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HER Number:MDV10628
Name:St. Margaret and St. Andrew's Church, Littleham, Exmouth


The parish church is generally 15th century in date but contains earlier work including a piscina probably dated to circa 1200. The principal feature is the medieval screen. The church was restored in 1884, including the screen. The north or Drake aisle, which was built in the 16th century, now contains some 15th century glass found during the restoration including a figure of St. Roche, patron saint of plague sufferers.


Grid Reference:SY 029 812
Map Sheet:SY08SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExmouth
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLITTLEHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 4853
  • National Monuments Record: 448668
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY08SW/12
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SY08SW14

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Early Medieval to XXI - 1066 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 15/06/1978, Exmouth (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV131898.

Generally 15th century perpendicular but south chancel arches probably 14th century and traces of13th century work also in chancel. West tower begun 1528. Nave, south chapel and porch and north aisle. Stone with stone tiled roof. Late 15th century screens. Wall monument in south chapel to Frances Herbert Lady Nelson by Turnerelli. Altar rails of circa1700. Some 15th century stained glass and three south windows by Kempe 1893. South porch has sundial of 1780 above entrance and a reset mass scratch dial. Church restored 1884.

Brushfield, T. N., 1892, The Church of All Saints, East Budleigh. Part 2, 290 (Article in Serial). SDV15399.

The Littleham parish accounts for 1651 record receipt of a payment from the parish of Sidmouth towards the casting of a bell after their own bell was cast.

Brushfield, T. N., 1894, The Churchwardens' Accounts of East Budleigh, 363,368 (Article in Serial). SDV107199.

The only records of musical instruments between 1628 and 1776 consist of a pitch pipe supplied in 1760 and three sets of strings for a bass viol between 1772 and 1776. According to the churchwarden's accounts the old painting of the royal arms was replaced by a new one in the early part of the 18th century.

Reichel, O. J., 1895, Hulham Manor, 424 (Article in Serial). SDV349606.

A tablet in the church mentions the death of Thomas Trevilian of Liverton in 1740, aged 88 years.

Reichel, O. J., 1898, The Domesday Churches of Devon, 308,310 (Article in Serial). SDV863.

It is thought that the out-county church of Horton Abbey, which owned Littleham Manor at the time of the Domesday Survey, must have had an oratory in Littleham at that time.

Bligh Bond, F., 1903, Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts. Part II, 472 (Article in Serial). SDV6113.

Rood screen of early and interesting type, the traceried lights are of Perpendicular character but the lower panels exhibit graceful designs of an earlier and less restrained type. Bond states that the screen was much spoilt by the restoration in 1886. The parclose to the north aisle chapel is ungroined but has linen panels in the lower portion and delicate hand carving over.

Whitley, H. M., 1910, Visitations of Devonshire Churches, 471-472 (Article in Serial). SDV167843.

An episcopal visitation made in July 1330 found the state of the building to be reasonable apart from the need for glass in some of the windows.

Chanter, J. F., 1924-1925, Chapel of St. Anne, Exmouth, 112 (Article in Serial). SDV349614.

Early Papal registers show that the original dedication was to St. Andrew alone.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 424 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Moorhouse, H. F., 1961, Report of the Parochial History Section. Littleham Church, 53 (Article in Serial). SDV349626.

The fabric is one of the most interesting in Devon. There is a 13th century piscina with a square and round bowl. The Drake aisle contains old pieces of glass found during the 1884 restoration which put together formed nearly three complete 15th century figures including St. Roche, patron saint of plague sufferers.

Dixon, J. M., 1971-1973, Churchwarden's Accounts, 8-13 (Article in Serial). SDV349627.

Discussion of churchwarden's accounts of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Fletcher, M. J., 2010, Report on the Archaeological Recording and Monitoring of part of the Churchyard Wall at the Parish Church of St Margaret and St Andrew, Littleham cum Exmouth, Devon (Report - Watching Brief). SDV348127.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Parish Church of St. Margaret and St. Andrew.
DATES OF MAIN PHASES, NAME OF ARCHITECT: 13th-century chancel, perhaps 14th-century arcades to the chapels, the remainder Perpendicular but with rebuilding of the N aisle and chancel arch and addition of the vestry at the 1883-4 restoration by R. Medley Fulford.
MATERIALS: Local rubble with limestone dressings. Slate roofs
PLAN: West tower, nave, chancel, south porch, north aisle, north and south chapels, north-east vestry.
EXTERIOR: The most prominent feature is the two-stage west tower. It has diagonal buttresses to the lower storey, a plain west doorway and a three-light Perpendicular window over it. The belfry stage has small, two-light Perpendicular windows. The tower terminates in an embattled parapet. There is no south aisle but in centre of the nave there is a two-storey south porch with a round-arched, plain entrance, above which is a two-light square-headed window. Either side of the porch is a three-light square-headed window (enlarged 1911). In the south-east wall of the nave is a small circular, trefoiled opening. The south chapel, under its own gable, has a three-light square-headed window in the west part of its south wall, like those in the nave. Between it and a two-light traceried window is a distinctive, boldly-detailed south entrance set between two heavy buttresses with offsets (this is said to be the work of Fulford and has the date 1888 (later than the main restoration) above its head). The chapel and chancel east windows each have three-lights but with differing tracery details. At the north-east corner is an 1880s vestry with a hipped roof. The north aisle/chapel, also under their own gable have three-light, square-headed windows on its north side and three-light pointed windows at their east and west ends.
INTERIOR: The walls are plastered and whitened. The north aisle is wide and is separated from the nave by a four-bay arcade of a standard Devon type with lozenge-shaped piers of Beer stone with shafts in the cardinal directions and wave mouldings between. The capitals have carved foliage and the arches above are moulded. The chancel aisles and chancel are separated by two-bay arcades which have very squat piers and no capitals, the chamfering of the arches being continued into the piers. The roofs date from Medley¿s restoration but that in the chancel re-uses medieval bosses.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The principal feature is the screen stretching across both nave and aisle. It is medieval but was extensively restored by Harry Hems of Exeter at the 1880s restoration when the vaulting was added. Curiously, the nave part of the screen is asymmetrical with two bays north of the entrance to the chancel and one south of it. It is vaulted, has four-light traceried openings and a wainscot with intricate tracery patterning. The parclose screens are largely medieval, have four-light divisions with Decorated-style tracery and, in the wainscot, linenfold decoration, suggesting a 16th-century date. The altar rails are of circa 1700. In the south-east part of the chancel is a 13th-century double piscina. The late medieval font has an octagonal bowl with saltire cross decoration and a round base surrounded by polygonal columns. In thenorth aisle are the remnants of three late medieval stained glass figures depicting Christ showing his wounds, St Roche and St Michael. The east window is by Clayton and Bell, 1883. The windows either side of the south porch, with opulently draped figures in the main lights, are of 1911 and were designed by G H Fellowes Prynne and made by Percy Bacon Bros. There are also three windows by Kempe dating from 1893 (north), 1906 and 1910 (south). The walls have many early 19th-century wall monuments, none of individual great significance but forming a good ensemble: they include one on the E wall of the S chapel to Viscountess Nelson (died 1831), widow of the admiral, by the well-known sculptor Peter Turnerelli and shows a mourning woman at a sarcophagus (she is buried in the churchyard).
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: In the churchyard,south-west of the church, is a Celtic cross First World War memorial. Furthersouth-west is the lychgate of 1901. Beside it is a room that was until 1883-4 the only vestry.
HISTORY: A church at Littleham is first mentioned in 1149. The earliest visual evidence for a church on the site is in the chancel in the form of the double piscina. It dates from the 13th century, as did a lancet window in the chancel, discovered at the 1880s restoration. The chancel arcades may date from the 14th century but otherwise the building is late medieval, from the Perpendicular period. Restoration came to the church relatively late in the Victorian era with R. Medley Fulford's scheme in the 1880s. The church was then reseated, the rood screen restored, the roofs renewed and the north aisle and chancel arch rebuilt. Some reordering took place in 1998 when the font was moved from the west end, a glass screen installed between the nave and ringing chamber and various floor levels adjusted.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The church of St Margaret and St Andrew, Exmouth, is designated at Grade II* for the following principal reasons: * It is of very considerable interest as a largely medieval church with a structural history that can be traced back to the 13th century in the visible fabric. The main imprint, however, is later and is the result of late medieval work in the Perpendicular style. * It contains much interest, mostly notably the vaulted late medieval rood screen and the parclose screens. It also has surviving medieval stained glass and a collection of Victorian and Edwardian stained glass by well-known makers. There is also a collection of early 19th-century monuments, including one to Lord Nelson's widow. Date listed: 6th December 1949.

Pink, F., 2014-2015, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment (Interpretation). SDV357736.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 25/04/1950, SY08SW14 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV349623.

Littleham Parish Church of St. Margaret and St. Andrew has a long history. The oldest remaining parts are the chancel and piscina which are dated no later than 1250. The fact that one basin of the piscina is round and the other square suggests a probable date of 1200. The last addition to the north aisle of the north aisle was built in 1528. The plan and structure have remained unaltered for 400 years.
The church is claimed to be the oldest in the area for a church at Littleham is mentioned in a Bull of Eugenius in 1146. The only possible relic is a scratch dial on the right of the front of the porch. An inventory of 1553 records four bells but none of these survive. The present eight bells were hung or rehung in 1926 and the first eight bell peal was rung in 1931. The design of the font is 13th century or earlier, although the lower part is probably 15th century. The eight panels with Saltire Crosses appear modern, possibly replacing older ones. The 15th century roof, found concealed behind a plaster ceiling at the time of the restoration, was unfortunately too perished to be retained but the original hammer beams were copied, pitched a little higher, and the original carved oak bosses and angels were refixed. The nave is 15th century and divided from the north aisle with beer stone columns with capitals of unusual design. The lectern dates from 1884 and is carved from an 13th century oak beam from the choir of Salisbury Cathedral. The north or Drake's aisle was built in the family in the 16th century. A faculty for its erection survives dated 6th March 1528. The Lady Chapel was probably in the part now occupied by the organ. The rood screen was probably built at the same time. The many letters inscribed on the screen are probably the initials of subscribers. The western south window was enlarged at some time and restored to its proper size in 1884. Both south windows were then enlarged in 1911. The windows of the Chantry Chapel are perpendicular in style but the glass is modern. Its east window was inserted circa 1450 to replace the original lancet window. The oldest dated stone is a memorial to the Drake family and bears the date 1553. There are many other memorials to the Drake family. One the east wall of the Chantry Chapel is a memorial to Lady Nelson by P. Turnerelli. She and her son are buried in the churchyard. The lych gate was built in 1901 (citing Notes on Littleham Parish Church).

Sources / Further Reading

SDV107199Article in Serial: Brushfield, T. N.. 1894. The Churchwardens' Accounts of East Budleigh. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 26. Unknown. 363,368.
SDV131898List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 15/06/1978. Exmouth. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound.
SDV15399Article in Serial: Brushfield, T. N.. 1892. The Church of All Saints, East Budleigh. Part 2. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 24. Unknown. 290.
SDV167843Article in Serial: Whitley, H. M.. 1910. Visitations of Devonshire Churches. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 42. A5 Hardback. 471-472.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 424.
SDV348127Report - Watching Brief: Fletcher, M. J.. 2010. Report on the Archaeological Recording and Monitoring of part of the Churchyard Wall at the Parish Church of St Margaret and St Andrew, Littleham cum Exmouth, Devon. Martin Fletcher Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV349606Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1895. Hulham Manor. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 27. A5 Hardback. 424.
SDV349614Article in Serial: Chanter, J. F.. 1924-1925. Chapel of St. Anne, Exmouth. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 13. Unknown. 112.
SDV349623Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 25/04/1950. SY08SW14. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV349626Article in Serial: Moorhouse, H. F.. 1961. Report of the Parochial History Section. Littleham Church. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 93. A5 Hardback. 53.
SDV349627Article in Serial: Dixon, J. M.. 1971-1973. Churchwarden's Accounts. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 32. Unknown. 8-13.
SDV357736Interpretation: Pink, F.. 2014-2015. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV6113Article in Serial: Bligh Bond, F.. 1903. Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts. Part II. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 35. Digital. 472.
SDV863Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1898. The Domesday Churches of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 30. A5 Paperback. 308,310.

Associated Monuments

MDV10634Parent of: Scratch Sundial at Littleham Parish Church (Monument)
MDV10636Related to: Church House, Littleham (Monument)
MDV42972Related to: Cockpit in Littleham Churchyard (Monument)
MDV23576Related to: Lychgate to St. Margaret and St. Andrew's Church, Littleham (Monument)
MDV10635Related to: Seats in Littleham Churchyard (Monument)
MDV112441Related to: St. Margaret and St. Andew's Churchyard, Littleham (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Sep 20 2017 4:28PM