History in Structure

This site is entirely user-supported. See how you can help.

Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A Grade II* Listed Building in Aylesbeare, Devon

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 50.7192 / 50°43'9"N

Longitude: -3.3645 / 3°21'52"W

OS Eastings: 303769

OS Northings: 91952

OS Grid: SY037919

Mapcode National: GBR P5.C8XN

Mapcode Global: FRA 37V5.M1Z

Plus Code: 9C2RPJ9P+M5

Entry Name: Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Listing Date: 30 June 1961

Last Amended: 26 May 1987

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1328734

English Heritage Legacy ID: 352328

Location: Aylesbeare, East Devon, Devon, EX5

County: Devon

District: East Devon

Civil Parish: Aylesbeare

Built-Up Area: Aylesbeare

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Aylesbeare Blessed Virgin Mary

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Church building

Find accommodation in



3/7 Church of the Blessed
- Virgin Mary (formerly listed as
30.6.61 Church of St Mary)


Parish Church. C14 font and part of chancel may be contemporary; tower and north
aisle are C15; chancel includes some late C15 - early C16 detail; chancel and roofs
restored circa 1840 with new benches and fittings; major renovation of nave and
porch rebuilt 1896-7 by E H Harbottle; tower restored in 1924 by Harbottle-Reed.
Nave, chancel and aisle of random local stone rubble and aisle has large dressed
quoins of red conglomerate stone and cream sandstone; tower of red conglomerate
rubble laid to courses with dressed quoins of red conglomerate stone and Beerstone;
parts of tower and chancel are roughcast; original detail and tower restoration
detail of Beerstone, other restoration detail of Bathstone; slate roofs and nave has
crested ridgetiles.
The chancel may contain some C14 fabric but none is evident. The nave is slightly
wider and taller. The south wall appears to have been rebuilt in C19 with the south
porch. The north aisle and west tower are largely original. The tower is unusual
having opposing north and south doorways, apparently this was needed to provide a
way through since the west end was formerly on the churchyard boundary.
Perpendicular style throughout.
Tall west tower of 2 stages with low diagonal buttresses and embattled parapet.
Semi-octagonal stair turret with tiny plain slit windows. It rises above the main
tower with its own embattled parapet. Carved Beerstone gargoyle water spouts
survive on 3 corners. Arch-headed 2-light belfry windows with cusped tracery are
mostly replacements although the eastern one may be original. On the north side is
a small trefoil-headed lancet to the ringing loft, and on the south side is another
larger example with its original trefoil head, sunken spandrels and square-headed
hood. The west side has a 3-light window with Perpendicular tracery; it is mostly
replacement work. The north and south doorways however are original; 2-centred
arches with richly-moulded surrounds and hoodmoulds. The south door is a studded
plank door with moulded cover strips and large plain strap hinges; it may be C17 or
C18. The north door is hidden by a C20 tool-shed.
Most of the south side of the nave was probably rebuilt in the C19 although the
large dressed quoins at the left end and the projecting rood stair turret, at the
right end are probably C15 work The 3 windows are all C19 Bathstone 2-lights with
ogee heads, Perpendicular-style tracery and moulded hoods. The south porch, left of
centre, is also C19 but reuses some medieval material. It is gabled with the
Bathstone apex block bearing the initials BVM (twice) and AE. The kneelers and some
of the coping has been replaced with C20 concrete. The outer arch has reused
moulded jambs of volcanic stone but the 2-centred arch is C19. The east wall
includes a reset Beerstone lancet. The rood turret projects square and contains a
tiny round-headed lancet made from a single block of stone.
The south side of the chancel is roughcast and contains a narrow priests door with
2-centred head which was repaired in the C19. To left is an early C16 Beerstone
square-headed 2-light window. The cinquefoil heads and hoodmould have also been
repaired in the C19. To right is another similar but this is entirely C19 and
Bathstone. The east end has C19 corner diagonal buttresses of red conglomerate
ashlar, contemporary Bathstone kneelers, coping and apex Latin cross and a Bathstone
3-light window with Perpendicular tracery, moulded hood and large carved oak-leaf
labels. The north aisle appears to have very little restoration. The walls are
random rubble with large dressed quoins. All the windows are Beerstone, 3 lights
with Perpendicular tracery. There are 3 on the north side with restored buttresses
between and 1 more each end.
Interior. The porch has a cobbled floor and C19 roof. The south door is restored
C15 work of Beerstone and red sandstone; a flat arch with chamfered surround. The
door is probably C17; a plank door with scratch-moulded cover strips, original
ferramenta including plain strap hinges and a large oak lock housing.
Both nave and aisle have plain ceiled barrel-vaulted roofs with C19 wall plates.
There is no chancel arch. A C19 arch-braced truss drops the roof line to the
chancel. Here is a ceiled wagon roof of 2 main bays, each sub-divided into a series
of square panels with carved oak or moulded plaster bosses and a delicate open
crestwork wall plate. Because the roof is painted it is impossible to see if any
medieval carpentry survives. Tower interior was inaccessible at time of survey.
Tall tower arch with a double-chamfered arch ring dying into the plain sides. 3-bay
Beerstone arcade between nave and aisle. The piers are moulded (Pevsner's type B)
with carved foliate capitals and the cap of the eastern respond includes and angel
holding a shield. There is a fourth arch through the thicker wall between the
chancel and eastern end of the aisle. The arch is lined with Beerstone ashlar and
has 2 sets of trefoil-headed panels separated and flanked by half-engaged columns
with plain caps. The west side is mutilated by a squint cut through from a now-
disused rood stair rising in the thickness of the chancel wall from the aisle where
there is a Beerstone segmental-headed doorway with a rebated surround and carved
foliage in the spandrels. The south nave has a plain flat arched doorway to the
disused rood stair there. The north aisle has hollow-chamfered Beerstone rear
arches to the windows; elsewhere they are Bathstone. The flag floor includes some
C17 and C18 grave slabs but most are fragmentary.
C19 oak reredos and altar both carved in Gothic style. To right the original
piscina given a C19 Beerstone surround with cusped ogee arch and poppyhead finial.
C19 oak altar rail, Gothic style softwood stalls with poppyhead finials, plain
lectern and plain deal benches. The pulpit is a C19 refurbishment of an C18
octagonal drum pulpit with fielded panel sides and the front panel enriched with an
inlaid marquetry sunburst. Good C14 Beerstone font with an octagonal bowl with
panelled quatrefoils on the sides and carved foliage around the base, octagonal stem
and hollow-chamfered base. C17 oak font cover with a broken ogee profile. Good Cl7
oak chest to rear of aisle; its panelled front richly decorate with chip-carving and
inscribed with the initials MW.
The mural monuments are all late C18 and Cl9. The grandest, to south of the chancel,
in memory of Edward Lloyd Kenyon (d.1843), comprises a Tudor Gothic style Beerstone
frame and large white marble panel carved in bas relief as a mother and daughter
weeping over the inscribed grave. It is signed E B Stephens Sc., Upper Belgrave
Place, London. Plain plaques nearby to the Carwithen family (circa 1905) and the
Marker family (circa 1812 and circa 1865). On the north side is another marble
monument with Beerstone Tudor Gothic style frame in memory of Henry and Margaretta
Marker (d. 1811 and 1846). It is flanked by early C20 memorials to the Bruton
family, both white marble with alabaster frames and similar to the First World War
memorial in the nave and the Ruth Loram memorial in the aisle (d. 1919). Other
marble plaques in memory of the Stoke family of Minchen Court (1771-1789), Henry and
Mary Pitt (both died 1849), Hugh Bennet of Rosamondford (d. 1797), Samuel and Sarah
Walker (1834-1830). Some of glass in the north aisle windows maybe C18 and some
fragments of coloured glass in the tracery maybe earlier. Good C19 stained glass in
east window and 2 late C19 stained and hammered glass on south side.
The font is the only feature earlier than the C15. The tower is the best feature of
an otherwise unremarkable Perpendicular church which was heavily restored in the
Source: C19 Church Project

Listing NGR: SY0376991952

This List entry has been amended to add sources for War Memorials Online and the War Memorials Register. These sources were not used in the compilation of this List entry but are added here as a guide for further reading, 30 October 2017.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.