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Church of All Saints

A Grade I Listed Building in North Molton, Devon

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Latitude: 51.055 / 51°3'18"N

Longitude: -3.8039 / 3°48'13"W

OS Eastings: 273668

OS Northings: 129955

OS Grid: SS736299

Mapcode National: GBR L2.FXV2

Mapcode Global: FRA 26XB.HVB

Plus Code: 9C3R354W+2C

Entry Name: Church of All Saints

Listing Date: 20 February 1967

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1288637

English Heritage Legacy ID: 399119

Location: North Molton, North Devon, Devon, EX36

County: Devon

District: North Devon

Civil Parish: North Molton

Built-Up Area: North Molton

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: North Molton All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Church building

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North Molton


SS 7229-7329
18/180 Church of All Saints
Parish church. Late C15, chancel probably altered internally c.1844. Further
altered internally in 1876-83 at a cost of over £100, and restored in 1886-90 at a
cost of £730. Top of tower altered (pinnacles removed and parapet probably rebuilt)
in the first-half of the C20. Dressed sandstone (almost of ashlar quality) with
Beer-stone ashlar dressings. Gable-ended Welsh-slate roofs, separately over nave and
Plan and development: Four-bay nave, 5-bay north and south aisles (extending as one-
bay chapels to each side of chancel) south porch in second bay from west, 2-bay
chancel and west tower. Chancel more heavily restored than rest of church in 1886-
90, and vestry added to the north, probably at the same time.
Exterior: Tower with moulded plinth (and square sub-plinth), string courses with
chamfered offsets to each stage, set-back full-height buttress (Pevsner type-B) with
chamfered offsets, moulded parapet string and rebuilt battlemented parapet with
moulded coping, quatrefoil circular panels in central merlons to south and wider
corner merlons. Wrought-iron weathercock. Belfry openings consisting of 2 louvred
trefoil-haded lights, panelled tympana (weathered at time of survey - September 1987)
and stone relieving arches. Second-stage west window of 2 hollow-chamfered
cinquefoil-headed lights under square head with panelled spandrels and returned
hoodmould, and first-stage west window of 4 ogee cinquefoil-headed lights with
moulded mullions, panelled intersecting tracery, hollow chamfered and moulded reveals
incorporating attenuated carved nook shafts with small bases and capitals, and
hoodmould lath stops. West doorway consisting of continuously-moulded arch, returned
hoodmould with square stops, stone relieving arch and pair of C19 nail-studded
boarded doors. Plinth returns to ground each side of doorway. Stair turret in
south-west corner, with small quatrefoil openings in south wall, and small splayed
square opening at base. C15 carved statue of the Virgin in the second stage to
south, set in niche with moulded base, flanking angled crocketed pinnacles, canopy
with 3 crocketed trefoil gables and crocketed pinnacle above. Clock above niche with
convex face and gilded hands and figures on blue background. Granite stone set
above plinth to south, inscribed: "TO THE GLORY OF GOD/AND IN LOVING MEMORY
HENRY FRAYNE/1934". Putlock holes in tower.
Nave with clerestory, not visible from ground. South aisle: Chamfered plinth,
buttress (diagonal at corners) with chamfered offsets, chamfered projecting eaves
band, and parapeted gable ends with stone copings, cross to east and C19 brick stack
to west. South windows of 3 ogee quatrefoil-headed lights, cusped panelled tracery,
hollow-chamfered reveals, and returned hoodmould with square stops. Identical window
to east end. Plainer window in west end, of 3 quatrefoil-headed lights with plain
uncusped panelled tracery, hollow-chamfered reveals and hoodmould with square stops.
Moulded Tudor-arched priest's doorway beneath window in second bay from east, with
old nail-studded boarded door. South doorway in second bay from west with
continuously-moulded archway and pair of C19 nail-studded boarded doors. C15 hollow-
chamfered plinth, angle buttresses with chamfered offsets, chamfered projecting eaves
band and parapet with stone coping and cross at apex. Moulded archway springing
from 2 orders of shafts with moulded bases and capitals, separated by hollow chamfer,
and hoodmould with carved square stops. Plinth returns to ground each side of
archway. Pair of C19 wooden and wrought-iron gates. C18 slate sundial with gnomon,
set in recess above archway. Interior of porch with C19 encaustic-tiled floor and
wooden side benches. Bootscraper to right of door. C18 headstones attached to east-
wall of south aisle (1767) and west wall of south porch. North aisle: chamfered
plinth, buttresses (diagonal at corners) with chamfered offsets, parapeted gable ends
with stone copings and crosses at apices. Windows of 3 ogee cinquefoil-headed
lights with cusped panelled tracery, and hollow-chamfered reveals. Identical windows
at east and west ends (west window probably C19 restoration). Blocked moulded Tudor-
arched priest's doorway beneath window in second bay from east (plinth returns to
ground each side of doorway). Two headstones (1770 and 1819) attached to east wall
of aisle. Chancel: Hollow-chamfered plinth, angle buttresses with chamfered
offsets, C19 hollow-chamfered projecting eaves band, and C19 parapeted gable end with
uncarved shields to footstones, stone coping and cross at apex. Restored east window
(apparently a C19 copy of the Medieval window) of 3 ogee cinqufoil-headed lights with
transom, cinquefoil heads to lower parts of lights with quatrefoild circles in
spandrels, panelled tracery, hollow-chamfered reveals, and hoodmould with carved
winged angels as stops. Restored south window (apparently a C19 copy of the Medieval
original) of 3 ogee cinquefoil-headed lights with quatrefoil circles. Spandrels,
hollow-chamfered reveals and hoodmould with dressed-stone flat arch above. Restored
north window like south window, without hoodmould. Four C18 and C19 headstones
attached to south wall of chancel. Leaded-lined boxed gutter to north. Vestry:
Chamfered plinth, angle buttresses with chamfered offsets, moulded parapet string,
and battlemented parapet with moulded coping. Two-light east window with chamfered
mullion and returned hoodmould, one light with diamond leading.
Interior: C15 five-bay aisle arcades with compound piers consisting of 4 shafts with
moulded bases and capitals alternating with hollow chamfers (Pevsner type-B), diamond
bases and moulded 4-centred arches (hollow chamfer and 2 rolls). Former rood loft
doorways in spandrels between first and second bays from east. Clerestory window
(with carved quatrefoil arches in spandrels, scalloping on underside of arches, and
dressed stone jambs (plaster stripped in late C19 or early C20). Double-chamfered
tower arch, the outer chamfer dying into responds and the inner chamfer springing
from corbels, with carved rosettes on base, and stone relieving arch. Flanking tower
buttresses with chamfered offsets and chamfered corbels on inner faces (supporting
nothing). C20 glazed tower screen. Aisle walls with set backs at cill level.
Chamfered recess above east window in south aisle. C19 boarded vestry door at east
end of north aisle. Windows with splayed jambs. C15 ceiled waggon roofs to nave and
aisles. Nave roof with transverse and longitudinal moulded wooden ribs, carved
bosses (mainly foliate), and C19 moulded wooden wall plate with carved square
fleurons and brattishing, supported on small C19 moulded stone corbels. Ceilure over
former rood is divided into smaller panels than the rest of roof. The roof is
divided into 4 bays by C15 tie-beams with carved foliage trails to sides, moulded
bottom edge and brattishing above. Aisle roofs also with transverse and longitudinal
moulded wooden ribs, carved bosses, and C19 moulded wooden wall plates with carved
square fleurons, brattishing, and supported on small C19 moulded stone corbels.
Chancel probably remodelled in 1844; moulded wooden chancel arch springing from
moulded-stone corbels, and plastered barrel roof (possibly over earlier roof
structure) with moulded wooden cornice. C15 arched doorway at foot of tower stair.
Plastered walls throughout. Stone floors. C19 encaustic tiles to chancel.
Fittings: Elaborate C17 panelling to chancel, dated 1609, restored in 1844 (also
dated) on 3 walls of sanctuary. Three-bay north and south sides consisting of
panelled base (lower panels with strapwork decoration), set-back upper-panels with
circular medallions and short tapered pilasters, frieze with carved grotesque masks
and heraldic ornament, and strapwork panel above. Bays divided by Ionic pilasters
with strapwork ornament, against projecting piers to upper stage. Piers topped by
short carved obelisks with spiked globe finials, each resting on 4 globes on top of a
small panelled pedestal. Pedestals to panelling on north wall with superscribed
lettering: "E P" and "1609" and on south wall with superscribed lettering "P" and
"1844" (probably standing for Poltimore). Three-bay panelled reredos to east wall
(central bay wider), divided by Ionic pilasters. Plain lower panels, outer upper
panels with central lion masks, elongated panels to centre bay flanking central
round-arched panel with Royal Coat of Arms (James I) and the motto: "DELECTARE IN
DOMINO", frieze above with foliate ornament and carved shield, and centre raised over
further coat of arms (probably Poltimore) set in cartouche, with obeliskes above and
at each end. C19 altar table. Gothic-arched boards flanking east window, probably
of 1844; Lord's Prayer and Creed to left and Commandments to right, both with moulded
frames. Late C17 or early C18 Communion rails with vase balusters, moulded bottom and
top rails and central gate with flanking panelled dies. Late C19 choir stalls.
Fine C15 eleven-bay screen across nave and aisles, 4 bays to chancel and 3 to each
aisle chapel. Each bay consisting of 4 blind ogee cinquefoil-headed lower panels
with tracery above and quatrefoil band below, moulded and enriched middle rail and
moulded and enriched arched upper openings, of 4 ogee cinquefoil-headed lights with
panelled tracery. Each bay separated by shaft with moulded bases and capitals. Loft
removed and now plain-panelled with moulded cornice. Pairs of gates to chapels,
opening to chancel without gates but with tracery above. Canted projection in lower
panels at right-hand end with cinquefoil-headed panels and uncarved shields.
Possibly formerly for the dispensation of alms. C15 parclose screens between aisle
chapels and chancel, with carved rails, square-headed cinquefoil-headed lights with
panelled tracery, carved uprights, and carved frieze and brattishing. South screen
with some C19 alterations. C15 octagonal wooden pulpit (restored in the C19) in
front of screen to left with crocketed canopied niches (some with reordered C15
carving and others with carved figures of 1866). Crocketted pinnacles carved with
carved vine trail, tapered bases of 4 tiers of carved vine trails, C19 octagonal
stone stem and C19 wooden steps with octagonal posts and ramped handrail. Early C18
octagonal wooden tester, attached by small panel to screen behind, with panelled
soffit (central panel recessed with "IHS" painted in centre), richly carved dentil
cornice with acanthus modillions alternating with paterae, and corners breaking
forward. Carved angel blowing the last trump on top of tester. C19 brass eagle
lectern. Octagonal Beer-stone pulpit of c.1480 with moulded base, stems with carved
stone figures in panels, and bowl with carved foilage to base and quatrefoil panel to
each side flanked by smaller trefoil-headed panels. Lead-lined bowl. Old clock
(from tower) in north aisle said to have been made in Barnstaple in 1564 at a cost of
£6. 13s 4d and replaced in 1934. Painted Royal Coat of Arm (George III) above south
door, dated 1798. C19 boarded draught lobby to south door. Small C18 box pew behind
screen in south aisle chapel. Organ installed in north-aisle chapel between 1876-83.
Probably early C19 benefactors' boards under tower. Stained glass: East window of
1858 by Wailes. other late C19 glass in aisle and chancel windows. Other windows
diamond-leaded clear glass.
Monuments: Fine large monument in south-aisle chapel to Sir Amyas Bamfylde (d.1626),
consisting of 4-bay base with kneeling figures of offspring divided by pilasters
supporting frieze; top with recumbent effigy of Amyas Bamfylde to right and mourning
figure of wife to left. Achitectral frame consisting of 2 segmental-arched panels
to rear with half-relief kneeling figures of offspring facing reading desk to centre,
with 4 skulls in panel below, and bracket above with cherub's head (shield in
cartouche behind effigy); two Ionic columns to front (and pilasters to rear)
supporting entablature with pulvinated frieze and open segmental pediment with
strapwork cresting and central coat of arms. Ancient and later colour. C17 wrought-
iron grate in front consisting of diagonally-set square railings with spear and
halbered tops, and barleysugar standards with urn and halberd tops. Ancient light-
blue colour. Alabaster tablet in wall to right of monument with Latin inscription in
memory of the Bamsfyldes. Large wall monument in north aisle, to John Burgess Esq.
of Upcot (d. 26 Nov. 1758), by King of Bath, consisting of oval marble tablet with
husk drops to top and base, flanking scrolls, and relief with cherub holding swagged
urn and with pyramid behind to left; moulded base on scrolled brackets, and cartouche
below. Cornice above with egg and dart enrichment, central convex oval panel above
with inscription and flanking husk drops, fluted band and cornice above and wreathed
urn at top. Signed: "KING Ft./BATH".
The galleries were removed and the heating was installed between 1876-83.
An old print (probably late C18 or early C19) on the wall by the south door shows the
church before restoration, with crocketed pinnacles to the tower and the original
chancel windows (apparently very similar to the C19 restoration). Cresswell suggests
that the clerestory is on addition of c.1500 and gives the principal date of
restoration of 1885. It has also been suggested (Layley) that the panelling in the
choir was originally made for Edmund Parker at Court House (q.v.) and only removed to
the church in 1844 when Lord Poltimore acquired the house. It certainly looks as
though it has been reordered at some time but this might be the result of restoration
work in the church.
Sources: N. Pevsner, Buildings of England, North Devon, p.p. 129-30, Kelly's
Directory of Devonshire (1902), p. 385; Beatrix F. Cresswell, Notes on Devon
Churches. Deanery of South Molton (1924), pp. 162-80; Charles G. Layley,The Parish
Church of All Saints. A Short History.

Listing NGR: SS7366829954

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