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Church of St Matthew

A Grade I Listed Building in Cheriton Fitzpaine, Devon

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Latitude: 50.844 / 50°50'38"N

Longitude: -3.6101 / 3°36'36"W

OS Eastings: 286736

OS Northings: 106181

OS Grid: SS867061

Mapcode National: GBR LB.W58G

Mapcode Global: FRA 36BV.TN9

Entry Name: Church of St Matthew

Listing Date: 26 August 1965

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1325593

English Heritage Legacy ID: 96469

Location: Cheriton Fitzpaine, Mid Devon, Devon, EX17

County: Devon

District: Mid Devon

Civil Parish: Cheriton Fitzpaine

Built-Up Area: Cheriton Fitzpaine

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Cheriton Fitzpaine

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text

SS 80 NE
- Church of St Matthew

Parish church of St Matthew. C14 nave and chancel, C15 aisles, porch and tower,
restored 1883-5 by James Crocker of Exeter. Snecked volcanic and new red sandstone
with mostly Beer stone but some volcanic ashlar detail; slate roofs. Nave and
chancel with full length aisles and eastern chapels under parallel roofs, west tower
and 2-storey south porch. Perpendicular throughout. West tower of 2 stages with low
offset buttresses and embattled parapet with corner pinnacles. Most of the tower is
roughcast and has been so since 1706 according to the churchwarden's account. It has
original volcanic 2-light belfry windows with cinquefoil heads except the west side
which has round heads. Also west side has original Beer stone arched doorway with
moulded surround and 4-leaf enrichment below a 3-light Perpendicular window with
replacement Beer stone tracery under an arched hoodmould. On the south side a
projecting demi-hexagonal stair turret finishes below belfry level with a pyramidal
roof. The west end of the south aisle has a low-pitch stepped gable with Beer stone
coping and contains a 3-light C19 replacement window. The 4-window south front is
interrupted by the 2-storey porch with low-pitch stepped gable with moulded coping
and embattled side parapets. It has an almost-rounded moulded archway with a small
and ornate Beer stone niche above. The niche has flanking pilasters and richly
carved pinnacled canopy and contains the figure of St Matthew - a gift to the church
in 1885 by the Rev. George Dowty. Square-headed 2-light Beer stone window with
trefoil-headed lights above is partly restored and on the gable a large lead sundial
with iron arm apparently erected in 1720 and remodelled in 1741. To left stair
turret in corner of porch and aisle rises above parapet with embattled parapet. All
windows are Beer stone, arch-headed 3-lights with hoodmoulds and only that to right
of porch appears to retain some original tracery. There are buttresses between the
windows and towards right end is the restored volcanic stone priests door, arch-
headed with ovolo surround. 3 C18 lead drainpipes on this side have mounts and
rainwater heads displaying a series of initials and dates from the 1740s. 3-gabled
east front with diagonal buttresses either side and buttresses under each valley.
North and south aisles have similar partly-restored 3-light arch-headed windows with
ogee heads and cusped tracery. Chancel has a larger 4-light version with a transom
and lower tier with cusped trefoil heads. The hoodmould has human head labels and
gable above surmounted by stone cross. 5-window north front of partly-restored 3-
light windows similar to those of south aisle. Intermediate buttresses and end
diagonal buttresses. Left of centre is rood stair turret projecting square and right
of centre window now blocked by C20 vestry. Another restored 3-light window on west
Good interior. Porch has Beer stone ribbed vault springing from angel corbels over
half-engaged columns in each corner and features a series of bosses carved to
represent the stigmata and other symbols of the Passion. The church has a moulded,
almost round-headed arch containing a C19 door. Both aisles, nave and chancel have
wagon roofs. South aisle roof appears to be 1883 work using old timbers to make a
low-pitch curve of plain chamfered ribs with more slender members over Lady Chapel at
east end. Nave has C16 ceiled wagon roof with moulded ribs and intricately carved
flat bosses with finials on the corners; the wall plate has bosses including several
sun motifs. The lower chancel roof is similar to the nave missing the wall plate
enrichment. Very high quality C15 ceiled wagon roof with moulded ribs enriched with
4-leaf decoration and carved oak bosses in north aisle and chapel. Plain high tower
arch with soffit chamfered imposts. C14 moulded volcanic chancel arch (Pevsner's B
Type) has caps to half-engaged columns, the wave is carried continuously through.
There is a single corbel projecting into the nave. Superior 5-bay Beer stone arcade
on both sides, 3 arches to nave and 2 to chancel, has clustered column shafts with
carved foliage capitals and, in the chancel, demi-figures of angels bearing shields
above pier capitals. The style is thought to emulate Exeter Cathedral. Hollow-
chamfered rear arches to windows. Floor includes many grave slabs of notable quality
from late C16 amd C17, some in black or white marble. Blocked C15 arch-headed
volcanic stone doorway to former rood stair in north wall. Very elaborate square-
framed chancel screen erected in 1926 in memory of Arthur George May of Durban, South
Africa, a former Cheriton resident. It was made by Caroe and Passmore. Another
framed screen of circa 1912 across tower arch. The Maw's encaustic tile floor to
chancel, the Beer stone Gothick reredos featuring carved emblems of the Evangelist
and polychrome mosaic, stalls, pews, (including much reused C18 oak), stained glass
and altar rail date from 1885 restoration. Font of 1874. Possibly C15 plain arched
piscina to right of reredos and also niche in north chapel for aumbry or piscina.
North chapel contains graves and memorials of families who lived at Upcott Barton
In north-east corner is a good marble wall monument of 1691 to John Moore
comprising an oval plaque with nut husk garland architecturally framed - flanking
Corinthian columns, moulded entablature, open pediment with ascanthus and egg-and-
dart cornice crowned by heraldic cartouches, the whole carried by a moulded sill on
fluted brackets which frame a later panel in memory of John's wife (died 1700). It
preserves traces of ancient colour. In south-west of chancel a good grey marble
mural monument to Nicholas Hickes (died 1704) and Elizabeth his wife (died 1718); the
carved drapery with swags include an oval tablet with bolection-moulded frame, an
heraldic cartouche with flanking cherubs heads and, at the bottom, a skull with
wings. To left of reredos and partly obscured by it is an early C19 mural monument
to Reverend John Arundel; a white marble tablet surmounted by a Grecian vase and
crossed torches on a shaped black marble base. Over south door painted arms of
Charles II dated 1665 was naively restored in 1971. Two C16 or C17 oak chests, one
crudely inscribed RM 1611. Tower has ring of 6 bells, the oldest was cast by John
Pennington of Exeter in 1665, in a frame of 1893. Late C19 clock by Smith's of
Church was dedicated to St Mary before 1850 and known as All Saints in C14.
Sources: T Falla Church Guide (1977); Devon SMR; Devon C19 Church Project

Listing NGR: SS8673706180

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

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