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Church of St Mary the Virgin

A Grade I Listed Building in Throwleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7013 / 50°42'4"N

Longitude: -3.8879 / 3°53'16"W

OS Eastings: 266771

OS Northings: 90776

OS Grid: SX667907

Mapcode National: GBR Q8.J30Z

Mapcode Global: FRA 27R7.156

Plus Code: 9C2RP426+GR

Entry Name: Church of St Mary the Virgin

Listing Date: 22 February 1967

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1168195

English Heritage Legacy ID: 94765

ID on this website: 101168195

Location: St Mary's Church, Throwleigh, West Devon, EX20

County: Devon

District: West Devon

Civil Parish: Throwleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Throwleigh St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Church building

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SX 69 SE
1/233 Church of St. Mary The Virgin


Parish church. Small part may be late C13 - early C14, mostly rebuilt in the C15
(possibly by Thomas Courtenay who was patron of the benefice in 1453), north aisle
added in the C16; renovated circa 1945 by Herbert Read. The oldest section, west
end of south wall of nave, is granite stone rubble; the rest is large coursed blocks
of granite ashlar; granite ashlar detail, most of it original; slate roof.
Plan: Nave with lower and narrower chancel. South doorway with C15 south porch and
contemporary rood stair turret at the break between nave and chancel on the south
side; C15 west tower with internal stair turret. C16 north aisle overlaps chancel
but is not full length.
Exterior: Tall west tower of 3 stages with embattled parapet, set back buttresses
and corner pinnacles. 2-light belfry windows and west side has a 4-centred arch
doorway and a 3-light window above containing Perpendicular tracery. The south side
of the nave at the west end (left of the porch) contains a small twin lancet window,
pointed heads with sunken spandrels and shallow hoodmould. The gabled porch has set
back buttresses and a 2-centred outer arch with moulded surround and carved
spandrels, the right one containing the initials TC crudely carved. Above it a good
brass sundial dated 1663 was put there in 1913. The rest of the church, including
the aisle, is granite ashlar with a moulded plinth. To right of the porch a tall
late C16-early C17 3-light mullioned window. The semi-octagonal rood turret
displays a carved foliate cornice and has the remains of an embattled parapet.
Chancel has set back buttresses and gable apex cross. The original C15 windows have
Perpendicular tracery and hoodmoulds, the east window with carved labels, but one of
south windows replaced by another late C16-early C17 mullioned window. South side
has unusually ornate priests doorway. Doorway itself is a 2-centred arch and is
small and narrow with a moulded surround. However, in front of this, the frame
breaks forward from the wall and the surround here is carved with stylized ferns and
has deeply cut carved foliate spandrels. C16 north aisle has set back buttresses
and the 4 windows of the north side are separated by buttresses. These and another
in east end are 3 lights with segmental heads and hoodmoulds, outer lights only have
pointed heads.
Good interior: South door a 2-centred arch retooled in C19 and contains ancient
studded plank door with coverstrips and oak lock. The porch and nave have restored
but essentially original C15 ceiled wagon roofs with moulded purlins and ribs and
carved oak bosses and north aisle has a similar wagon roof but is C16 and most
bosses are replacements. Chancel has a more ornate version with carved ribs and
purlins. The crestwork between nave and chancel is C19. Tall plain 2-centred tower
arch. 4-bay granite arcade; 1 overlapping the chancel. Moulded piers (Pevsners
Type A) with plain caps and low moulded arches. Mostly plastered walls and east
window has moulded inner arch on vaulting shafts. Floor is mostly C20 slate and
parquee but chancel floor includes a good group of C17 and early C18 graveslabs and
more have been reset in the tower. Also there are a couple of probably C17 glazed
tiles. Rood stair has flat-topped doorway with moulded surround.
Easter Sepulchre in chancel is unique. At the base is a niche under a depressed
arch carved with coarse scroll enrichment between panelled buttresses. Above it is
thought there was a carved board.
Sanctuary is result of C20 modernisation. Low oak chancel screen is C20 based on
wainscotted section of the original which was dated 1544 and it incorportes small
sections of the original. C20 rood beam with carved figures. Stalls, lectern and
benches are C20 and timber. One bench may be C16 and other bench ends have earlier
pieces worked in. Oak drum pulpit made up from carved pieces of C16 craftmanship.
Granite font is C15; plain octagonal bowl with moulded stem and plinth and has C19
or C20 oak cover. Tower screen and other furniture is C20 except for a C17 oak
No memorials. East window stained glass by Comper and east window of nave is by
Bell of Bristol.
This is a good moorland church with some unusually good C15 and C16 detail.
Sources. Church Guide. Devon SMR.

Listing NGR: SX6677290774

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