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Church of St. James

A Grade I Listed Building in Chawleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.899 / 50°53'56"N

Longitude: -3.8329 / 3°49'58"W

OS Eastings: 271203

OS Northings: 112659

OS Grid: SS712126

Mapcode National: GBR L1.RNTR

Mapcode Global: FRA 26VQ.QKT

Plus Code: 9C2RV5X8+JR

Entry Name: Church of St. James

Listing Date: 26 August 1965

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1325813

English Heritage Legacy ID: 95510

Location: Chawleigh, Mid Devon, Devon, EX18

County: Devon

District: Mid Devon

Civil Parish: Chawleigh

Built-Up Area: Chawleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Chawleigh St James

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Church building

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SS 71 SW

Church of St. James


Parish church. Mostly C15 and early C16 with major renovation in 1840s. Mostly exposed snecked local mudstone tower and north side of chancel are roughcast; original granite detail, replaced in C19 with Bathstone; slate roofs

Nave and chancel, south aisle and former Radford Chapel under parallel roof, west tower, south porch and C19 vestry in angle between east end of aisle and chancel. Mostly Perpendicular. Tall and elegant west tower is roughcast with mostly original early C16 granite dressings; three stages,diagonal buttresses, continuous string courses, and embattled parapet with corner crocketted pinnacles,one surmounted by C19 brass weather cock. Upper stage has square-headed two-light belfry windows with cinquefoil headed lights and hoodmoulds. Below them are C19 round clock faces with Roman numerals. North side has tiny slit windows to internal newel stair. On west side both door and window above have almost round arched heads with hoodmoulds. Doorway has moulded surround and roll stops enriched with side scrolls and window is three-lights with replacement Perpendicular tracery.

Rest of church renovated in C19 and both gable ends of south aisle and east end of chancel have C19 kneelers and coping, the chancel surmounted by a floriated cross. West end of south aisle has replacement three-light arch-headed window with Perpendicular tracery. South side of aisle includes another four similar windows between diagonal buttresses and interrupted by porch left of centre and buttresses. All these however have original late C15-early C16 granite mullions and tracery. Chamfered granite plinth and soffit-chamfered granite wall plate under eaves. Fine early C16 porch with diagonal buttresses and embattled parapet. The coping is moulded. A band of granite ashlar above the plinth and the entire granite ashlar parapet are carved with series of sunken square panels containing cusped mostly quatrefoil decoration. Four-centred outer arch with moulded soffit and clustered nook shafts with moulded capitals and base. It contains early C18 panelled oak double doors together making a semi-circular head filled with turned balusters and the top given a crest of wrought iron spikes and fleur-de-lys.

Right (east) side of porch and south side of aisle have slate memorial stones bolted to walls. High in wall at right end, is an undated slate sundial with iron pointer inscribed 'Lat. N. 50o', probably early C19. East end of aisle has four-light granite Perpendicular window similar in style to those on south. The protruding south side of chancel has a simple arch-headed granite three-light window with intersecting tracery, probably C19 and apparently replacing a larger window. The low C19 vestry is built in Tudor Gothic style with embattled parapet and square-headed lights. Ellipitical arch-headed doorway in west side where vestry projects a little from south aisle. East end of chancel has C19 replacement three-light window with Decorated style tracery. Four-window north front to nave and chancel. Chancel at left end has C16 square-headed three-light window with round-headed lights, sunken spandrels and moulded hood. Break between nave and chancel marked by disused rood stair turret projecting square.

Nave has three-replacement three-light Perpendicular windows similar to those in aisle.

Good interior. Porch has C20 ceiling and probably replacement roof. South doorway is an early C16 four-centred arch with moulded surround and large cushion stops with incised side scrolls. It contains late C17-early C18 fielded panel door with massive plain strap hinges and an oak lock housing. Ceiled wagon roofs throughout. Similar roofs to nave and aisle appear wholly C19. The more ornate chancel wagon roof with its small panels, cross braces and carved bosses may include C16 carpentry but it is painted making positive identification difficult. It has unusual delicate openwork wall plate, more the type of carving to be expected on a rood screen. No chancel arch, the break reflected by the roofs. Tall granite tower arch with chamfered double arch ring and plain responds. Early C16 five-bay granite arcade, including one overlapping into chancel, of round headed arches on moulded piers (Pevsners's Cornish A-type) with large moulded caps to shafts only.

Floors of C19 tile except Radford Chapel which has C18 tiles and many graveslabs.
Very good early C16 oak rood screen faithfully renovated in 1910 according to brass plaque. It is continuous twelve bays across nave and chancel and includes an empty doorway to each. In each bay wainscotting has two panels of applied Perpendicular tracery, the windows are four-lights with slender mullions and Pevsner's A-type tracery.

The ribbed coving above has carved bosses and cusped decoration in the panels and broad cornice made up two delicately undercut friezes of foliage with equally delicate crested vallance and crest. Contemporary parclose is a three-bay simpler version with replaced wainscotting, square-headed windows with slender Perpendicular tracery and carved cornice.

Plain chancel has C20 altar, late C19 oak altar rail on twisted iron supports with foliate-brackets, and probably C18 fielded panel benches used as choir stall. Nave has C19 deal benches. Gothic style octagonal pulpit dated 1903 and made by Hems of Exeter. Similar Gothic style oak eagle lectern dated 1909. Perpendicular style Beerstone octagonal font of 1840. C19 wrought iron lamp brackets throughout church.

To rear of church is C17 oak table with egg-and-dart around the top and arcaded frieze, eight turned legs with stretchers.C19 wrought iron lamp brackets throughout church. The Radford Chapel in south-aisle now occupied by 1927 organ. South-east corner has original round-headed piscina. A segmental arch over carries wall diagonally across corner and contains grand mural monument to Ambrose Radford of Cheniston (sic). Built of rubble and Beerstone it is richly carved. Rectangular plaque in moulded frame over a garland of fruit. Flanking Corinthian columns surmounted by cartouches support moulded entablature with semi-circular pediment which provides seat for two angels holding heraldic devices. Richly-decorated wings against wall on either side, moulded sill with cherub corbels, and apron containing a shield set in a leafy cartouche and descending to a winged skull. Monument retains traces of ancient colour. Another good mural monument right of south door in memory of George Radford of Cheniston (sic). Built of grey marble and Beerstone it is a rectangular plaque in enriched frame, flanking Corinthian columns surmounted by cherubs heads in moulded entablature, round-headed pediment broken either side of cartouche on carved plinth with horns statant either side, soffit-moulded sill on consoles carved as grotesque lions heads and strapwork apron features flowers and fruit around a skull. Other plain marble monuments from C19 and one C17 in chancel.

First World War memorial in nave is brass plaque with alabaster frame. Stained glass of 1879 and 1927 in chancel.

Sources:Devon SMR. Devon C19 Church Project.

Listing NGR: SS7120112661

This List entry has been amended to add the source for War Memorials Register. This source was not used in the compilation of this List entry but is added here as a guide for further reading, 30 October 2017.

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