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Church of St Thomas of Canterbury

A Grade I Listed Building in Northlew, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7728 / 50°46'22"N

Longitude: -4.1216 / 4°7'17"W

OS Eastings: 250502

OS Northings: 99173

OS Grid: SX505991

Mapcode National: GBR NX.0P4P

Mapcode Global: FRA 2781.D43

Entry Name: Church of St Thomas of Canterbury

Listing Date: 22 February 1967

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1147443

English Heritage Legacy ID: 93336

Location: Northlew, West Devon, Devon, EX20

County: Devon

District: West Devon

Civil Parish: Northlew

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Northlew St Thomas of Canterbury

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text

SX 59 NW
9/226 Church of St Thomas of
- Canterbury
Parish church. Norman tower with the main fabric of the Church dating from
the C15 to early C16. Restored in 1885 by Fulford of Exeter. Stone ashlar
walls to aisles rubble to tower. Gable ended slate roof.
Plan: Nave, chancel, north and west aisles and chapels, west tower and
south porch. The earliest part of the church is the C12 tower, thee rest
of the church was rebuilt in the C15 and north and south aisles added. The
north aisle bears the arms of the Kelly family which are also on one side
of the south doorway. The family evidently contributed significantly to
the refurbishing of the church since the arms of William Kelly (who died
1534) and the date 1537 are on one of the bench ends. Throughout the C18
and into the mid C19 the church fell into disrepair until it was
comprehensively restored in 1885 including repairs to the roofs and
benches and the renewal of battlements to the tower. The medieval rood
screen was removed in 1810 then later restored by Herbert Read of Exeter
and re-erected in 1923 - 29 in sections.
Exterior: 3 stage unbuttressed west tower the higher stage of which was
probably rebuilt in the C15 with obelisk pinnacles. Original roundheaded
stair lights on south side of tower. C12 west doorway with 1 order of
colonettes and pointed arch with double head. Square headed belfry
openings. Early C20 vestry inserted in angle between tower and north
aisle. Restored window at west end of north aisle. The aisle has 4 ashlar buttresses. Between the 2 right-hand ones is a blocked 4-centred arched
moulded doorway with hoodmould. Also-on this side are 3 early C16 square-
headed 3-light mullion windows with 4-centred heads. Rectangular pro-
jection for rood stairs has small ogee-headed light with tiny gable above.
4-light Perpendicular window at east end of aisle with no cusping to
tracery. Kelly arms in labels of hoodmould. East window is a 3-light
Decorated style restoration. The east window of the south aisle is
Perpendicular of 4 lights. The aisle has 2 buttresses between the windows
and set-back buttresses to the corners. Three 4-light Perpendicular
windows. Small segmental-headed stone arched priest's doorway. Single
storey gabled south porch with 4-centre arched roll-moulded granite
Interior: porch retains its wagon roof with high relief carving to ribs
and carved bosses, some of which are restored, as are the wall-plates.
South doorway has basket arched head, hollow roll and hollow moulding with
raised pyramid stops and the arms of the Kelly and Trecarrel families
carved in the spandrels. Possibly C12 low pointed tower arch with
chamfered imposts. 4-bay granite arcade to each aisle probably of slightly different dates: both have moulded 4-centred arches and Pevsner A-type
piers, but the south aisle has more richly moulded arches and 4 roll
moulding to capitals. North aisle has cup capitals, the top of the
eastern most one is carved with the Kelly arms and the intials W. K. Above
the square-headed window openings to the north aisle are wooden lintels
with quite ornate foliage and floral carving. Good wagon roofs to aisles, especially ornate to north aisle which has carved ribs and bosses - those
over the chapel have large spreading leaves or petals. Carved angels at the
front of each rib on the wall-plate. South aisle has moulded ribs and
simpler bosses, also with carved angels. Nave roof has been restored, the
roof over the chancel is boarded. Good C16 benches to nave and south aisle,
the ends of which are all of various pre-Renaissance designs, one dated
1537 and another witn the arms of William Kelly. Bench ends in north aisle
are partly restored - one of which is dated 1897. Restored medieval screen
of which only really the old panellng survives - the cornice and rood loft completely renewed. Square Norman tub front with saltire and star
decoration and arcading to sides; central stem -with corner pillars set on
square base.
This is a more than usually complete medieval church with many good
features both internal and external and some interesting remains of the
Norman fabric.
Sources: Church Guide: by H. C. Geipel. Kelly's Directory 1906

Listing NGR: SX5050299172

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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