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Church of St Michael

A Grade I Listed Building in Poughill, Devon

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Latitude: 50.8643 / 50°51'51"N

Longitude: -3.6259 / 3°37'33"W

OS Eastings: 285675

OS Northings: 108458

OS Grid: SS856084

Mapcode National: GBR LB.TTGP

Mapcode Global: FRA 369T.77H

Plus Code: 9C2RV97F+PJ

Entry Name: Church of St Michael

Listing Date: 26 August 1965

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1250726

English Heritage Legacy ID: 433176

Location: Poughill, Mid Devon, Devon, EX17

County: Devon

District: Mid Devon

Civil Parish: Poughill

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Poughill St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Church building

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SS 80 NE
26.8.65 Church of Saint Michael

Small parish church. C13 origins, rebuilt in C15 with contemporary or slightly
later north aisle, thoroughly restored 1855-6 and minor renovation work 1960-7.
Walls of purple mudstone and volcanic trap employed in various styles at different
times; volcanic ashlar, Beerstone and Bathstone details; slate roofs. Nave with
narrower and lower chancel, north aisle, overlapping the chancel but not full
length, west tower and south porch. Perpendicular. West tower built of crudely-
squared stone blocks laid to rough courses. 2 stages with chamfered plinth and
embattled parapet. Stair turret projecting square from north side rises a little
above tower with its own embattled parapet. Restored Beerstone belfry windows;
square-headed, 2 lights with cinquefoil heads. Some of volcanic hoodmoulds may be
original. West side of tower has a restored plain arched doorway with a restored
2-light Perpendicular window above which retains the original mullion, right jamb
and labels to hoodmould. Restored narrow single light windows to ringing floor on
west and south sides, both immediately above moulded dripcourse. South side of
nave is built of similar roughly coursed masonry but also includes a portion of
volcanic and limestone ashlar towards centre. 2 windows, both replacement 3-light
Beerstone windows with Perpendicular tracery and hoodmoulds. South porch, between
the 2 windows, rebuilt in C19. It is gable-ended with chamfered 2-centred outer
arch, and includes a white marble World War I memorial under gable. Towards right
end and close to the ground is the top of a nowy-headed slate headstone in memory
of John Trude, d.1789, fixed to wall with iron clamps. At right end of nave is C19
angle buttress of rusticated purple mudstone ashlar. Chancel of C19 snecked and
rockfaced mudstone with contemporary Beerstone detail. South side includes a
cinquefoil headed lancet to left and central arch-headed priests door, and east end
has a 3-light window with Perpendicular-style tracery and hoodmould. Both ends of
north aisle have similar 3-light windows. Gable ends of nave, chancel and aisle
have C19 shaped Beerstone kneelers with coping and originally had Fleuree crosses
on apex but only nave cross now remains. North aisle built of apparently original
mudstone rubble. 4-window north front of C19 replacement 3-light windows with
Perpendicular tracery. Disused rood stair turret left of centre and right of
centre is a reused Beerstone block with blocked quatrefoil light.
Interior: porch has ceiled wagon roof with moulded ribs and carved bosses, some of
which may be C15. On right side are set 2 painted benefaction boards dated 1829
and 1853. South doorway is a C19 volcanic 2-centred arch with simple chamfered
surround and contains a C19 studded plank door with ornate wrought iron strap
hinges with side scrolls and fleur-de-lys finials. Nave and north aisle have
similar restored late C15 ceiled wagon roofs; moulded ribs, carved oak bosses
(relatively plain and several featuring roses), carved foliage wall plate
interrupted by small carved bosses under main trusses. Chancel has rebuilt open
wagon roof with moulded ribs, carved bosses and moulded wall plate. It is stained
and painted making it difficult to assess survival of late C15 timberwork. C15
volcanic ashlar tower arch has jambs moulded like the piers of the arcade but with
plain soffit chamfered capitals. It was scraped in C19. 4-bay arcade of painted
ashlar with moulded piers (Pevsner's B-type) and carved capitals. The western
respond features a green man motif. The eastern fourth arch overlaps the chancel.
Wall here is thick and 2-centred arch has chamfered surrounds, enriched with 4-leaf
enrichment to present vestry (presumably a former chapel) in north aisle. Soffit
and sides lined with Beerstone panels cinquefoil heads. Chancel arch has moulded
surround. Inner arches of windows have hollow-chamfered surrounds except east
window of chancel which has shafts and capitals. Tower has probably C19 ringing
loft floor of large intersecting beams and massive carved boss. Tower floor is
mostly made up of medieval encaustic tiles from Barnstaple. Floor of nave of
volcanic flags and large quarry tiles (possibly C17 or C18) and a number of C17 and
C18 grave slabs including a white marble memorial to the former minister, William
Frank the Elder, d.1675, and notable for the crudeness of the lettering. Chancel
floor includes good quality 1856 encaustic tiles. Much of the church retains the
1856 scheme of painted decoration, much of it stencilwork. On the tower arch and
arcade the capitals are highlighted and outer moulding of arcade is decorated.
Text over chancel arch now painted over. On the chancel roof the bosses and ribs
are painted, the rest is stained with painted fleur-de-lys on soffits of minor ribs
and gold stars on the painted boards behind. In arch from chancel to aisle upper
panels have fleur-de-lys and sacred monograms on blue ground, lower panels have
roses in circles on fleuree crosses on pink ground, and outer arch is painted.
Reveals of south chancel window similarly painted. Texts around shafts of east
window now painted over. 1856 gothic-style carved Beerstone reredos is similarly
painted and flanked by high commandment panels with crocketed pinnacled ogee
arches. To right of altar an orange marble credence on carved Beerstone bracket.
Most furnishing are circa 1856, including: oak altar rail on wrought iron twisted
stems with ivy leaft brackets; gothic-style oak choir stalls, and a semi-octagonal
oak pulpit with open panels under trefoil heads and the stiles and top rail carved
with acorns and foliage and including original brass desk and candelabra. Oak
lectern and nave pews are probably contemporary. North aisle includes series of
C18 oak box pews with fielded panel doors and sides and includes original hinges.
Contemporary wainscotting at east end. Beerstone cushion font with tops of semi-
circular faces meeting on the corners and circular stem with attached shafts,
moulded capitals and bases may be restored Norman work. East chancel window by
Drake of Exeter in memory of Thomas Melhuish, d.1875. Good marble mural monument
erected in 1809 in memory of Gertrude Pyncombe of Welsbeare Barton, d.1730,
comprising white marble bas relief drum with dedication and obituary, vase with
drapery above and cherubs below, all set on shaped black marble base. Tower
contains highly regarded ring of 6 bells, 5 of 1814 and 1 of 1949.

Listing NGR: SS8567508460

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