This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.
NORTH HUISH SX75NW 4/480 NORTH HUISH 9.2.61 Church of St Mary
Parish church, the dedication to St Mary may not be authentic. Largely early C14, probably with earlier fabric, C15 south aisle and south porch, circa 1840 vestry, restored in 1871 and 1884-5.
Local stone rubble of mainly slate rubble with granite dressings. The west lower, north side of the nave and the chancel have remains of old render and the south side of the top stages of the tower are slate hung. In the C20 the south side of the lower stages of the tower and the west end of the south aisle were rendered. Slate roofs with lead rolls to the ridges.
Plan and development: The earliest record of a rectar is in 1308 and the reconstruction of the church was dedicated in 1336 by Bishop Grandisson. The dedication may have been for the rebuilding of the chancel only but it appears that the west tower wiuth its integral spire and the north transept (Butterford aisle) are also early C14 church comprised a nave, chancel, north transept and a west tower with a spire. The south doorway is also C14 but is reused and was probably moved from the nave when the south aisle was added in the C15. Also in the C15 the nave was reroofed. The south porch, may be coeval with the aisle or possibly a later C15 addition. In circa 1840 a vestry was built on the north side of the chancel and in 1846 the east window was renewed. The church was restored in 1871 (Whites) and again in 1884-5.
In the late C20 partitions were inserted into the arcade to convert the south aisle into a parish room.
Exterior: The north side of the nave has 2 late C19 decorated style 2-light windows. The north transept has a circa C16 2-light window on the east side with uncusped 3-centred lights and a hoodmould to the straight head and a late C19 Perpendicular style 3-light north window.
Slightly battered west tower in 2 stages has diagonal buttresses on the west corners and angle buttresses on the east corners, all rising only to the belfry floor level. A polygonal stair turret on the north side of the tower rises to the ringing stage only and has a slate weathered roof and small window slits. The tower has an embattled parapet on granite corbels; the octagonal recessed spire is integral and built of dressed slate rubble with a stone finial. Uncusped lancets on each side of the belfry and a cusped lancet on the south side of the ringing stage below, a 3-light granite C15 or early C16 Perpendicular west window with a hoodmould over a small unmoulded 2-centred arch west doorway.
The chancel has a slightly lower roof than the nave; the east window of 1846 in decorated style and of 3-lights; a small blocked priest's doorway on the south side with a 3-centred granite arch; this doorway is in a blocked original window opening. The north wall of the chancel is concealed by a circa 1840 vestry which has a brick stack at its north gable end and a C19 sash window on its east side with intersecting glazing bars and a brick 4- centred arch; a doorway to the left is blocked.
The south aisle has a moulded slate wall plate and plinth; the plinth continues around the 4 granite buttresses which have moulded weathering to their set-offs, the east is a diagonal buttress on the corner. Between the buttresses are 4 large late C19 (1884-5?) 4-light Perpendicular style windows with almost round arches; their tracery is interesting especially the tracery of the easternmost window on the south side and the east end window which have panel tracery with transoms suggesting a circa 1900 date. The east gable end of the aisle has late C19 moulded stone coping and a cross at the apex.
The porch is at the west end of the south side of the aisle, and at a lower level than the aisle; they may be contemporary or the porch could be later C15; it has a similarly moulded plinth and wall plate and a large moulded 3- centred arch granite doorway with carved spandrels and a label with carved stops; on the bases of the doorway jambs there is a quatrefoil panel to the right and a pair of round-headed lancet-like recesses to the left; in the gable above the doorway an elaborately shaped slate sundial dated 1686. The porch has its original ceiled wagon roof with roll moulded ribs, carved wall plate and later bosses. The inner south doorway has a C14 2-centred arch frame with a double convex moulding and a lancet niche above; the door is circa mid C19 with a 2-centred arch and flush panels.
Interior: The walls have old plaster but the south aisle walls have been cement rendered. The floors are slate. There are C16 ceiled wagon roofs over the nave, transept and the south aisle but most of the moulded ribs and plaster panels were removed from the south aisle roof in the late C20 when a suspended ceiling was inserted underneath. The nave and north transept roofs have moulded ribs, carved bosses at the intersections and carved wall plates.
The ceiled wagon roof over the narrower and slightly lower chancel has chamfered wall plates and then moulded ribs which seem to be C19 but which may conceal an earlier roof structure above.
The east arch of the 5-bay south arcade is lower to fit under the stone wall plate of the lower chancel. The granite arcade has 4-centred, almost round, moulded arches; the moulded granite monolithic piers of standard A-type (Pevsner) have 4 shafts which rise into the capitals which have horizontal bands and similar bases without the bands.
Only the south aisle windows appear to have their original . The transept has an unmoulded 2-centred arch and the tall tower arch is also 2- centred but with imposts. There is no chancel arch.
On the south wall of the chancel a tall blocked lancet with deep splays, later used as a doorway and now a sedilia; to its east a plain 2-centred arch piscina with a crude drain, its slat shelf removed. On the north side of the chancel a blocked chamfered 2-centred arch doorway with diagonal stops or mitres for the cill. The pointed arch doorway to its left to the vestry is later.
The doorways at the top and bottom of the tower stair turret have chamfered 2-centred arches. The bell-ringer's floor has large unchamfered beams.
Furnishings: The stone reredos is supposed to be C19 ("modern" cresswell) or is it a reused C16 tomb? The C15 rood screen has been removed for repair and is now in storage in the transept; it has 3-light panels and thick canopy-work in the spandrels but no coving or cresting; the cornice has strips of decoration and the wainscoting is pierced (Pevsner). The similar south parclose screen is in situ in the east bay of the arcade; both are painted and may have early colour underneath. The tower arch has an early C20 boarded and glazed partition. The nave benches and choir stalls with poppyheads are all late C19 and complete, but the aisle benches have been removed. The late C19 polygonal wooden pulpit is probably contemporary; it has pierced gothic panels and has been moved to the transept. The wrought iron altar rail and wrought iron and brass lecturn are late C19. The crudely moulded octagonal granite font is dated 1662 and has initials R.O; it has an octagonal ogee domed wooden cover with a fircone finial. In the vestry the stairs to its higher floor level have a turned balustrade and there is a circa 1840 chimneypiece and safe.
Stained alass: Late C19 patterned coloured glass in all the windows; the central light of the east window has a stained glass crucifixion.
Bells: bells; 4 are dated 1804, 1 is dated 1899.
Monuments: Marble gothick wall monuments in chancel to Peter Perrin died 1851 and John Allen died 1853; a Neo-classical monument to another John Allen died 1846 also in the chancel. The best monument is on the north wall of the nave to Richard Strode of Newnham Park died 1790; marble with a large draped urn at the top and fluted pilasters flanking the inscription which invites the reader to look at Butterford (qv). "The stately mansion that adorns the brow of yonder summit". On the west wall on either side of the tower arch are various monuments to members of the Cornish family of Black Hall (qv).
Sources: B F Cresswell, Notes on Devon Churches, Deanery of Totnes.
Listing NGR: SX7113256548
© Mr Keith Mackenzie. Source: Historic England Archive
This photograph was taken for the Images of England project
People & Organisations
Photographer: Mackenzie, Keith
Rights Holder: Mackenzie, Keith
Granite, Render, Rubble, Slate, Stone, Medieval Parish Church, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Church, Place Of Worship, Wall Monument, Commemorative, Commemorative Monument, Village Hall, Civil, Meeting Hall, Public Building