SX 98 SE LYMPSTONE CHURCH ROAD (north side),
5/13 Parish Church of the Nativity of
the Blessed Virgin Mary
Parish church. The church was being rebuilt in 1329 when the dedication was
postponed; dedicated by Bishop Stafford in 1409 when described as "de novo
constructam". If normal practice was followed the tower would have been the last
part of the church to be rebuilt, and it shares some striking similarities with that
at nearby Woodbury which can be confidently dated to 1407-9. Chancel lengthened by
Burgess in circa 1830. Largely rebuilt (with the exception of the tower, the north
arcade which was re-cast, and the chancel arch) by Edward Ashworth, 1864-7; organ
chamber and vestry by R.M. Fulford, 1889. Coursed sandstone rubble, with limestone
banding to south; slate roofs. West tower, nave, north and south aisles, south-
porch, chancel, south chancel chapel, north east vestry and organ chamber.
West tower: 3 stages; south-west polygonal stair turret; all battlemented; the
turret openings alternating lancet and quatrefoil; gargoyles to parapet
stringcourse. Set-back buttresses, 3 set-offs. 2-light painted belfry openings to
all sides. 2 pairs of ringing-chamber windows to south, are set above the other
(cf. Woodbury), with a C19 clock placed between them. 4-light C19 Perpendicular
west window and west doorway. Weathervane, C18.
South side: 5-bay south aisle, the porch with diagonal buttresses, creeping animals
to the set-offs, moulded doorway arch with terminals, all C19. Windows, also C19,
3-light conventional Perpendicular, which do not copy the rather unusual tracery
design of the original visible in Spreat's engraving of the 1830s. South chancel
chapel with 3 tall lancets. 3-light C19 Perpendicular windows to east and west of
the aisle, 4-light to main east window. 2-light south chancel window.
North side: north aisle, west window by Ashworth with Atherington-type tracery set
above a door with ogee arch, under square-headed label with quatrefoils in
spandrels; otherwise 5 bays, conventional C19 Perpendicular; organ chamber with
parapet and 2-light ogee-headed windows with transom; vestry, gable-ended, aligned
north-south, with square-headed 2-light window and door to west.
Interior: 5-bay arcades, that to north supposed to be medieval, but entirely re-cut
in the 1860s; that to the south entirely Ashworth's; all wavy-moulded section with
foliage capitals. Tower arch, chamfered, the soffit panelled. Chancel arch, wavy
moulded section with foliage capitals, largely restored. Wide, depressed double-
chamfered arch connects chancel with south chapel; with a bressumer above. Arch-
braced roof to nave; ceiled panelled roofs to chancel and aisles.
Font: a Norman bowl with an unusual moulding (a hybrid cable-imbricated) much
damaged and no longer in use.
Monuments: a good, unsigned mural monument now in tower (north wall), to Nicholas
Lee, mayor of Exeter, d.1759, memorial inscription with cornice and pediment, apron
with putti, portrait bust above. White marble memorial wall slab, north aisle,
north wall to Francis Drake, d.1722.
Glass: the church possesses a good and varied set of C19 glass, by several makers
and ranging in date from the 1840s to the early C20. The most notable are: south
chancel chapel east, by Clayton & Bell, 1867; south aisle, south-east, to Mary
Peters; south aisle, south to Lt.Gen.Lennox; south aisle south, Birch memorial, by
Jennings, 1900; south aisle, west (baptistry), north aisle, west, to Frances Peters;
north aisle, north, Marshall memorial, 1884; north aisle, west, Macdonald memorial
Listing NGR: SX9928884272