SS 5514 and SS 5515,
20/45 + 21/45
Church of Saint George and All Saints
(formerly listed as Church of All Saints)
Parish church. Late C15 nave, chancel, aisles and porch. Restored, reseated and
windows reglazed in 1878-7, and Upcott aisle restored (apparently largely rebuilt -
see straight joint between nave and aisle) in 1879 at the expense of T. W. Snell esq.
Tower first rebuilt in 1802, and again in 1909-10, to the designs of Mr. Harbottle
Reed and at a cost of £1,100. Squared and coursed stone (some C19 work tooled) and
uncoursed stone rubble, with limestone and granite ashlar dressings. Gable-ended
Welsh-slate roofs with tile ridge cresting. Tower of snecked dressed stone with
limewash ashlar dressings and stumpy Welsh-slate broach spire with lead finial.
Plan and development: C15 four-bay nave and one-bay chancel in one, C15 four-bay
south aisle with C15 porch in second bay from west, and one-bay north chancel chapel
(Upcott aisle). Lateral north tower in angle of Upcott aisle, added in 1909-10 in an
Early English style.
EXTERIOR: Buttresses (some C19), diagonal at corners, with chamfered offsets, coved
stone eaves, and parapeted gable ends with shaped kneelers and finials at apices.
South aisle has three C15 square-headed south windows (right-hand 2 look restored) of
3 hollow-chamfered ogee cinquefoil-headed lights with pierced spandrels and
hoodmoulds. Pairs of pierced consecration crosses below each window. C15 granite
priest's doorway in right-hand bay consisting of moulded Tudor arch with panelled
spandrels, moulded square surround with returned hoodmould, and C19 nail-studded
ribbed boarded door with decorative wrought-iron strap hinges. South doorway in
second bay form west consisting of restored continuously-moulded arch with spurs, and
old (possibly C15) boarded door with old wrought-iron door furniture and C19 applied
ribs. Chamfered-arched image recess in wall above. C15 stone porch has diagonal
buttresses with chamfered offsets, plinths to sides, restored pierced stone parapet
with chamfered trefoil arcading to front, trefoils to sides and square corner dies
with crocketed pinnacles. Continuously-moulded C15 archway has hoodmould with carved
stops (formerly with gates - see iron hooks). Slate sundial above arch (gnomon
missing at time of survey - November 1987). C15 image recess above sundial, with
bracketed shelf, square shafts to sides on small carved corbels and canopy with 2
crocketed cusped ogee arches and topped by crocketed pinnacle. Restored square-
headed side windows of 2 trefoil-headed lights, chamfered reveals and hoodmoulds.
Interior of porch with slate-flagged floor, C19 stone side benches and C19 four-part
flat wooden ceiling with moulded beams. Restored C15 east window of 3 ogee
cinquefoil-headed lights with cusped panelled tracery, returned hoodmould, arch above
with stone voussoirs, and pierced consecration crosses below. Restored C15 west
window also of 3 ogee cinquefoil-headed lights with cusped panelled tracery,
hoodmould with carved square stops and arch above with stone voussoirs.
East end of chancel with flanking C19 buttresses. Restored C15 east window of 3 ogee
cinquefoil-headed lights with cusped panelled tracery, hoodmould with carved square
stops and arch above with stone voussoirs. West end of nave with C19 window
(probably restored C15 window) of 3 ogee cinquefoil-headed lights with panelled
tracery (mullions continuing straight up into head of arch), hoodmould with carved
square stops and arch above with stone voussoirs. Blocked C15 west doorway (probably
sandstone) with ovolo-moulded (almost round) arch, hoodmould with carved square stops
and arch above with stone voussoirs. C19 buttress between nave and aisle gables,
with diagonally set square chimney stack above. Pair of largely unrestored C15
square-headed north windows at west end of nave; left-hand one of limestone with 3
hollow-chamfered cinquefoil-headed lights, moulded reveals and returned hoodmould,
and right-hand one of granite with 3 hollow-chamfered depressed-arched lights,
panelled spandrels, chamfered reveals and returned hoodmould.
North chancel chapel (Upcott aisle) has east window of 3 ogee cinquefoil-headed
lights with cusped panelled tracery, hoodmould with carved square stops and arch
above with stone voussoirs. Pair of pierced consecration crosses below. C19 cavetto-
moulded Tudor-arched north doorway with trefoil-panelled spandrels and square head
with returned hoodmould.
Tower of 2-stages, with string course and broach spire with lead finial and gilded
weathervane. Raked square-headed louvred belfry openings in cardinal faces of spire.
Chamfered lancets in first stage to north and west with wrought-iron saddle bars and
stanchions with fleur-de-lys heads. Moulded segmental-arched west doorway with
boarded door and hoodmould with carved stops. Foundation stone to west, inscribed:
"TO THE GLORY OF GOD/THIS STONE WAS LAID BY/Mrs F.W. KING-CHURCH/FEBRUARY 10TH 1909".
INTERIOR: C15 four-bay granite arcade with piers (Pevsner type A) consisting of
shafts with moulded bases and capitals, splayed diamond bases, carved capitals with
uncarved shields to cardinal faces, and moulded four-centred arches. C19 barrel roof
to nave consisting of wall plate with billet ornament and carved square fleurons,
hollow-chamfered longitudinal and transverse ribs with small carved square fleurons,
and carved square fleuron bosses. C19 painted and gilded wooden chancel arch
springing from paired moulded brackets with billet ornament, brattished imposts and
boarded soffit. Painted C19 chancel roof similar to nave roof but with chamfered
ribs and also with cross-ribbed panels and carved shields to wall plates. C15 barrel
roof to south aisle, consisting of carved pierced wall plate with carved angels,
billet ornament, and some brattishing, chamfered longitudinal and transverse ribs
with carved square fleurons and carved square bosses and chamfered cross ribs with
carved bosses. Restored C15 four-centred moulded arch to Upcott aisle. C19 three-
bay roof to Upcott aisle with moulded longitudinal and transverse ribs, carved bosses
and billett-ornamented wall plates. Windows with splayed jambs and hollow-chamfered
rear arches dying into responds. Segmental-arched recess (blocked door) in west end
of nave, and south doorway with segmental rear arch. Doorway to tower with boarded
door and continuously-chamfered arch. C19 encaustic-tiled floors to chancel and
Upcott aisle, diamond-set quarry tiles to east end of south aisle, and stone floors
FITTINGS: Elaborate late C19 painted wooden reredos with images of saints in
cinquefoil-headed arched panels, Lamb of God to centre with flanking kneeling angels,
and billet ornament to top. C20 oak altar table with linenfold panels. Piscina in
south wall with chamfered square surround and circular bowl. Late C19 altar rails
with decorative wrought-iron supports and moulded wooden rail. Late C19 choir stalls
with carved poppyheads. Wooden screen to south of chancel, of 1878-9 by Hems of
Exeter, with cinquefoil-headed lower panels, open upper panels with pierced
quatrefoils above, and billet-decorated top rail. Polygonal stone pulpit of 1878-9
with compound stem and carved ogee panels to sides. Carved oak eagle lectern of
1840, by Morris and Co. Benches and matchboarded dado of 1878-9. C12 circular stone
font with tapered stem, carved chevron ornament and carved bowl with scallop
ornament. C20 organ in east end of south aisle. Two old cast-iron chests in vestry
(east end of south aisle). Smaller chest with moulded panels, carrying handle and
superscribed lettering: "PARISH OF BEAFORD/JOHN G. RUSSEL RECTOR/JOHN PUDDICOMBE/JOHN
MARSHALL/CHURCH WARDENS/1813", and larger chest with moulded panels, carrying handle,
and superscribed lettering to front": GREAT TORRINGTON PARISH CHEST". Date illegible
at time of survey. Wooden cover or stand (in Upcott aisle at time of survey) with
superscribed lettering: 1619/W/DY/EH". Stained glass: East window in memory of
Gilbert Beresford, rector, d. March 26 1914. C19 leaded coloured glass in other
windows. Marble plaque above north door of Upcott aisle, inscribed : "UPCOTT
AISLE/RESTORED BY/T.W. SNELL/1879". Plaque above tower doorway, inscribed "LAUS
DEO/THIS TOWER WAS REBUILT/3 BELLS REHUNG AND 3 NEW/BELLS ADDED. ANNO DOM:
1910/GILBERT BERESFORD RECTOR/F.W. KING-CHURCH,/RICHARD SLUGGETT./CHURCH WARDENS".
The old bells include one dated 1432, another late Medieval one and one dated 1720.
Monuments: Two late C17 inscribed slate memorial tablets on west wall of nave. Left-
hand one in memory of John Synge of Clements Inn of London (d. 8 August 1667) with
Gothic lettering, inscribed border and central painted shield with long inscripion
below. Right-hand one in memory of Thomas Sing of Warham (d. 14 May 1692) with
shaped head, inscribed border, and central painted shield with long inscription
below. Two late C17 inscribed slate memorial tablets on west wall of south aisle.
One in memory of Robert Buckland (d. December 166?), with weathered coat of arms
(tablet formerly on floor). One in memory of Margreat (sic) wife of Hugh Mill,
rector of this parish (d. 22 November 1686) with inscribed border and central carved
coat of arms with motto below. Further old memorial tablets on floor of west end of
south aisle. Pair of small early C19 marble memorial tablets on wall of Upcott
aisle. Remains of old stocks at west end of church.
The 1878-9 restoration included reseating and reglazing. The pulpit, chancel screen,
lectern and reading desk were also installed in 1878-9, at a cost of £1,300.
Sources: N. Pevsner. Buildings of England: North Devon (1952), p. 50; Kell's
Directory of Devonshire and Cornwall (1914), p. 66; Beatrix F. Cresswell, Notes on
Devon Churches, Deanery of Torrington (1925), pp. 14 - 26.
Listing NGR: SS5521115002