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Church of St Mary

A Grade II* Listed Building in Black Torrington, Devon

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Latitude: 50.8305 / 50°49'49"N

Longitude: -4.1811 / 4°10'52"W

OS Eastings: 246493

OS Northings: 105709

OS Grid: SS464057

Mapcode National: GBR KK.WYDW

Mapcode Global: FRA 264W.T3V

Plus Code: 9C2QRRJ9+6H

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 14 February 1958

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1105121

English Heritage Legacy ID: 91568

Location: Black Torrington, Torridge, Devon, EX21

County: Devon

District: Torridge

Civil Parish: Black Torrington

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Black Torrington St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Church building

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Black Torrington


SS 40 NE

7/15 Church of St Mary


Parish church. C15 and C16 possibly with some C14 fabric, restored in 1902-3.
Roughly squared sandstone rubble walls with granite dressings. Gable-ended tile
Plan: nave, south aisle and chapel, north transept, west tower and south porch.
The church is basically a Perpendicular building but the transept may represent the
remains of a C14 structure and there is evidence of Norman origins. The south aisle
was probably an early C16 addition. By 1902 the building had become dilapidated and
its thorough restoration entailed a partial rebuilding under the direction of Revd.
Medley Fulford and Mr. Lucius Reichel. The work involved a restoration of the nave
roof, part of the south wall rebuilt, re-laying of the floor and re-seating.
Exterior: 3 stage crenellated west tower with diagonal buttreses and obelisk
pinnacles. 4-centred heads to 2-light belfry openings. 4-centre arched granite
west doorway with hollow and ogee-moulding and inscribed scroll stops. C18 fielded
panel door. West window has had its mullions and tracery renewed in Perpendicular
style. North wall of nave has tall 3-light C17 straight-headed granite mullion
windows. The north transept has a large lateral stone stack on west wall and
possible C14 Decorated 2-light north window. It has a C15 2-light east window. The
north window to the chancel is similar style but smaller and partly restored. East
window is a complete early C20 restoration in Perpendicular style. Small inset
slate plaque to left of window commemorates James Lake, rector 1708. South aisle
has tall C16 3-light granite mullions with segmental heads and buttresses inbetween
wnich date from the restoration. Very shallow arched granite priest's door.
Restored Perpendicular window at west end of aisle. Gabled south porch with 4-
centred granite doorway wnich has double chamfered head and moulded jambs with
capitals. Early C19 panelled gates with spikes above.
Interior: porch has plain early wagon roof partly repaired. Very tall granite
south doorway with depressed 4-centred head, ogee and hollow moulding and ball
Internal walls have C20 plaster apart from chancel which is lined with dressed
Hatherleigh stone.
5-bay tall granite south arcade of Pevsner A-type piers with 4-centred moulded
arches on capitals carved with raised diamond motif. Very tall tower arch with 4-
centred double-chamfered head. No chancel arch. Simple rubble arch to transept.
In transept is piscina wnich re-uses as its head a piece of stone carved with Norman
zig-zag design. South aisle has good wagon roof with carved ribs, bosses and wall-
plate. Renewed arch-braced roof to nave, chancel and transept probably of 1902.
Unusual C18 screen divides aisle from chapel with 2 tall roundheaded panels bearing
quotations from the Bible and with fluted pilaster to either side of central
doorway. Modern carved pulpit with C17 cupola-shaped sounding board above. C17
altar rails with moulded handrail and turned balusters now stand in front of font.
Octagonal C15 granite font with stringcourse at top of shaft carved with trefoiled
Good slate memorial on north wall to members of Coham family who died at various
times 1722 - 1768. To left and right at top of panel are coloured heraldic shields.
Beyond is another simpler memorial to Stephen Coham buried 1757. At the west end is
a long slate memorial with white fluted column to either side and cornice above.
Surmounted by armorial shield. Inscription on round-headed marble slab to William
Holland Coham Rector of Halwill who died 1852.
On south wall are 3 more simpler early C19 memorials.
Sources: Beatrix Cresswell Notes on Devon Churches in the Deanery of Holsworthy.

Listing NGR: SS4649305709

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