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Church of St Peter

A Grade I Listed Building in Tawstock, Devon

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Latitude: 51.0506 / 51°3'2"N

Longitude: -4.0561 / 4°3'22"W

OS Eastings: 255977

OS Northings: 129924

OS Grid: SS559299

Mapcode National: GBR KR.G088

Mapcode Global: FRA 26DB.MMJ

Entry Name: Church of St Peter

Listing Date: 25 February 1965

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1261627

English Heritage Legacy ID: 437098

Location: Tawstock, North Devon, Devon, EX31

County: Devon

District: North Devon

Civil Parish: Tawstock

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Tawstock St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text

SS 52 NE
4/104 Church of St Peter


Parish church. Probably C12 fabric to nave and chancel, entirely remodelled in
early C14 when the crossing tower, north and south transepts and and aisles were
added. Aisles heightened in late C15 with alterations to the tower and addition of
2-storey vestry at same time. Early C16 south chancel aisle. Restored 1867-8 by
Sir Gilbert Scott.
Stone rubble, dressed to south chancel chapel, roughly coursed to vestry, wityh
collar dressings. Slate roofs with coped gable ends and apex crosses. Embattled
parapets to south and north aisle, vestry and tower.
Basically cruciform on plan with nave, chancel, crossing tower, north and south
aisles and transepts, south chancel aisle and 2-storey vestry.
Crossing tower has Perpendicular pointed arched bell-openings of 2 cusped headed
lights on each face with slate louvres. Single light cusped headed window to lower
stage, south side. Gargoyles to top string on north and south sides. 3-light
pointed arched west window to nave with corbelled hoodmould, the window shortened in
late C15 when virtually semi-circular arched west doorway with moulded surround was
inserted. Perpendicular 3-light pointed arched window to west end of north aisle.
Nave south side has Perpendicular 4-light pointed arched windows with hoodmoulds
flanking south porch C19 moulded door surround with sundial above by John Berry
dated 1753. Inner pointed arch porch doorway with cavetto-roll-moulded surround and
closely framed and ledged plank doors with original lock and handle. Fine ceiled
porch waggon roof with moulded main and diagonal ribs with richly carved bosses at
the intersections and trailing vine leaf pattern to the carved wall plates. Timber
cross-ribs with stars of leaves at the intersections to the tympanum.
South transept has tall Decorated 3-light window with ogee reticulated tracery and
human head corbels to the pointed arched hoodmould above blocked pointed arched
doorway with corbelled hoodmould and ogee-cavetto moulded surround.
South chancel aisle has cavetto moulded wall plate and 2 early C16 granite straight-
headed windows of fiyr 4-centred arched lights with labelled hoodmoulds flanking
large stone shield with ogee arch surmounted by pinnacles and springing from spiral-
twist colonnettes above 4-centred arched priests door with old boarded door, flat
hoodmould with large foliated label stops.
Perpendicular 4-light window at east end of chancel aisle with pointed arched
hoodmould. Short buttress to each side of east end of chancel flanking Decorated 3-
light window with octofoil tracery and pointed arched corbelled hoodmould. Small
quatrefoil stone panel above.
2-storey vestry has straight-headed windows on the east side, that to ground floor
with relieving arch and iron stanchions and saddle bars. 3 similar windows on south
Chancel north side has 2 Decorated 2-light windows with quatrefoil tracery.
Depressed 4-centred arched window of 4 lights to east wall of north transept above
steeply pointed arched doorway. Decorated 3-light window with ogee reticulated
tracery and pointed arched hoodmould to north side.
3 Perpendicular 4-light windows to north aisle. Short thick buttress at right end.
Interior: spectacular array of rich furnishings, fittings and monuments. Early C14
arcades of 3 bays to north and south aisles, the square piers with applied C14
mouldings at the angles probably incorporating the fabric of the pierced earlier
walls. The moulded sub-arches spring from corbels decorated with leaves and heads.
2 human head corbels to the north face of the 2 central north arcade piers indicate
former north aisle roof line. Unmoulded and unceiled C15 waggon roofs to nave and
chancel. North and south aisles have fine trabeated roofs of flat pitch decorated
with variously carved heavy timber bosses at the intersections. Waggon-roofs to
transepts, plastered over in C18 and decorated with long foliated trails with
central and end star motifs. The crossing tower is supported on stone squinches
forming an octagon with timber lierne ribs above converting to a square. Elaborate
waggon-roof to south chancel aisle with every third rib and all the transverse
members being richly carved, with bosses at the intersections. Segmental pointed
arches to the crossing, and depressed 4-centred arches to chancel aisle and to
chancel arcade of 2 bays with Pevsner 'B' type piers and foliated capitals.
Nave: late C16/early C17 benches to rear. Font has square bowl on circular stem
with elaborate C17 cover with crocketed ogee ribs and pinnacles around the
crenellated drum. Font crane in situ. Pulpit has facetted drum with cusped ogee
panels standing on 6 short turned balusters. Metal arm holding hour glass torch.
North transept: 2 benches with carved bench ends, and 4 C17 benches. Fine family
pew, rectangular with 2 solid back-walls panelled and segmental panelled and carved
ceiling supported in front with 2 carved Ionic pillars. Gallery on east side
connecting stair-turret and central tower removed to here in C19 with double band of
paterae to the head rail supported on square balusters and trailing leaf decoration
to the bottom rail.
South transept: 2 elaborately carved bench ends. Trefoil headed piscina in east
Chancel screen with 6 tall narrow lights each side of the doorway. Square-framed,
with moulded cornice. Screen between south chancel aisle and south transept, 3 bays
with standard tracery and more elaborate cornice. Renaissance profiles in roundels
to the spandrels of the doorway.
Chancel: stone reredos of 1888, Beerstone. Alter table with linenfold panelling in
the front. Some Barnstaple tiles survive in the chancel aisle. Chequered tiling to
altar step. Reused C16 panelling to 2 pairs of bench ends in the chancel aisle.
North aisle, west end: 3 armorial shields. North transept east window: some
medieval glass to the traceried heads. South transept: the Resurrection 1888.
Monuments: clockwise, from west end of north aisle: wall monuments to; Rebecca
Burrows (d.1792) by Ermes of Exeter, Richard Haydon, late C18. Oval medallion
surmounted by urn. Slowly family, early C18. Slate tablet with torched pediment and
large cherubs to base.
North transept: charity boards on west and north walls. Mrs Ann Chilcott (d.1559).
Tall obelisk with female figure resting on urn. Robert Wrey (d.1809). Florence
Lady Wrey (d,1724). Large chest tomb to Sir John Wrey (d.1597) and wife transferred
from St Ive, Cornwall in 1924 with 3 tier nowy-arched back plate with achievement,
cartouche and praying figures. 2 semi-circular arched panels divided by caryatid to
front of chest. Crossing pier of north transept, east side: wall monument to Henry
Northcote (d. 1729) by Tho. Jewell of Barnstaple. Oval medallions. Corinthian
pilasters. Cherubs leaning on shields flanking central achievement. On north side,
to Joan, daughter of Edward Lovet Esq (d.1679). Oval medallion, pilasters,
achievement and winged cherub in base.
Chancel: wall monuments to Rev., Chichester Wrey (d.1756) above tablet to Maria
Naylor (d.1607). Lady Rolle (d.1705) above Rev. Bourchie Wrey (d(1839) by J Gould
of Barum. Mary St John (d.1631). Ionic colonettes, achievement with broken
pediment above praying, kneeling female figure with child at foot. Wooden C14 effigy
of a lady in recess, dressed in wimple and mantle. Bourchier Wrey (d.1696). Beyond
altar rail, massive alabaster tomb of William Bourchier (d.1623) with recumbent
effigies, kneeling figures to head and feet, large strapwork cartouche and nowy-
arched cornice with achievements. Jane Nailour (d.1705) south wall of chancels.
South chancel aisle: free-standing statue to Lady Rachel Fane (d.1680), white
marble, possibly by Balthasar Burman. Free-standing marble chest tomb to Henry
Bourchier (d,1654), 4 dogs supporting sarcophagus with obelisks at the 4 corners.
East wall: wall monument to Peter Bold (d.1665) servant to Sir Henry Bourchier
depicting various armorial shields.
South wall: Frances, Lady Fitzwarren (d.1586). 6 poster with Corinthian columns,
recumbent praying effigy and elaborate strapwork decoration to the base and
entablature. Wall monuments to Thomas Hinson (d.1614) and wife, the Surveyor and
Receiver General to the Bath estate. praying kneeling figures facing eachother.
William Skippon (d.1614). Kneeling figure in bold relief. Ionic colonnettes with
amorino on pediment.
North side: Sara Pollard, a servant to Countess of Bath (d.1652) and George Fane
South transept; wall monuments to members of Wrey family including Ann Bourchier
Wrey (d.1791= by King of Bath with woman reclining on urn, Sir Bourchier Wrey
(d.1826) by Stephens of Exeter, Sir Henry Bourchier Wrey (d.1782) by Youngs and Son
of Barnstaple, Anne, wife of Sir Bourchier Wrey (d.1813), lady reclining on urn,
Mary Lady Wrey (d.1751) with marble sarcophagus. Free-standing urn on square
pedestal to Sir Bourchier Wrey (d.1784). 4 painted hatchments.
South aisle: Edward Lovett (d.1700), Oval medallion in bold relief. Ionic
colonnettes, twin cherubs busts to base. Robert Lovett (d.1710) 'of a milignant

Listing NGR: SS5598329920

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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