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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:
SS 99960 04134


BRADNINCH CHURCH STREET, Bradninch SS 90 SE 11/13 Parish Church of St Dionysius - 5.4.66 (formerly listed as Church of St Disen) GV II Parish church. Mainly of the C15 and early-C16, but with earlier masonry surviving in chancel, and possibly the base of the tower. Restored 1806; partially rebuilt (nave and aisles heightened, piers reconstructed, south wall re-erected) 1841; restorations by Hayward, 1881, 1889. Coursed rubble volcanic trap. West tower, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, chancel, north-west and north-east vestries. Exterior: tall west tower (90'), the belfry dating from 1437 (indulgence in Bishop Lacy's Register, Canterbury & York Series, II, 72). 4 stages with battlementing and corner pinnacles, except to the south-east where the polygonal corner stair turret, separately battlemented, rises even higher. Set-back angle buttresses with 4 set-offs. 2-light pointed belfry openings, each light cusped with quatrefoil in head. Cinquefoil-headed niche under square hood mould with elaborate quatrefoil motifs to 2nd stage, E; 2-light openings, 2nd stage, north and south, lighting ringing chamfer; cinquefoil-headed statue niche above 4-light west window, Perpendicular west door 1841 under heavily moulded arch. Hayward's tower vestry to the north, hipped roof to north, with west door and adjacent segmentally-headed window, and 2 similar windows to north. South aisle: 6 bays (including porch, 1881); buttresses with 2 set-offs, those at angles set diagonally, between 3-light Perpendicular windows. 3-light east and west window. North aisle: 6 bays, no porch, but otherwise as south. 3-light west window. Tracery and mullions of all windows look largely C19; the slightly unusual proportions of the side elevations are the result of the heightening of 1841. Chancel: 2-light north window: 3-light east window, set high up; 3-light south window with hood mould terminals, one bearing a shield (identified by Stabb as of Richard Norton, Precentor of Exeter Cathedral, 1512-24). Lower courses of chancel masonry may be C13 or earlier. C19 north-east castellated vestry with 2-light square-headed east window. C19 priest's door to south. Interior: nave and choir of 6 bays, with no structural division, with unaisled sanctuary. Piers with double wavy-moulding; floriated capitals (including a Green Man) some of them, especially on the south arcade, of very high quality. Canopied niche on one of the north aisle piers. West capital of south arcade is different from the others, bearing shields and fleurons. Tower arch, 3 shafts to each respond, with separate capitals. Internal shafts to window arches. Chancel arch with nave pier profile. No internal shafts to chancel window arches; south window arch brought down to form sedilia. Roofs: Ceiled to nave and chancel, principals with arched braces, nave with king posts and panelled wall plate; flat ceiled roof to aisles: all C19. Screens: (1) parclose, to south, originally demarcated the chapel of St Nicholas Guild, is the earlier of the 2 medieval screens, probably mid-C15; 4 bays, the central pair wider, 3 cusped lights to each bay, with chunky foliage in spandrels; contemporary painted panels below. (2) Rood Screen: 12 bays, piers encased to form canopied figure niches (containing C17 figures) to west, 4 lights to each bay, cusped with shields (cf.Rewe); coving with 3-tiered cornice, and C19 frieze. Painted figures in panels are of a variety of period, early-C16, C17 and C19; the rear cornice survives, with painted abstract designs to panels. Restored by Bradley of Exeter, 1853. Furnishings: Stone pulpit of 1888. Altar table, wooden, of circa 1600. South aisle altar frontal incorporates C16 work. C19 benches and choir stalls. Monuments: Chancel, north aisle : 2 large oval inscription panels with architrave under broken segmental pediment, black and white marble, to Peter Seynthill (d. 1648), erected 1679. South aisle, west wall: elegant stone plaque to Thomas Pearse (d.1830). Glass: Good set of patterned glass in aisles by Drake (sequence completed 1872); excellent Doom in west window, by Clayton and Bell, 1880. East window (not dated) by Ward & Hughes; south aisle, south-east, by Hardman (circa 1850). A piscina from the now demolished chapel at Trinity (Bradninch Parish) has been re-set in the north-east vestry. Sources: Pevsner, S.D., p.59; J Stabb, Some Old Devon Churches, I, 18-20; Charles Croslegh, Bradninch, being a short historical sketch, etc., (1911); Devon C19 Churches Project; B Cresswell, Deanery of Cullompton, (West Country Studies Library typescript).

Listing NGR: SS9996004134


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)
Croslegh, C, Bradninch Being a Short Historical Sketch etc, (1911)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: South Devon, (1952), 59
Stabb, J, Notes on some Old Devon Churches, (1908), 18-20


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: 01 Sep 2003
Reference: IOE01/11246/19
Rights: © Dr Ann Allen. Source: Historic England Archive
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