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HER Number:MDV11497
Name:Wolford Chapel, Dunkeswell


Chapel built in 1800 by Lieutenant General John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada (now Ontario). It was given to the people of Ontario in 1966. It is apparently on the site of Wulphere Church.


Grid Reference:ST 137 052
Map Sheet:ST10NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDunkeswell
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishDUNKESWELL

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST10NW/22
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHAPEL (Built, XVIII - 1800 AD to 1800 AD)

Full description

Wilkin, W. H., 1940-1941, The hatchments in Wolford Chapel, 79-81 (Article in Serial). SDV124142.

Built in 1800 by General Simcoe, his biography. Hatchments bearing the arms of Simcoe, Gwillim, etc.

Department of Environment, 1950, Honiton RD, 2156/11/a,(1950)18-19 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV118185.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1975, ST10NW1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV124140.

Site visit 11th January 1962. Chapel, no longer in use, built on site of Wulphere Church in 1800. It appears to incorporate no structural details of the medieval church.

Department of Environment, 1988, Dunkeswell, 29 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV324134.

Chapel belonging to Canada. 1800, built by Lieutenant General John Graves Simcoe, restored circa 1966. Local stone rubble with limestone ashlar detail; slate roof.
Plan: small chapel is rectangular in plan with the entrance in the west end.
Exterior: both long sides (north and south) have 2-window fronts of square-headed single light windows containing decorated tracery. In the west end the doorway is a 2-centred arch with hoodmould and directly above is a quatrefoil oculus. There is a chamfered plinth around the building and below it, on the east, west and south sides, are a series of arch-headed niches, most of which contain slate plaques in memory of various members of the Simcoe family. The roof is gable-ended with shaped barge boards.
Interior: the roof structure is hidden by a plaster segmental vault. The walls are plastered and the floor is laid with C19 tiles. Carved oak reredos in gothic style and including painted panels of the lords prayer and commandments. Beerstone ashlar altar in gothic style. Oak altar rail on cast iron standards. The oak reading desk the pews and wainscotting incorporate a great deal of C17 carved pieces including linenfold panels, chip-carved lunettes flowers and the like. The font is beerstone and gothic in style. There are some probably C18 lozenge-shaped boards on the walls painted with armorial bearings.
A plaque also records that in 1966 the deeds of the chapel were handed to the Prime Minister of Ontario by Sir Geoffrey Harmsworth whose family previously owned restored and maintained the chapel. It is the burial place of Lieutenant General John Graves Simcoe (1752-1806) who was the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, now Ontario, and was the founder of the City of York, now Toronto. The chapel is apparently built on the site of old Wulphere Church.

Watts, S., 2021, Wolford Chapel (Ground Photograph). SDV365936.

Photo of the exterior of the chapel. The chapel, which is a family chapel on the former estate of John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, was given to the people of Ontario in 1966.

Ordnance Survey, 2024, Mastermap 2024 (Cartographic). SDV365834.

Wolford Chapel marked as the site of Wulphere Church.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV118185List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1950. Honiton RD. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 2156/11/a,(1950)18-19.
SDV124140Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1975. ST10NW1. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV124142Article in Serial: Wilkin, W. H.. 1940-1941. The hatchments in Wolford Chapel. Devon and Cornwall Notes & Queries. 21. Unknown. 79-81.
SDV324134List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Dunkeswell. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 29.
SDV365834Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2024. Mastermap 2024. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #74294 ]
SDV365936Ground Photograph: Watts, S.. 2021. Wolford Chapel. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV105469Parent of: War Memorial, Plate in Wolford Chapel, Dunkeswell (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 5 2024 6:23PM