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Latitude: 50.8537 / 50°51'13"N
Longitude: -3.8504 / 3°51'1"W
OS Eastings: 269846
OS Northings: 107648
OS Grid: SS698076
Mapcode National: GBR L0.VJCS
Mapcode Global: FRA 26TV.3S3
Entry Name: Church of St Matthew
Listing Date: 26 August 1965
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1106595
English Heritage Legacy ID: 95568
Location: Coldridge, Mid Devon, Devon, EX17
District: Mid Devon
Civil Parish: Coldridge
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Coldridge St Matthew
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
SS 60 NE
1/18 Church of St Matthew
Parish church. Some late C12-early C13 fabric survives in nave and chancel but
most of fabric is C15 and early C16; chancel heavily restored in 1877 and rest of
church renovated in 1897. Roughly-squared blocks of mostly local mudstone but
includes some volcanic stone and tends to courses; granite ashlar dressings and
detail; restoration work of snecked masonry and Bathstone and some volcanic ashlar
detail; slate roofs.
Nave and chancel under continuous roof. North and south aisles both include east
end chapels but do not extend as far as end of chancel. South aisle has the Barton
Chapel, the north aisle has the Evans Chapel. West tower and south porch.
Perpendicular style throughout.
Probably late C15 west tower of 2 stages with diagonal buttresses embattled parapet
and drip courses carried round the buttresses. The belfry has granite 2-light
windows with plain almost round arched heads. 2 of the windows are partly
obscured by early C20 open metal clock faces. On the north side a semi-octagonal
stair turret with tiny slit windows projects and is surmounted by its own embattled
parapet a little higher than the main parapet. On the west side of the tower is
C15 granite 2-centred arched doorway with wave-moulded surround and cushion stops.
The dripcourse once carried over the arch as a hood. The door is late C19. Above
the door is a C19 replacement 3-light window with Perpendicular tracery and moulded
hood. The south side includes an original small light to the ringing floor.
The west gable end of the south aisle has plain C19 bargeboards and includes a late
C15-early C16 tall square-headed granite window. Each of 3-lights has elliptical
heads with sunken spandrels and moulded hood over. The south side is 4 bays with 3
windows and the porch left of centre. The 2 adjoining windows have a buttress
between and whole is flanked by diagonal buttresses. The windows are all late C15
granite, 3-lights, arch-headed with Perpendicular tracery and moulded hoods but all
are different in size. There is another large example in the east gable end. The
contemporary porch was originally flat-roofed but made gable-ended in the late C19.
Flanked by diagonal buttresses the outer 2-centred granite arch has moulded
surround. There is an apparently C19 ashlar chimney shaft to right of porch, now
redundant. A couple of broken but high quality C18 slate headstones are leaning
against the east end of the aisle.
The chancel appears mostly late C19 work. Its south side contains a volcanic stone
4-centred arch-headed priests doorway with chamfered surround, and to right a
square-headed 2-light window with cinquefoil heads, sunken spandrels and moulded
hood. The east gable end has shaped kneelers, coping and is surmounted by a plain
Latin cross, and contains a large Bathstone 3-light window with Perpendicular style
tracery and a moulded hood with the labels carved as a bishop and kings heads. The
east gable end of the north aisle is recessed but not as far as the south aisle.
It is roughcast and contains a late C15-early C16 granite square-headed 3-light
window with elliptical heads, sunken spandrels and moulded hood. The north aisle
has a 3-window front. The left end, the Evans Chapel, is roughcast and contains a
C19 replacement volcanic stone square-headed 3-light window with 2-centred arch-
headed lights, sunken spandrels and moulded hood, and to right is a Tudor arch
headed granite priest's door. This section is separated from rest by projecting
rood stair turret. The other 2 windows are C19 Bathstone replacement 3-light
windows with Perpendicular-style tracery and are separated by a buttress. The west
gable end was much rebuilt in C19 with shaped kneelers and coping and includes a
large Bathstone lancet. The north aisle does not extend to the west end of nave
and therefore a section of the north wall of the nave is exposed and it is late
C12-early C13 fabric containing a large blocked pointed arch of sandstone.
Good Interior. The porch has an attractive floor of small pitched cobbles around 3
flagstones. A slate memorial to John Ridd, curate (died 1810) is fixed to the west
wall. The roof dates from 1897. The south doorway is a late C15-early C16 granite
4-centred arch with moulded surround and ramshed stops. The plank door is C19.
The nave has an open barrel-vaulted roof of common rafter trusses. It has been
mended and backed with pine boards in the C19 but is mostly C15 carpentry.
Originally only a moulded purlin under the collars showed. There is no chancel
arch and the roof pitch is carried through but the chancel roof springs from a
lower level. It is a similar open barrel-vaulted roof of common rafter trusses and
again appears mostly C15 work. Both aisles have late C15-early C16 ceiled wagon
roofs. The south aisle roof is the finer of the two and may be slightly earlier
than the northern roof. Only a few of the moulded oak ribs and purlins have been
replaced and most of the carved oak trusses survive; they are square and carved
with a variety of motifs such as sacred monograms, the Tudor rose and heraldic and
fabulous creatures. A couple are inscribed but unreadable from the floor. The
north aisle has a 6-bay roof with ovolo-moulded ribs and purlins, simple square
bosses carved with geometric designs and plain wall plate; and the section over the
Evans Chapel is a plain ceiled barrel vault.
C15 tall and plain tower arch and inside of tower inaccessible at the time of
survey. Walls of the north aisle, the nave and Evans Chapel are stripped of their
plaster. All the windows have hollow-chamfered inner arches. The blocked late
C12-early C13 arch in the nave is now a recess with simple soffit-chamfered
imposts. North side of chancel has small blocked round-headed window in a deeply-
splayed embrasure around which the ashlar voussoirs alternate between cream-
coloured Salcombe stone and purple volcanic. It is presumably Norman. There are
similar tall granite arcades either side of the nave. Both have moulded piers
(Pevsner's Type A) with plain caps to the shafts only. The southern arcade is 4
bays with 1 overlapping the chancel. The northern arcade is also 4 bays with 2
overlapping the chancel. The first in the chancel is narrower than the others and
arch is awkwardly askew. At the west end the respond cap has wreathed bead and
ribbon enrichment and includes an heraldic achievement. The abaci in the chancel
also include some carved enrichment whilst that on the cap of the east end respond
bears the legend 'orate pro anima Jones Evans'. The floor of the nave and south
aisle is C19 parquet but includes 2 coffin-shaped graveslabs. The oldest near the
west end may be C13 and has a bas relief cross bottonee. Another near the Barton
Chapel is probably C17 but the surname and date have worn away. Both are
accompanied by panels of reset C16 or C17 green-glazed relief-decorated tiles. The
north aisle and chancel have patterns of different-coloured C19 tile and include
some more relief-decorated tiles. In the chancel there is also the odd C19
encaustic tile. The altar is flanked by reset graveslabs, one in memory of Mary
Vickrey (died 1726) to left and the other to right in memory of Thomas Holc...
(died 1650) has been cut to fit.
Very good and little restored late C15-early C16 oak rood screen across chancel and
both aisles. It is 12 bays with double doors to the aisles and chancel, all hung
on original butterfly hinges. Each bay has slender Perpendicular tracery
(Pevsner's A type) over panelled wainscotting with applied tracery. The middle
rail and window reveals have carved scrolled wreathworks and each post is moulded
with clustered shafts and plain caps similar to those on the arcade. The ribbed
coving above is filled with good quality Gothic tracery and there is a frieze of 3
bands of delicate and densely carved foliage. On the reverse of the coving in the
Barton Chapel one carving does not keep to the pattern and represents the upside
down head of a Tudor lady with an enormous tongue! At the left end is the blocked
granite 3-centred archway to the rood stairs.
On the north side of the vestry the larger arcade arch to the Evans Chapel contains
a reset late C15-early C16 oak parclose screen. It has been cut at each end to fit
but is otherwise well-preserved and very little restored. It faces into the chapel
and is 5 bays with central doorway and the outer bays incomplete.
The wainscotting contains linenfold panelling. The windows are square-headed and
3-lights with twisted mullions and the head filled with Flamboyant tracery and each
tracery opening is further subdivided by a lacework of tiny Flamboyant curves. The
door appears to be a restoration reusing some original oak. Each bay separated by
t;imber buttresses carved with crocketted finials. The headbeam is carved with a
single cornice of fruiting vine. There are 2 pinnacles with crocketted finials and
between there are the fragmentary remains of delicate openwork crestwork apparently
carved in the same style as the sub-tracery. This unusual screen is thought to be
the work of Breton craftsmen and is very similar to screens at nearby Brushford and
Colebrooke. The other northern arcade bay has plain early oak-framed wainscotting
and the southern arcade bay has probably late C17-early C18 pine scratch-moulded
Chancel has a plain C20 oak altar rail and C19 stalls. The Barton Chapel has a
small piscina reset in the southern window sill. The Evans Chapel is now used as
the vestry. The north wall has the table tomb of John Evans (died 1511 according
to an inscription on a bench in the Barton Chapel). It is recessed into the wall
under a granite ogee arch with moulded surrond and ramshed stops. There is the
carved Beerstone recumbent effigy of Sir John in chain mail with a surcoat. A
somewhat defaced angel by his head holds a shield which bears the legend 'John
Evas' (sic). A projecting ledge of granite below bears a series of holes along the
top from now-missing railings.
The pulpit is a carefully renovated late C15-early C16 oak pulpit. The octagonal
drum has shafts carved bayleaf frames and nodding ogee canopies with delicately
carved openwork tracery above. The niches below were intended for figures of
saints. The cornice is of similarly carved vine leaves. The oak lectern is late
C19-early C20 but front includes a panel of oak carved in the same style as the
pulpit and screen.
The nave benches are late C19 possibly reusing older fielded panelling. The aisles
and Barton Chapel however contain late C15 and early C16 benches. In the Barton
Chapel, the bench ends have wreathed frames around simple blind tracery. The bench
frontal, possibly from a prayer desk, has a linenfold front and the desk top was
inscribed or recut in C19 in Latin in memory of John Evans (died 1511). The south
aisle bench ends have moulded frames and are carved with geometric patterns. One
includes a head of John the Baptist on a platter motif. The north aisle bench ends
also have moulded frames but are plain and undecorated. The Barton Chapel includes
a C17 oak table with heavy turned legs. There is also an oak chest of circa 1800
with a lobed frieze across the front over panels containing lozenge enrichment and
fluted muntins. Right of the south door is a C17 oak hutch with a chip-carved
front of fleur-de-lys and geometric flower motifs.
The granite font is late C12-early C13 on a late C19 stone base. The square bowl
has scalloped arcades along the sides and supported by a circular stem with minor
columns on seach corner. The pyramidal oak cover is probably C17. There are no
mural monuments except for a brass plaque on the south aisle wall recording the
erection of the clock as a First World War memorial. Some early glass. The east
window of the Evans Chapel includes a C16 stained glass figure representing Edward
VI holding a book and sceptre beneath a crown from which flows ermine. There are
some other contemporary stained glass fragments in the south aisle. The north
aisle window tracery includes some green glass and the east window of the Barton
Chapel has some blue-tinted bottle glass in the top lights.
Source: Church guide.
Listing NGR: SS6985007648
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