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Church of St Andrew

A Grade I Listed Building in Colebrooke, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7867 / 50°47'11"N

Longitude: -3.7463 / 3°44'46"W

OS Eastings: 276996

OS Northings: 100019

OS Grid: SS769000

Mapcode National: GBR L5.ZLS2

Mapcode Global: FRA 3710.GB6

Plus Code: 9C2RQ7P3+MF

Entry Name: Church of St Andrew

Listing Date: 26 August 1965

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1171235

English Heritage Legacy ID: 96606

Location: Colebrooke, Mid Devon, Devon, EX17

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Colebrooke

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Colebrooke

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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SS 70 SE
3/86 Church of St Andrew

Parish church. Transitional Norman origins; late C13-early C14 nave, chancel and
south transpet (the latter known as the Horwell Aisle and was built as a chantry by
Sir Walter de Bathe); C15 tower; north aisle and chapel built circa 1460 in memory
of John Coplestone (died 1457); late C15-early C16 south porch; reseating and
restoration of 1854; minor renovation work circa 1890 and tower restored 1925-6.
Walls of volcanic stone and red sandstone, mostly roughly squared and laid to
courses but neat ashlar to tower and porch; most original detail of volcanic ashlar
but some Beerstone and C19 restoration detail of Bathstone ashlar; slate roofs.
Decorated and Perpendicular styles. Nave and chancel under continuous roof, south
transept and porch, west tower and north aisle with east end chapel.
High west tower in 4 stages with chamfered plinth, diagonal buttresses and
embattled parapet with corner pinnacles enriched with Tudor crockettes and standing
on diagonally-set shafts. On north side stair turret projects with canted sides,
its own embattled parapet and small slit windows. Large, partly restored,
Beers tone belfry windows; each has 3 lights with cinquefoil heads, central transom
and square-headed hood. On west side is a C15 volcanic stone 2-centred arch with a
richly-moulded surround and cushion stops. On the left inside edge is carved the
intials I.C. and the date 1674. It contains a C19 plank door hung on large wrought
iron strap hinges with side and end scrolls. The window above is a complete C19
Bathstone replacement 3-light Perpendicular style window, its volcanic arched hood
interrupting the lower drip course. Below each of the upper dripcourses on this
side are small rectangular niches. The south side has a C15 2-light Beerstone
window in similar style to belfry windows immediately above centre dripcourse, the
bottom of which is hidden by a C19 wooden octagonal clockface with painted Roman
numerals and brass hands. Lower on the wall is a slate sundial in an architectural
terracotta aedicule with flanking Ionic pilasters and a tented and scrolled
pediment. It is signed by Harry Hems of Exeter and dated 1889. Tower is
surmounted by a C19 wrought iron weather vane. The south wall of the nave shows
remains of a Transitional Norman arcade blocked in late C13-early C14, presumably
when a south aisle was demolished. The arches, though not complete, suggest a
series of pointed rather than round-headed arches. They have plain red sandstone
imposts. Lower wall has been underbuilt when arches filled and early C14 windows
inserted, 2 to left of porch and 1 to right; volcanic stone 2-light early Decorated
windows with trefoil headed lights, a quatrefoil in the arched head and moulded
hood. Window to right of porch has mullion and tracery missing and has heavy
stancheon with saddle bars of probably late C18-early C19 date.
South porch built of ashlar. It is gabled with kneelers and soffit-chamfered
coping and base for an apex cross. Tall 2 centred outer arch with chamfered
surround. Late C13-early C14 south transept of squared blocks of coursed masonry.
Gable end has volcanic stone, early Decorated 3-light, the lights have acutely-
pointed cinquefoil heads, original tracery and a hood similarly moulded to those on
nave. East side of transept has a similar 2-light early Decorated window. South
side of chancel has 2 C19 Bathstone 2-light replacement windows; Decorated style to
left and Perpendicular style to right. Betweeen them is a restored C16 red
sandstone round-headed priests door with ovolo-moulded surround, and containing a
C19 plank door with strap hinges. Much restored east end with Bathstone kneelers,
coping and apex fleuree cross. East window is a large replacement 4-light
Perpendicular style window with probably original arched hood with labels carved as
angels with shields bearing heraldic achievements; one featuring arms of the sees
of Exeter and Winchester, the other of Bishop Oldham (1504-19). East end of north
aisle is set back slightly with gable end restored in same way as east end of
chancel. It contains a large, almost round-headed 3-light window with Flamboyant
drop tracery including repeated ogee arches. Although window is completely C19 it
is believed to be a copy of the original C15. As such it is very unusual and a
fine example by English standards. The north side of the aisle is flanked by angle
buttresses and contains 5 identical C15 3-light Perpendicular windows with
buttresses between. There is a round-headed priests door with chamfered surround
towards left end and an apparently original chimney shaft of volcanic ashlar
serving a fireplace in the coplestone Chapel. The west end of the aisle contains
a restored square-headed 3-light window with cusped cinquefoil round-headed lights.
A lead rainwater head in the angle between the aisle and tower is dated 1728.
Very good interior. The porch has stone seats each side and late C15-early C16
ceiled wagon roof with moulded ribs springing from below wall plate. Remains of
stoup to right of door. South doorway is a 2-centred volcanic stone arch. Its
chamfered surround has a rebate cut into it to accommodate the C19 plank door. The
nave, aisle and chancel have ceiled wagon roofs. Nave roof is late C15-early C16
and a larger version of that in the porch. The plaster ceiling is laid on oak
lathes and is probably original. The north aisle roof is original (circa 1460).
It also has no bosses but the ribs have a different moulding and spring from the
top of a plain wall plate. The chancel roof may contain sale C15 or early C16
carpentry but has been heavily restored with C19 oak panels, good carved bosses and
embattled wall plate. There is no chancel arch.
The tall plain tower arch is now blocked with a C19 benefaction board mounted on
the front. A plaque to left of the arch records the restoration of the tower,
pinnacles and bell chamber windows in 1925-6. There are plain beams to the ringing
floor. The tiny doorway to the tower stairs is a volcanic stone 2-centred arch
with chamfered surround and contains the original plank door hung on strap hinges.
The late C13-early C14 arch from nave to south transept has a chamfered double arch
ring of volcanic stone on plain semi-circular responds with shallow, soffit-
chamfered imposts. Although the arch looks as though it could be Norman-
Transitional work it does not relate well to the rest of the blocked arcade. On
either side of the arch are round-headed squints, that to west affording a view of
the chantry altar (since removed) from nave, and that to east affording a view of
the high altar from the chantry. In the transept the walls are stripped of
plaster. There is a piscina with a plain arched hood on east side. Below the
south window 2 recesses with graceful ogee-arched canopies doubtless surmounted
tombs of the Bathe family. Floor was raised in C19 and right recess includes a
badly defaced graveslab in memory of Elizabeth Poyntingdon of Pennicott (died
Between the nave and aisle is a 5-bay Beerstone arcade with 1 bay overlapping into
the chancel. The piers are moulded (Pevsner's B-Type) with carved foliate caps.
The capital between nave and chancel includes and Coplestone arms and the wall
above is pierced for the rood gallery (nave screen removed in 1805).
The chapel screen across the north aisle and the parclose do survive. They are
similar oak screens probably dating from circa 1460 and very unusual being probably
the work of imported Breton craftsmen. The aisle screen is 5 bays with a central
double doors. There is a moulded sole plate and the lower wainscotting has
linenfold panelling. The windows above are tall with slender mullions enriched
with twisted ornament and the tracery is flamboyant in style based on ogival and
mouchette forms infilled with an incredibly delicate filigree of tracery. The
pairs of ogee heads in each light had more English looking applied crocketted ogees
with poppyhead finials, some of which survive. The flattened ogee-headed doorway
was apparently intended for a different door although the double doors hund on
unusually shaped butterfly hinges seem coeval with the screen. The headbeam has a
simple moulding and has mortises in the top for a series of finials. The 5-bay
parclose is similar but not identical. The tracery of one of the windows here has
a cleverly balanced asymmetry. The head is unmoulded and has a series of finials
with crocketted heads which include slots up each side for decorative crestwork.
The chapel door is probably original and has an oak draw-bar, the fireplace
alongside has been blocked, and on south side is a recess in the shape of a blocked
window. The floors throughout the church have been replaced with C19 tile and in
places levels have been altered. Some defaced graveslabs are included, the oldest
is in the north aisle in memory of John Coplestone (died 1457) and his wife
Catherine (died 1467). In the chancel is a very fine altar and reredos of 1896 by
Harry Hems and the gift of Francis Synge Silliphant of Combe House. Built of oak
in Gothic style the reredos features a marble relief representation of the Descent
of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost Silliphant family and their friends. It is flanked
by the figures of St Andrew and John the Baptist. The C19 oak altar rail is
supported on reused C18 turned balusters. The oak choir stalls are late C19.
Pulpit of 1903 by Dart and Francis. The lectern is the drum of an C18 hexagonal
pulpit built of pine with mahogany veneer and panelled sides. A unique survival is
the mid C15 oak prie-dieu, now moved from the Coplestone Chapel to the nave. There
is linenfold panelling on the front and back and the desk and bench ends are carved
with grotesque figures framed by wreathed foliage; the seat panel features a robed
figure holding a branch or palm in one hand and the Coplestone arms in the other,
the desk panel features a scaly-skinned 'wild man' armed with a club and holding
tile arms of the George family. Philip Coplestone married Ann Bonville (of the
George family). Some of the benches and most of the bench ends are probably late
C15-early C16. The ends have frames of wreathed foliage springing from vases and
panels are carved with various patterns of Perpendicular tracery. One, in the
north aisle, is unfinished. The chapel has a C17 table as an altar. Late
Decorated-early Perpendicular Beerstone font Octagonal bowl with sides carved with
square panels containing quatrefoils and alternate panels including a shield and
around the base a floriated valance. Tapering stem with panelled sides and moulded
base. Fine early C17 ribbed oak ogee font cover surmounted by a carved double-
faced figure, believed to be a cleric in minor orders, wearing amice, alb and
girdle. It was later given wings in mistaken belief it represented an angel. It
now has a late Victoria Chain and counterweight in the form of a gilt-brass crown.
Church lads some good mural memorials. The best is the Lady Elizabeth Coryton (died
1677) memorial on north side of chancel. It comprises a rectangular slate plaque
with sonnet obituary in Beerstone bolection frame enriched with carved ascanthus
Leaf. It has architectural framing with flanking free-standing Corinthian columns
and a dentil cornice over cherubs heads. Above this is a scrolled pediment with
central and smaller flanking heraldic cartouches and cherubs reclining on the
scrolls. Either side are wings with foliage and masks. The soffit-wouded sill
carried on scroll consoles enriched with grotesque faces with a shaped apron
between including a skull and cross bones motif set in a bay leaf garland. The
traces of ancient colour suggest marbled decoration. To the left is the C19
Silliphant mural memorial in white marble which comprises a set of 5 plaques to
various members of the family who died between 1822-94 with a moulded cornice
surmounted by pediment in which is a sunburst motif. On south side of chancel is
the Margaret Burrington of West Sandford mural memorial (died 1666) which comprises
a rectangular slate plaque in mould Beerstone frame surmounted by crowned skulls on
pedestals and lozenge-shaped heraldic achievement in a cartouche. Next to it is a
memorial to Anne Burrington of West Sandford (died 1659) in a Beerstone frame
enriched with egg and dart. Both Burrington memorials include obituaries and
Anne's is unusually original. In the Coplestone chapel are 3 C19 mural memorials;
a white marble memorial in Tudor Gothic style to members of the Hanlyn family who
died between 1777 and 1846, a white marble sarcophagus-shaped plaque on black
marble base in memory of Ellen May Pickering (died 1853 , and a plain white marble
memorial to Hugh Horatio Knocker who died of fever at Jellah Coffee, West Africa in
1869. In the north aisle is an Art Nouveau brass plaque on wooden base in memory
of Frederick Arscott (died 1925) which includes enamel insets resembling cloisonee
representing angels.
Over south door a painted board with arms of Queen Victoria is dated 1865. On the
floor of the south transept are 2 Beers tone carved grotesque heads presumably from
the Norman-Transitional corbel table. 2 C17 oak chests in north aisle, one with
variously shaped panels along the front made up of planted mouldings and another
with a panelled front and gouged scrollwork along the sides an arcade along the top
rail. There is also a plain C17 oak hutch in the north aisle and another in the
south transept. Most of windows have been reglazed and have lost their ferramenta
in C20 except the south side of nave, the transept and east window.
The church is an important local landmark and has particularly rich fittings and
furnishings, some of which are unique.
Sources: Devon S.R.M.; Devon C19 Church, Project; Church Guide, Frank S Pepper

Listing NGR: SS7699600022

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