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HER Number:MDV1171
Name:Molland, St Mary


Simple 15th to 16th century building replacing an older, probably 12th century, structure. Interior redecorated and refitted in the early 18th century, although the Norman font and two medieval bells remain.


Grid Reference:SS 807 283
Map Sheet:SS82NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishMolland
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishMOLLAND

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5308
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS82NW/2
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 398114

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XV to XIX - 1401 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Kelly's Directories Limited, 1902-1906, Untitled Source, 384-5 (Monograph). SDV343755.

Pearse Chope, R., 1908 - 1909, Knowstone and Molland, 167-8 (Article in Serial). SDV343759.

Molland was granted by William Boterell to Hartland Abbey. The grant was confirmed by a charter of Richard I in 1190. The patronage remained with the Abbot until the dissolution. By 1310 the benefice had been joined with that of Knowstone, and they have been held conjointly since.

Cresswell, B. F., 1924, Untitled Source, 146-61 (Monograph). SDV343758.

Wilkin, W. H., 1928 - 1929, Berry Monument in Molland Church, 314-5 (Article in Serial). SDV343761.

A 17th century monument said to have been disfigured is described.

Morris, J. E., 1931, Notes From Country Correspondents, 247-52 (Article in Serial). SDV343763.

Church has some 17th century interior fittings.

Wilkin, W. H., 1932, The Vicars of Knowstone-Cum-Molland, 1767-1915, 509 (Article in Serial). SDV343293.

Has a Norman font and oldest dated bell (1592) in England. Interior unspoilt example of 18th century country church. Three decker pulpit, complete with sounding board, angel and trumpet. High pews. Post-Reformation screen and tympanum. Some good Courtenay monuments.

Wilkin, W. H., 1934 - 1935, The Royal Arms in Churches, 57-59 (Article in Serial). SDV131250.

Unknown, 1947, Untitled Source, 8, 17 (Article in Serial). SDV343768.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 123 (Monograph). SDV336196.

Exterior ordinary (west tower with diagonal buttresses and no pinnacles; polygonal north-east stair turret). Small interior with north aisle (perpendicular three-bay arch of B type piers with standard capitals and depressed arches), and north chancel chapel. Old wagon roofs. Communion rails circa 1700. Monuments. Fragments of Late Perpendicular. Tomb-chest with quatrefoil decoration. David Barry 1664, John Courtenay 1693, John Courtenay 1666, John Courtenay 1732.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 436-7 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Molland Church is of outstanding interest. It is a simple 15th to 16th century building replacing an older structure of which the Norman font alone remains, together with two medieval bells. It is plastered and whitewashed throughout, with box pews and canopied three-decker pulpit, ceiled roofs, leaning arcade and a completely enclosed chancel. The quasi-screen is of the same period as the pews, with folding gates and open framework on either side, surmounted by a plastered tympanum which completely fills the chancel opening. There is a series of monuments to the 17th and 18th century Courtenays, together with a curious double-heart stone, railed off, a receptacle for the hearts of a Courtenay and his wife.

Andrews, J. H. B., 1964, The Rise of the Bible Christians and the State of the Church in North Devon in the Early Nineteenth Century, 163 (Article in Serial). SDV336671.

In the early 19th century the living of Molland was held with that of Knowstone.

Unknown, 1976, St Mary's Church Molland (Article in Serial). SDV343765.

Georgian atmosphere preserved. Fine canopied three-decked pulpit and 49 horse box pews. Ceiled roof and completely enclosed chancel, for the screen is surmounted by a plastered tympanum. Norman font. Building plastered and whitewashed throughout. Coat of arms painted by Rowlands in 1808. George III. Good monuments. Heart-burial tomb of a Courtenay and his wife. Ornate tablet to Daniel Berry who died 1693.

Unknown, 1983, St Mary's Church Molland (Pamphlet). SDV343754.

Department of Environment, 1988, Molland, 56-58 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV337231.

Parish Church. Mid 15th century tower, nave and north aisle, north aisle remodelled in the early 16th century, and probably 17th century porch. South-east part of nave south wall probably 12th century. Interior redecorated and refitted in the early 18th century and east wall of north aisle rebuilt or refaced in 1772 (datestone). Church repaired in 1902. Roofs and windows restored in 1935-9 by Mr W. A. Forsyth. Mainly squared and coursed sandstone with sandstone, and limestone ashlar dressings. Snecked masonry in the chancel, probably of 1902. Porch and part of south aisle (probably 20th century work) of coursed stone rubble. Internal arcade of Beer stone. East gable end of nave slate hung. Gable ended Welsh slate roofs. See list for full details.

English Heritage, 2009, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV343599.

Other details: LBS 398114.

Ordnance Survey, 2009, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV341569.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV131250Article in Serial: Wilkin, W. H.. 1934 - 1935. The Royal Arms in Churches. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 18. Unknown. 57-59.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 436-7.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 123.
SDV336671Article in Serial: Andrews, J. H. B.. 1964. The Rise of the Bible Christians and the State of the Church in North Devon in the Early Nineteenth Century. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 96. Unknown. 163.
SDV337231List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Molland. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 56-58.
SDV341569Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2009. MasterMap. MasterMap. Digital.
SDV343293Article in Serial: Wilkin, W. H.. 1932. The Vicars of Knowstone-Cum-Molland, 1767-1915. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 64. A5 Hardback. 509.
SDV343599List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2009. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV343754Pamphlet: Unknown. 1983. St Mary's Church Molland. Church Guide. Unknown.
SDV343755Monograph: Kelly's Directories Limited. 1902-1906. Kelly's Directory of Devon. Unknown. 384-5.
SDV343758Monograph: Cresswell, B. F.. 1924. Notes on Devon Churches, Deanery of Shirwell. Unknown. 146-61.
SDV343759Article in Serial: Pearse Chope, R.. 1908 - 1909. Knowstone and Molland. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 5 part 1. Unknown. 167-8.
SDV343761Article in Serial: Wilkin, W. H.. 1928 - 1929. Berry Monument in Molland Church. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 15. Unknown. 314-5.
SDV343763Article in Serial: Morris, J. E.. 1931. Notes From Country Correspondents. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 37. Unknown. 247-52.
SDV343765Article in Serial: Unknown. 1976. St Mary's Church Molland. Express & Echo. Newspaper/Magazine Cuttin.
SDV343768Article in Serial: Unknown. 1947. Proceedings of the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. 93. Unknown. 8, 17.

Associated Monuments

MDV1173Parent of: St Mary's Church Font (Building)
MDV1172Parent of: St Mary's Church Rood Screen (Building)
MDV42157Related to: Halse Headstone, St Mary's Churchyard (Building)
MDV42156Related to: Hamlyn Chest Tomb, St Mary's Churchyard (Building)
MDV42158Related to: Headstones at St Mary's Church (Building)
MDV42160Related to: Moore Chest Tomb at St Mary's Church (Building)
MDV42161Related to: Pair of Headstones at St Mary's Church (Building)
MDV42159Related to: Quartly Chest Tomb at St Mary's Church (Building)
MDV42162Related to: Snow Headstone at St Mary's Church (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 14 2017 10:08AM