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Church of St Mary

A Grade I Listed Building in Marystow, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6244 / 50°37'27"N

Longitude: -4.2144 / 4°12'51"W

OS Eastings: 243465

OS Northings: 82862

OS Grid: SX434828

Mapcode National: GBR NS.B39X

Mapcode Global: FRA 271F.5YJ

Plus Code: 9C2QJQFP+Q6

Entry Name: Church of St Mary

Listing Date: 21 March 1967

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1326319

English Heritage Legacy ID: 92412

Location: Marystow, West Devon, Devon, PL16

County: Devon

District: West Devon

Civil Parish: Marystow

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Tagged with: Church building

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6/168 Church of St Mary

Parish church. Parts of the south doorway C12; chancel possibly partly C12 and C14;
nave, north aisle, north chancel chapel and tower late C15 and C19, porch probably
C16, vestry extension C19. Largely local stone rubble, the upper parts of the tower
and front of the porch dressed granite brought to course, granite and freestone
dressings, asbestos slate roof. Of the C12 church, which was probably nave and
chancel, a remnant of the south doorway survives and the chancel masonry may also be
C12. The masonry of the south wall suggests that there may have been a probably C13
transept and a cruciform C13 plan, with the chancel remodelled in the C14. A north
aisle and west tower were added in the C15 with some C16 alterations. In the C19 a
2-bay extension, gabled to the north, was added to the north chancel chapel, the
chancel was restored and the roofs replaced. The east wall of the chancel has a
coped gable with kneelers and a 3-light Decorated C19 east window with hoodmould. A
straight joint between the east and south walls and a pilaster buttress at the east
of the south wall suggests that the east wall has been rebuilt. 2 Decorated 2-light
windows on the south wall with hoodmoulds are C19 restorations of C14 windows. The
easternmost window is small and set hight under the eaves to allow for the C14 double
sedilia inside. Nave south wall masonry very patched , a pilaster buttress at the
east of the wall may mark the opening of a former transept. A 2-light square-headed
granite window to the west of the porch looks late C19 or C20. To the east of the
porch a tall 3-light arched C15 Perpendicular window with a moulded architrave, then
a very large 4-light uncusped square-headed granite C16 window with hoodmould opposed
to a similar window in the north aisle. Disturbance to the masonry below the window
suggests that it may have been inserted in the position of an opening to the former
transept. The north aisle has an arched 3-light Perpendicular C19 window to the east
wall, and 2 C15 arched freestone Perpendicular windows with hoodmoulds to the west of
the 3-light C16 granite window. The west window of the aisle is a 3-light
arched Perpendicular C19 window with a hoodmould. The 2-bay C19 addition on the
north side has 2 gables to the north and two 2-light granite C19 Decorated windows
with hoodmoulds. The upper parts of the west tower were rebuilt in granite in 1824
(Pevsner). 3-stage battlemented tower with diagonal buttresses and an internal north
west stair turret with slit windows. The buttresses have set-offs and rise to the
string course below the battlementing where they terminate in octagonal corner
pinnacles external to the parapet and are crowned with obelisk finials. The west
face has a shallow-moulded arched west doorway with a hoodmould and a 3-light C19
granite arched Perpendicular west window with a hoodmould formed by the rising
string. On the east face the string course rises to form the hoodmould of a tall
rectangular chamfered opening at bellringers stage which has a stanchion and saddle
bars. 2-light chamfered square-headed belfry openings to all 4 faces. The south
porch has a coped gable, slate roof and an almost round-headed doorway chamfered on
both sides. The porch has a canted boarded C19 roof, stone benches and a holy water
stoup. A rectangular recess in the porch was apparently a fireplace although the
chimney has since been blocked. Above the moulded arched circa early C16 inner
doorway is an order of C12 moulding with a saltire cross and billet decoration.
Circa late C16/early C17 studded door.
Interior. C19 timber chancel arch, widened at the south to take in the thickness of
the south wall. 6-bay C15 north arcade, 2 bays to the chancel with granite monolith
piers of 4 shafts and 4 hollow-chamfered arches. The north aisle is equal in width
to the chancel. The unmoulded tower arch rises above the apex of the C19 ceiled
waggon nave roof with ribs and bosses. Similar roofs to chancel and north aisle, the
north aisle roof carried straight through to the north chancel chapel. The C19
addition to the north chancel chapel has a single stone pier repeating the mouldings
of the C15 piers, supporting a double timber beam. The south chancel windows have
C14 internal masonry and C14 Beerstone inner arches, the mouldings dying into the
walls. Fine C14 Decorated double sedilia with deep cusping. Metal commandment
boards and good east wall tiling, probably 1860s. A fine C12 font with a square bowl
with chamfered corners below 4 carved heads with angular profiles has intersecting
round-headed blind arcading carved on the sides of the bowl with a leaf ornament and
frieze (qv Lifton). The bowl stands on a probably later chamfered stem and plinth.
3-bays of the late C15/early C16 rood screen are re-used as the tower screen,
including the doorway bay. Wholly Gothic in character, the screen has Pevsner A type
tracery, and deep blind tracery to the wainscot panels, wainscot paintings no longer
exist by but some traces of ancient colour survive on the screen. The coving and
rood loft have disappeared. A 1903 5-sided drum pulpit has open traceried panels on
a stem with struts. Circa late 1860s bench ends and choir stalls, the rectanular
bench ends with a variety of blind tracery designs and doors to each bench. The
north chancel chapel is dominated by a massive monument to Sir Thomas Wise of
Sydenham (av) died 1629, described by Pevsner as "One of the most ambitious monuments
in Devonshire". The monument is freestanding with 2 recmbent effigies on a Caen
stone base on a plinth with 4 pairs of Corinthian columns supporting a coffered arch
crowned with corner obelisks and armorial bearings. The soffit of the arch is
decorated with cherubim in panels. Other members of the Wise family, freestanding,
are positioned on the plinth, 2 three-quarter size kneeling figures face one another
across a prie-dieu at the head of the monument and a small girl in an armchair and a
baby in a cradle are on the south side. Some of the figures are not in their
original positions. Some ancient colour survives. An achievement, probably
originally part of the Wise monument is fixed to the west wall of the C19 addition,
consisting of a helmet with a lion crest, and a pair of gauntlets. 1661 painted
panel of the Royal Arms. Several C17 memorial slabs used as paving. Fixed to the
exterior west wall of the church is a good slate memorial to Grace Hawkins, died 1704
and Edward Hawkins, died 1713. 2 oval inscription panels with cherubim and skulls
and cross bones in the spandrels are divided by a central rectangular panel with
flowers, hourglass and deathshead carved in relief. Fixed to the south wall of the
chancel is a slate memorial to James Sergeant, died 1656 with an inscription and
verse within a decorated border. The survival of C14 work in the chancel is unusual
in the county, and the grandness of the Wise monument makes this an outstanding
Pevsner, South Devon
Devon Nineteenth century churches Project.

Listing NGR: SX4346882863

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