; the 5 panelled sides have elaborate carvings including birds, grotesque heads, a mermaid and harpy. 8 C15 oak benches in south aisle with carved ends showing 2 tiers of recessed trefoil-headed panels with crenellated rail between. Other furnishings are late C19 featuring oak choirstalls with carved ends and wrought ironwork, both by local craftsmen. The ironwork is distinctively bold and on the heavy strap hinges of the west tower door the date 1873 and a series of initials are inscribed. At east end of south wall good late C17 marble monument to the Daveys of Medland Manor, the inscription of an oval medallion flanked by Corinthian columns with moulded cornice under arms and flanking cartouches and sill on consoles. On north wall of chancel a brass to R.L. Pennell who died in Zanzibar in 1872 and depicts a missionary ship and African isle. 2 painted achievements of the Royal Arms, rare arms of Elizabeth I over south door and arms of George II dated 1735 in north aisle. A fragment of Nottingham alabaster, found during renovation work, is mounted on south wall; it depicts head of Christ carrying the Cross, 2 soldiers and another head, possibly Simon of Cyrene. In north aisle lead plaque is inscribed 'Richard Dicker, James Lob, Wardins, 1704'. Belfry not inspected.

Sources K.M.Clarke, The Baptismal Fonts of Devon:Part II Trans. Devon. Assoc. 46 (1914), p432-3.

Listing NGR: SX7732493567


This is part of the Series: IOE01/0768 IOE Records taken by Peter Funnell; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Peter Funnell. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Funnell, Peter

Rights Holder: Funnell, Peter


Ashlar, Beer Stone, Granite, Plaster, Rubble, Slate, Stone, Tile, Medieval Parish Church, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Church, Place Of Worship, Commemorative Monument, Commemorative