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 90427 56419



SX9056 CHURCH ROAD, Churston Ferrers 1946-1/5/57 (West side) 09/02/61 Church of St Mary the Virgin (Formerly Listed as: CHURSTON ROAD, Churston Ferrers Christ Church)


Parish church. Probably C15. Restored 1864-6 by E Ashworth of Exeter. Squared Devonian limestone rubble with red sandstone quoins; west wall and tower rendered. Windows mostly in Bath stone; doorways in red sandstone. Slated roof; red ridge-tiles crested with fleurs-de-lys. Stone chimney on north-east corner of north chancel chapel. Nave, north and south aisles, chancel, north and south chancel chapels, west tower, south porch. Vestry, added in 1864-6, at east end of north chancel chapel. 5 Perpendicular 4-light windows in each of north and south walls; different designs, some with pointed and some with 4-centred arches. 5-light east window to chancel and 4-light windows to aisles, all Perpendicular with pointed arches. All windows are C19 restorations. South porch gabled with parvise chamber above. Both inner and outer doorways chamfered and stopped, with rounded arches. To right of outer door a round-arched holy water stoup. Parvise chamber has a single-light window with pointed arch; jambs probably of old Beer stone, head restored. Above it is medieval carving of the Crucifixion flanked by the Two Marys; cinquefoiled canopy over the whole group. Low stone seats inside porch. Priest's door in S wall of aisle/chancel chapel; restoration with pointed arch and hoodmould. 5-sided stair turret to former rood screen; in N wall with slit window and battlements. 3-stage tower with diagonal buttresses. Lowest stage has restored 3-light window with traceried pointed arch. The 2 upper stages each have a single-light pointed window in the N, S and W sides; mostly restored although the north and west windows in the lower stage appear to be of old Beer stone. The tower has never had a west door, probably because of its close proximity to the manor house (Churston Court (qv)). But there is a blocked doorway (visible only on the interior wall) with a round arch at the west end of the south aisle. INTERIOR: aisles and chancel chapels, which run into one another, have 5 pointed arches each side; one carved with arms of the Yarde family, another with mythical beasts. Stone staircase to former rood loft in north wall; C19 carved Gothic piscina in south wall of chancel. Quatrefoiled squint from parvise chamber into south aisle. Waggon-roofs throughout; all renewed in red deal 1864-6. Fittings: remains of medieval rood-screen, reset under tower arch. Stone font with octagonal medieval base decorated with trefoil-headed panels; bowl of c1763 in Gothic style; early C17 ogee font cover. Late C17 six-sided pulpit with raised bolection-moulded panels. Late medieval bench ends with arms of Ferrers, reset in chancel. Above the south door a wooden panel with arms of Queen Anne; original paint; dated 1713. Glass: east window of south chancel chapel contains reset medieval glass. Bells: 3 dating from before 1553; oldest c1440 by Richard Norton of Exeter, with arms of Ferrers. A fourth by Mordecai Cockey of Totnes, 1681. Monuments: south aisle; William Farquharson (d.1813), a retired civil servant of East India Company; white marble; mourning female figure and urn under a Gothic arch. From the Middle Ages until 1951 Churston church was a chapel of St Mary's Higher Brixham; White's directory of 1850 describes it as a perpetual curacy. It had its own churchwardens in C17 however, and in 1953 was described by the Archdeacon of Totnes as a 'parish by tradition'. (Tregaskes JH: Churston Story: Paignton: 1989-; The Buildings of England: Cherry B: Devon (2nd edition): 1989-: 833-4; White W: Directory of Devonshire: 1850-: 432).

Listing NGR: SX9042756419


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

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Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Devon, (1989), 833-4
Tregaskes, J H, Churston Story, (1989)
'Whites Directory' in History Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire, (1850), 432


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 Jun 2001
Reference: IOE01/04730/26
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Dennis Coote. Source Historic England Archive
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