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Church of All Saints

A Grade II Listed Building in Sidmouth, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6824 / 50°40'56"N

Longitude: -3.2397 / 3°14'22"W

OS Eastings: 312511

OS Northings: 87702

OS Grid: SY125877

Mapcode National: GBR P8.XLQC

Mapcode Global: FRA 4738.MP3

Entry Name: Church of All Saints

Listing Date: 12 October 1951

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1098002

English Heritage Legacy ID: 87189

Location: Sidmouth, East Devon, Devon, EX10

County: Devon

District: East Devon

Civil Parish: Sidmouth

Built-Up Area: Sidmouth

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Sidmouth All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text

12-OCT-51 (North side)


MATERIALS: Limestone ashlar. Slate roofs.

PLAN: Nave, chancel, transepts, N vestry

EXTERIOR: The main fa├žade is to the S and presents the five-bay nave, S transept and chancel to the road. The style is the plain lancet architecture that was popular in the 1830s and which reused medieval detail without concerning itself with archaeological accuracy. The consequence is the curious heightening of the end gables of the nave and transepts to create effect but with a strangely disembodied character that was mocked by Pugin in his polemical volume, Contrasts. The gables and their flanking pinnacles thus rise far higher than structural necessity dictates. The moulded S doorway is placed in the S transept and is flanked by buttresses. Above the doorway is a high-set two-light cusped window. The five-bay nave has buttresses with off-sets demarcating the bays in each of which is a deeply-set plain lancet window. The W end of the nave has a moulded doorway with a two-light Y-tracery window over it. The transepts have two lancets in both their E and W walls. At the E end there is a three-sided apse with a lancet in each bay (but with cusped Y-tracery in the E window) and a buttress between the bays. All parts of the church have plain parapets which are not structurally distinguished from the walls below.

INTERIOR: The walls are plastered and whitewashed. The roofs have arch-braces to a collar which carries a king-post to the ridge. The sanctuary is floored with attractive mosaic work, no doubt of the late 19th-century. To the E is a single-storey school by S S Teulon, c.1850, enlarged to the S 1867.

PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The major feature of the interior is the survival of the galleries at the W end and in the transepts: each is supported on cast-iron columns. That in the nave occupies half its length. They still contain the original c1840 seating. although the fronts appear to have been replaced in later Victorian times. The seating in the body of the church was replaced in c1901 and the benches have shaped ends. They retain their numbering which is a reminder of how seats were appropriated to individual owners: the ends have umbrella holders and drip-trays. The wall behind the altar has a tripartite arched reredos which post-dates the building of the church. Either side of the E window are panels containing the Ten Commandments: the Lord's Prayer and Creed are placed in arches beneath the windows of the canting of the apse.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Parish rooms etc of c1970 N, but detached from the church.

HISTORY: All Saints was built to provide additional Anglican church accommodation as the population of Sidmouth expanded in the early/mid 19th century. The architect, John Henry Taylor (c1792-1867), was a London-based practitioner with his office in Parliament Street. He was president of the Surveyors' Club in 1838 and was one of the founding members of the RIBA in 1834. He exhibited the designs for All Saints, Sidmouth, at the Royal Academy in 1835 and 1838.

Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Devon, 1989, p 737.
H Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840, 3rd ed., 1995, p 962.

The church of All Saints, Sidmouth, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* It is of special interest as a church of the 1830s, displaying the characteristics of the time, namely a nominal interest in Gothic forms but without the archaeological accuracy that was to become a norm from the middle of the following decade. Externally it is little altered since the time it was opened.
* As with most churches of its date it was refitted in Victorian times but it retains its W, and N and S transept galleries and their original seating.

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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