CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS
- Heritage Category:
- Listed Building
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS
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- Statutory Address:
- CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Mid Devon (District Authority)
- Cruwys Morchard
- National Grid Reference:
- SS 87430 12162
SS 81 SE CRUWYS MORCHARD CRUWYS MORCHARD
2/72 Church of the Holy Cross
Parish church. Parts of the fabric of nave and chancel circa early C14; arcade circa
mid/late C15; tower partly rebuilt after a fire of 1689 which destroyed the
furnishings of the church, furnishings replaced circa 1700. Early C19 restoration
(probably 1838, dated rainwater head) seems to have been confined to window
replacement and the addition of a vestry, some of the box pews probably altered at
Local stone, rubble to the chancel and nave, snecked to the aisle. The tower is
dressed stone brought to course, the top stage late C17 brick to the north, south and
east faces with C19 brick battlementing; asbestos slate roof.
The early Decorated tracery of the east window and west window of the tower (which is
not necessarily in situ) indicate an early C14 phase of the building which may have
been a simple nave and chancel arrangement, to which a tower and south aisle were
added later. The destruction of most of the tower, the roof and fittings in 1689 was
followed by the complete refurbishment of the interior, which still retains an almost
full set of C18 fittings.
The chancel has dressed volcanic quoins and rubble masonry of small dimensions, some
rebuilding in the gable. 3-light circa early C14 east window with intersecting
tracery; 1-light C19 trefoil-headed south window with a hoodmould. A lean-to vestry
adjoins the chancel on the north side with a small early C19 battlemented east porch
with a chamfered Tudor arched outer doorway. The stone rubble nave has 2 3-light
untraceried windows with Tudor arched lights and timber lintels above carried on
stone corbels. To the west of the westernmost window a corbel table survives below a
moulded wall plate. The aisle is snecked stone except for the section of the random
rubble of the rood loft stair and round the priest's door. The east window is 3-
light Perpendicular with a hoodmould; the 3 windows east of the porch and 1 west of
the porch are 3-light square-headed untraceried C19 with Tudor arched lights.
Chamfered volcanic Tudor arched priest's doorway, the circa early C19 door deeply-
recessed; shallow splayed stair turret; ovolo-moulded wallplate. 3-light C19
Perpendicular west window.
Interesting 3-stage west tower, the lower stages dressed stone brought to course, the
upper stage an early C18 local brick replacement after the fire of 1689, C19 or later
brick battlementing. Diagonal buttresses, corner pinnacles, internal south west
stair turret. No west door. Probably C14 intersecting traceried 3-light west window
with cusping and a hoodmould. Trefoil-headed openings at bellringers' stage on south
side; round-headed C18 belfry openings in the brick stage with keystones.
The stone rubble porch has a sundial in the gable above a chamfered Tudor arched
outer doorway with an outstanding early C19 iron gate with intersecting Gothic rails
below the middle rail and bold finials. The gate hangs from a timber doorframe
formed by 2 pieces of timber. The porch has an unceiled wagon roof, the main braces
moulded; wood-topped brenches; a moulded stone inner doorway with a hoodmould, label
stops and elaborate bar and pyramid stops to one of the jambs; circa late C17 2-leaf
panelled inner door.
Interior Notable for the survival of high quality C18 fittings and the almost
complete absence of C19 restoration. The interior walls (q.v. Cadeleigh Church) have
moulded plaster cornices, plaster panelling and foliage trail pargetting over the
chancel and aisle east windows, the latter in association with armorial bearing of
the Cruwys family. The roofs are plastered wagons with longitudinal plaster
mouldings; no chancel arch ; chamfered rounded tower arch on gigantic carved corbel
heads. 5-bay arcade, the piers with corner shafts and capitals carved with foliage,
sheilds and grotesques, moulded Tudor arches to the arcade. The west end of the
aisle is raised to form a baptistry.
The fittings are of especial interest : unique in the County and particularly fine is
an urbane, presumably early C18 Corinthian chancel screen and parclose, the chancel
screen with central pediment containing a 3-dimensional crown on a cushion. The
Laudian altar rail is also outstanding with barley sugar balusters and original gates
to the north and south. The C19 east-facing choir stalls have poppyhead finials,
traceried ends and buttresses. A 1700 seating plan of the church shows the nave and
aisle seating disposed much as it is today with the pulpit and clerk's at the east
end of the nave and the aisle seating facing north. Box pews facing west in front of
the chancel screen and still in situ were assigned to clerk and parson's wife. The
fine box pews survive intact in the aisle but it appears that there has been some re-
adjustment to the nave benches. The design of the wall plaster indicates that the
west end benches were formerly banked up and the names of local farms whose tenants
or owners contributed to the early C18 restoration are painted on the benches which
appear in some cases to have been re-arranged. Painted texts designated benches
allocated to particular groups : "Boys under 16 years of age" etc.
Font with C18 bowl on a C19 stem with carved foliage; C18 onion-shaped font cover
crowned with a dove, lifting mechanism no longer survives. Plain Tudor arched
doorway to rood loft stair; 1930 tower screen. Chancel window, west window and east
window of aisle all by Beer of Exeter; aisle window with 1897 memorial date by Drake
of Exeter. C17 wall monument in south aisle obscured by organ; 1832 brass on nave
wall commemorates W. Stone Esq and describes charity established by him, angel with
scroll above inscription.
Cruwys Morchard church is outstanding for the quality and completeness of its C18
interior fittings and seating arrangement. The rebuilding of the tower after the
fire of 1689 with bricks made in the field opposite the church (Brick Mead) is an
interesting example in the County of a relatively early use of brick in a rather
remote rural area. The total cost of rebuilding the church after the fire was £1,838
Cruwys, Margaret C.S. A Cruwys Morchard Notebook, 1066-1874 (1939).
Devon Nineteenth-century Churches Project.
Listing NGR: SS8743012164
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
Cruwys, M C S , A Cruwys Morchard Notebook 1066-1874, (1939)
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