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Church of St Michael and All Saints

A Grade II* Listed Building in Wembworthy, Devon

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Latitude: 50.8729 / 50°52'22"N

Longitude: -3.9018 / 3°54'6"W

OS Eastings: 266283

OS Northings: 109877

OS Grid: SS662098

Mapcode National: GBR KY.T9CP

Mapcode Global: FRA 26QS.MQH

Plus Code: 9C2RV3FX+57

Entry Name: Church of St Michael and All Saints

Listing Date: 26 August 1965

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1163114

English Heritage Legacy ID: 95549

Location: Wembworthy, Mid Devon, Devon, EX18

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Wembworthy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Wembworthy with Eggesford

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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SS 60 NE
Church of St Michael and All
26.8.65 Saints

Parish church. Medieval origins, some early C16 work and tower dated 1626, porch
of 1849, most rebuilt in 1868 and restored again in 1902 by Harbottle Reed.
Earlier work of local mudstone rubble laid to rough courses with volcanic and red
sandstone ashlar detail, restoration work of snecked mudstone with Beerstone and
Bathstone detail including some granite in tower; slate roof includes bands of
fish-scale decoration.
Nave with lower and narrower chancel, north aisle with east chapel under continuous
parallel roof, west tower to aisle with nave overlapping on south side, and porch
on west end of nave. Perpendicular style throughout.
Plain low west tower of 2 stages with low set back buttresses and embattled
parapet. The north-west corner is mended with massive granite ashlar quoins.
Belfry has small segmental-headed windows except on south side, a presumably C19
Beerstone 2-light square-head window with trefoil-headed lights and hoodmould. The
north side of tower has a slit window to ringing floor and west side has a plain
ground floor 2-light window of volcanic stone with chamfered mullion and is flanked
by volcanic stone plaques both inscribed IC 1626. The C19 porch at end of nave has
low-pitched gable end with a moulded string and parapet. End has diagonal
buttresses and 2-central outer arch with moulded surround and hoodmould.
The nave, though much rebuilt in C19, is still basically early C16 or earlier. The
west end, however, appears to have been rebuilt with the porch; shaped kneelers and
coping with apex cross. The south side is a 3-window front with buttresses between
flanking angle buttresses and soffit-chamfered wall plate under eaves. All the
windows are tall, square-headed and 3 lights with cinquefoil or trefoil heads,
sunken spandrels and moulded hoods with square labels. They are not exactly
similar. The left one is Bathstone and a C19 copy. The centre is coated and with
external ferramenta and maybe early C16, and the right window is also coated but
here some volcanic stone and red sandstone shows through and this is the only
window with trefoil heads. It too has external ferramenta and is probably early
C16. Chancel appears a complete C19 rebuild. South side has Hatherleigh stone 2-
light window with Decorated style tracery. East end has shaped kneelers coping and
apex Iona cross, angle buttresses and 3-light Perpendicular window. East end of
north aisle has similar 3-light window. North side has 3-window front of square-
headed 3-light windows. Left end window of Hatherleigh stone is a C19 copy. The
others are Beerstone and appear C17, they contain diamond panes of old leaded glass
and have external ferramenta. Left of centre is the C19 rebuilt priests door.
Interior: porch has tiled floor which contains encaustic memorial tiles to the
Revd. Peter Johnson (d.1869) and his wife Gratiana (d.1845). Main west door a C19
moulded 2-centred arch like the outer arch of the porch.
Both nave and north aisle have ceiled wagon roofs which though much-restored in C19
still retain good deal of early C16 carpentry. In the nave the 6 western bays have
original chamfered ribs and large crudely-carved bosses but the 4 eastern bays are
C19 with moulded ribs, neater bosses and a slightly lower vault. Similarly the
aisle has 4 original bays to west with moulded ribs and carved bosses and 4 C19
bays in same style to east. Both have C19 moulded wall plates. Chancel has C19
open 3-bay roof comprising arch-braced trusses springing from moulded Beerstone
corbels. C19 Beerstone chancel arch in which inner moulding springs from half-
engaged colums against the responds. Between nave and aisle is a Hatherleigh stone
4-bay arcade (one overlapping the chancel) with octagonal piers with moulded
capitals (Pevsner's Type C). It is probably a C19 replacement. The tower projects
into the aisle with a C19 door and, on the south side, a C17 2-light volcanic stone
window with chamfered mullion overlooking the nave. Floor of nave and aisle is
mostly slate slabs with some reset C17 green-glazed relief-decorated floor tiles,
and nave includes 2 white marble grave slabs, one to John Tarlton, rector (d.1666),
the other to Joanna his wife (d.1683). Chancel floor of C19 patterned tiles.
Chancel has C19 painted stone reredos comprising a Gothic style blind arcade, the
centre panel with a cross and flanking panels with sacred monograms. Alpha and
omega symbols enrich the spandrels and cornice has 4 leaf decoration. The C19 oak
altar rail supported by twisted iron standards with foliate brackets and at each
end twisted brass stems with ivy leaf repousee ornament carry oil lamps. Stalls
and benches are C19 and deal. Chapel at east end of aisle is now screened off as a
vestry with field panelling, possibly C18. Pulpit is C17, renovated in C19, with
panelled octagonal drum and cornice enriched with cable moulding and shallow
acanthus leaves. C19 Beerstone Perpendicular style font with moulded base, blind
arcade around stem to octagonal bowl, the faces of which have sunken quatrefoils
alternately in squares of lozenges.
2 similar C17 marble mural monuments set side by side on south wall of nave, left
in memory of Lawrence Clotworthy of Rashleigh (d.1655) and right in memory of Mary
Bury, daughter of John Clotworthy (d.1651). Both have triangular-headed plaques
with moulded frames. Flanking Ionic columns support a broken pediment with lower
plain shelf on moulded consoles. Both surmounted by arms of deceased, the latter
on a lozenge-shaped plaque framed with laurel leaves. East window of aisle
contains fragments of C16 stained glass in the tracery.
Sources: Devon SMR. Devon C19 Church Project

Listing NGR: SS6628309877

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