History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Church of St Peter

A Grade I Listed Building in Ashwater, Devon

More Photos »
Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 50.7343 / 50°44'3"N

Longitude: -4.2873 / 4°17'14"W

OS Eastings: 238683

OS Northings: 95235

OS Grid: SX386952

Mapcode National: GBR NP.32KY

Mapcode Global: FRA 17X4.FKD

Plus Code: 9C2QPPM7+P3

Entry Name: Church of St Peter

Listing Date: 14 February 1985

Last Amended: 21 January 1986

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1164568

English Heritage Legacy ID: 90719

Location: Ashwater, Torridge, Devon, EX21

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Ashwater

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Ashwater St Peter ad Vincula

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Find accommodation in


SX 39 NE
3/17 Church of St Peter (formerly
listed as Church of St Peter
14.2.85 ad Vincula)
Parish church. C12 font, north transept C14 or earlier, south arcade C14 and C15,
tower late C15, substantial restoration of the 1880s. Roughly squared stone rubble
with granite and freestone dressings, slate roofs. Some arcade piers Decorated but
church otherwise largely Perpendicular in character although parts of the fabric may
be earlier. Nave, chancel, west tower, north transept, 6-bay south aisle, 1 bay to
the chancel, north west porch. The pre C14 building was probably cruciform with a
south aisle added in the C14. Parts of the tower masonry may also date from the C14.
In the C15 the south aisle was altered and re-roofed, the nave re-roofed and the
tower rebuilt. The name was refenestrated in the late C15/early C16. In the 1880s
the chancel was extended, rebuilt and re-roofed, the north side rebuilt and the north
transept re-roofed. A porch was added on the north west. Prior to this the main
entrance appears to have been at the south west. The 1880s fittings are of a very
high quality. The fabric of the chancel appears to be entirely C19. The coped east
gable has kneelers and is crowned by across. 3-light Perpendicular east window with
hoodmould and label stops below a pierced trefoil in the gable. The south wall of
the chancel has a 1-light trefoil-headed late C19 window. The north side has 1
similar window with a hoodmould and label stops and 1 window of 2 trefoil-headed
lights with a common hoodmould with label stops. The rectangular rood loft stair
turret has a catslide roof and a slit window. The north transept has a coped gable
and a 3-light square-headed cusped circa late C15/early C16 east window with a
hoodmould and label stops, the mullions have been replaced. The 3-light granite
Perpendicular north window with hoodmould and label stops is probably C19. On each
side of the south west porch is a 3-light square-headed cusped circa late C15/early
C16 window with hoodmould and label stops. The gabled C19 south west porch has fish
scale slates, a plain arched outer doorway, a narrow round-headed chamfered inner
doorway and a plaster barrel roof. 2 straight joints in the south aisle suggest that
it may have been partly rebuilt in the C19 when 3 buttresses with set-offs were
added. A shallow-moulded arched priests' door on the south side at the east end is
late C15/early C16 with a circa C12 corbel head inserted above. The doorway at the
west end of the south side is probably the reused outer doorway of a late C15 porch
which no longer exists. The moulded arched granite doorway has a moulded square-
headed architrave, carved spandrels and a hoodmould with carved label stops. The C15
4-light granite east window to the aisle is deeply recessed with Perpendicular Y
tracery, cusped lights, hoodmoulds and carved label stops. The 3 granite south
windows are of more conventional Perpendicular design with hoodmoulds and carved
labels stops. The west window of the aisle is similar. A section of wall between
the tower and the west wall of the south aisle probably represents the remains of the
C14 west wall of the aisle. 3 stage unbuttressed battlemented west tower with
rectangular corner pinnacles with obelisk finials crowned with crosses. The tower
has a projecting north east stair turret of unusual design. The bottom stage is
rounded to the west and has rubble masonry of small dimensions. The 2 upper stages
are canted to the west and the top stage rises above the battlementing of the tower
proper as a battlemented turret with rectangular corner pinnacles. The west face of
the tower has a chamfered west doorway with a hoodmould and label stops below a 2-
light square-headed Perpendicular window with a hoodmould and label stops. Belfry
openings on all 4 faces have 2 chamfered round-headed lights with slate louvres. A
small chamfered lancet is at bellringers' stage on the south face.
Interior Rendered walls. The south arcade alternates between C14 Decorated
octagonal piers in ashlar masonry and moulded C15 Perpendicular granite piers. The
octagonal piers have short moulded capitals and tall bases of rectangular section.
The granite piers have conventional Perpendicular mouldings but are constructed in 2
pieces lengthways with the shafts doubled at east and west. Pevsner suggests that
this design was adopted to give them the same width as the C14 piers reused when the
aisle was rebuilt. The granite capitals do not match the piers perfectly. The
arches of the arcade are equally unusual. The chancel bay and the south side of the
nave bays have a double roll moulding but the inner order on the nave side is a
chamfered freestone ashlar arch. The C19 timber chancel arch springs from a carved
moulded rood beam carried on moulded brackets and shafts supported on small corbels.
The unmoulded tower arch is carried on simple imposts and has a relieving arch
above. The nave roof is a Perpendicular plastered waggon, unusually wide, with
carved ribs, bosses and wallplates. The wallplates are largely C19 but otherwise the
carving is original with fine shallow foliage bosses of various designs. A waggon
roof to the south aisle has similar carving with an original wallplate on the south
side. The chancel roof is a C19 boarded ceiled waggon with carved ribs, bosses and
wallplates. The round-headed chamfered doorway to the roof loft stairs appears to
have been recut. Outstanding C12 font, probably Polyphant with profile heads at the
corners of the bowl. 3 faces of the bowl are carved with foliage framed by a border
moulding terminating in beast's heads of a Scandinavian appearance. The fourth face
contains a fine running animal with a similar border moulding. The bowl is on a
short octagonal stem and chamfered plinth. The C19 fittings are of a high quality.
C19 tiling to the chancel. An elaborate 1880s reredos of 5 bays of minutely carved
timber tabernacle work with flamboyant tracery over a tile painting of the supper at
Emmaus, the timber frame of the reredos linked to the tile painting with trompe
l'oeuil effects. The theme of the painting is continued on a tin dado with stencil
decoration and demi-angels running across the east wall on either side of the carved
traceried hinged riddels that frame the reredos. The altar has panels of fleur de
lis plate tracery which match the throne. Fine pair of priests' stalls and a timber
arcaded altar rail. The choir stalls are elaborate with carved traceried panels to
the ends and an integral parclose on the south side with cusped arcading. Also of.
the 1880s is the tower screen. A good timber drum pulpit on a wineglass stem with
panels of blind arcading filled with delicate diaper carving and symbols of Christ
was carved by Northcott of Ashwater. The carved rectangular bench ends to the front
of the nave and aisle are partly C19 and partly C19 repairs of medieval bench ends,
some carved with symbols of the Passion. The benches to the west with panelled ends
are circa late C18/early C19. 2 medieval stained glass heraldic shields in the east
window, Carew impaling Carminow, Courtenay impaling De Redvers and 1 shield of
monogram. East window C19 by Beer of Exeter. Fixed to the south side of the south
aisle an elaborate circa late C15 Beerstone Monument, probably to Thomas Carminow,
died 1442, probably moved from the south chancel chapel. The effigies of a knight
and lady lie on a chest beneath a canopy with a heavily cusped arch, the principal
cusps terminating in angels' heads. The chest is decorated with the remains of
richly cusped blind quatrefoils and a quatrefoil frieze crowns the tombs, the
original cresting has been replaced by a circa C17 depressed timber pediment. The
soffit of the canopy is decorated with ribs and the remains of a gnadenstuhl is
carved in a niche at the feet of the effigies. There is a good C17 slate ledger
stone fixed to the east wall behind the altar. A large plaster 1638 Royal Arms is
fixed to the south wall framed by Corinthian columns and a moulded plaster cornice at
wallplate level. The Arms have been repainted in the late C20.
Pevsner, North Devon (1952)
Devon Nineteenth Century Churches Project.

Listing NGR: SX3868895233

Selected Sources

Book cover links are generated automatically from the sources. They are not necessarily always correct, as book names at Amazon may not be quite the same as those used referenced in the text.

Source title links go to a search for the specified title at Amazon. Availability of the title is dependent on current publication status. You may also want to check AbeBooks, particularly for older titles.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.