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HER Number:MDV10738
Name:St Peter & St Giles Parish Church, Sidbury

Summary

St Giles parish church in Sidbury with a Saxon crypt & Norman features which was rebuilt in the 14th to 15th century & restored in the 19th century

Location

Grid Reference:SY 139 917
Map Sheet:SY19SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSidmouth
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSIDBURY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5022
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY19SW/5
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 401965

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (VIII to XXI - 701 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Allen, J., Sidbury Church Parish Guide, 17-8 (Pamphlet). SDV338141.

Other details: Photograph.

Unknown, Untitled Source, 23 (Un-published). SDV131260.

Loftus-Brock, E. P., 1883, The Peculiarities of the Ancient Churches of Devonshire, 27-34 (Article in Serial). SDV19516.

The church has a bold tower with a truncated spire.

Reichel, O. J., 1898, The Domesday Churches of Devon, 307 (Article in Serial). SDV863.

It is thought that this church was a rural oratory for the Bishop and Canons of Exeter at the time of the Domesday survey.

Brooking-Rowe, J., 1899, 21st Report of the Committee on Scientific Memoranda, 55-7 (Article in Serial). SDV338130.

Cave, W., 1899, Notes on the Saxon crypt, 74-6 (Article in Serial). SDV338131.

E. G. P., 1900-1901, Two interesting epitaphs (Article in Serial). SDV338139.

Q.R., 1900-1901, Two interesting epitaphs, 201,240 (Article in Serial). SDV98176.

The church contains an epitaph to Robert Parson inscribed on a brass plaque, and dated 1650.

Davies, W., 1900-1901, Two interesting epitaphs, 240 (Article in Serial). SDV338140.

Reichel, O. J., 1900-1901, Two interesting epitaphs, 241 (Article in Serial). SDV338138.

Cave, W., 1903, Sidbury Church, 353-9 (Article in Serial). SDV338126.

Church possesses one of 6 surviving Saxon crypts in England. In the 12th century, a stone church was built obliterating all trace of the earlier one. 2 small round-headed windows in the chancel are Norman. One has an iron staple for shutters. Upper part of tower was built during early part of 15th century. Font of same date. Traces of painted walls throughout the church. Church was vigorously restored in 1843.

Blakiston, C. H. + Cave, D. C. A., 1906, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV338135.

Thompson, A. H., 1913, Church Architecture in Devon, 456,459,464,485 (Article in Serial). SDV15387.

Johnston, P. M., 1921, Norman Features in Some South Devon Churches, 203-6 (Article in Serial). SDV124355.

North of the chancel is a rare almost unique feature of a Norman sacristy, or vestry under a lean-to roof, with a similar corbel-table to that which ornaments the chancel. Norman tower circa 1165, nave has some Norman features.

Johnston, P. M., 1924, Romanesque ornament in England: its sources and evolution, 101,103 (Article in Serial). SDV338133.

Reed, H., 1927, Architectural Notes on Some Churches Visited During the Congress., 179-82 (Article in Serial). SDV256355.

In 1927 Harbottle Reed gave an architectural history of St Giles' church, Sidbury. He noted that the edifice reveals a good succession of styles from Saxon times. Other details: Plate.

Cresswell, B. F., 1927, Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders, 153 (Article in Serial). SDV124362.

Cornish, J. G., 1932 - 1933, The quarries of Salcombe Regis, 30,32 (Article in Serial). SDV337192.

Stone from Dunscombe Quarry, Salcombe Regis, was used in 14th-15th century rebuilding. The material was given free of charge.

Unknown, 1935, Proceedings at the 74th annual meeting, 10-11 (Article in Serial). SDV338121.

Parish church of St Giles, Sidbury. The manor of Sidbury was given by King Athelstan in 925 AD to the monastery of St Mary, Exeter (later the cathedral). Only the crypt and a fragment of carving in the wall of the south transept survive of this period. The crypt is not quite square, the floor being a little below the floor-line of the chancel. The tower is Norman, the chancel also. The Norman nave was replaced about 1200 when the north and south aisles were added. About 30 years later the transepts were thrown out, the chancel arch built and an east window inserted. About 1310 the west windows were placed in the chancel. In the middle of the 15th century the aisle windows & buttresses were made, with a south porch with parvise over, and the south aisle extended westwards against the tower. The two round-arched splay-headed Norman windows in the choir originally had shutters and no glass. The two hagioscopes are of a somewhat intricate plan, that on the north being double with stanchion bars, that on the south running below the steps to the rood loft. Over the chancel arch are two rather flat perpendicular windows which light the rood screen. The screen is gone, but there are traces of mural paintings over the chancel arch, and some decoration on the east window jamb of the north transept. The south porch is stone vaulted with moulded ribs springing from the wall-shafts with carved bosses. In the south transept there is a small stone with plaitwork resembling the Colyton Cross.

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

There is unlikely to have been a church here before the conquest.

English Heritage, 1951, Sidmouth (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV338160.

Parish Church of St Peter & St Giles in Sidmouth. Cruciform parish church. The body and west tower Norman (rebuilt 1884) but with Perpendicular additions and embellishments. The tower has shallow strip butresses. Paired bell openings. On its west face 2 figures of saints carved in semi-relief in niches. Perpendicular: 2 crenellated stair turrets and crenellated parapet, the west window and door. The spire added 1843. The east wall of chancel has chequer-board Norman decoration. Three lancet windows under one arch in transepts. 2, circa 1300, chancel windows. East window 14th century. Perpendicular: wagon-roofs of nave and aisles the crenellated parapets and 2 storey crenellated porch with vaulted roof and large boss. Interior: below the church a small crypt, probably 10th century, has been discovered. On ground floor of tower is a rib-vaulted room. Of circa 1300 or later the nave arcade of the north aisle; circular piers, double chamfered arches. The arches into the transepts from the aisles are richly carved Perpendicular. Squints into chancel from north and south transepts. West organ gallery 1754. Perpendicular porch. Stained glass by Kempe 1889, 1902, 1906. Other details: LBS No 401965.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 260 (Monograph). SDV336217.

It's date is probably 10th century.

French, C., 1956 - 1958, Sidbury churchwardens accounts, 47-50 (Article in Serial). SDV338127.

Various aspects of post-medieval history of the church and its activities given.

Radford, C. A. R., 1957, Crediton, Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross (Article in Serial). SDV338136.

Lamb, S., 1957, Some notes on 18th century furnishings in the parish churches of Devon, 217 (Article in Serial). SDV65364.

The west gallery was erected in 1620. The present front panels of 1754 were put there when the gallery was enlarged. It was curtailed in the restoration of 1884-1885. The front was painted in imitation of marble.

Department of Environment, 1973, Sidbury, 108 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV109745.

Church of St Peter and St Giles. The body and west tower (rebuilt 1884) but with perpendicular additions and embellishments. The tower has shallow strip buttresses. Paired bell openings. Below the church a small crypt, probably 10th century, has been discovered. On ground floor of tower is a rib-vaulted room, of circa 13th century or later the nave arcade of the north aisle. Perpendicular porch. Stained glass by Kempe dated 1889, 1902 & 1906.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1975, SY19SW15 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV338129.

The crypt lies beneath double trap doors which are situated just above the chancel step in the church. It is very well preserved. Other details: Photograph.

Delderfield, E., 1976, Untitled Source (Article in Serial). SDV338122.

There is a Saxon crypt under the chancel, revealed during restoration work in 1898. The wagon roofs are edged with finely worked mouldings and soffits. Just distinguishable are wall-paintings in the north transept. The great rood beam was cut down in 1546 and a doorway still conceals the stone steps by which access was made. The body of the church is Norman. The gallery is 17th century. The font has a rare lock-plate. The tower, too, is unusual. The original Norman edifice was taken down in 1843 and rebuilt exactly as it was. 50 years later the present spire was added. On the west face of the tower are reliefs of two saints, St Giles and St Peter, and two empty statue niches in the porch.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, DAP/FB, 8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV338143.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 731 (Monograph). SDV325629.

The statues now in niches on the west wall appear to be 12th century and are of a saint and a bishop.

Griffith, F. M., 1990, DAP/SC, 1-3 (Aerial Photograph). SDV338142.

Fisher, J., 1999, East Devon Conservation Area Appraisals: Sidbury, 3-4, 7, 9-10 (Report - non-specific). SDV346859.

The village is at the heart of an extensive parish, and dominating the centre is the Parish Church of St Giles, which Hoskins considers to be one of the more interesting Devon churches. A Saxon crypt which can be entered was discovered in 1898, and is one of very few in Britain. Other details: Maps, photographs.

DCMS, 2002, Sidbury Church (Correspondence). SDV338144.

Other details: 690/2/183/12/10/51.

Exeter Archaeology, 2003-2004, East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey, Site No. 2362 (Archive - Survey). SDV351568.

Church of St Giles. Saxon crypt. Norman chancel and tower. Listed Grade II*.

Passmore, A. J., 2005, Watching Brief during Excavation of Test Pits Adjacent to the Boundary Wall, St Peter + St Giles Church, Sidbury (Report - Watching Brief). SDV338543.

Test pits were excavated in 2005 on the western side of the eastern boundary wall of the churchyard of St Peter & St Giles parish church in Sidbury. The boundary wall was constructed of red brick in English bond with a sandy red cement. The wall was partly rebuilt with a stone capping. Two layers of modern soil were exposed which overlay the the stepped east face of the wall. The early boundary wall was exposed in the southernmost pit at a depth of 0.84 meters where part of the wall projected east to west into the churchyard. This projection was constructed of stone rubble overlain by brick & capped with a block of blue limestone.

Allan, J., 2006, Archaeological Recording during the Reordering of the Transepts of St Giles, Sidbury, 2006 (Report - Assessment). SDV338145.

The transepts of St Giles church have been regarded as of late 12th century date & were restored in 1884 by J T Micklethwaite. In 2006 the Victorian boarded flooring was removed & new slate paviours were laid. In the south transept at a depth of 0.35m a well preserved lime mortar floor was exposed containing a scatter of flint inclusions. In the north transept a shallow deposit of lumps & rounded pebbles of chert & flint in a lime mortar matrix were exposed below the lime mortar floor surface. A void cut against the east wall contained disarticulated human bone of 14th or early 15th century date. New vents cut through the west wall of the north transept showed the wall comprised chert & flint rubble in a lime mortar. The eastern window of the north transept seems to be the earliest surviving one & stylistically dates from the mid 13th to the 14th century as do the capitals used in the crossing arches. The use of Beer stone rather than stone from Salcombe favours a 14th century date for the transepts.

Fiona Pink, 2016, Additional Comments on East Devon AONB Survey (Interpretation). SDV359755.

Incorrect designation given in survey description. The National Heritage List for England website, 2016, shows the building as Grade I Listed.

Unknown, unknown, Short Tour of Sidbury Church (Leaflet). SDV363242.

Small souvenir leaflet giving a brief description and guide to the church.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV109745List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Sidbury. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 108.
SDV124355Article in Serial: Johnston, P. M.. 1921. Norman Features in Some South Devon Churches. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 27. Unknown. 203-6.
SDV124362Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1927. Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 153.
SDV131260Un-published: Unknown. Scrapbook. Volume 6. A3 Stapled. 23.
SDV15387Article in Serial: Thompson, A. H.. 1913. Church Architecture in Devon. Archaeological Journal. 70. Unknown. 456,459,464,485.
SDV15424Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1939. The Church and the Hundreds in Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 71. A5 Paperback. 340.
SDV19516Article in Serial: Loftus-Brock, E. P.. 1883. The Peculiarities of the Ancient Churches of Devonshire. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 39. Unknown. 27-34.
SDV256355Article in Serial: Reed, H.. 1927. Architectural Notes on Some Churches Visited During the Congress.. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 179-82.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 731.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 260.
SDV337192Article in Serial: Cornish, J. G.. 1932 - 1933. The quarries of Salcombe Regis. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 17. Unknown. 30,32.
SDV338121Article in Serial: Unknown. 1935. Proceedings at the 74th annual meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 67. A5 Hardback. 10-11.
SDV338122Article in Serial: Delderfield, E.. 1976. Express & Echo. Unknown.
SDV338126Article in Serial: Cave, W.. 1903. Sidbury Church. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 35. A5 Hardback. 353-9.
SDV338127Article in Serial: French, C.. 1956 - 1958. Sidbury churchwardens accounts. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 27. Unknown. 47-50.
SDV338129Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1975. SY19SW15. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV338130Article in Serial: Brooking-Rowe, J.. 1899. 21st Report of the Committee on Scientific Memoranda. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 31. A5 Hardback. 55-7.
SDV338131Article in Serial: Cave, W.. 1899. Notes on the Saxon crypt. Archaeological Journal. 56. Unknown. 74-6.
SDV338133Article in Serial: Johnston, P. M.. 1924. Romanesque ornament in England: its sources and evolution. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 30. Unknown. 101,103.
SDV338135Monograph: Blakiston, C. H. + Cave, D. C. A.. 1906. A Short History of Sidbury Church, Devon. Unknown.
SDV338136Article in Serial: Radford, C. A. R.. 1957. Crediton, Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross. Archaeological Journal. 114. Unknown.
SDV338138Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1900-1901. Two interesting epitaphs. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1 Part 1. Unknown. 241.
SDV338139Article in Serial: E. G. P.. 1900-1901. Two interesting epitaphs. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1 Part 1. Unknown.
SDV338140Article in Serial: Davies, W.. 1900-1901. Two interesting epitaphs. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1 Part1. Unknown. 240.
SDV338141Pamphlet: Allen, J.. Sidbury Church Parish Guide. Unknown. Unknown. 17-8.
SDV338142Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1990. DAP/SC. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1-3.
SDV338143Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. DAP/FB. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 8.
SDV338144Correspondence: DCMS. 2002. Sidbury Church. The Schedule of Monuments. Letter.
SDV338145Report - Assessment: Allan, J.. 2006. Archaeological Recording during the Reordering of the Transepts of St Giles, Sidbury, 2006. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.21. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV338160List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 1951. Sidmouth. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV338543Report - Watching Brief: Passmore, A. J.. 2005. Watching Brief during Excavation of Test Pits Adjacent to the Boundary Wall, St Peter + St Giles Church, Sidbury. Exeter Archaeology Report. Project 5517. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV346859Report - non-specific: Fisher, J.. 1999. East Devon Conservation Area Appraisals: Sidbury. East Devon District Council Report. A4 Stapled + Digital. 3-4, 7, 9-10.
SDV351568Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003-2004. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. Site No. 2362.
SDV359755Interpretation: Fiona Pink. 2016. Additional Comments on East Devon AONB Survey.
SDV363242Leaflet: Unknown. unknown. Short Tour of Sidbury Church. Leaflet.
SDV65364Article in Serial: Lamb, S.. 1957. Some notes on 18th century furnishings in the parish churches of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 217.
SDV863Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1898. The Domesday Churches of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 30. A5 Paperback. 307.
SDV98176Article in Serial: Q.R.. 1900-1901. Two interesting epitaphs. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1 Part 1. Unknown. 201,240.

Associated Monuments

MDV10740Parent of: Corbels at St Peter & St Giles Parish Church (Find Spot)
MDV10742Parent of: Memorial at St Peter and St Giles Parish Church, Sidbury (Monument)
MDV107071Parent of: Sidbury World War I Memorial Plaque and Roll of Honour (Monument)
MDV107070Parent of: Sidbury World War II Memorial Bell and Plaque (Monument)
MDV10741Parent of: Stone Cross at St Peter & St Giles Parish Church (Monument)
MDV10739Parent of: Sundial at St Peter & St Giles Parish Church (Monument)
MDV10918Related to: Quarries east of Dunscombe Manor, Sidmouth (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV872 - BONE NON SPECIFIC (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV4201 - Recording the transepts of St Giles parish church
  • EDV4233 - Boundary Wall at St Peter & St Giles Parish Church, Sidbury

Date Last Edited:Oct 3 2019 11:20AM