SS 62 NW CHITTLEHAMPTON THE SQUARE, Chittlehampton
1/160 Church of St Hieritha
Parish church. Entire fabric appears to be a rebuilding of late C15/early C16
date, chancel rebuilt and extended in 1840s, north aisle rebuilt, reroofing and
refenestration and "general repair and reseating entrusted to Mr Hayward" 1872.
Unrendered stone rubble, tower coursed, with ashlar dressings. Slate roofs with
crested ridge tiles, coped parapets with apex crosses.
The C15/early C16 church consists of nave, north and south aisles and transepts,
chancel, south porch and west tower. North aisle, arcade piers, chancel and
fenestration renewed 1872.
Exceptionally fine tall west tower of Somerser type, of 4 stages with set-back
buttresses with crocketted pinnacles to each offset. Embattled parapet pierced with
quatrefoils, and similar friezes at the base and at each stage. 8 open-work 2-
stage pinnacles. Gargoyles at the angles. Large transomed 2-light bell-openings to
each face with heavily ornamented pierced tracery. Clockface above 2-light pointed
arched window on south side over cusped and pinnacled niche. Tall 4-light
Perpendicular pointed arched west window, the mullions replacedin C19, above 4-
-centred arched doorway with foliated spandrels and richly moulded surround.
Hoodmould with leaf labels.
South aisle, and south and north transets have embattled paraets with quatrefoil
friezes. South aisle has buttresses at intervals with crocketted pinnacles to the
offsets. Perpendicular style fenestration, 4 lights at west end, 3 lights to each
side of, and straight headed 3-light window over south porch, which has embattled
parapet, diagonal buttresses and niche above pointed arched doorway with demi-angel
corbels to the hoodmould. Ogee-flanking hollow mould surround with fleuron
decoration. Fine trabarted ceiling with blind quatrefoil tracery to each panel,
richly carved bosses at the intersections and deep moulded timber cornice. Inner
doorway with similar moulding on smaller scale, human head corbels to the hoodmould,
and carved base for statue above. Original door with heavily moulded cover strips
forming 5 panels with blind traceried heads.
North transept has angle buttresses with 2 seated mythical beastes to each offset.
Rood stair turret in left-hand (west) angle. 4-light window with narrow priest's
doorway to right. Stone oval tablet set in right-hand buttress with inscrition to
James Spurnay, a Giffard family servant, d. 1715. C19 4-light Perpendicular style
windows to east side of each transept and chancels east end. 2-light ponited arched
window to chancel south side. Polygonal ashlar chimney pot to north-east corner of
chancel. Perpendicular style 4=light window to north transept, infilled below the
transom. Blocked 4-centred arched doorway below. All C19 3-light windows to north
aisle, with 4-light window at the west end.
Interior. Nave and aisle walls unrendered plastered walls to chancel and
transepts. Arcade of 5 bays between nave and aisles with 2 more between chancel and
transepts. Piers of 'Pevsner' B type, on north side with concave octagonal capitals
only to the main shafts, standard leaf capitals on south side. Tall pointed tower
arch with hollow and ogee marbled surround and large leaf capitals. Wide-span
moulded pointed chancel arch. Nave, chancel and aisles have concealed waggon roofs,
those to nave and chancel apparently C19, those to aisles late C15 with moulded ribs
and carved bosses at the intersections. Crenellated wall plates to south aisle.
Chancel roof has carved angel figures to the base of each rib. Early C16
transetal roofs are trebeated with heavily moulded intersecting beams and large
carved bosses at the intersections.
Chancel: Late C19 stone reredos with statues in niches flanking mosaic of Last
Supper. Double C19 sedilia and patterned floor tiles.
Nave: Slender stone pulpit (circa 1500) with figures of saints, under ogee
canoies in narrow panels with leaf frames. C19 nave seating throughout with blind
traceried bench ends. Nave floor has many exposed slab memorials. C19 font with
lead lined bowl on C15 base.
Glass: full complement of C19 glass survive to aisles and south transept with
trailing texts. Stained glass to east end window to William Barry d.1871. Chancel
south window to Rolle Family by Hardman.
Monuments: Chancel north side. Arched entrance to narrow chamber floored with
stone inscribed "Orate pro anima Joan Cobley", possibly placed over relics of St
Urith. Elaborate niche in pier with painted inscription 'In memory of St Hieritha,
Foundress of this Church' with verses. 2 wall monuments above to Rev. Thomas
Colley d.1762, with broken pediments and central achievement and John Bear d.1656,
nowy arched with achievement and 3 roundels with inscriptions to his children.
Chancel south side C17 tablet Rev. Hugh Harris.
North transet. Giffard Chapel with semi-reclining figure of Grace Giffard d. 1667 a
fragment of larger monument and large standing wall monument to Joh Giffard of
Brightley; recumbent figure with 2 kneeling figures against the tomb-chest. On
back wall 2 bearded heads in profile in medallions, broken pediment on which cherubs
recline and central achievement. West wall: 2 C19 marble wall monuments to
Collingwood and Giffard family.
South transept: (Rolle Chapel) Large C18 standing marble wall monuments with
taering obelisk above reclining cherub in high relief with achuevement above and
torches to each side. Inscription to members of Rolle family 'Whose lives have left
to posterity a more expressive Menorial than can be perpetuated on the most Durable
Marble' East wall: Tablet to Edward Yeo of North Petherwin d. 1636.
North aisle, north side to Joachim Rolle d. 1638, south side marble wall monument by
T Gould to John Nickolls of Brightley, d.1850.
St Hieritha Church is one of the larger North Devon Churches, is of interest for its
few early building phases, being entirely C15/C16, and for its exceptionally fine
west tower 'unquestionably the finest church tower in Devon' (Hoskins).
Listing NGR: SS6360025591