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Latitude: 50.7897 / 50°47'22"N
Longitude: -3.3244 / 3°19'27"W
OS Eastings: 306745
OS Northings: 99734
OS Grid: SY067997
Mapcode National: GBR LQ.ZKMQ
Mapcode Global: FRA 37X0.BNY
Entry Name: Church of St James
Listing Date: 22 February 1955
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1098109
English Heritage Legacy ID: 86938
Location: Talaton, East Devon, Devon, EX5
District: East Devon
Civil Parish: Talaton
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Talaton St James the Apostle
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
SY 09 NE
6/182 Church of St James
Parish church. Norman font but church is C15. It was extensively rebuilt 1859 - 60
by Edward Ashworth but many of the old features were retained. The C15 work is
coursed blocks of volcanic ashlar with Beerstone ashlar detail; the front of the
porch is a chequer effect of Beerstone and volcanic ashlar; the C19 work is snecked
grey limestone with volcanic quoins with Bathstone detail; red tile roof.
Plan: nave and lower chancel. South aisle is not quite full length, nor is the
north aisle although the vestry occupies the north of the chancel. West tower and
south porch. The tower is still C15, so too is the porch. Most of the rest, or at
least the outer walls were rebuilt 1859 - 60 although many earlier features,
including roof structures were retained. North aisle complete new build of 1859-60.
Exterior: tall west tower is a superior example. It is 3 stages with diagonal
buttresses and embattled parapet with corner pinnacles and gargoyles. The semi-
hexagonal stair turret on south side rises higher than the tower and is surmounted
by a wrought iron weather vane. Large 2-light Belfry windows with Perpendicular
tracery. The upper stage is richly ornamented; the buttresses and angles of the
stair turret have image niches and some contain original statues. The tower west
doorway is a 2-centred arch with moulded surround including a band of 4-leaf motifs.
It contains ornate C19 double doors with delicate applied tracery. Above is a 3-
light window with Perpendicular tracery. On the south side of the tower the light
to the ringing loft is partly hidden by a C20 clock-face.
The south aisle has diagonal buttresses and 4-bay front. Good late C15 - early C16
porch is left of centre. It has an embattled Beerstone parapet panelled with
trefoils and quatrefoils, it includes a central image niche (with nodding ogee
canopy and corbels carved as Green Men) and the cornice is enriched with 4-leaf
motifs. 2-centred outer arch has moulded surround also with a band of 4-leaf
motifs. The label stops of the hoodmould are carved as angels holding shields. The
south door is a 2-centred arch with moulded surround and contains an old oak door
with traceried coverstrips. South aisle windows are 3 lights with regular
Perpendicular tracery. There is another in the east end. The north side is lower
and has more unusual tracery.
Interior: is good though heavily restored. Nave and south aisle have open wagon
roofs with moulded ribs and purlins, carved oak bosses and the nave includes a more
ornate boarded ceilure. The chancel has a completely C19 copy and the north aisle
has a C19 open lean-to roof with Gothic carvings. Tall Beerstone tower arch is
panelled with moulded surround. C19 chancel arch springing from carved corbels.
South arcade is Beerstone, 5 bays (1 overlapping the chancel) with moulded piers
(Pevsner's type B) and carved capitals. The 2-bay north arcade is a C19 copy.
Plastered walls. (A medieval wall painting was found on the north wall of the nave
in the C19). C19 tile floor with increasing number of encaustic tiles through the
Rood Screen: ornate C15 oak screen. 8 bays, the wainscotting is a blind Gothic
arcade, windows with Perpendicular tracery (Pevsner's type A), the coving is Gothic
and delicately undercut frieze of 3 bands with crest and vallance. It is a fine
example. The parclose is also C15 oak but much plainer; square-headed windows and
simple crest above.
Furniture and fittings: chancel is all C19. East window is flanked by painted
Commandment boards. Oak altar rail on simple Gothic arcade. Pine stalls with
poppyhead finials and simple Gothic enrichment. C19 octagonal pulpit with panelled
sides. Good oak eagle lectern. Most of the benches in the nave are C15; oak with
the same 2 tiers of cinquefoil-headed panels carved in their ends. The other
benches are C19 and C20, those in the north aisle are plain deal. Norman font of a
hard grey stone; table-top type with smple arcaded frieze, main stem a plain
cylinder but corner columns have waterleaf capitals. C17 oak altar table with
turned legs in south aisle and nave includes a plain C17 oak chest.
Memorials: most are in the south aisle and these make up a good collection from the
C18 and C19; the best in memory of Charles Harwood (d. 1718) has the inscription on
drapery under a vase and winged cherubs heads. However the best monument is now in
the tower. It is dated 1613 in memory of the Rev. John Leach. The first letters
from each line of the elegy spell his name. The plaque has a richly carved
Beerstone frame flanked by Corinthian columns with moulded entablature, scroll
consoles and the apron features a skull. This monument is flanked by hatchments
painted with the Kennaway arms. C18 stucco Royal arms over south door. Some C19
and C20 stained glass.
Sources: Devon SMR, Church Guide.
This is a fine church in which high quality original work was respected during the
Ashworth renovation. It is also most attractively situated on the edge of the
village with fields behind and a good group of listed buildings in front.
Listing NGR: SY0674599734
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