HeritageGateway - Home

Login  |  Register
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.


HER Number:MDV10661
Name:Church of St. John in the Wilderness, Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth

Summary

A chapel stood here in the 13th century. The present structure is, however,15th century but was partly demolished in 1788 and rebuilt and restored in 1928.

Location

Grid Reference:SY 028 833
Map Sheet:SY08SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExmouth
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWITHYCOMBE RALEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 4865
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY08SW/34
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*)
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SY08SW5

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Saxon - 701 AD to 1065 AD (Between))

Full description

Department of Environment, 15/06/1978, Exmouth, 35 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV131898.

Originally the 15th century parish church, largely demolished circa 1748. The tower and part of the north aisle remained but the rest has been skilfully reconstructed. The west tower is of sandstone with a crenellated parapet. String courses, angle buttresses and polygonal staircase turret. Church windows generally perpendicular style. Small 2 bay chancel. Inside, a carved 15th century capital remains at the west end of the nave arcade. Said to have been founded in the 13th century but some Norman fragments on a window sill.


Pengelley, W., 1876, Devonshire Gleanings from 'Notes and Queries', 670 (Article in Serial). SDV348929.

St John's in the Wilderness was described in 1851 as in a dilapidated condition, used only for funerals and the occasional wedding or baptism, although regarded as mother church of others in the vicinity. The south aisle was removed some years ago and that side has a ruinous appearance, especially due to lack of glass in the fine tower window.


Brushfield, T. N., 1896, Raleghana, 285, 288 (Article in Serial). SDV349671.

George Raleigh who died in 1597 was buried at the north-east corner of the north aisle. Dean Milles records 'At the North east corner of ye North isle on a flat stone is this inscription to George, the eldest son of Walter Raleigh, and eldest Brother, by a first wife, to ye famous Sr Walter: "Here lytheth the body of George Raleight of Fardhill Esquier who departed this life the xvjth day of Februarie, and in the yere of oure Lorde One thousand, five Hundred ninety and seven"'.
Also within St. John in the Wilderness is the burial and epitaph of John Raleigh. There is no entry referring to him in the registers. Dean Milles, however, records 'In the middle of ye Alley of ye North Isle on a flat gravestone, on which is carved a cross, is ye following inscription: "Of your cheryte pray of ye soll of Johan Ralyghe (Paternoster and Ave) who departed ye 15th daye of December mvcxxix"'.


Reichel, O. J., 1914-1915, Parochial Chapelries and Licensed Chapelries, 206 (Article in Serial). SDV349668.

Cited as an example of a paorchial chapelry as distinct from a licensed chapelry. It was asigned to East Budleigh, its mother church.


Tobin, F. G., 1914-1915, Raleigh and Drake Inscriptions in St. John's in the Wilderness, 46-47 (Article in Serial). SDV349673.

Memorial inscriptions to members of the Raleigh family may have lain beneath the damaged building at the time of wiriting. These were first referred to in the 18th century


Reichel, O. J., 1914-1915, Raleigh and Drake Inscriptions in St. John's in the Wilderness, 82 (Article in Serial). SDV349650.


M. A. P., 1914-1915, Raleigh Inscriptions in St. John's in the Wilderness, 100-103 (Article in Serial). SDV349674.


Barrow, R., 1914-1915, St. Johns-in-the-Wilderness, 97, Plate (Article in Serial). SDV349669.

During work on rebuilding the nave and chancel, pulled down in 1778, fragments of Norman work were found, possibly from an earlier building on the same site.


Cresswell, B. F., 1918-1919, Sepulchral Slabs with Crosses in Devon Churches, 9 (Article in Serial). SDV7613.


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

According to entries in the papal registers the original dedication was to John the Baptist, not to St. John in the Wilderness of Egypt or to St. Michael.


Wilkin, W. H., 1934-1935, The Royal Arms in Churches, 55, 58 (Article in Serial). SDV349670.

Contains examples of 17th century Royal Arms.


Lega-Weekes, E., 1937, The History of St. Katherine's Priory, Polsloe, Part 3, 454-458 (Article in Serial). SDV4220.

Possibly built on Saxon site. The present structure is late 15th century, partly demolished in 1788, and restored in 1928 by Mr Herbert Read. Mr Read was convinced that there had been a previous church on the site. He found masonry foundations of a wall running the whole length beneath the arcade now dividing the north aisle from the nave. The masonry had been cut through and mutilated in several places to make vaults. Probably Norman. Four or five carved stones were salvaged when the filling (containing many re-used stones) was removed from the arcade and tower-arch. A fragment of cusping was found mbedded in the restored walling which might be Early English. Broken parts of a Norman piscina and a large fragment carved with a four-pointed star between four pellets enclosed in a rectangular border, once continuous, were also found. The arcade dates from the second half of the 15th century.


Reichel, O. J., 1939, The Church and the Hundreds in Devon, 340 (Article in Serial). SDV15424.

There may have been a Saxon church here which was the church for what were afterwards four parishes.


Weddell, P. J., 1986, The Excavation of Medieval and Later Houses and St. Margaret's Chapel, Exmouth 1982-1984, 115 (Article in Serial). SDV109145.

A chapel existed here by 1288. A petition to the Pope in 1414 from the parishioners living in Exmouth outlined the dangers of travelling the 1.5 miles to the chapel. They petitioned for a chapel of St. Ann, which was probably never built.


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


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

Church of St. John in the Wilderness. Originally the 15th century parish church, largely demolished circa 1748. The tower and part of the north aisle remained but the rest has been skilfully reconstructed. West tower of sandstone with crenellated parapet. String courses, angle buttresses and polygonal staircase turret. Church windows generally Perpendicular style. Small 2 bay chancel. Inside, a carved 15th century capital remains at the west end of the nave arcade. Said to have been founded in the 13th century but some Norman fragments on a window sill. Date listed: 6th December 1949.


Delderfield, E. R., Unknown, Exmouth Milestones, 188-190 (Monograph). SDV349642.


Ward Lock, Unknown, Guide to Sidmouth, 24 (Monograph). SDV349666.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SY08SW5 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV349667.

Site visit 25th April 1950. Due to restoration, little of the 15th century remains. The tower and north aisle have older stone-work than the rest, but have been rebuilt. Of the six north aisle windows, two are wholly modern, three are modern except for 15th century tracery, one is an early triple lancet with a modern mullion. Fragments of sculptured stone lie against the west wall. Inside is alleged Anglo-Saxon stone-work, but this is doubtful. Font of doubtful AD911 date, has been refaced.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV109145Article in Serial: Weddell, P. J.. 1986. The Excavation of Medieval and Later Houses and St. Margaret's Chapel, Exmouth 1982-1984. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 44. Paperback Volume. 115.
SDV131898List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 15/06/1978. Exmouth. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 35.
SDV15424Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1939. The Church and the Hundreds in Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 71. A5 Paperback. 340.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV348929Article in Serial: Pengelley, W.. 1876. Devonshire Gleanings from 'Notes and Queries'. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 8. Unknown. 670.
SDV349614Article in Serial: Chanter, J. F.. 1924-1925. Chapel of St. Anne, Exmouth. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 13. Unknown. 112.
SDV349642Monograph: Delderfield, E. R.. Unknown. Exmouth Milestones. Unknown. 188-190.
SDV349650Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1914-1915. Raleigh and Drake Inscriptions in St. John's in the Wilderness. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 8.1. Unknown. 82.
SDV349666Monograph: Ward Lock. Unknown. Guide to Sidmouth. Unknown. 24.
SDV349667Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SY08SW5. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV349668Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1914-1915. Parochial Chapelries and Licensed Chapelries. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 8.1. Unknown. 206.
SDV349669Article in Serial: Barrow, R.. 1914-1915. St. Johns-in-the-Wilderness. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 14. Unknown. 97, Plate.
SDV349670Article in Serial: Wilkin, W. H.. 1934-1935. The Royal Arms in Churches. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 18. Unknown. 55, 58.
SDV349671Article in Serial: Brushfield, T. N.. 1896. Raleghana. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 28. Unknown. 285, 288.
SDV349673Article in Serial: Tobin, F. G.. 1914-1915. Raleigh and Drake Inscriptions in St. John's in the Wilderness. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 8.1. Unknown. 46-47.
SDV349674Article in Serial: M. A. P.. 1914-1915. Raleigh Inscriptions in St. John's in the Wilderness. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 8.1. Unknown. 100-103.
SDV4220Article in Serial: Lega-Weekes, E.. 1937. The History of St. Katherine's Priory, Polsloe, Part 3. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 69. 454-458.
SDV7613Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1918-1919. Sepulchral Slabs with Crosses in Devon Churches. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 10.1. Unknown. 9.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Nov 23 2017 11:53AM