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Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

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

East Devon (District Authority)
Clyst Honiton
National Grid Reference:
SX 98942 93525



2/21 Church of St Michael - (formerly listed as Church of St 30.6.61 Michael and All Angels) GV II*

Parish church. C12 font, the basic fabric appears to be C15 or earlier and some C15 detail remains in north aisle but the whole church was thoroughly restored with a new south chapel and south porch in 1875. Built of local, mostly mudstone, rubble walling, medieval fabric has red conglomerate ashlar quoins and plinth and C19 extensions have rusticated volcanic ashlar quoins and Hamstone plinth; medieval Beerstone or volcanic ashlar detail and C19 Hamstone ashlar detail; slate roofs with some crested ridge tiles. The nave, chancel and west tower appear to be C15 or earlier but were much rebuilt and nearly all the detail was replaced in 1875. Unusually the chancel is taller than the nave. The north aisle however retains some C15 detail. With the 1875 restoration new south porch and south chapel added, the latter parallel to the nave. Perpendicular style throughout. Broad and relatively low tower of 3 stages with low set-back buttresses and embattled parapet. A semicircular stair turret with tiny slit windows and its own embattled parapet a little above the level of the main parapet projects from the north side. It is surmounted by a C19 wrought iron weather cock. The belfry has arch-headed 2-light Perpendicular-style windows, one each on 3 sides and 2 on the south side. A flat-arched doorway on the west side has a moulded surround with C17- style stops and contains C19 double plank doors with studded coverstrips and ornate strap hinges and ferramenta. Like most of the C19 windows it has a moulded hood with projecting square labels, apparently intended for carving in situ but was never executed. A relieving arch above follows a 2-centred arch, probably for the earlier C15 west doorway. The window above is a C19 4-light window with Perpendicular tracery and the dripcourse carried over as a hood. Above that a C19 painted iron clock face in a moulded Hamstone frame. On the south side of the tower is a small 2-light Perpendicular-style window in the lower stage and a C15 volcanic stone trefoil-headed lancet with hoodmould to the ringing loft. The south side of the nave has a broad C19 4-light Perpendicular window. To right of it projects the added porch with gabled end and Hamstone coping surmounted by a fleuree cross. The outer arch has an ovolo-moulded surround and contains softwood double plank doors with ornate strap hinges. The south chapel projects a little further forward and has steep gabled ends with coping and apex crosses. There is a narrow Hamstone priests door on the south side, and a 3-light window on the south side and another on the east end. The chancel has similar C19 gable coping and apex cross and flanking corner buttresses. There is another 3-light Perpendicular window on the south side and a tall 3-light window on the east end. On the north side of the chancel is a small window made into a squint by the junction of the north aisle. It is 2 lights, of Beerstone and simple Early Decorated style. It may be original and rediscovered during the C19 restoration but appears very well-preserved if so. The north aisle is C15 with C19 coping and apex crosses. The east end has an original Beerstone 3-light Perpendicular window with moulded hood. The north side has 3 C19 Hamstone 2-light Perpendicular windows tending towards right (west) end. Interior: porch has a C19 roof and contemporary flagged and tiled floor. The south doorway may be C15; a volcanic ashlar 2-centred arch with chamfered surround and hoodmould. It contains a C19 door. The interior of the church itself is largely the result of the 1875 restoration. All the roofs date from that time. The nave and chancel lie under a continuous 6-bay roof comprising heavy arch-braced trusses springing from large timber corbels. The corbels in the chancel are at a slightly higher level. The purlins are moulded and the ceiling is pine-planked as a barrel vault. There is a similar 2-bay roof in the south chapel and 4-bay roof to the north aisle. Tall C15 tower arch with round- headed double arch ring which dies into the responds although an impost shows inside the tower on the north side. Inside the tower the ringing floor is C19 but the stair doorway is original C15; built of red conglomerate stone and volcanic stone it has a 2-centred head and contains an ancient plank door hung on strap hinges. C15 Beerstone arcade to the north aisle. It is 4 bays with one overlapping the chancel. The piers are moulded (Pevsner's Type B) with plain caps to the shafts only. The C19 Beerstone 2-bay arcade to the south chapel has low moulded piers with moulded caps. All the windows have C19 Beerstone rear inner arches and reveals. The floor is made up of patterns of polychrome tiles and flagstones. The granite flag under the lectern is a fragment of an illegible C17 gravestone. The chancel has a Beerstone reredos carved in Gothic style, and comprising a central 3-bay blind arcade with cusped ogee arches, crockets and finials, and in which the centre panel is plain as a background for the altar cross and flanked by painted portraits of St Gabriel and St Michael and flanked again by painted commandment boards. The oak altar is Victorian but appears to incorporate C17 heavy turned balusters, possibly from the former altar rails. The present altar rail is oak on oak standards, Victorian Gothic stalls, low chancel screen, pulpit and tower screen. Victorian eagle lectern and plain pine benches. Contemporary brass chandelier in chancel. C12 late Norman granite font. The square bowl is supported on a central column and 4 smaller shafts on the corners with moulded caps and bases. It sits on a Victorian plinth. The edges of the bowl cant forward slightly towards the top and the ornament varies each side including simple chevrons, scallops and stylised foliage; some may be secondary. It has a C19 lid. Monuments: the oldest and finest monuments have been reset together in the north aisle. Good Beerstone table tomb in memory of John Elquier (d.1575). The niche has a low segmental arch over with a broad ovolo-moulded surround enriched with egg and dart and with carved foliate spandrels, crenelated head, flanking fluted Ionic pilasters surmounted by flaming vases and the shelf supported on shaped consoles. The inside of the niche has facetted panels and in the centre of the back is a carved heraldic achievement. The shelf is inscribed 'Here lieth John Paul Elquier who ended this liffe the third of Maye 1575' to which has been added 'and his wiffe Jenfr' (sic). Above this is a good but undated C17 marble plaque in memory of Edward Yarde with a rhyming elegy: it is set in an architectural frame with flanking pilasters enriched with carved symbols such as a skull, book, scythe, hourglass, etc., with ribbons and flanked by cherubs on their sides as wings, an open pediment above containing an heraldic achievement and flanked by skulls with wings and hourglasses, and below the shelf heraldic achievements flank a bas relief carving of a shrouded corpse and the apron below contains a cherub. Immediately to left of these a carved slate plaque in memory of John Short (d. 1657) with a frame of stylised interlaced foliage which contains the same heraldic achievement four times. The rest of the monuments are C19. The north aisle has the white marble memorial to Harriet Collyns (d.1868), with a Gothic-style frame; a shaped white marble plaque on black ground in memory of Abraham Smith (d.1821) and those of his family who died 1812-79; a Gothic-style brass plaque in memory of Frederick le Mesurier (d.1868) and family; a white marble sarcophagus-shaped plaque in memory of John Franklin (d.1831) and family; and in the south chapel a white marble plaque with moulded cornice in memory of Barbara Force (d.1832) and husband William (d.1838). There are also some loose fragments from demolished C17 monuments; a marble plaque in memory of Hugh Vaughan (d.1631) in the north aisle and in the south chapel an heraldic achievement and 2 carved putti. Victorian stained glass in the chancel and early C20 stained glass in nave and tower. Although much of the basic fabric appears to be medieval the church is essentially the result of a thorough and consistent restoration of 1875, an attractive and coherent scheme. Only the font, the aisle arcade and one of the north aisle windows are pre-1875 detail.

Listing NGR: SX9894293525


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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: 03 Aug 2002
Reference: IOE01/07634/05
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Barry F. Newbery. Source Historic England Archive
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