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HER Number:MDV11873
Name:St Marys, Appledore


St Marys was built in 1838 on the site of disused medieval chapel. According to a contemporary article human remains were found when digging for the foundations.


Grid Reference:SS 463 306
Map Sheet:SS43SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNortham
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5251
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS43SE/18
  • Old Listed Building Ref (B)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XI to XXI - 1001 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Lysons, D. + Lysons, S., 1822, Magna Britannica (Monograph). SDV323771.

There is a chapel at Appledore kept in repair by the church of Windsor, but no service has been performed in living memory.

Exeter Gazette, 1836, Events of the Month. Devonshire (Article in Serial). SDV360831.

Report on the laying of the foundation stone for Appledore Chapel of Ease by Revd Mills, vicar of Northam. It is thought an ancient chapel once stood here as a 'great number of human remains were dug up in the foundation'. A coin was placed underneath the foundation stone.

Unknown, 1838, Northam (Cartographic). SDV6499.

On Tithe Map chapel is shown as having 4 buttressed extensions one on each side.

White, W., 1850/1968, White's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire, 272 (Monograph). SDV6497.

Many old relics found in digging the foundations.

Reichel, O. J., 1898, The Domesday Churches of Devon, 311 (Article in Serial). SDV863.

There may have been a church here in the 11th century, an oratory for St. Stephen's monastery, Caen, who owned property here at the time of the Domesday survey.

Reichel, O. J., 1900-1901, Foreign Churches and their Properties in Devon, 252-254 (Article in Serial). SDV6502.

The church of St. Stephen's Caen possessed Northam during the middle ages.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 444 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Department of Environment, 1973, Northam, 1 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV17982.

Parish church 1838, in Gothic style. Tower and west additions 1909. Ecclesiastical parish dates from 1844

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1977, SS43SE1 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV6498.

Present parish church of Appledore St. Mary's was built 1838 on site of disused medieval chapel. Other details: Plan.

Historic England, 2017, National Heritage List for England, 1104753 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359963.

Church of St Mary. 1836-8, by J. Williams. Re-seated 1897-8 to plans by C.E. Smyth-Richards of Barnstaple, and enlarged in 1909, probably by Smyth-Richards or J.J. Smith of Bideford.
Materials: Coursed grey rubble, cream limestone dressings (possibly Bath stone). Tower of darker pinkish sandstone from Cornborough, Abbotsham. Slate roofs.
Plan: Five bay clerestoried nave with north-west porch, lean-to aisles, shallow sanctuary, south-west tower which also functions as a porch.
Exterior: Sited in a large sloping graveyard, the east front facing down towards the road and the Torridge estuary. The style is Perp revival of the Commissioners¿ type, the forms typical of the 1830s. The gable east front has a three-light window, with flanking turrets. Flat parapets to the aisles which are lower and set back, and have untraceried lancets to the east. The aisle windows have simple Y-tracery except in the westernmost bay which have more elaborate Perp tracery. Shallow buttresses at each bay, rising to stumpy pinnacles. The tower is obviously an addition from the non-matching stone and low, Perp, with a bulky stair-turret at the south-east and angle buttresses. Two-light windows, some of them square-headed, and an embattled parapet with little pinnacles. The gabled north-west porch (1909) has a four-centred doorway with naturalistic head-stops. The west end is cut into the rising ground, with a three-light window and a louvred three-light vent in the west gable. Narrow vestry between the nave west wall and the retaining wall of the churchyard.
Interior: The nave arcades have octagonal piers, moulded capitals and double-chamfered arches. The west bay is narrower. The good plaster vault of 1838 has moulded quadripartite ribs, and at the intersections big acanthus bosses which also functioned as ventilators for gas lighting. At the clerestory walls the ribs rest on cherub corbels. Flat ceilings to the aisles, with moulded cornices. The east ends of the aisles, i.e., flanking the chancel, contain the organ (north), and on the south a small chapel re-ordered in 1988.
Principal Fixtures: Stone reredos perhaps of the mid-19th century; flanking niches under crocketed gables, and a central oak panelled section c. 1953. Open chancel screen with foiled arched openings and arcaded gallery top. Made in 1912 at a local shipyard from salvaged ship¿s timbers. Pulpit c. 1866, of stone with marble shafts and blind trefoiled arches. The stem is carved with ropework. Neo-Perp font, probably late 19th century, with panelled stem rising via ogee curves to an octagonal bowl. Plain pine benches, 1899, and wood-block floors of the same date, with stone-flagged aisles. Stained glass: east window perhaps c. 1860s, with much red, pink and turquoise; south chapel east, the Lundy window, by James Paterson of Bideford, 1958; and south chapel south, a Second World War memorial by Francis Spear, c. 1946-53. The latter two are particularly good quality designs. Mainly early 20th century stained glass in the aisles.
History: A medieval chapel dedicated to St Anne stood near the site of the present church. In 1834 the Rev Thomas Mill of Northam, the mother parish, requested permission to build a new church, to seat 600. On Thursday 23 June, 1836, the foundation stone was laid. Consecration took place on 25 September 1838. £1,804-12s-2d was collected, with additional funds from grants and the sale of materials from the old chapel. The interior was reordered in 1899, with the seating rearranged to form a central walkway, new choir stalls, floor and decoration, and a small vestry at the west end. The architect was probably C.E. Smyth-Richards of Barnstaple, who provided plans for an ICBS grant application in 1897, and was ecclesiastical surveyor to the archdeaconry of Barnstaple from the 1890s. The intended enlargement of the west end by one bay and addition of a tower were carried out in 1909, possibly using the plans of 1897-8. Pevsner attributed all the alterations to John J. Smith of Bideford, who made (unexecuted) plans for a vestry in 1913.
Date first listed: 15th June 1951.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 444.
SDV17982List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Northam. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 1.
SDV323771Monograph: Lysons, D. + Lysons, S.. 1822. Magna Britannica. Magna Britannica: A Concise Topographical Account of The Several Counties o. 6: Devonshire. Unknown.
SDV359963National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2017. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1104753.
SDV360831Article in Serial: Exeter Gazette. 1836. Events of the Month. Devonshire. The British Magazine and Monthly Register of Religious and Ecclesiastical Information, Parochial History, and Documents Respecting the State of the Poor. 10. Digital.
SDV6497Monograph: White, W.. 1850/1968. White's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire. white's Devon. History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire. Hardback Volume. 272.
SDV6498Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1977. SS43SE1.
SDV6499Cartographic: Unknown. 1838. Northam. Tithe Map and Apportionment. Map (Paper).
SDV6502Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1900-1901. Foreign Churches and their Properties in Devon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1.1. Unknown. 252-254.
SDV863Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1898. The Domesday Churches of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 30. A5 Paperback. 311.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV875 - SS43SE1

Date Last Edited:Feb 7 2018 11:03AM