Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

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 5.4.66 I 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 this date. 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 12s od. 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.

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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

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Date: 30 May 2006
Reference: IOE01/15593/13
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Hedley R. Hooper. Source Historic England Archive
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