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)
National Grid Reference:
SX 81855 57151


ASHPRINGTON SX85Nll Church of St David 6/17



Parish Church. C12 font. C13 or C14 west tower; remainder rebuilt in Cl5; restored in 1845, 1865 and 1886. Local stone rubble with red sandstone dressings and C19 Bathstone windows. Slate roof over nave and chancel; lead flats over the aisles. Plan and Development: All that remains of the Norman church is the C12 font and fragment of a Norman mask reused on the inside of the porch. The C13 or C14 west tower is the earliest part of the church. The rest of the church was entirely rebuilt in the C15 when a new nave was built with an integral chancel, 4-bay north and south aisles and a 2-storey porch. In 1845 the church was restored and the vestry on the north side of the chancel was probably added at this time. In 1865 chancel improvements were made by Thomas Lidstone of Dartmouth who may have built the large vestry on the south side of the chancel unless it was part of the restoration of 1886 when the church was reseated. The reroofing was probably part of the 1886 restoration and probably also the Perpendicular style refenestration. Exterior: Tall unbuttressed west tower in 4 diminishing stages, the top stage has an embattled parapet and small single - light bell openings what arched heads and slate louvres. The third stage has a similar but flat-headed louvred opening on the north side only and the second stage has similar opening on the east side partly concealed by the nave roof and another small granite framed opening on the west side and a C15 window above in volcanic stone of 3-lights with cusped Perpendicular tracery. The large polygonal stair turret on the north east corner of the tower rises to the third stage only and has a crude conical stone roof and square-headed window slits. A large clock face on the south side of the third stage has Roman numerals and blocks a window light. The 4-bay north and south aisles are the same with tall sandstone parapets with moulded battlements and thin buttresses with set-offs around which the plinth continues. The north aisle has a polygonal stair turret towards the east end with battlements, moulded string and a quatrefoil light. All the aisle windows are C19 Perpendicular style 4-light windows except for the east and west end windows which are of 3 lights and the window over the blocked north doorway also 3 lights but with a higher sill level. The chancel has a similar 3-light south window but-the north window is blocked. The large late C19 5-light east window has Perpendicular style tracery and a crenellated transom. On the north side of the chancel a circa mid C19 small low vestry with buttresses south set-offs and a brick 2-centred arch doorway in the gable end. On the south side of the chancel in the angle with the south aisle a larger later C19 vestry with battlements like the aisles and a Tudor style doorway and 3-light window. On the north side of the lower in the angle with the north aisle a C19 lean-to sexton's outshut. The 2-storey south porch is one bay from the west end of the south aisle; it has a similar embattled parapet but higher than that of the aisle. The floor to the porch chambers has been removed but the polygonal stair turret in the east angle remains and has battlements and a quatrefoil light. The chamfered rounded arch porch doorway has pyramid stops. The chamfered 2-centred arch winger doorway also has pyramid stops; the door is late C19. Interior: Except for the inside of the tower the interior walls are all plastered. The hallow-chamfered Beerstone rear-arches are exposed. The Beerstone 4-bay north and south aisles have Pevsner type B piers with 4 shafts and wave mouldings between, moulded bases and carved capitals only over the shafts, so that the wave moulding continues into the 2-centred arches; all the shaft capitals are carved with foliage except for the west piers which have bell-shaped capitals; the inner shafts on the east piers hive been replaced with polished Devon marble shafts. The doorway to the porch chamber has a chamfered 2-centred arch and pyramid stops; the rood stair doorway in the north aisle has a double cyma moulding; both doors are late C19. The tall tower arch has a crude unmoulded 2-centred arch without imposts and the doorway to the tower stair turret is on the nave side of the arch; it has a simple 2-centred arch; the doorway from the stair turret to the ringing chamber has a chamfered 2-centred arch with pyramid stops. The floors of the church were tiled in the late C19. The continuous waggon roof over the nave and chancel appears to be a late C19 replacement; it has moulded ribs and carved boises. The flat aisle roofs are keeled. The small Cl5 piscina on the south side of the chancel has a cusped ogee arch. There is also a Cl5 cusped ogee piscina in the east end wall of the north chancel chapel, probably the chantry of Thomas Coterell. Furnishings: Late C19 benches have carved ends. The chair stalls are circa 1900. Early C20 altar rail and the traceried panelling in the sanctuary incorporates a carved wooden double sedilia on the north side with elaborate canopies and carved angels on the arms and a richly carved wooden reredos with a canopy over a crucifixion figures of the Apostles and pinnacles above. A circa early C20 altar table on marble base. The rood screen although mentioned in a report in 1848 was not mentioned by Davidson. Milles (1755-70) mentions an old rood loft with arms of the Yard family.There are now only parclose screens which are early C20 by Herbert Read. Richly carved octagonal pipit of 1909 in C15 style with nodding ogee canopies over figures of the Apostles and the carved oak eagle lantern is also of 1909 are both by Herbert Read. According to Cresswell there were Royal Arms over the tower arch which was once crossed by a gallery - neither survive. Fine C12 sandstone font with a large round bowl with a carved frieze of palmettos, cable and roll mouldings above and a moulded sandstone stem and base. Monuments: The oldest memorial is a small brass next to the south doorway to Wylliam Sumaster died 1589, with inscription and 2 brass shields above reset upside-down. A wall monument on north wall of chancel with Corinthian columns, to Susanna Marshall died 1709. Another wall monument on south side of chancel with white marble female figure an an urn in relief,unsigned, to Jane Pownall died 1770. At the east end of the south aisle a wall monument to Henry Blockhaller of Sharpham died 1684, with Corinthian columns and arms above. A wall monument to John Kellandof Painsford, died 1679 and his wife Susanna died 1648, situated in the north aisle a large cartouche in marble with an epitaph by John Weston of Exeter and date 1692; the top is missing. Above the tower arch an C18 wall monument with a broken pediment. Stained Glass: East window by Beer of Exeter. The east window on the south side of the south aisle has patterned glass. Bells: One of the peal of 5 bells which were removed in 1975 has been rehung; it was cast in 1790 at Whitechapel and inscribed:- Thomas Mears, late Lester, Pack and Chapman - fecit 1790. Source: B.F. Cresswell, Notes on Devon churches, Deanery of Totnes (1904 revised 1922)

Listing NGR: SX8185557150


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)


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: 14 May 2004
Reference: IOE01/11953/02
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Christopher Fransella. Source Historic England Archive
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