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Church of St Mary

A Grade II* Listed Building in Mariansleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.9841 / 50°59'2"N

Longitude: -3.7907 / 3°47'26"W

OS Eastings: 274401

OS Northings: 122050

OS Grid: SS744220

Mapcode National: GBR L3.L7HY

Mapcode Global: FRA 26YH.WJG

Plus Code: 9C2RX6M5+JP

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 20 February 1967

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1107243

English Heritage Legacy ID: 97617

Location: Mariansleigh, North Devon, Devon, EX36

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Mariansleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Mariansleigh St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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5/87 Church of St Mary



Parish Church. C13 or earlier in origin, remodelled in the C15 when the north aisle
was added, chancel restoration or rebuilding of 1711 (datestone). In 1932 the church
was severely damaged by fire and much of the fabric and most of the fittings were
destroyed. Pre 1932 fabric in the west tower (possibly C13), the C15 north arcade
and south porch and some remnants of a circa C13 south aisle which were revealed by
the fire damage. Slatestone rubble, the tower rendered; slate roof.
Plan: West tower, nave, chancel, 4-bay north aisle, south porch. Evidence of 2
arches of a former south aisle discovered in 1932 suggest that the original fabric
was at least C13 or possibly earlier, with a south aisle added in the C13. The very
plain small tower is extremely difficult to date but could also be early. The south
aisle was removed at an unknown date leaving the westernmost piers blocked in the
fabric of the nave wall. The 4-bay north aisle is Perpendicular, probably C15. The
south porch indicates that the south aisle had disappeared by or was removed at that
date. The reconstruction of the church after 1932 was conservative with
Perpendicular style ceiled wagon roofs.
Exterior: Chancel with a 2-light decorated C20 east window with a hoodmould and a 2-
light square-headed south window with cusped lights, the frame dated 1711 with the
initials R.R. The only external nave/chancel division is on the south wall where the
chancel is slightly narrower than the nave. The nave has a tall 3-light presumably
1930s window east of the porch with uncusped Tudor arched lights. To the west of the
porch a 2-light window with trefoil-headed lights and a square-headed hoodmould is
set within one of the blocked arches of the former arcade. The north aisle has a
rectangular rood loft stair turret with a slit window and large square-headed windows
with cinquefoil-headed lights and pierced quatrefoils in the spandrels. The 3-light
east window is Perpendicular and appears to be largely medieval with a hoodmould,
carved label stops, saddle bars and stanchions. The small, plain, battlemented tower
has short set back buttresses with set-offs at the west end only and no west door.
The west window was discovered after the fire, 1-light with a depressed 4-centred
arch. Louvred slit windows to the belfry on all faces, a second slit opening below
on the south side. The gabled porch has a plain, rounded, outer doorway with
chamfered jambs stopped below the springing of the arch. The ceiled wagon roof to
the porch could be C16 or possibly even later with a moulded wall plate and reeded
ribs. The 2-centred moulded inner doorframe is constructed of an unusual freestone,
perhaps polyphant.
Interior: Plastered walls; plain 4-centred tower arch; no chancel arch. C15 4-bay
north arcade with moulded piers and arches and carved capitals. The remains of the
former south aisle consists of two 2-centred blocked arches on cylindrical stone
rubble piers. The ceiled wagon roofs are post 1932. Of the fittings, the font
survived in part from, the pre 1932 interior, the bowl, plain and square, is a
replacement but the decayed Purbeck marble base and cylindrical stem could be late
C12 or C13. The other fittings are either post 1932 or have been introduced from
other churches: the C19 benches originated from the churches of St John and St Paul
in Exeter; the pulpit came from a church in Ivybridge (Tull). C16 and C17 wall
paintings were noticed during the 1932 restoration (Tull) and may still survive
behind modern plaster.
Tull, Christopher S. Mariansleigh, Church and People (1981). This includes 2
photographs of the church showing the extent of the fire damage.

Listing NGR: SS7440122050

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