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.

South Hams (District Authority)
Halwell and Moreleigh
National Grid Reference:
SX 76127 52585


HALWELL SX75SE MORELEIGH 9/334 Church of All Saints including Fishacre 9.2.61 tomb adjoining transept (formerly listed under Parish of Moreleigh)


Parish church before Moreleigh was incorporated into Halwell parish. C12 and/or early C13 fabric in nave and chancel; late C13 south transept; probably early C14 west tower and alterations; C15 south aisle; C17 porch; restored in 1877, 1880, 1898 and 1904. Shale rubble with some quartz and local limestone; windows and dressings of Beerstone, granite and other igneous stone. Slate roofs. Plan: Nave and chancel in one, south transept, narrow south aisle, west tower and south porch. Development: The font is the evidence of the existence of a church on the site in the C12 and there are records of a rector at Moreleigh in 1264. This was probably a small church of only a nave and chancel. In circa 1279 St Peter de Fishacre who owned both Moreleigh and Woodleigh was ordered by the Pope to build a church at Moreleigh as a penalty for having killed the parson of Woodleigh in a quarrel over tithes. Although he may have rebuilt the whole church it is more likely that only the south transept which is late C13 was added by him. On the evidence of the chancel windows work was carried out in the early C14 when the west tower was probably added. In the C15 the narrow south aisle was built, the east bay of its 3-bay arcade replacing the transept arch. The tower may have also been heightened or the top stage rebuilt in the C15. In the C17 the south porch was added and the nave and chancel ceiled if not entirely re- roofed. All that remains of C18 work is the Royal Arms of 1714 and an C18 pulpit, although Davidson in 1842 describes a west gallery as modern. The church was restored in 1877, 1880 and again more thorough in 1898. In 1904 the tower was repaired when the top courses and parapets were rebuilt. Also in 1904 scripts were painted on the internal walls. Further repairs were carried out in 1975. Exterior: The chancel south wall has 2 early C14 2-centred arch 2-light Beerstone windows with quatrefoil tracery and cusped lights, the sill of the right hand (east) window is higher. The 2 windows on the north side of the chancel have chamfered frames and were probably similar. The 3-light east window of the chancel is late C19 in decorated style with geometric tracery. The north side of the nave has a large C16 (or possibly early C17) arched perpendicular windows with a hoodmould and 3-centred arched heads to the lights. Two very large buttresses with set offs on the north wall of the nave and chancel. There are said to be traces of the rood stair turret on the north side (Cresswell). The unbuttressed west tower has a slight batter; on the south side only of the ringing stage plain rectangular opening; flat headed bell- openings each with 2 round headed lights with slate louvres, the west bell opening has been blocked. The tower seems to have been rebuilt or heightened above the bell-openings and the battements have moulded coping and-moulded string below. There is no west doorway; a west window above similar to the bell-openings but taller. The tower has an internal stair turret on the north west corner with window slits on the west site. The south transept has a late C13 2-centred and 3-light wast window with inter-secting perpendicular tracery and a C15 3-light 2-centred arch 3- light east window cusped perpendicular tracery and hoodmould. Below the cill of the south window the projecting effigy niche and tomb of Sir Peter de Fishacre who was refused intombment inside the church. In the gable of the transept a slate sundial with a shaped head dated 1686. The south aisle retains its chamfered stone wall plate and a small west window with 2 round-arched lights and a flat head, above which the west end wall is slate hung. The south window of the south aisle retains its hoodmould and frame but the mullions and tracery have been entirely replaced in C16 style Perpendicular. The north doorway has a simple chamfered 2-centred arch and a late C19 studded plank with ornate wrought iron hinges. The C17 south porch is gabled and has an unmoulded round slate arch; the slate roof has C17 crested ridge tiles, the tile over the gable has a finial (a rare survival). Inside the porch are shallow stone seats either side and a C17 morticed collar rafter roof with nailed chamfered arch braces and a moulded wooden wall plate. The outer doorway of the porch has a C19 wooden slatted gate with C20 hardboard applied. Interior: The internal walls have been rendered but leaving the hollow- chamfered rear arches of the windows exposed. According to Kellys Directory some mural paintings existed but this may refer to the painted scripts of 1904. The tower arch is unmoulded and rendered. The 3-bay south arcase continues across the transept, the east bay replacing the transept arch; the granite arcade has Pevsner A-type piers with hollows alternating with 4 shafts, only the shafts having capitals which are crudely moulded; the bases are integrally moulded; the 2-centred arches have double chamfers. The narrow aisle roof is C15 and is ceiled between moulded ribs which have carved feet and carved bosses at the intersections; the moulded wall plate is jettied into the trancept on a moulded timber corbel to carry the last rib of the aisle roof. The nave and chancel are in one; over the chancel and east bay of the nave there is a fine C17 plaster barrel vaulted ceiling with moulded transverse, longitudinal and diagonal ribs and a moulded wall plate; over the rest of the nave the ribbed plaster ceiling and roof is C20; the chancel ceiling may conceal a roof structure earlier than C17. In the tower the floors and bellframe have been replaced the 3 C15 bells have legends in Old English. On the north side of the chancel a recess which may be an Easter Sepulchure has a double chamfered depressed 2-centred arch with pyramid stops. A similar but more richly moulded recess at the south end of the transept has a rectan-gular panel below; it projects outside and is the tomb of Sir Peter de Fishacre. Furnishings: The C12 font has a round bowl with a carved plaited band; the C13 base has a water-holding moulding and was designed for a stern and 4 shafts which have been renewed. The reader's desk is made up from a section of wainscot of the C15 rood screen which is ornately carved and recently painted. C18 hexagonal pulpit has panelled sides and a moulded conrice which breaks forwards over the corner pilasters; over the cornice a shaped lecturn; and a fine sounding board above with a similar but large cornice with a reeded frieze and a tented ribbed canopy with a urn-shaped finial. The late C19 benches appear to have been made from earlier panelled box pews and some of these have since been replaced by late C20 chairs. The late C19 altar rail has wrought iron stanchions and a moulded wooden rail A small late C17 table has turned legs and moulded stretchers, situated next to the font in the south aisle. There are several slate and local marble ledger stones of the C17, C18 and C19 in the east end of the nave and in the aisle. The only wall monument is C20. Royal Arms of Queen Anne dated 1714; painted on boards in a moulded frame with a shouldered triangular head, probably originally designed to have pinnacles. Circa 1870s leaded glass, clear but with stained glass margins. Source: B F Cresswell, Notes on Devon Churches, Deanery of Totnes.

Listing NGR: SX7612652582


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

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Books and journals
Cresswell, B F, Notes on Devon Churches of the Deanery of Totnes, (1904)
'Kellys Directory' in Devonshire, ()


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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 06 Mar 2003
Reference: IOE01/08826/22
Rights: Copyright IoE Kenneth Dent. Source Historic England Archive
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