Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Torridge (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 34858 99261



2/16 Church of St Leonard



Parish church. C12 chancel and font. C14 arcades and west tower, some late C15/early C16 fenestration and roofs. Stone rubble with freestone dressings and slate roof. West tower, nave, chancel, north and south aisles, south west porch. Decorated and Perpendicular styles. The original C12 church was rebuilt in the C14, possibly with transepts, before the north and south aisles and west tower were added. The transept arches were probably rebuilt in the late C14. The chancel masonry is small pieces of stone brought to course, changes in masonry suggest that parts of the north wall have been rebuilt. The chancel has a coped gable and kneelers with a C19 3-light Perpendicular window with a hoodmould and carved label stops. On the north side a round-headed 1-light C12 window which may have been reset. On the south side a priest's doorway has a 2- centred hollow-chamfered arch with quatrefoils in the spandrels, a moulded architrave and a relieving arch. To the left of the door a large blocked window under a relieving arch, to the right a 2-light C19 Perpendicular style cusped square-headed window with a hoodmould below a relieving arch. The north aisle has coped gables with kneelers at ends, the north wall appears to have been rebuilt above the windows. The east window is a 2-light C19 Perpendicular square-headed cusped window with a hoodmould, label stops and a relieving arch. Three 3-light circa late C15/early C16 3-light windows on the north side are square-headed with cusped lights, hoodmoulds, label stops and relieving arches. The 2 easternmost windows have iron stanchions and saddle bars. A 2-centred arched doorway to the west is chamfered with diagonal stops, a hoodmould and label stops. The circa late C17/early C18 door has wide planks and studs. On the south side the south aisle has a 2-light C19 Perpendicular style cusped square-headed window with a hoodmould below a relieving arch. The 2 eastern windows in the aisle are similar to the north side windows with stanchions and saddle bars intact. The westernmost window is a 2-light probably C19 square- headed cusped window with hoodmould, label stops, relieving arch and no stanchions or saddle bars. No west windows to either aisle. The south west porch has a coped gable and kneelers with a C19 cross on the apex of the gable and a 1634 slate sundial above an unusually tall 4-centred arched doorway with hollow chamfered jambs decorated with ballflowers. The doorway has a hoodmould and label stops. The interior of the porch has an unceiled waggon roof, formerly ceiled with carved moulded ribs and C19 replacement flat carved bosses and C19 carved wallplates. 1 medieval boss survives with traces of ancient colour. The inner doorway is chamfered with a 2-centred arch. The 3-stage unbuttressed C14 west tower has no string course below the battlementing and obelisk corner pinnacles on rectangular bases. The string courses at belfry and bellringers' stage continue round a grand polygonal battlemented stair turret in the centre of the south face which projects above the battlementing of the tower proper. The position of the stair turret is similar to Totnes and Harberton but earlier, and the details are unusual for the region with large run-out stops at the base and 2 slit windows alternating with 1 small quatrefoil window and 1 window at belfry stage consisting of 3 flamboyant mouchettes pierced in a roundel. The west doorway has a 2-centred arch with shallow moulding and a bead hoodmould and label stops below a relieving arch. A small shield and flower are carved on the mouldings of the doorway at the springing of the arch. A 3- light Decorated west window with geometric tracery is probably a C19 replacement. The belfry opening on the west face is also geometric Decorated in style with 2 trefoil-headed lights below a quatrefoil. The window has a hoodmould, label stops and slate louvres. On the north side the belfry opening has 2 trefoil-headed lights with slate louvres below a square-headed hoodmould with label stops. On the east face the belfry opening is an arched uncusped 2-light window with a hoodmould and label stops. On the south side the position of the stair turret restricts the belfry opening to a 1-light trefoil-head window with slate louvres and a hoodmould with label stops. The east face of the tower has a small rectangular chamfered window at bellringers' stage. Interior Chancel walls plastered, aisle walls half-plastered. The chancel/nave division is marked by the change in height between the chancel and nave roofs, with no chancel arch proper. Tall plain narrow tower arch. 4-bay north and south arcades, the easternmost bays on both sides polyphant with main and subsidiary shafts with mouldings between and capitals to the main shafts only. The south arch is 2- centred, the north arch 3-centred, Pevsner suggests that they may have been intended as transeptal arches. The 3 westernmost arches have octagonal freestone ashlar piers with double chamfered arches and brattished capitals. The nave roof is a circa late C19 canted waggon with moulded ribs, carved bosses and wallplates. The north and south aisle roofs are largely Perpendicular open waggon roofs with carved ribs, bosses and wallplates, most of the bosses appear to be C19 copies. The chancel roof is an open waggon, probably formerly ceiled, with carved ribs, bosses and C19 wallplates, most of the bosses appear to be replacements. The chancel walls are whitewashed but the remains of a late C19 pargetting scheme survives with 2 large angels and possibly St George killing a dragon and contemporary colour may exist below the whitewash. The decoration was the work of the Revd. G.D. Melhuish, (1891- 97). Late C19 timber reredos with dossall, the reredos consists of 5 crested panels with flamboyant tracery. A medieval piscina on the south side has a chamfered arch, the moulded projecting bowl is probably later. On the north side a C19 moulded polyphant aumbrey has a hoodmould, label stops and a hollow-chamfered arch with ballflowers. Late C19 mosaic floor to the chancel. A hagioscope between the south aisle and the chancel must have post-dated the roof loft stairs which still exist in a fragmentary form. Circa late C19 5-sided timber drum pulpit on a polyphant base has panels of blind tracery above a frieze of quatrefoils, the polyphant base is also carved. The font is C12 and probably polyphant with 2 orders of cable moulding round the bowl and a base decorated with 4 profile heads at the corners and ornament carved on 2 of the main surfaces of the base. The whole design is unusual and may be a reconstruction. The font is on a later square plinth on a platform of late medieval tiles of the Barnstaple type decorated with stylized swans, lions and fleur de lis. The benches in the nave are circa 1860s with shouldered ends and engaged shafts with some stiff leaf carving. Blind traceried motifs are carved on the ends. On the north wall an early C17 plaster wall monument, painted white, commemorates the son of Christopher Osmond of Fernhill, died 1631. A reclining figure in relief is flanked by Ionic columns supporting a moulded cornice. Above the cornice a cartouche with armorial bearings is flanked by the figures of Peace and War. A mourner kneels at the feet of the reclining figure and there is a cartouche inscription panel above the figure. Below the plaster memorial a slate inscription panel is fixed to the wall commemorating Christopher Osmond, died 1631. The inscription is round the border with an outer border of fine strapwork and interlace, armorial bearings and a verse in the centre. On the north wall of the tower a large undated plaster Royal Arms. A small probably C16 brass of a praying cleric is fixed to one of the choir stalls. A late C19 east window showing the influence of the Morris Company appears to be contemporary with the reredos. Pevsner, North Devon (1952) Church Guide. (n,d.)

Listing NGR: SX3485599263


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Church of St Leonard Church Guide, (1981)
Pevsner, N , The Buildings of England: Devon North, (1952)


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

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Date: 31 Jul 2005
Reference: IOE01/13827/19
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Ann Allen. Source Historic England Archive
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