Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

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

Torbay (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 91289 64366



SX9164 UNION STREET 885-1/14/290 (North East side) 10/01/75 Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene (Formerly Listed as: UPPER UNION STREET, Upton Church of St Mary Magdalene)


Parish church. 1843-9 to the designs of A Salvin, contractor Jacob Harvey; altered and partly re-fitted under GG Scott 1881-2; further embellishment 1906 and 1927 funded by the Luxmore family. Local grey limestone rubble with Bathstone dressings; slate roof. PLAN: Nave; chancel with polygonal apse; 5-bay north and south arcades; north-east and south-east transepts; south-east tower. Early English style to Salvin's original. EXTERIOR: South elevation (show front) has a buttressed 5-bay aisle with lancet windows, the nave clerestory with paired lancet windows to each bay flanked by blind recesses, all decorated with arcading. Buttressed transepts with lancet windows. Gabled porch in second bay from the west with a 2-centred moulded outer doorway with shafts with bell capitals and a 2-leaf door with blind traceried panels below an arched fanlight. Projecting 3-stage tower with 2-stage south-east stair turret to east has angle buttresses; blind arcading to the second stage; triple windows to the belfry stage; clock in stone frame on south face. Buttresses terminate in crocketed spirelets with 2 tiers of blind arcading. 5-sided apse with lancet windows with moulded architraves and dripmoulds. Pairs of side windows to chancel are 2-light with Y tracery. West end of nave buttressed with big finials. 2-centred moulded west doorway with shafts below a tall Early English arcade, alternating blank and glazed openings; roundel window in gable with 4 trefoils. Single lancet windows to west ends of aisles. INTERIOR: The relatively plain Salvin work is set off against lavish late Victorian and early C20 fittings. Double-chamfered chancel arch; arcades with cylindrical columns with moulded capitals and double-chamfered arches. Arch-braced nave roof on carved corbels with 2 tiers of purlins and slender wind braces to each tier. Open lean-to timber aisle roofs, the eastern bays separately roofed. West end slightly recessed behind superordinate arch to windows with a narrow west end gallery on top of a quatrefoil-pierced west end stone screen. Chancel roof coved below wall-plate. North and south transepts screened off with marble and stone traceried screens: organ chamber screen to the south is earlier with iron grille above; chapel screen to north of 1905 bows out as a stone sounding board, with carved vaulting and statues, to the stone drum pulpit by Temple Moore (Ellis) with statue niches on a marble base. Nave FITTINGS include a set of poppyhead bench ends and a small octagonal font with an arcaded stem and shallow carvings on the bowl. Sumptuous chancel fittings of 2 phases: G G Scott and the early C20 work. Some C20 repainting. Roof coving with painted decoration on boards below a brattished fascia carved with angels. Coving supported on deep, painted timber brackets, also carved with angles. Below each bracket a set of 6 large stone statues on corbels with stone traceried canopies above. Sanctuary wall lined with marble incorporating a bishops throne and sedilia. Massive reredos flanked by stone traceried screen walls (modelled on the Perpendicular Totnes screen) crowned with statues under vaulted stone canopies. 2-phase reredos: the lower tier of the Scott phase with a moulded marble frame containing alabaster relief scenes under canopies. The upper tier rises to the roof and consists of 3 buttressed bays of open masonry with statue niches, the central figure almost life size under a canopy with a crocketed spire. Choir stalls with crocketed carved ends, the rear stalls marble below friezes of carved stone panels, the figures in a classical style below ogee-headed canopies. Brass sanctuary rail; marble chancel screen with blind traceried panels. Extraordinary north-east chapel of c1927, dominated by a massive painting of Salvator Mundi in a timber traceried frame by T Mostyn (Pevsner) with a massive timber altar with a fine pair of large sculpted, gilded timber angels. STAINED GLASS includes apse windows of the 1860s (now concealed by the reredos) and west window by Wailes (Pevsner). Excellent collection of C19 prints and photographs inside the church illustrate its development and incumbents and patrons associated with it. This includes a photograph of the tower before its completion. (Ellis CA: An Historical Survey of Torquay, 2nd edition: 1930-: P.444-445; Buildings of England: Cherry B: Devon: London: 1952-1989: P.850).

Listing NGR: SX9128964366


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Ellis, A, A Historical Survey of Torquay, (1930), 444-445
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: South Devon, (1952), 850
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Devon, (1989), 850


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: 17 Jul 2005
Reference: IOE01/14530/32
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Robert W Keniston. Source Historic England Archive
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