Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

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

Torridge (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SX 41129 89179


BROADWOODWIDGER BROADWOODWIDGER SX 48 NW 8/50 Church of St Nicholas 23.8.57 GV I Parish church. Bottom stage of the tower probably C12, parts of the nave and chancel C13, north transept possibly C14, the south chancel chapel may be late C13 or C14 in origin, late C15/early C16 south aisle and south porch. Restoration of 1871. Stone rubble with granite and freestone dressings, slate roofs. Chancel, south chancel chapel with 2-bay arcade to the chancel, nave, north transept. 3« bay south aisle, west tower, south west porch. Early English and Perpendicular. The development of the church is complex. The base of the tower appears to be C12 but the tower is not aligned with the C13 chancel arch. The church may have been rebuilt and re-aligned in the C13 with a C12 west tower and C13 nave and chancel. The masonry of the north transept differs from the nave masonry and it may be a C14 addition. The south chancel chapel certainly precedes the south aisle and may have been a C14 chantry. In the C15 or early C16 the 2-bay arcade between the chancel and south chancel chapel was built, probably contemporary with the south aisle which increased the width of the nave which was re-roofed. The upper stages of the west tower probably also date from the Perpendicular period. The windows in the east wall were replaced in the C19, probably in 1871 and the church was entirely re-roofed in 1966. The east wall of the south chancel chapel is flush with the chancel east wall with a single C19 buttress between with set-offs. The east gables are coped with kneelers, the gables appear to have been rebuilt and the plinth suggests that the entire east wall may have been reconstructed. C19 Perpendicular chancel east window of 4 lights with Y tracery, king mullion, hoodmould and label stops. No windows to the north wall of the chancel. C19 freestone Perpendicular 3-light south chancel chapel east window with hoodmould and label stops. The south window of the chapel is a circa late C15/early C16 3-light square-headed cusped window with a hoodmould. The north window is probably late C14 Perpendicular with a hoodmould and label stops. There are no windows to the west wall. The nave is constructed of masonry of small dimensions. The ground appears to have been cut away at the base of the walls leaving a blocked chamfered arched doorway in the centre considerably raised off ground level. On either side of the doorway a circa late C13 triple lancet with chamfered light, the westernmost appears to be original, the mullions of the easternmost have been renewed. The west window of the south aisle is a 3-light granite Perpendicular window, lightly cusped with a hoodmould and label stops. The porch is in the westernmost bay of the aisle. The 3 easternmost windows of the aisle are probably early C16, wide 4-light uncusped granite windows with panel tracery, hoodmoulds and carved label stops. Original external saddle bars and stanchions are intact. 2 stage unbuttressed battlemented west tower with square corner pinnacles with crocketted pinnacles. A projecting rectangular north east stair turret rises above the tower battlementing and is battlemented with square corner pinnacles with crocketted finials. The west face has a simple hollow-chamfered arched west door with a hoodmould below a relieving arch. A round-headed chamfered west window above the door is probably C12 below a relieving arch. Belfry openings on all 4 faces are 2-light uncusped openings with square-heads. The south face has a chamfered round- headed 1-light opening at bellringers' stage filled with a slate pierced with slits. The stone rubble south porch is faced with granite ashlar on the south side and has a coped gable. The shallow-moulded arched outer doorway has a square-headed hoodmould and label stops with carved spandrels. The interior of the porch has slate-topped benches and a Perpendicular waggon roof with carved ribs, bosses and wallplates. The inner door of the porch is moulded with a Tudor arch and carved spandrels. Circa C16 door with studs and strap hinges. Interior Unplastered walls to nave, east end walls plastered. C13 unmoulded chancel arch springing from plain granite imposts with the remains of stylized carving. The unmoulded tower arch springs from chamfered imposts. Depressed moulded granite arch to the south chancel chapel. The south arcade is 3« bays, the easternmost arch abutting the centre of the south chancel arch and apparently acting as a keystone. The piers of the arcade have 4 hollows and 4 shafts with moulded capitals to the shafts only. The piers have moulded bases and the arches are shallow-moulded. The 2-bay arcade between the chancel and south chancel chapel is similar but not identical. The west window of the tower is deeply splayed as are the 2 north windows of the nave. The roofs are late C20 ceiled waggons with ribs and carved bosses, a Perpendicular carved wallplate survives in the south chancel chapel. Good C13 octagonal font with palmettes carved on 4 faces, the other faces are either plain or cut with a vertical hollow probably when the font was fixed to wall. The bowl stands on an octagonal base. 6-bay chancel screen said to be 1529 (Bond and Camm) of Pevsner A type. The screen has lost its coving and 2 orders of carving from the bressumer have been tacked on to the top. There is a frieze of quatrefoils at the base of the wainscot and the entire screen has been painted brown and green, probably in the late C18/early C19. The 3 bays of the screen across the arch into the south chancel chapel are also Pevsner A type but the openings are wider with almost segmental heads. On the north side of the nave and in the south aisle several complete early C16 benches survive with rectangular carved ends some with Renaissance arabesques, others with symbols of the passion. The original footings of the sets of benches survive in part as do the moulded back rails. The remaining benches in the nave are C19 with panelled ends. Some C16 bench ends have been incorporated into the choir stalls. 5 sided 1901 timber drum pulpit carved by John Northcott of Ashwater with a deep cornice has carved sides and a moulded granite base. Late C19 timber reredos. A whitewashed stone effigy of circa 1500 (Pevsner) lies on a tomb chest under an arch at the east of the south chancel chapel. The arch is not part of the original design of the tomb and the figure of a knight in armour is a head and torso only, legs missing. The torso is hollowed out. The chest has a frieze of nodding ogee canopies with mourners in ecclesiastical dress beneath. Royal Arms of 1822 painted by Richard Reddicliffe fixed to the north wall of the nave. Late C19 window in the south aisles probably by Lavers Barraud and Westlake. The south chancel chapel is said to have been the Upcott (qv) chapel. Bond and Camm, Roodscreens and Roodslofts (1909) Pevsner, Buildings of England, North Devon (1952) Church Guide (1984).

Listing NGR: SX4113189177


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Bligh Bond, F, Bede Camm, D, Roodscreens and Roodlofts, (1909)
Pevsner, N , The Buildings of England: Devon North, (1952)


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 Apr 2005
Reference: IOE01/12631/18
Rights: Copyright IoE Dr Barbara Hilton. Source Historic England Archive
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