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


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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:
SS 45351 26826



SS4526 BRIDGELAND STREET 842-1/5/31 (North side) Lavington United Reformed Church


Chapel. 1856-9 by EM White of Bideford. Coursed stone rubble with details in limestone (possibly Beer stone). Slate roof. A simple oblong plan with vestibule at south (entrance) end and small square apse (now containing the organ) on the north; main body of chapel galleried, with rostrum at north end. Exotic design in Gothic style. Front has 3-window gabled centre with low gabled entrance-porch below the middle window. At either side a square, projecting tower with octagonal steeple, each corner of the tower carrying a tall octagonal finial. Entrance-porch has pointed-arched doorway with multiple mouldings springing from paired shafts; double-doors with traceried panels and ornate strap-hinges. Porch buttressed at either side; gable has kneelers and carved finial, the latter surmounted by a cross. Behind it, 3 very tall windows with pointed arches, the centre window with 3 transomed lights, those at either side with 2; all have head-tracery, including the lower lights of the centre window. All 3 windows have coloured leaded glass. In the gable a small traceried light with pointed head; carved stone cross on the apex above it. Towers each have a 2-light window, a plainer version of those in the centre; above it a round stone panel enclosing a quatrefoil. On the inner face of each tower is a doorway with 4-centred arch; plank door with ornate iron strap-hinges. Towers finished with heavily-moulded cornices having at each front corner and the 2 outer rear corners (the others not visible) a large gargoyle in the form of male and female heads; above the cornices open traceried balustrades with crenellated tops. Finials are plain, consisting of a base with moulded cornice, from which rises an obelisk. Spires divided into 6 stages by moulded stringcourses, the lowest stage with 4 lucarnes; carved finials at the top, that to right carrying an elaborate iron cross. On the base of the left tower is a stone plaque inscribed THE GREAT MEETING-HOUSE WAS BUILT A.D. 1696. In a similar position on the right tower is a plaque inscribed THIS PLACE OF WORSHIP WAS ERECTED A.D. 1856. E. M. W. ARCH. Rear elevation, visible from the Ropewalk, has a large 3-light traceried window in the apse and a round traceried window at either side. INTERIOR: pew-ends, gallery and rostrum-fronts with wood Gothic panelling; gallery carried on triple-shafted cast-iron columns. Organ has elaborate wooden Gothic case. Roof of main body of chapel low-pitched with moulded beams; that of apse has arch-traced trusses with open Gothic tracery in the spandrels. For a brief description of the interior soon after it was built, see The Bideford Weekly Gazette, 24.12.1861, p4. The chapel is said to contain a clock which is a relic of the 'Great Meeting'. White was both the architect and the builder. The chapel, which was originally called the Lavington Chapel (after Samuel Lavington, pastor of the Bideford 'Great Meeting', 1753-1807), replaced the Independent Chapel of 1696 on the same site; together with the adjacent schoolroom it was estimated to have cost about ¯2000. Alterations, mainly a new heating system and an enlargement of the organ gallery, were made by RT Hookway of Bideford in 1884. (Bideford Weekly Gazette: 1858-1884: 4.5.1858,24.4.1859; The Great Meeting, Bideford 1648-1948: Bideford: 1948-; Billing M: Directory of Devon: 1857-: P.326).

Listing NGR: SS4535126826


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
The Great Meeting Bideford 1648-1948, (1948)
Billing, M , Directory of Devon, (1857), 326
'Bideford Weekly Gazette' in 4 May, (1858)
'Bideford Weekly Gazette' in 24 April, (1859)
'Bideford Weekly Gazette' in Bideford Weekly Gazette, (1858-1884)


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: 14 Feb 2006
Reference: IOE01/14348/24
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John Warlow. Source Historic England Archive
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