History in Structure

Church of St Gregory

A Grade II* Listed Building in Newton Poppleford and Harpford, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7129 / 50°42'46"N

Longitude: -3.3062 / 3°18'22"W

OS Eastings: 307871

OS Northings: 91173

OS Grid: SY078911

Mapcode National: GBR P7.3LQ8

Mapcode Global: FRA 37Y6.CR8

Plus Code: 9C2RPM7V+4G

Entry Name: Church of St Gregory

Listing Date: 30 June 1961

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1328749

English Heritage Legacy ID: 352414

ID on this website: 101328749

Location: St Gregory's Church, Venn Ottery, East Devon, EX11

County: Devon

District: East Devon

Civil Parish: Newton Poppleford and Harpford

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Tipton St John with Venn Ottery

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

Tagged with: Church building

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4/92 Church of St. Gregory

Parish Church. Tower and font C15, the rest completely rebuilt in 1882 by Packham
and Groote of Exeter with woodcarving by Hems of Exeter. Tower is red conglomerate
stone rubble with massive dressed quoins, and detail of red conglomerate ashlar and
Beerstone ashlar; the rest is local stone randon rubble with Beerstone ashlar quoins
and details; slate roof with crested and pierced ridge tiles.
Small church. Only the west tower survives from the medieval church. Nave, chancel
and south porch are entirely 1882 work although some old work is reused in the
porch. The nave projects either side of the tower and is continuous with the
chancel although the roof of the latter is slightly lower. Both roofs are steeply
pitched and unusually tall.
Small unbuttressed C15 west tower in 2 stages with open putlog holes on all sides.
It has a chamfered plinth and the upper drip course is soffit-moulded below the
embattled parapet. The belfry windows have square-headed reveals and each contain
2-light windows with 3-centred heads and sunken spandrels. The stair turret is
internal on the north-western corner and has tiny plain slit windows. The west
doorway is of conglomerate ashlar, it is a 2-centred, almost round-headed, arch with
hollow-chamfered surround, and contains a C19 plank door. Directly above is a
restored 3-light Beerstone window with Perpendicular tracery, moulded hood and
external ferramenta. The south side includes a small rectangular light to the
ringing loft.
The rest of the church is C19. The roof eaves both sides are carried on a series of
shaped Beerstone corbel-like brackets. Near the left of the south side of the nave
is the porch; it is gabled with bargeboards and a terracotta ball finial at the
apex, and the outer arch is a reset late C15 - early C16 2-centred, almost round-
headed Beerstone arch with moulded surround. To right the nave has a single 2-light,
arch-headed window with Perpendicular tracery and a chimney shaft rises from the
south-east corner. The south side of the chancel contains a single lancet
containing an ogee arch of tracery and there is another identical opposite on the
north side. The east end has a shallow moulding under the gable and contains a 3-
light window with Perpendicular tracery and a small lancet ventilator above. The
north side of the nave contains 3 2-light windows with Perpendicular tracery.
Interior. The porch floor is made up of reset and very worn C18 and C19 slate
graveslabs and the roof is a C19 open common rafter roof. The south doorway is
another reset late C15 - early C16 Beerstone 2-centred, almost round-headed, arch
with moulded surround. It contains an ancient studded oak plank door with moulded
coverstrips and large strap hinges. It was rebacked and reset in the C19.
The nave has a very tall 3-bay open roof backed with pine boards and carried on 2
arch-braced king post trusses and there is a similar 2-bay roof to the chancel. All
the trusses spring from carved Beerstone corbels. The tall plastered tower arch has
a chamfered soffit drying into the responds. C19 Beerstone chancel has a double-
chamfered arch ring, the inner arch has a moulded cap on a half-engaged column
resting high up on a corbel. Red and black tile floor.
C17 oak table as altar with turned baluster-like legs and a chip-carved arcade. C19
carved oak reredos comprising a blind arcade with carved foliage in the spandrels
and the centre panel taller with an ogee arch, crocketted finials and poppyhead/C19
oak credence to left in Gothic style. Contemporary oak altar rail with wrought iron
standards and scroll brackets with repousses fleur-de-lys and roses. The pine
stalls have open Gothic arcades across the fronts and medieval-style carved bench
ends. Some indeed are reused late C15 - early C16 bench ends and of high quality
with moulded frames. One bears the initials BH. Large Gothic pulpit; octagonal drum
pulpit with sunken quatrefoil panels containing carved symbols of the evangelists
and a sacred monogram. C19 brass lectern with twisted stem and scroll legs on
marble base. C19 pine benches with carved bench ends. Again some are reused oak
late C15 - early C16 bench ends of high quality; they have moulded frames and are
carved with a mixture of blind reticulated tracery and carved foliage. One bears
the initials MB and TD and another the intials SQ. The C19 bench ends are carved in
a similar style but are much bolder. C15 Beerstone font is plain and unadorned. It
has an octagonal bowl, coved underneath to the plain stem and a chamfered base. The
ogee-shaped oak hood is C17. C19 pine Gothic-style tower screen.
The chancel has some plain C19 marble mural monuments in memory of members of the
Mundy Family. 2 graveslabs have been set against the tower arch responds, one in
memory of S. Marshall Ayers (died 1708) and another in memory of his wife Elizabeth
(d.1715) and another Marshall Ayers (d.1720) and both have different heraldic
achievements. The east window has good stained glass of 1913 in memory of Augustus
Montague Toplady, author of the hymn 'Rock of Ages' and Vicar of Harpford and Venn
Ottery 1766 - 68. The other windows have plain diamond panes of leaded glass with
green-coloured margin panes. 3 bells; the treble recast in 1844, the second recast
in 1657 by John Pennington of Exeter and the tenor is late C15 by an unknown Exeter
founder with the intitials I or LT. The bell frame was rebuilt in 1900.
This small church is attractively situated. The tower is all that remains of the
medieval fabric. The rest was rebuilt in 1882. The carved late C15 - early C16
bench ends are the most notable feature of the church.
Source. Venn Ottery, A brief historical survey. A. J. Prowse (undated). Devon C19
Church Project.

Listing NGR: SY0787191173

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