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Latitude: 50.8281 / 50°49'41"N
Longitude: -3.4218 / 3°25'18"W
OS Eastings: 299960
OS Northings: 104134
OS Grid: SS999041
Mapcode National: GBR LL.X4YC
Mapcode Global: FRA 36QX.8R1
Plus Code: 9C2RRHHH+67
Entry Name: Parish Church of St Dionysius
Listing Date: 5 April 1966
Last Amended: 11 June 1986
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1307064
English Heritage Legacy ID: 95205
Location: Bradninch, Mid Devon, Devon, EX5
Civil Parish: Bradninch
Built-Up Area: Bradninch
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Bradninch St Disen
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
BRADNINCH CHURCH STREET, Bradninch
SS 90 SE
11/13 Parish Church of St Dionysius
5.4.66 (formerly listed as Church of St Disen)
Parish church. Mainly of the C15 and early-C16, but with earlier masonry surviving
in chancel, and possibly the base of the tower. Restored 1806; partially rebuilt
(nave and aisles heightened, piers reconstructed, south wall re-erected) 1841;
restorations by Hayward, 1881, 1889. Coursed rubble volcanic trap. West tower,
nave, north and south aisles, south porch, chancel, north-west and north-east
Exterior: tall west tower (90'), the belfry dating from 1437 (indulgence in Bishop
Lacy's Register, Canterbury & York Series, II, 72). 4 stages with battlementing
and corner pinnacles, except to the south-east where the polygonal corner stair
turret, separately battlemented, rises even higher. Set-back angle buttresses with
4 set-offs. 2-light pointed belfry openings, each light cusped with quatrefoil in
head. Cinquefoil-headed niche under square hood mould with elaborate quatrefoil
motifs to 2nd stage, E; 2-light openings, 2nd stage, north and south, lighting
ringing chamfer; cinquefoil-headed statue niche above 4-light west window,
Perpendicular west door 1841 under heavily moulded arch. Hayward's tower vestry to
the north, hipped roof to north, with west door and adjacent segmentally-headed
window, and 2 similar windows to north.
South aisle: 6 bays (including porch, 1881); buttresses with 2 set-offs, those at
angles set diagonally, between 3-light Perpendicular windows. 3-light east and
North aisle: 6 bays, no porch, but otherwise as south. 3-light west window.
Tracery and mullions of all windows look largely C19; the slightly unusual
proportions of the side elevations are the result of the heightening of 1841.
Chancel: 2-light north window: 3-light east window, set high up; 3-light south
window with hood mould terminals, one bearing a shield (identified by Stabb as of
Richard Norton, Precentor of Exeter Cathedral, 1512-24). Lower courses of chancel
masonry may be C13 or earlier. C19 north-east castellated vestry with 2-light
square-headed east window. C19 priest's door to south.
Interior: nave and choir of 6 bays, with no structural division, with unaisled
sanctuary. Piers with double wavy-moulding; floriated capitals (including a Green
Man) some of them, especially on the south arcade, of very high quality. Canopied
niche on one of the north aisle piers. West capital of south arcade is different
from the others, bearing shields and fleurons. Tower arch, 3 shafts to each
respond, with separate capitals. Internal shafts to window arches. Chancel arch
with nave pier profile. No internal shafts to chancel window arches; south window
arch brought down to form sedilia.
Roofs: Ceiled to nave and chancel, principals with arched braces, nave with king
posts and panelled wall plate; flat ceiled roof to aisles: all C19.
Screens: (1) parclose, to south, originally demarcated the chapel of St Nicholas
Guild, is the earlier of the 2 medieval screens, probably mid-C15; 4 bays, the
central pair wider, 3 cusped lights to each bay, with chunky foliage in spandrels;
contemporary painted panels below. (2) Rood Screen: 12 bays, piers encased to form
canopied figure niches (containing C17 figures) to west, 4 lights to each bay,
cusped with shields (cf.Rewe); coving with 3-tiered cornice, and C19 frieze.
Painted figures in panels are of a variety of period, early-C16, C17 and C19; the
rear cornice survives, with painted abstract designs to panels. Restored by
Bradley of Exeter, 1853.
Furnishings: Stone pulpit of 1888. Altar table, wooden, of circa 1600. South
aisle altar frontal incorporates C16 work. C19 benches and choir stalls.
Monuments: Chancel, north aisle : 2 large oval inscription panels with architrave
under broken segmental pediment, black and white marble, to Peter Seynthill
(d. 1648), erected 1679. South aisle, west wall: elegant stone plaque to Thomas
Glass: Good set of patterned glass in aisles by Drake (sequence completed 1872);
excellent Doom in west window, by Clayton and Bell, 1880. East window (not dated)
by Ward & Hughes; south aisle, south-east, by Hardman (circa 1850). A piscina from
the now demolished chapel at Trinity (Bradninch Parish) has been re-set in the
Sources: Pevsner, S.D., p.59; J Stabb, Some Old Devon Churches, I, 18-20; Charles
Croslegh, Bradninch, being a short historical sketch, etc., (1911); Devon C19
Churches Project; B Cresswell, Deanery of Cullompton, (West Country Studies Library
Listing NGR: SS9996004134
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