CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
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- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Teignbridge (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SX 85614 84684
ASHTON HIGHER ASHTON
SX 88 SE
6/14 Church of St John the Baptist
Parish church. Early C15, restored 1881-83 to the designs of the rector, Rev. R
Dennett, further restoration 1899-1901 by Ponting of Marlborough. Coursed stone,
partly rendered, granite rubble tower, freestone and granite dressings; slate roof.
Plan: west tower, nave, chancel, north aisle, north east Lady Chapel, south porch,
north-west vestry. Perpendicular, the heraldic glass dating from the period of
Bishop Lacy, 1420-55, (Pevsner), the whole church possibly of this date. The 1899-
1901 restoration involved repairing the roof and window tracery ; reslating and
relaying the floor. Choir stalls and restoration of screen probably also date from
Exterior: Gabled chancel with 3-light C19 Perpendicular east window; shallow
rectangular rood loft stair turret on south side; moulded arched south priest's
doorway with 3 plank C17 door and 2 Perpendicular windows with considerable C19
stonework replacement. The nave has a gabled rendered porch flanked by similar
Perpendicular windows. The north aisle, east end flush with the chancel has an east
window similar to the chancel and five 3-light Perpendicular north windows with much
replaced stonework; C19 3-light Perpendicular west window with uncarved label stops,
3 stage battlemented dressed moorstone west tower with corner obelisk finials,
diagonal buttresses with set-offs, string courses and plinth and internal south-west
stair. Fine Perpendicular granite west window, deeply traceried door; 3-light
granite Perpendicular west window, deeply recessed; 2-light chamfered belfry openings
on all 4 faces, chamfered 1-light openings to bellringers' stage on west and south
faces. Gabled porch with rounded chamfered outer doorway and a chamfered inner
doorway with a probably C17 plank and stud door; moulded arch braced medieval roof
with brattished wallplate; medieval benches with stone seats; trefoil-headed statue
niche over inner doorway.
Interior: Outstanding for Perpendicular fittings, painting and stained glass.
Plastered walls; no chancel arch; fine double-chamfered granite tower arch with
moulded responds and capitals; unusually elaborate 5-bay Beerstone arcade, 1 bay to
the chancel, with piers with clustered shafts with capitals similar to the tower arch
and moulded arches. Open waggon roofs with moulded ribs, carved foliage bosses and a
brattished wallplate to nave and chancel. Important 8-bay C15 roodscreen, the coving
an early C20 replacement incorporating some medieval carving. The roodscreen
paintings are probably the best in the county: conventional dado paintings on the
west side and exceptionally fine large demi-figures on the east side and parclose
which has 6 square-headed traceried bays. 2-centred granite doorway to rood loft,
rebated for a door. Full set of Perpendicular nave bench ends and benches, with C20
repair. Most of the bench ends have 2 tiers of blind tracery, some of the benches
have good carved bench backs. Perpendicular Beerstone font with an octagonal bowl
with foliage carving at the junction with the stem. Heraldry carved on the bowl is
said to record the marriage in 1476 of Sir James Chudleigh of Place Barton (q.v.) and
Margaret Stourton. Fine late C16 timber drum pulpit with tester, the drum decorated
with tiers of round-headed arches and strapwork, reeded pilasters and a dentil frieze
below the cornice. Well-carved tester, the soffit decorated with applied ribs,
bosses and stars.
The chancel has a trefoil-headed piscina and a tomb recess below the south window, a
moulded granite tomb slab decorated with a cross is partly built into this recess.
C18 altar rails, C19 tiling and choir stalls; C19 timber eagle lectern in nave; 1735
painted Royal Arms in nowy-headed frame over nave door. C17 altar table to north-
Wall Monuments : Remarkable C17 timber wall monument in north wall to Sir George
Chudleigh, died 1657. A timber board, flanked by columns and crowned with armorial
bearings with obelisk finials to left and right, records the descent and matrimonial
alliances of the Chudleighs with shields painted with coats of arms; inscription
panel below board. On the north wall a severe Egyptian style monument to William
Godfrey, died 1798 is signed T Robinson.
Stained Glass Early C15 by the Doddiscombsleigh school of glass painters and
evidently the remains of a large scheme. The surviving figure glass is fragmentary,
the heraldic glass in the head tracery is more complete and indicates Chudleigh
alliances. The glass was restored in 1901-2 by F. Morris Drake of Exeter who
commented on its remarkable technical qualities; east window designed by Drake.
Wall painting : Unusually well-preserved wall-painting on north wall of north east
chapel showing the mass of St Gregory, further fragment of painting on east wall of
chapel; it is likely that other wall-paintings survive behind later plaster and
An outstanding medieval church with important medieval paintings, woodwork and
Adams, Maxwell "A Brief Accound of Ashton Church and of some of the Chudleighs of
Ashton", TDA Vol 33 (1899) pp 185-198
Drake, Morris "Heraldic Stained Glass in Ashton Church" Exeter Diocesan Architectural
and Archaeological Society Transactions, 3rd series, vol 2, pp 167-174
Brooks, C and Evans, D, unpublished notes on the stained glass of Ashton Church.
Devon Nineteenth Century Churches Project.
Listing NGR: SX8561284685
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Transactions of the Devonshire Association, (1899)
'Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural and Archaeological Society' in Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural and Archaeological Society, , Vol. 2, (), 167-174
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
End of official listing