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Listed Building
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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)
National Grid Reference:
ST 02189 07170


CULLOMPTON CHURCH ROAD, Cullompton ST 00 NW 10/80 Parish Church of St Andrew I

Parish church. Nave and north and south aisles possibly first half of the C15; lane aisle (i.e. outer south aisle) begun in 1526 and building still in progress in 1552; west tower begun 1539 and building still in progress in 1545; church restored and the chancel rebuilt in 1849-51 by Edward Ashworth. Coursed rubble red sandstone and brecchia with Beerstone dressing. West tower, nave, north and south aisles, outer south aisle, south-west porch, chancel, south-east vestry. Exterior: Tower of 4 stages, set-back buttresses with 4 set-offs, all with crouching animals and finials; battlemented parapet with quatrefoil panels, openwork pinnacles to corners, and also set half way along each side; all crocketted and finiaied. Polygonal stair turett to north face. Pointed 2-light belfry opening to all sides, pierced, with transom. 2-light ringing-chamber opening to 2nd stage, south. Much elaborate Beerstone detailing to the west show front; central panel above 4-light Perpendicular west window; the sill to the panel is formed by the string course to the 2nd stage; defaced Calvary with one smaller panel to either side containing St George and Edmund the Martyr respectively, all under nodding canopies; panels framed by foilated shafts with faces, knops and capitals, the detailing Renaissance in character This front further enlivened with quatrefoil frieze to plinth and 1st stage; armorial panels flank west window (displaying the arms of England and of Bishop Veysey); hoodmould of west door formed by plinth string-course, the door surround with concave moulding bearing fleurons, and varied coloured stone voussoirs. C19 gabled stone clock surround with pinnacles placed above Calvary panel. North side of tower with one armorial panel; 2 similar panels to south with a third showing the Annunciation below the ringing-chamber opening, much defaced. Legends to these panels obliterated, but they include the date of construction (1539). South side: battlemented porch to west end of inner north aisle, set back buttresses, quatrefoil panels to merlons, and quatrefoil frieze below; south doorway with fleurons to middle concave moulding, with a similar doorway to south aisle proper; parvise, with square-headed 2-light window to south. Early C19 iron gates. Lane aisel: 5 bays, battlemented with a frieze of quatrefoils (dated 1805); 4-light Perpendicular windows with buttresses, 3 set-offs, between; the great 6-light west window and the 2 to the west of the aisle are contemporary with the C16 scheme, the others apear to have been reused from the old south aisle. The south front is adorned with motifs reflecting the source of John Lane's wealth; these have been much discussed and the problems resolved by Prof. Carus-Wilson (see reference below), and include cloth shears, and handles (the "figure-4" motif, a handframe set with teasels to the cloth), and boats. Polygonal stair turret to rood-screen door and aisle roof; priest's door. 5 lead rainwater heads, one dated 1709, another 1810. Late-medieval south east vestry, with a 2-light south window and a little square-headed east window with concave surround, stanchions and saddle bars, 20 leaded panes per light. Chancel, by Ashworth, set-back buttresses, Perpendicular east window of 5 lights; lancet and 3-light side windows to sanctuary. North side: 6 bays, battlemented, 4-light Perpendicular windows, one with a crenellated transom, perhaps marking a former chantry; polygonal screen stair-turret. North- west doorway with fleurons to concave moulding. Interior: nave and chancel of 6 bays with no structural division; conventional wavy moulding, varied capitals with foliage, faces and angels. Internal panelled buttressing to lane aisle arcade with evidence (to the 2 eastermost bays) of former screens. All windows with internal nook shafts, except the 3-light clerestory windows, depressed window arches and deep reveals. Medieval plasterwork survives in the north-east (More) chapel. Roof: nave and chancel with elaborate celled wagon, 4 bays-each divided by transverse rib with foliated sides and soffit and central pendant, which spring from small hammerbeams that support large angels; panels to each bay with bosses at intersection of subordinate ribs, each panel with diagonal rib with fretted borders and small central bosses; panelled wall-plate with angel corbels. Much of the colour in the nave is probably C18 and early C19, but some of the medieval paintwork may survive; a reference to Ashworth regilding the chancel suggests that he retained the old roof, rather than construct a copy; above the screen is an arch-braced tie beam designed to support to rood, which judging by the size of the Golgotha (preserved at the rear of the church, and a unique survival) and the mortices on the rood-loft floor, must have filled the available space in between. Fillets have been inserted on the south side of the roof-beam to rectify outward lean of the south wall. North and south aisles: flat panelled ceilings, the ribs chamfered, with run-out stops, diagonal ribbing and central bosses to each panel. Some early colour survives throughout. Lane aisles: a 5-bay stone form vault may be the result of a late change in plan after building operations were underway. A full technical description and appraisal appears in Leedy (see reference below). The original cranked timber collars above the vault survive intact. Screens: rood screen: late C15 with no Renaissance detailing; 11 bays with open tracery to each similar in design but not identical, to aisle window tracery. Coving complete with 3 tiers of foliage; brattishing of 1850 when the colouring renewed. Rood loft mortices for frontal and Golgotha (which itself supported Cross and the figures of Mary and John). South parclose: 4 bays with entrance under segmental arch, conventional Perpendicular tracery panels, wainscotting and a 2-tier cornice. North parclose: to the More chantry chapel; an unusual design, 4 wide bays with very angular tracery made up of straight ribs and peg-like cusping; one foliage band to cornice with dragons to each end, with shield bearing angels forming a wide frieze above; cornice and frieze to either side of screen set at a 450 angle. The shields show More quartering various families; the armorial evidence suggests a late C16 date but although of unusual profile the detailing of this parclose is entirely late- medieval in character. Wallpaintings: now covered, but disclosed and recorded by Ashworth in Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Society, III (1849), plates XXXIII-XXXVII; they appear to have formed a remarkably complete set. West gallery: supported by 5 Ionic columns, the frontal with panels of paired round- headed arches, the side panel divided by Ionic or Doric pilasters, the central panel by atlanter with Ionic capitals. Decorate frieze, with heads; decorative band below. A panel (south chancel aisle), possibly late C16, with Faith, Hope, Philip and Thomas each under round-headed arch. Monuments: C14 monument slab (in south-west porch) with badly worn foliated cross. Numerous floor slabs in More chantry (detailed descriptions in Cresswell, see reference below), and another, half obscured by C19 seating, to John Lane at the east end of his aisle. Nave, south wall: mural monument to Francis Colman, Esq., d.1820, erected 1849by I E Carew of London, moulded surrounds to 2 epitaph panels with palm swirls and heraldic device above. Some small, minor late C18 and early C19 wall tablets; especially good is that to David Sweet, d.1807, urn and epitaph panel with cornice, set against a black marble cartouche (north aisle, north wall). Lane aisle, south wall: WWI memorial (under the Morris window), waxy red and white marble, 3 panels, the names of the dead to the centre, with a soldier and a parting from family scene occupying outer panels. Glass: 9 good C19 and early C20 windows, including a Morris & Co., 1904; a Drake Lane aisle south, 1882 (and probably Lane aisle east, 1877), and 2 which are probably Clayton & Bell (Lane aisle west, and south VIII). References: Cullompton is generally regarded as one of the finest churches in the west country and has a considerable literature, of which this is a selection: various articles in Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Society, III (1849); E S Chalk, "The Church of St Andrew, Cullompton, Trans.Devonshire Assoc., 42 (1910), 182-205; Beatrix Cresswell, typescripe volume on Deanery of Cullompton, West Country Studies Library; John Stabb, Some Old Devon Churches I, 44-5, plate 32; N Pevsner, SD, pp 96-88; E Carus-Wilson, "The Significance of the Secular Sculpture in the Lane Chapel, Cullompton; Medieval Archaeology, I (1957), 104-17 and end plates; W C Leedy, Fan Vaulting, A Study of Form, Technology and Meaning (1980), pp 157-8; Devon C19 Churches Project.

Listing NGR: ST0219107174


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 Cullompton, (1920)
Leedy, W C, Fan Vaulting A Study of Form Technology and Meaning, (1980), 157-158
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: South Devon, (1952)
Stabb, J, Notes on some Old Devon Churches, (1908), 44-45
'Medieval Archaeology' in Medieval Archaeology, , Vol. 1, (1957), 104-117
'Transactions of the Devonshire Association' in Transactions of the Devonshire Association, , Vol. 42, (1910), 182-205
'Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural Society' in Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural Society, , Vol. 3, (1861)


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: 12 May 2001
Reference: IOE01/03500/21
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John David Hampshire. Source Historic England Archive
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