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Church of St John the Baptist and the Seven Maccabees

A Grade II* Listed Building in Cookbury, Devon

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Latitude: 50.832 / 50°49'55"N

Longitude: -4.2633 / 4°15'48"W

OS Eastings: 240708

OS Northings: 106044

OS Grid: SS407060

Mapcode National: GBR KG.WV39

Mapcode Global: FRA 16YW.YP9

Plus Code: 9C2QRPJP+QM

Entry Name: Church of St John the Baptist and the Seven Maccabees

Listing Date: 14 February 1958

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1162728

English Heritage Legacy ID: 91589

Location: Cookbury, Torridge, Devon, EX22

County: Devon

District: Torridge

Civil Parish: Cookbury

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Bradford with Cookbury

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Church building

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SS 40 NW

6/36 Church of St John the Baptist
and the Seven Maccabees


Parish church. Norman origins remodelled in C14, probably circa 1315 when dedicated
by Bishop Stapledon, with C16 addition. Stone rubble walls. Gable-ended asbestos
slate roof.
Plan: the church undoubtedly preserves Norman fabric but the dedication date of
1315 suggests it was extensively remodelledthen. It was originally cruciform -
consecrated with 3 altars - and the only alteration to this plan was the addition of
a nortn aisle probably in the early C16. The west tower is of an early form and,
with the south porch may also date from the early C14. A puzzling feature at the
west end however is the way the narrow tower has a small addition to north and south
both of which are closed towards the nave - almost resembling a dwarfed west
transept. The church has escaped extensive C19 restoration.
Exterior: very low narrow unbuttressed west tower with pyramidal roof. It is almost
enveloped to north and south by extensions to the nave. No west doorway. C15 2-
light west window with 4-centred heads and hoodmould. Tall 4-centred lancet of
circa 1300 on north side of nave towards west end. The north aisle does not extend
as far as the west end. It has a 3-light straight-headed granite mullion window in
its west wall and 2 on its north face. Granite north doorway with a very depressed
4-centred head and roll and fillet mouldings, recessed spandrels and hoodmould. 2-
light mullion window at east end of aisle. Very small C19 lean-to vestry against
end of aisle with single chamfered light and shallow arched doorway. Chancel has
tall lancet with 4-centred head on north wall. East window is circa 1300, 3-light
with trefoiled heads; 2 more lancet lights on south wall of chancel - that to the
east has a square head and has probably been altered. South transept has C15 2-
light trefoiled-head window on its east side. Probably restored C15 style 2-light
window to south. South wall of nave has 2 4-centred head lancets to either side of
C14 gabled porch with coping stones and pointed arch chamfered doorway.
Interior: porch roof has been restored. C14 south doorway, chamfered with 2-
centred arch. Internal walls have C20 plaster apart from transept and west wall
where the stonework is exposed. 3 bay north arcade of which the two westward arches
are Perpendicular with Pevsner A-type piers, moulded capitals and 4-centred arches.
The easternmost arcn is C14 and was the former north transept arch - it is very
pointed with different moulding and a semi-hexagonal respond to the east against the
wall. No chancel arch. South transept has pointed rubble arch with hagioscope.
Tall 4-centred dressed stone tower arch. Windows to nave and chancel have pointed
chamfered rear arches.
Over the nave, chancel and transept the roofs has been renewed in late C19 or early
C20 with arch-braced form. Over the north aisle is an older arch-braced roof
probably C16. The altar and lectern probably incorporate parts of the carved rood
screen which has been replaced by a late C19 or early C20 one. The pulpit
incorporates C17 carving to panels which appear to have been reused. The old
benches survive which in the nave and aisle are plain apart from one at the rear
which has a carved end. In the transept one bench has worn carved ends with a
panelled and richly carved front with arcading and Renaissance designs - apparently
this was known as the Dursland pew. Square C13 font with moulding around the bottom
standing on renewed central stem with 4 outer pillars on original square moulded
base. The chancel floor consists of medieval Barnstaple tiles.
Although this is a fairly simple church its importance lies in its early date and
relatively unaltered state.

Listing NGR: SS4070806044

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