CHURCH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
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- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- East Devon (District Authority)
- National Grid Reference:
- SY 02026 95261
SY 09 NW ROCKBEARE ROCKBEARE
1/126 Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary - 30.6.61 GV II*
Parish Church. Late C15, much rebuilt 1888 by Haywood and Son. The C15 work comprises large blocks of volcanic ashlar with red sandstone) and Beerstone ashlar is used decoratively on the voussoirs; Beerstone detail. The 1888 work is snecked red and purple sandstone with Hamstone detail. Slate roofs. The west tower and walls of the north aisle are largely intact C15 work. In 1888 the nave was extended with a new south wall, and a new chancel, vestry and south porch were built. Good tall west tower of 2 stages has diagonal buttresses with weathered offsets, chamfered plinth, soffit-moulded dripcourses, carved gargoyle water spouts and embattled parapet. On the north side is a semi-hexagonal stair turret which has tiny trefoil-headed slits and quatrefoil windows. It rises a little above the parapet with a full hexagonal section with its own embattled parapet and is surmounted by a C19 wrought iron weather vane. There is a blocked doorway at the bottom of the tower. The belfry windows are square-headed with flat arches and sunken spandrels, all 2 lights except the north with one. On the west side is a large and ornate 4-centred arch with moulded surround enriched with 4-leaf decoration. It has carved foliate spandrels and moulded square hood. Directly above is a 3-light window with Perpendicular tracery and hoodmould. On the south side is a small square-headed window with sunken spandrels and cinquefoil head. It has external ferramenta. There is a late C19 open wrought iron clock face also on this side. The C19 work picks up on the south side of the nave and all the C19 gable ends have shaped kneelers, and coping. The porch has a Latin apex cross, nave and chancel have fleuree crosses but the vestry has none. The main windows are arched with Perpendicular tracery and have hoodmoulds with labeals carved as the heads of kings, queens, bishops and worthies. The nave projects very slightly from the tower and has an uneven 3-window range of 3-high windows interrupted by the porch left of centre. It has a 2-centred outer arch with a moulded hood and labels similar to the windows. There is a band of Hamstone above and above that in the gable a sunken panel in the shape of convex-sided triangle containing a sexfoil. Chancel is a little lower than the nave and is separated from it by a buttress. The south side has 2 Perpendicular-style windows separated by a narrow arch-headed priests door with plain hoodmould. The east end has a 3-light Perpendicular style window. The second gable behind is that of the vestry and it contains a circular window, the cusped tracery, a hoodmould and carved labels. Lower and to the right is a square-headed 2-light window with sunken spandrels and trefoil heads. An octagonal-section ashlar chimney shaft rises from the rear corner. The north side of the vestry projects a little further than the north aisle and contains a doorway with 4-centred head and plain chamfered surround. Back to C15 masonry in the north aisle which has a 3-window front of 3-light windows with Perpendicular tracery and there is another in the west end beyond a diagonal corner buttress. Interior: the porch has a floor of C19 coloured tiles, naked stone walls and an open barrel-vaulted roof. The south doorway is a 2-centred arch with chamfered surround. It contains a C19 plank door with strap hinges enriched with ornate bifurcated scrolls in the style of the C13. Its other ferramenta is also complete. The north aisle has a restored C15 wagon roof with moulded braces and purlins and some original carved oak bosses (square with simple foliate designs). The nave and chancel have wholly C19 roofs in very similar style to the aisle. All are open and backed with pine boards and all have C19 crenellated wall plates. Tall C15 tower arch with broad double mouldings on the arch dying into plain responds. The tower has late C15 moulded beams to the ringing floor and a 4-centred arch doorway to the stair. C19 Hamstone chancel arch has moulded surround. 4-bay arcade from nave to aisle in which the moulded piers have an unusual section comprising double hollow chamfers between half-engaged corner shafts. The caps have relatively crudely carved foliate capitals with shields on the corners. It fact the C15 3-bay Beerstone arcade was extended eastward to 4 in 1888 and built with Hamstsone. The emit end of the aisle still contains a C15 Perpendicular 3-light window now separating the aisle from the organ chamber. The wall between aisle and chancel at the east end of the arcade contains a large arch-headed aperture, presumably knocked through in 1888. The north side of the chancel also contains a wide arch to the organ and a small doorway to right to the vestry. The floor is made up of coloured C19 tiles and includes several C17 and C18 graveslabs. Encaustic tiles are used increasingly towards the altar. Most of the furniture is C19 comprising plain oak altar table, oak altar rail with timber standards, Gothic stalls with poppies heads finials on the ends and open arcade timber standards, Gothic stalls with poppy head finials on the ends and open arcade along the fronts, oak drum pulpit, a good oak lectern dated 1890 carved as a Pelican in her piety on a twisted stem enriched with foliage, plain deal benches and wainscothing around nave and aisle. The tower screen is dated 1923 but across the top is set a section of the front parapet of a good early C17 oak gallery; it is panelled and carved with ornate classical arcades to the panels, strapwork to the muntins above and frieze of guilloche enriched with ascanthus leaves. C15 Beerstone Perpendicular font; the sides of the octagonal bowl have sunken panels containing quatrefoils around 4-leaf motifs, the coving below his a large 4-leaf motif each side, and the stem has a blind arcade with trefoil heads. The 1888 windows contain tiny panes of leaded coloured translucent glass. Monument. The only notable mural monuments are those in the north aisle and are described working from east to west. The Porter memorial of circa 1815 is white marble on a shaped grey marble ground. The inscription, which records the death of Thomas Porter in 1815 and his wife Sarah in 1823, is flanked by pilasters with inlaid black fretwork and with clawed bases over a lower section enriched with carved fronds. At the top a tented canopy is surmounted by a vase with garlands of flowers and an apron contains an heraldic device. It is signed by R. Blore, Junior, London. The Bidgod memorial of circa 1813 is white marble on a shaped grey marble ground. The rectangular plaque records the death of Charles Bidgood in 1813. It has a soffit moulded cornice surmounted by a vase with drapery and above that an heraldic achievements. This monument is signed by C. Kendall of Exeter. Another Bidgood memorial comprises 2 white marble framed plaques with pediment heads sharing the same grey marble ground. The top plaque is the more elaborate and records the death of Henry Fisher Bidgod in 1851 and his daughter in 1840. The Tower plaque in memory of his wife Sarah (died 1860). Another Porter monument of circa 1820 is also white on grey marble. The plain rectangular plaque records the death of William Porter in 1820. It is surmounted by a sarcophagus above with a wreath of ivy on the side and carved head half hidden with drapery. A third Porter memorial of circa 1857, has a white marble plaque which records the death of Thomas Porter in 1857, his wife and daughter, set in a Tudor Gothic Beerstone Frame. The Haywood restoration of 1888 is attractive and consistent. He seems to have taken pains to integrate the C15 north aisle and attractive west tower. Sources: Devon SMP. Devon Church Project.
Listing NGR: SY0202695261
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
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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