SS 21 NE
7/198 Church of St Nectan
Anglican parish church. Probably a chapel of the Church of St Nectan of Hartland
(q.v.) established before the Conquest; rebuilt in 1508; tower completely rebuilt in
1731, substantially restored 1883-84; some further early C20 works. Random, coursed
and squared local rubble, gabled slate roofs, to porch with a coping of concrete,
tower with embattled parapet, some remains of render on the south face of the nave
and on the porch.
Plan and development: the plan of the nave and chancel are probably pre-Conquest
though little of the fabric above ground level appears of this date. The transepts
were probably added circa 1508 when the church was largely rebuilt, west tower 1731,
south porch probably also C18; leanto north vestry added in 1904.
Exterior: squat square embattled 3 stage tower, simi-circular head bell-chamber
windows which are probably reused C16 material, large weathered offset at plinth
level, smaller offsets between first and second and second and third stages. West
end with a small window with a 4-centred arch head, C20 4-pane casement inserted.
Nave with a single window to the south, 3-centred arch head, label of granite and
granite jambs, C20 Gothick casement inserted in place of earlier tracery. South
transept with simple semi-circular headed window with 2-light granite tracery,
probably renewed 1897 when the present stained glass was inserted. East face of
this transept with a C20 9-pane casement in a hollow-moulded stone surround,
concrete cill. Chancel with a semi-circular head. East window rising to a slight
point at apex; concrete label renewed late C20. Gabled south porch, plain outer
door opening with rubble jambs, inside with stone benches on a flagstone floor.
Inner doorway in a C16 moulded stone frame.
Interior: plastered on flagstone floors. Towards the east end a larger number of
good C17 and C18 memorial slabs inset into the floor. Under the tower a late C19
tile pavement. Nave and chancel continuous under a C16 wagon roof with moulded ribs
and carved bosses, 5 towards the east end with gilding and colouring remaining,
above each transept arch a section of richly-carved cornice, again with colouring
and gilding surviving. The plaster between the ribs replaced during the C19
restoration with tongue-and-groove board. Crude arches with squared rubble jambs
and voussoirs to the transepts. Tall semi-circular tower arch with rubble jambs and
voussoirs. C19 wagon-roofs to the transepts with tongue-and-groove board, though
the wall plates are earlier at the tops of the walls, probably C16. Late C19
ringing-chamber floor under the tower. Rood screen, a composite structure may be as
early as early C14 (Hoskins); square-headed, the 8 flights divided by thin shafts of
rude workmanship; broad central opening with the doors missing. The lower panels
have been embellished by the addition of 3 carved C15 bench ends. The cornice of
the screen appears to have been added in the C16, 3 richly carved friezes set one
above the other. The screen probably stands eastward of its original position. Of
circular font on a C11 circular plinth, plain without carving. Polygonal pulpit
made up of C16 carved panels, reassembled to their present form in the C18, repaired
in the C19 when a new base and steps up were added; the C18 pulpit cornice black-
painted with gilded lettering: "Where there is no Bishop the people perish Dror XXIX
V 18". Reader and bench made up pieces of carved bench end of C15 with poppyheads,
also some C16 or early C17 carved panels with semi-circular heads. West end of nave
with three C15 or C16 pews. Carved Jacobean lectern. Simple pews of the 1888
restoration, probably also the altar rails and the altar table. Decalogue plaques
painted by Rev. Erisey John Porter, vicar, 1903 with large figures of Christ and
Mary Magdalene. 3 late C19 oil lamps. East window of the Crucifixition of 1925 in
C14 style. North transept window 1929. Fine south transept window of 1897, the
Nativity. The tower contains 6 bells, 2 at least of the C18.
R S Hawker, the Cornish poet and antiquary, was curate here for 30 years, and held
the living in conjunction with Morwenstow from 1851.
Listing NGR: SS2281018434