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Statutory Address:

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

North Devon (District Authority)
North Molton
National Grid Reference:
SS 73668 29955


NORTH MOLTON THE SQUARE, (north side) SS 7229-7329 18/180 Church of All Saints 20.2.67 GV I Parish church. Late C15, chancel probably altered internally c.1844. Further altered internally in 1876-83 at a cost of over £100, and restored in 1886-90 at a cost of £730. Top of tower altered (pinnacles removed and parapet probably rebuilt) in the first-half of the C20. Dressed sandstone (almost of ashlar quality) with Beer-stone ashlar dressings. Gable-ended Welsh-slate roofs, separately over nave and aisles. Plan and development: Four-bay nave, 5-bay north and south aisles (extending as one- bay chapels to each side of chancel) south porch in second bay from west, 2-bay chancel and west tower. Chancel more heavily restored than rest of church in 1886- 90, and vestry added to the north, probably at the same time. Exterior: Tower with moulded plinth (and square sub-plinth), string courses with chamfered offsets to each stage, set-back full-height buttress (Pevsner type-B) with chamfered offsets, moulded parapet string and rebuilt battlemented parapet with moulded coping, quatrefoil circular panels in central merlons to south and wider corner merlons. Wrought-iron weathercock. Belfry openings consisting of 2 louvred trefoil-haded lights, panelled tympana (weathered at time of survey - September 1987) and stone relieving arches. Second-stage west window of 2 hollow-chamfered cinquefoil-headed lights under square head with panelled spandrels and returned hoodmould, and first-stage west window of 4 ogee cinquefoil-headed lights with moulded mullions, panelled intersecting tracery, hollow chamfered and moulded reveals incorporating attenuated carved nook shafts with small bases and capitals, and hoodmould lath stops. West doorway consisting of continuously-moulded arch, returned hoodmould with square stops, stone relieving arch and pair of C19 nail-studded boarded doors. Plinth returns to ground each side of doorway. Stair turret in south-west corner, with small quatrefoil openings in south wall, and small splayed square opening at base. C15 carved statue of the Virgin in the second stage to south, set in niche with moulded base, flanking angled crocketed pinnacles, canopy with 3 crocketed trefoil gables and crocketed pinnacle above. Clock above niche with convex face and gilded hands and figures on blue background. Granite stone set above plinth to south, inscribed: "TO THE GLORY OF GOD/AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF/ELIZABETH JANE FRAYNE/THIS TOWER CLOCK WAS GIVEN/BY THE ABOVE AND HER BROTHER/JOHN HENRY FRAYNE/1934". Putlock holes in tower. Nave with clerestory, not visible from ground. South aisle: Chamfered plinth, buttress (diagonal at corners) with chamfered offsets, chamfered projecting eaves band, and parapeted gable ends with stone copings, cross to east and C19 brick stack to west. South windows of 3 ogee quatrefoil-headed lights, cusped panelled tracery, hollow-chamfered reveals, and returned hoodmould with square stops. Identical window to east end. Plainer window in west end, of 3 quatrefoil-headed lights with plain uncusped panelled tracery, hollow-chamfered reveals and hoodmould with square stops. Moulded Tudor-arched priest's doorway beneath window in second bay from east, with old nail-studded boarded door. South doorway in second bay from west with continuously-moulded archway and pair of C19 nail-studded boarded doors. C15 hollow- chamfered plinth, angle buttresses with chamfered offsets, chamfered projecting eaves band and parapet with stone coping and cross at apex. Moulded archway springing from 2 orders of shafts with moulded bases and capitals, separated by hollow chamfer, and hoodmould with carved square stops. Plinth returns to ground each side of archway. Pair of C19 wooden and wrought-iron gates. C18 slate sundial with gnomon, set in recess above archway. Interior of porch with C19 encaustic-tiled floor and wooden side benches. Bootscraper to right of door. C18 headstones attached to east- wall of south aisle (1767) and west wall of south porch. North aisle: chamfered plinth, buttresses (diagonal at corners) with chamfered offsets, parapeted gable ends with stone copings and crosses at apices. Windows of 3 ogee cinquefoil-headed lights with cusped panelled tracery, and hollow-chamfered reveals. Identical windows at east and west ends (west window probably C19 restoration). Blocked moulded Tudor- arched priest's doorway beneath window in second bay from east (plinth returns to ground each side of doorway). Two headstones (1770 and 1819) attached to east wall of aisle. Chancel: Hollow-chamfered plinth, angle buttresses with chamfered offsets, C19 hollow-chamfered projecting eaves band, and C19 parapeted gable end with uncarved shields to footstones, stone coping and cross at apex. Restored east window (apparently a C19 copy of the Medieval window) of 3 ogee cinqufoil-headed lights with transom, cinquefoil heads to lower parts of lights with quatrefoild circles in spandrels, panelled tracery, hollow-chamfered reveals, and hoodmould with carved winged angels as stops. Restored south window (apparently a C19 copy of the Medieval original) of 3 ogee cinquefoil-headed lights with quatrefoil circles. Spandrels, hollow-chamfered reveals and hoodmould with dressed-stone flat arch above. Restored north window like south window, without hoodmould. Four C18 and C19 headstones attached to south wall of chancel. Leaded-lined boxed gutter to north. Vestry: Chamfered plinth, angle buttresses with chamfered offsets, moulded parapet string, and battlemented parapet with moulded coping. Two-light east window with chamfered mullion and returned hoodmould, one light with diamond leading. Interior: C15 five-bay aisle arcades with compound piers consisting of 4 shafts with moulded bases and capitals alternating with hollow chamfers (Pevsner type-B), diamond bases and moulded 4-centred arches (hollow chamfer and 2 rolls). Former rood loft doorways in spandrels between first and second bays from east. Clerestory window (with carved quatrefoil arches in spandrels, scalloping on underside of arches, and dressed stone jambs (plaster stripped in late C19 or early C20). Double-chamfered tower arch, the outer chamfer dying into responds and the inner chamfer springing from corbels, with carved rosettes on base, and stone relieving arch. Flanking tower buttresses with chamfered offsets and chamfered corbels on inner faces (supporting nothing). C20 glazed tower screen. Aisle walls with set backs at cill level. Chamfered recess above east window in south aisle. C19 boarded vestry door at east end of north aisle. Windows with splayed jambs. C15 ceiled waggon roofs to nave and aisles. Nave roof with transverse and longitudinal moulded wooden ribs, carved bosses (mainly foliate), and C19 moulded wooden wall plate with carved square fleurons and brattishing, supported on small C19 moulded stone corbels. Ceilure over former rood is divided into smaller panels than the rest of roof. The roof is divided into 4 bays by C15 tie-beams with carved foliage trails to sides, moulded bottom edge and brattishing above. Aisle roofs also with transverse and longitudinal moulded wooden ribs, carved bosses, and C19 moulded wooden wall plates with carved square fleurons, brattishing, and supported on small C19 moulded stone corbels. Chancel probably remodelled in 1844; moulded wooden chancel arch springing from moulded-stone corbels, and plastered barrel roof (possibly over earlier roof structure) with moulded wooden cornice. C15 arched doorway at foot of tower stair. Plastered walls throughout. Stone floors. C19 encaustic tiles to chancel. Fittings: Elaborate C17 panelling to chancel, dated 1609, restored in 1844 (also dated) on 3 walls of sanctuary. Three-bay north and south sides consisting of panelled base (lower panels with strapwork decoration), set-back upper-panels with circular medallions and short tapered pilasters, frieze with carved grotesque masks and heraldic ornament, and strapwork panel above. Bays divided by Ionic pilasters with strapwork ornament, against projecting piers to upper stage. Piers topped by short carved obelisks with spiked globe finials, each resting on 4 globes on top of a small panelled pedestal. Pedestals to panelling on north wall with superscribed lettering: "E P" and "1609" and on south wall with superscribed lettering "P" and "1844" (probably standing for Poltimore). Three-bay panelled reredos to east wall (central bay wider), divided by Ionic pilasters. Plain lower panels, outer upper panels with central lion masks, elongated panels to centre bay flanking central round-arched panel with Royal Coat of Arms (James I) and the motto: "DELECTARE IN DOMINO", frieze above with foliate ornament and carved shield, and centre raised over further coat of arms (probably Poltimore) set in cartouche, with obeliskes above and at each end. C19 altar table. Gothic-arched boards flanking east window, probably of 1844; Lord's Prayer and Creed to left and Commandments to right, both with moulded frames. Late C17 or early C18 Communion rails with vase balusters, moulded bottom and top rails and central gate with flanking panelled dies. Late C19 choir stalls. Fine C15 eleven-bay screen across nave and aisles, 4 bays to chancel and 3 to each aisle chapel. Each bay consisting of 4 blind ogee cinquefoil-headed lower panels with tracery above and quatrefoil band below, moulded and enriched middle rail and moulded and enriched arched upper openings, of 4 ogee cinquefoil-headed lights with panelled tracery. Each bay separated by shaft with moulded bases and capitals. Loft removed and now plain-panelled with moulded cornice. Pairs of gates to chapels, opening to chancel without gates but with tracery above. Canted projection in lower panels at right-hand end with cinquefoil-headed panels and uncarved shields. Possibly formerly for the dispensation of alms. C15 parclose screens between aisle chapels and chancel, with carved rails, square-headed cinquefoil-headed lights with panelled tracery, carved uprights, and carved frieze and brattishing. South screen with some C19 alterations. C15 octagonal wooden pulpit (restored in the C19) in front of screen to left with crocketed canopied niches (some with reordered C15 carving and others with carved figures of 1866). Crocketted pinnacles carved with carved vine trail, tapered bases of 4 tiers of carved vine trails, C19 octagonal stone stem and C19 wooden steps with octagonal posts and ramped handrail. Early C18 octagonal wooden tester, attached by small panel to screen behind, with panelled soffit (central panel recessed with "IHS" painted in centre), richly carved dentil cornice with acanthus modillions alternating with paterae, and corners breaking forward. Carved angel blowing the last trump on top of tester. C19 brass eagle lectern. Octagonal Beer-stone pulpit of c.1480 with moulded base, stems with carved stone figures in panels, and bowl with carved foilage to base and quatrefoil panel to each side flanked by smaller trefoil-headed panels. Lead-lined bowl. Old clock (from tower) in north aisle said to have been made in Barnstaple in 1564 at a cost of £6. 13s 4d and replaced in 1934. Painted Royal Coat of Arm (George III) above south door, dated 1798. C19 boarded draught lobby to south door. Small C18 box pew behind screen in south aisle chapel. Organ installed in north-aisle chapel between 1876-83. Probably early C19 benefactors' boards under tower. Stained glass: East window of 1858 by Wailes. other late C19 glass in aisle and chancel windows. Other windows diamond-leaded clear glass. Monuments: Fine large monument in south-aisle chapel to Sir Amyas Bamfylde (d.1626), consisting of 4-bay base with kneeling figures of offspring divided by pilasters supporting frieze; top with recumbent effigy of Amyas Bamfylde to right and mourning figure of wife to left. Achitectral frame consisting of 2 segmental-arched panels to rear with half-relief kneeling figures of offspring facing reading desk to centre, with 4 skulls in panel below, and bracket above with cherub's head (shield in cartouche behind effigy); two Ionic columns to front (and pilasters to rear) supporting entablature with pulvinated frieze and open segmental pediment with strapwork cresting and central coat of arms. Ancient and later colour. C17 wrought- iron grate in front consisting of diagonally-set square railings with spear and halbered tops, and barleysugar standards with urn and halberd tops. Ancient light- blue colour. Alabaster tablet in wall to right of monument with Latin inscription in memory of the Bamsfyldes. Large wall monument in north aisle, to John Burgess Esq. of Upcot (d. 26 Nov. 1758), by King of Bath, consisting of oval marble tablet with husk drops to top and base, flanking scrolls, and relief with cherub holding swagged urn and with pyramid behind to left; moulded base on scrolled brackets, and cartouche below. Cornice above with egg and dart enrichment, central convex oval panel above with inscription and flanking husk drops, fluted band and cornice above and wreathed urn at top. Signed: "KING Ft./BATH". The galleries were removed and the heating was installed between 1876-83. An old print (probably late C18 or early C19) on the wall by the south door shows the church before restoration, with crocketed pinnacles to the tower and the original chancel windows (apparently very similar to the C19 restoration). Cresswell suggests that the clerestory is on addition of c.1500 and gives the principal date of restoration of 1885. It has also been suggested (Layley) that the panelling in the choir was originally made for Edmund Parker at Court House (q.v.) and only removed to the church in 1844 when Lord Poltimore acquired the house. It certainly looks as though it has been reordered at some time but this might be the result of restoration work in the church. Sources: N. Pevsner, Buildings of England, North Devon, p.p. 129-30, Kelly's Directory of Devonshire (1902), p. 385; Beatrix F. Cresswell, Notes on Devon Churches. Deanery of South Molton (1924), pp. 162-80; Charles G. Layley,The Parish Church of All Saints. A Short History.

Listing NGR: SS7366829954


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

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Books and journals
Cresswell, B F, Notes on Devon Churches in the Deanery of South Molton, (1924), 162-180
Layley, C G , The Parish Church of All Saints A Short History
Pevsner, N , The Buildings of England: Devon North, (1952), 129-130
'Kellys Directory' in Devonshire, (1902), 385


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: 17 Apr 2006
Reference: IOE01/13706/33
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Hedley R. Hooper. Source Historic England Archive
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