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HER Number:MDV1060
Name:St Peter's Parish Church, North Tawton


St Peter's parish church in North Tawton with a 13th century tower and 15th century features and restored in 19th century


Grid Reference:SS 664 017
Map Sheet:SS60SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNorth Tawton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH TAWTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5146
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS60SE/12
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Early Medieval to XIX - 1066 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

NMR, SS60SE28 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV338908.

Cresswell, B. F., 1920 - 1921, Milles' parochial collections for Devon, 322 (Article in Serial). SDV61326.

The roof of shingles or 'shindles', oak boards shaped like slates, survives from the 15th century.

Cresswell, B. F., 1927, Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders, 155 (Article in Serial). SDV124362.

Parish church of St Peter in North Tawton. Good example of a 14th century spire, and the church has retained the roofing of oak shingles or shindles, avoiding replacement by slate in restorations.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 131 (Monograph). SDV336196.

Much of the exterior is granite ashlar. Tower is in early English style, spire renovated 1900. Church has nave and two aisles and unceiled wagon roof. One bench end has arms of Champernowne family. Stained glass in north window.

Williams, H. F. F., 1954, North Tawton: A Devon Market Town, 123-4 (Article in Serial). SDV224896.

Rubble tower and granite walls with low spire and nave may date from 1257. Early English south aisle dates from about 1340 and perpendicular north aisle from about 1440. Restoration and additions in 19th century. Coats of arms of Champernoun, Valletort, Hankforth and Boutlair families in window in north aisle dating from about 1450. Modern granite font and oak pulpit. Porch of about 1450 and ancient oak door with ring in it. Detailed description of bells.18th century vault of Gostwyck family near north door.

Williams, H. F. F., 1954 - 1955, The Rectors of North Tawton, 20-4 (Article in Serial). SDV338907.

The patronage of the church is discussed and rectors from the 13th century to the present day are listed.

Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/BF, 10A,11 (Aerial Photograph). SDV267543.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GN, 10-11 (Aerial Photograph). SDV53114.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GO, 21-22 (Aerial Photograph). SDV15646.

Department of Environment, 1987, North Tawton, 55 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV227017.

Parish church of St Peter in North tawton. 13th and 15th century with early 16th century addition, restored in 1832 and/or 1842. Walls of stone rubble and granite ashlar. Gable ended slate roof, wood shingle roof to broach spire. Nave, chancel, north and south aisles, south porch and west tower. The tower is the earliest part of the church, dating from the 13th century. The nave and north aisle are 15th century and the south aisle and porch were added in the early 16th century. Chancel rebuilt and enlarged in 19th century - either 1832 or 1842 (sources differ), also in 1832 general restoration carried out including window tracery. In 1834 a fire in the town spread to the Church spire which was considerably damaged and was rebuilt at a lower height. Exterior: squat unbuttressed west tower with broach spire. On its south side are 4 small lancets with pointed arch beads. Large granite west doorway with 4-centred head and plain chamfer - probably a later insertion. Restored 3-light Perpendicular west window. Single arched lancet belfry opening. Single storey battlemented vestry, added in 1900, in angle between tower and north aisle. North aisle is of ashlar with buttresses between the windows. Five 3-light Perpendicular windows all with mullions renewed. Between the 2 westerly windows is a north doorway of moulded granite with 4-centred head and arched hoodmould. Pointed head image niche above. At east end of aisle is large 3-light restored Perpendicular window. Rebuilt chancel also of granite ashlar with 4-light Perpendicular style east window. South aisle, also of ashlar, has 5 early 16th century 3-light granite mullion windows with depressed 4-centred arch lights and straight heads with square hoodmoulds. Buttresses in between windows. Small ogee-headed granite priests doorway below eastern window of aisle. 1 storey gabled south porch has granite doorway with 4-centred head, moulded on inside and out. Interior: porch retains its wagon roof, partly restored, with moulded ribs and carved bosses and wall-plates. Granite south doorway with 4-centred head, roll and hollow moulding and deeply incised scroll stops. Probably contemporary heavy plank door. Two 6-bay granite arcades to north and south aisles with 4-centred arches and Pevsner A-Type piers, their capitals differ slightly. No tower or chancel arches. Internal walls are plastered. Late 15th or early 16th century open wagon roofs with moulded ribs, carved bosses and wall-plates. In the nave some late medieval carved bench ends survive - one with the arms of the Champernowne family. Gallery at west end has 18th century stairs leading to it and some 18th century panelling at the side but has been re-fronted. One late 18th century wall memorial on north wall to members of Kellend family who died 1781-5, it consists of a white marble plaque with black marble surround and urb above. The only surviving medieval glass is in the head of the central north window and depicts various angels holding coats of arms.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 604 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Exeter Archaeology, 2001, Archaeological Assessment of North Tawton Flood Defence Scheme, 12 (Report - Assessment). SDV319171.

Blaylock, S. R., 2002, Observations at St Nicholas' Church, Brushford, Somerset, 6-7 (Report - non-specific). SDV338883.

Surviving shingled roof on the spire of North Tawton parish church. A shingled main roof of the church was mentioned in 1927 but was not present on photographs on the early 20th century.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV124362Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1927. Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 155.
SDV15646Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GO. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 21-22.
SDV224896Article in Serial: Williams, H. F. F.. 1954. North Tawton: A Devon Market Town. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 86. A5 Hardback. 123-4.
SDV227017List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. North Tawton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 55.
SDV267543Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/BF. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10A,11.
SDV319171Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2001. Archaeological Assessment of North Tawton Flood Defence Scheme. Exeter Archaeology Report. 01.34. A4 Stapled + Digital. 12.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 604.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 131.
SDV338883Report - non-specific: Blaylock, S. R.. 2002. Observations at St Nicholas' Church, Brushford, Somerset. Exeter Archaeology Report. 02.68. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6-7.
SDV338907Article in Serial: Williams, H. F. F.. 1954 - 1955. The Rectors of North Tawton. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 26. Unknown. 20-4.
SDV338908National Monuments Record Database: NMR. SS60SE28. NMR Index. Card Index.
SDV53114Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GN. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10-11.
SDV61326Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1920 - 1921. Milles' parochial collections for Devon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 11 Part 1. Unknown. 322.

Associated Monuments

MDV4521Parent of: COMMEMORATIVE MONUMENT in the Parish of North Tawton (Monument)
MDV1058Related to: Cross west of St Peter's Church, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV21764Related to: North Tawton Borough (Monument)
MDV121335Related to: Possible cross shaft in churchyard, North Tawton (Monument)
MDV1059Related to: SUNDIAL in the Parish of North Tawton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 14 2018 1:19PM