SX 98 NW
2/152 Church of St Andrew
Parish church. C12/early C13 font ; chancel early C14, C15 aisles, porch and tower ;
considerable repair of window tracery. Continuous 30 year programme of restoration,
beginning in 1863, 1860s restoration by Henry Woodyer, restoration of rood screen in
the 1880s, executed Hems, architects Fulford and Harvey. Red sandstone with Beer
stone dressings, the tower red sandstone and flint; slate roofs.
Plan: nave, chancel, west tower, 5-bay north and south arcades (1 bay to the
chancel), south porch, north-east vestry. Largely Perpendicular, although the east
window and presumably the chancel, date from the Decorated period. Interior richly
fitted-out in the C19, preserving late Perpendicular woodwork, with the nave and
aisles re-roofed ; and embattled turrents.
Exterior: Striking both for materials ; rough red sandstone dressed with white
Beerstone, and for the embattling and embattled turrets. Chancel with set-back
buttresses, fine 5-light early C14 east window with intersecting tracery, hoodmould
and carved label stops, the south side with a 3-light Perpendicular window and
blocked priest's door with a 4-centred arched head in volcanic stone. Embattled,
buttressed 5-bay north aisle with a polygonal rood loft stair turret with parapet.
3-light Perpendicular windows, the tracery much renewed, some of the voussoirs in
white stone ; small square-headed west window with chamfered frame. C19 vestry in
north-east corner with parapet ; 2-light mullioned east window, hollow-chamfered
doorway in north wall. The south aisle is also embattled with similar windows and
buttresses, the voussoirs of some of the windows alternating red and white stone,
porch in westernmost bay ; embattled polygonal stair turret with slit windows at
south west corner. Embattled porch with set back buttresses and decayed shallow-
moulded rounded outer doorway, moulded inner doorway with plank and cover strip door,
probably Perpendicular ceiled wagon roof with moulded ribs and foliage bosses.
Embattled tower with diagonal buttress and a large polygonal embattled south west
stair turret with slit windows rising above the tower proper. 2-light belfry
openings on all 4 faces, bellringers' stage window on west face with a rounded head.
Deeply-moulded C19 west doorway below 4-light C19 Perpendicular west window with king
Interior: Rich in fittings. Unplastered walls except for the chancel, C19 timber
cusped chancel arch, 5-bay north and south arcades (1 bay to the chancel) with
octagonal sandstone piers and double chamfered rounded arches - a Perpendicular
design of the region - , narrow double chamfered tower arch dying into the walls ;
Beerstone rere arches to the windows. Medieval unceiled wagon roof to the chancel,
repaired and painted in 1863 (Woodyer) with big painted bosses ; nave roof of 1869 by
Woodyer, arched brace with a longitudinal rib below collar level, the main timbers
moulded with carved bosses at the intersections. Aisle roofs almost certainly also
by Woodyer ; unusual with curved longitudinal ribs below curved ties supported on
corbels to the arcades. Fine 13-bay rood screen, restored by Harry Hems between
1887 - 1894, the coving C19. Well-preserved series of painted wainscot panels,
female saints to the south, male to the north with other ancient painted decoration
including chevron patterns on the east side. The rood and figures were added in
1889, said to be the first post-reformation replacements in Devon. Chamfered
doorways to rood loft stair turret, upper doorway blocked. 3-bay square-headed
traceried parclose screens, restored 1890, with some linenfold panelling. Notable
C19 chancel fittings, partly of Woodyer's period (1860s), partly 1890. Excellent
1860s floor tiling, co-eval cinquefoil-headed piscina on south wall, moulded priest's
door into vestry on north wall and internal angel corbels and carving to the south
window where the sill is brought down to form a seat. Splendid 5-bay canopied stone
and marble reredos of the 1890s designed by Fulford and Harvey with marble shafts,
fan vaulting and blind tracery. On either side, 3 tiers of blind stone tracery
filled with 1890s mosaics of censing angels, the tracery apparently surviving from
the 1860s. Stone and marble altar with, sorted underneath it, 2 very large
freestanding alabaster angels which originally knelt on the reredos flanking the
white marble crucifixion, which was carved in Italy by P. Bartolini and has been
removed to the altar of the south chancel chapel. 1860s choir stalls designed by
The nave has a C12 Purbeck marble font under the tower with a square bowl with blind
arcading on the rounded stem with corner shafts. 1875 stone and marble pulpit
designed by Easton and Son with open panels and a carved figure of St Andrew; C19
timber eagle lectern, probably a copy of a C16 lectern ; complete set of nave benches
of the early C16 with square-headed ends with 2 tiers of tracery, aisle benches
copied from the medieval in the C19. Fixed to the tower is a remarkable section of
medieval painted panelling :- the 2 single figures appear to be early C16 portraits.
Piscinas in south chancel chapel and nave.
Memorials Mural tablet on north wall of chancel commmemorating Dr William Huchenson,
Chaplain to James I and Charles I, with armorial bearings and a Latin inscription ;
kneeling figure on the south wall of the nave on a monument to Richard Waltham, died
1637, On the north wall of the nave a good classical white marble monument to
William Long, died 1770 and one to John Geere, died 1748. Other late C18 and C19
white marble wall tablets.
Glass: Fragments of C14 and C15 glass leaded into a window on the vestry, other
fragments in the east window at the base, concealed internally by the reredos. Late
C15/early C16 heraldic shields in the south window of the south chancel chapel.
South window in chancel, with a memorial date of 1856 probably by William Wailes :
the remainder of the glass is an outstanding and complete scheme by the Hardman
Company, the east window of 1868, the aisle windows of the late C19 with white glass
canopies, west windows of aisles also by Hardman, designed in the 1880s and 90s, and
memorial window in south chancel chapel, incorporating a portrait head, also by the
The C19 restoration was carried out over a period of 30 years during the incumbency
of the Reverend Reginald Porter, a High Churchman, whose photographs of the church
during restoration survive. As a reflection of High Church design and craftsmanship
applied to a fine medieval parish church, and relatively unaltered since, Kenn is of
outstanding historical interest.
Devon Nineteenth Century Churches Project.
Listing NGR: SX9219585696