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Church of St Bartholomew

A Grade I Listed Building in Bow, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7915 / 50°47'29"N

Longitude: -3.8068 / 3°48'24"W

OS Eastings: 272744

OS Northings: 100664

OS Grid: SS727006

Mapcode National: GBR L2.ZHFK

Mapcode Global: FRA 27X0.2Q9

Plus Code: 9C2RQ5RV+J7

Entry Name: Church of St Bartholomew

Listing Date: 26 August 1965

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1107017

English Heritage Legacy ID: 96548

Location: Bow, Mid Devon, Devon, EX17

County: Devon

District: Mid Devon

Civil Parish: Bow

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Bow (or Nymet Tracey) with Broad Nymet

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Church building

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SS 70 SW
2/35 Church of St Bartholomew


Parish Church. Norman-Transitional origins; nave rebuilt in late C14 with new west
tower; C15 north aisle and south porch; chancel completely rebuilt and general
renovation in 1889-90 by R M Fulford with carpentry and joinery by Harry Hems.
Roughcast tower with granite coping. Original volcanic stone detail and restoration
detail of Beerstone and Hatherleigh stone; nave of volcanic stone and local
mudstone rubble with volcanic stone and restoration Hatherleigh stone detail; north
aisle of coursed red conglomerate stone with granite dressings and volcanic stone
detail, restored with Hatherleigh stone; chancel of neatly snecked Hatherleigh
stone with details of same stone. Slate roofs with red crested ridge tiles.
Nave and narrower and lower chancel, west tower and south porch. Various Gothic
Unbuttressed west tower with embattled parapet. Stair turret projects square from
north side and rises above tower parapet with embattled parapet and is surmounted by
a C19 wrought iron weather vane. On each side are Beerstone 2 light belfry windows
with cinquefoil-headed lights, probably restored. The west side has moulded
surround and hood, containing a C19 plank door with unusual, somewhat fish-shaped,
strap hinges. Above the door is a decorated 2-light arch-headed window in which the
jambs, mullion and hood are restored but the tracery is original. The south side of
the tower has a small original round-headed window to the ringing floor set below
the drip course.
The nave projects a little on the south side from the tower. Either side of the
porch is an arch-headed 2-light decorated window similar to that in the tower; the
left is largely original and the right is a complete replacement. At right (east)
end is a Transitional style window comprising a pair of lancet lights. It is almost
a complete rebuild but incorporates 3 pieces of weathered volcanic stone (2 in the
head) from the original. The C15 south porch is gabled with volcanic kneelers and
granite coping and contains a plain round-headed outer arch below a presumably C19
nowy-headed slate sundial with brass arm. The gable apexes of the porch, nave,
aisle and chancel have C19 fleuree crosses. The C19 chancel has a blind full height
pointed arch for a vestry which was never built and to the right (east) a 3-light
Decorated-style window immediately above a moulded drip course. The east end of
chancel is flanked by diagonal buttresses and that to left (south-east) includes a
foundation stone dated 1889. The east window is a large arch-headed 3-light
Decorated-style window, a larger version of that on south side The drip course
rises in the centre to the sill of the window and there is another above the window
with a ventilator over. Gable has shaped kneelers and coping. The east end of the
north aisle has original granite kneelers and coping but the 3-light Perpendicular
window is a C19 Hatherleigh stone replacement. North side is a 3-window front with
flanking diagonal and intermediate buttresses. The central window is a Decorated-
style 3-light replacement with original granite sill and almost round-arched
hoodmould. It is flanked by Perpendicular windows, a completely C19 3-light
replacement to the left and a little-restored volcanic stone 2-light original to the
right. The west end contains a C19 3-light Decorated-style window although the
sill, moulded jambs and almost round-headed hood are original granite.
Good interior: south porch has C15 open 2-bay wagon roof with moulded ribs and wall
plate and simple bosses. Stone floor. The C15 south doorway of volcanic stone and
sandstone ashlar is an almost round-headed arch with chamfered surround and pyramid
stops. It contains a C19 plank door on wrought iron strap hinges with repousee
enrichment. Above it the remains of a round-headed hood thought to be Norman or
Transitional and above that is set a sandstone corbel carved as a knight's head,
also Norman in character. C14 tall tower arch of volcanic stone with chamfered
surround. C14 chancel arch of granite is almost round-headed and has a double
hollow-chamfered arch ring and semi-octagonal responds with plain soffit-moulded
imposts. 5-bay granite arcade, the fifth overlapping the chancel with moulded piers
(Pevsner's Cornish Type A) and plain moulded caps and bases to shafts only. This
C15 arcade is not fully joined to the respond column of the chancel arch.
Both nave and aisle have C15 open wagon roofs but they are not identical. Nave has
an 8-bay roof similar to that in the south porch. It has moulded ibs and wall
plate, mostly original foliate bosses, and the unusual feature of carrying the main
trusses through the wall plate and rounding off the bottoms to give the impression
of corbels. The 11-bay open wagon roof of the aisle is of higher quality with
moulded ribs and a continuous wall plate which is carved as a fruiting vine and has
a crenellated top. The original wall plate survives only on the north side.
Chancel roof of 1899 by Hems is a boarded wagon roof of 4 bays with a moulded wall
plate enriched with carved fernleaf and crenellated top, cusped diagonal braces and
carved bosses.
The blind arch to the never-built vestry has a double-chamfered arch ring. The nave
and aisle window embrasures have exposed masonry reveals but only few have original
hollow chamfered inner arches which die into the jambs. The tower has the C14
volcanic 2-centred arch to the stair turret and it contains a medieval studded plank
door. The north wall of the aisle includes a pair of volcanic stone soffit-moulded
image brackets which may well have been reset in the C19.
Chancel has a Gothic-style carved oak reredos of 1889 with contemporary credence to
right. C18 oak altar rail on alternate turned and twisted baluster supports; surely
too late in style to be those paid for in 1680 and recorded in the churchwarden's
account. C19 Gothic-style oak choir stalls. The C19 chancel floor includes
patterns of encaustic tiles.
Good, little-restored C15 Perpendicular oak rood screen of 5 bays with central
doorway. The wainscotting has applied cusped and ogee-headed tracery with
quatrefoils in circles at the bottom, this is missing to right of doorway. The
square-headed 4-light windows have Perpendicular tracery on slender mullions and the
head has a delicately-carved band of flowing vines. The north aisle screen,
probably slightly later, is of 4½ bays. It is basically similar but the
wainscotting has linenfold panelling, the window tracery is less elaborate and the
cornice of fruiting vine is of higher quality craftsmanship. Neither door survives.
The whole screen is brightly painted with gloss paint in 1984, the design said to be
based on traces of the C16 decorative scheme. The unpainted rear is plain and
unembellished. C15 Perpendicular oak parclose is a light and simpler version of the
north aisle screen, and is much-restored.
Nave and aisle have C19 parquet and the floor and fielded panel oak wainscotting
made up from C18 pews. C18 oak pulpit with fielded panel sides and panelled
pilasters to octagonal drum. C19 brass lecturn. C19 oak benches. C14 Decorated
Beerstone font although carving probably recut in C19; circular plinth, octagonal
stem with cinque foil-headed arcade and octagonal bowl, the rim decorated with
small, shallow rectangular pellets with inscribed crosses between and the edges with
cusped quatrefoils in panels above cusped canopy of carved acorns. Aisle has C17
oak chest with panelled sides, probably the one bought in 1634 according tot he
churchwarden's accounts.
2 simple marble mural plaques, one in memory of William Packer (d.1856) in nave, and
another in memory of Samuel Wreford (d.1859) and his family in the aisle. Ring of 4
C18 bells, one by Penningtons of Exeter (1765), the others by Bibbies of Cullompton
(all 1754). 3 Beare and Driffield stained glass windows; west end of north aisle in
memory of John Kelland (d.1868), east end of north aisle in memory of James Lee
Sanders (d.1874) and west end of nave in memory of Robert Kelland (d.1862); the last
two are signed R M Driffield.
Local tradition claims that church built by Sir William de Tracey as an act of
penance for his part in murder of Thomas-a-Becket and that the stone head outside the
south door is his likeness.
Sources: Devon SMR and Devon C19 Church Project.

Listing NGR: SS7274600662

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