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Latitude: 51.02 / 51°1'11"N
Longitude: -4.2063 / 4°12'22"W
OS Eastings: 245351
OS Northings: 126826
OS Grid: SS453268
Mapcode National: GBR KJ.J46S
Mapcode Global: FRA 262F.343
Entry Name: Lavington United Reformed Church
Listing Date: 19 April 1993
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1355163
English Heritage Legacy ID: 375761
Location: Bideford, Torridge, Devon, EX39
Civil Parish: Bideford
Built-Up Area: Bideford
Traditional County: Devon
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon
Church of England Parish: Bideford St Mary
Church of England Diocese: Exeter
SS4526 BRIDGELAND STREET
842-1/5/31 (North side)
Lavington United Reformed Church
Chapel. 1856-9 by EM White of Bideford. Coursed stone rubble
with details in limestone (possibly Beer stone). Slate roof.
A simple oblong plan with vestibule at south (entrance) end
and small square apse (now containing the organ) on the north;
main body of chapel galleried, with rostrum at north end.
Exotic design in Gothic style. Front has 3-window gabled
centre with low gabled entrance-porch below the middle window.
At either side a square, projecting tower with octagonal
steeple, each corner of the tower carrying a tall octagonal
Entrance-porch has pointed-arched doorway with multiple
mouldings springing from paired shafts; double-doors with
traceried panels and ornate strap-hinges. Porch buttressed at
either side; gable has kneelers and carved finial, the latter
surmounted by a cross. Behind it, 3 very tall windows with
pointed arches, the centre window with 3 transomed lights,
those at either side with 2; all have head-tracery, including
the lower lights of the centre window. All 3 windows have
coloured leaded glass. In the gable a small traceried light
with pointed head; carved stone cross on the apex above it.
Towers each have a 2-light window, a plainer version of those
in the centre; above it a round stone panel enclosing a
quatrefoil. On the inner face of each tower is a doorway with
4-centred arch; plank door with ornate iron strap-hinges.
Towers finished with heavily-moulded cornices having at each
front corner and the 2 outer rear corners (the others not
visible) a large gargoyle in the form of male and female
heads; above the cornices open traceried balustrades with
crenellated tops. Finials are plain, consisting of a base with
moulded cornice, from which rises an obelisk. Spires divided
into 6 stages by moulded stringcourses, the lowest stage with
4 lucarnes; carved finials at the top, that to right carrying
an elaborate iron cross.
On the base of the left tower is a stone plaque inscribed THE
GREAT MEETING-HOUSE WAS BUILT A.D. 1696. In a similar position
on the right tower is a plaque inscribed THIS PLACE OF WORSHIP
WAS ERECTED A.D. 1856. E. M. W. ARCH. Rear elevation, visible
from the Ropewalk, has a large 3-light traceried window in the
apse and a round traceried window at either side.
INTERIOR: pew-ends, gallery and rostrum-fronts with wood
Gothic panelling; gallery carried on triple-shafted cast-iron
columns. Organ has elaborate wooden Gothic case. Roof of main
body of chapel low-pitched with moulded beams; that of apse
has arch-traced trusses with open Gothic tracery in the
spandrels. For a brief description of the interior soon after
it was built, see The Bideford Weekly Gazette, 24.12.1861, p4.
The chapel is said to contain a clock which is a relic of the
White was both the architect and the builder. The chapel,
which was originally called the Lavington Chapel (after Samuel
Lavington, pastor of the Bideford 'Great Meeting', 1753-1807),
replaced the Independent Chapel of 1696 on the same site;
together with the adjacent schoolroom it was estimated to have
cost about ¯2000. Alterations, mainly a new heating system and
an enlargement of the organ gallery, were made by RT Hookway
of Bideford in 1884.
(Bideford Weekly Gazette: 1858-1884: 4.5.1858,24.4.1859; The
Great Meeting, Bideford 1648-1948: Bideford: 1948-; Billing M:
Directory of Devon: 1857-: P.326).
Listing NGR: SS4535126826
This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.
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