HeritageGateway - Home
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:MDV12611
Name:Collegiate Buildings, Holy Cross Church, Crediton


Site of the later medieval college of the vicars choral. Excavations in 1991 revealed the remains of walls, drains and cobbled surfaces dating from the 13th-14th century to the 19th century. The buildings were demolished in the 19th century, when the churchyard was extended.


Grid Reference:SS 836 002
Map Sheet:SS80SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishCrediton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCREDITON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS80SW/8

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • COLLEGE OF SECULAR PRIESTS (Built, XIII to XIV - 1201 AD to 1400 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Maps and Apportionments (Website). SDV349463.

Crediton 2 Tithe Map: range of buildings to north of churchyard, at the south end of the Vicarage garden. Map object based on this source.

Venn, T. W., 1955, An Introduction to Crediton, alias Kirton or sometimes Critton, 26, 28 (Article in Serial). SDV58742.

The cells and common hall of the Vicar's Close which were demolished in 1845 or so when the churchyard was enlarged. Possibly built about the same time as the restoration of the church nave which was completed circa 1415. Saved were three granite Gothic archways: one is now the entrance to the vicarage stables; a smaller one is in the southwest wall of the vicarage grounds; while the third is in the porch of a villa in Alexandra Road.

Silvester, R. J., 1977, Holy Cross Church (Worksheet). SDV53272.

A tarmac surface for a car park in the vicarage garden was excavated to the subsoils at 95 centimetres deep. No trace of buildings was found, but a layer circa 60 centimetres deep below the topsoil contained fragments of bone, china, clay pipe stems, slate and a fragment of medieval glazed tile. There was also a lens of possible disintegrated shell. F.S.O Dev file No 26.

Weddell, P. J., 1986, The Saxon Minster Collegiate Church and Bishop's Palace at Crediton, 4-5 (Report - Survey). SDV53415.

The plan of the college is rather difficult to reconstruct a the topography has changed much since the medieval period. The churchyard was progressively enlarged in the 19th century swallowing up areas previously occupied by Collegiate buildings. The Vicar's House, built originally circa 1361, lay to the north of the churchyard on land now partly occupied by the vicarage garden and partly by the northern end of the churchyard. A granite arch is still visible in the north boundary wall of the vicarage. The gateway in the south-west corner of the garden may also be from the vicar's house and there is also said to be another in Alexander Road.

Devon Religious Houses Survey, 1986-7, Devon Religious Houses Survey. Crediton (Archive - Survey). SDV358570.

Includes copies of plans of churchyard.

Reed, S. J., 2005, Excavations by Exeter Archaeology (Personal Comment). SDV323139.

Excavations by Exeter Archaeology in advance of SWW drainage culvert have revealed the remains of two ranges of medieval buildings, aligned north-south, built over a stake revetted stream - probably the Litterburn stream, flowing east-west. Finds associated with the stream date to the early medieval period. Exeter Archaeology Report forthcoming.

Gent, T. H., 2007, Review of the Archaeological Evidence for the Location of the Saxon Minster at Crediton, 3 (Report - Assessment). SDV339904.

The collegiate buildings to the north of Holy Cross Church in Crediton occupied the southern part of the vicarage garden and were demolished in the 19th century when the churchyard was extended to the north. Excavation within the church car park in 1991 located the remains of the medieval collegiate buildings with walls, drains and cobbled surfaces dating from the 13th to the 19th century. A length of culverted stream noted in 1984 was exposed with evidence of successive rebuilding from the medieval to the post medieval period. There is no evidence for St Gregory's Cathedral in this area.
Map object based on this source.

GSB Prospection, 2007, The Search for Saxon Crediton, 1, 5; figures 18, 21 (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV344212.

The data along the northern perimeter footpath, between Church Lane and Church Street, have highlighted some anomalies of interest. It appears that the shallow responses (30) and (31) coincide with the position of the collegiate ranges and subsequent houses on the site.

Allan, J. + Blackmore, S. + Passmore, A., 2010, Archaeological investigations around Crediton Parish Church, 1984-2007, 118-137 (Article in Serial). SDV363629.

Site of the later medieval college of the vicars choral. Plans and maps of the earlier 19th century show the site to be occupied by two long ranges aligned north-south on either side of a yard with an entrance on the south side. The west range was occupied by an infant school, prison and Sexton's House and the east range held a Sunday School. The site was gradually cleared between the time of the 1839 Tithe Map and 1872, when it became part of the church burial ground.
Excavations in 1991 revealed a sequence of deposits and finds ranging in date from the 12th-13th century to the 19th century. They showed that a stone building had been constructed on the south side of the Litterburn stream by the early 14th century. This was replaced by a large stone range, aligned east-west in the later part of the 14th century which documentary evidence confirms as the north range of the college of the vicars choral. This was demolished circa 1700, possibly due to instability caused by its proximity to the Litterburn stream, the area becoming a yard. This demolition may have also been due to the construction of a workhouse to the north in 1699. The room to the west, which became the infant school, was extended over the former line of the stream which was diverted to the north in a stone-lined channel. The excavations showed that the floor of the infant's school room was originally cobbled floor but that it was later raised. A 19th century sketch shows it to have been a single-storeyed building. Finds include medieval and post medieval pottery, floor tiles, a stone with an inscribed musical notation, coins, metal objects, stone mortar, and lead pencils and clay marbles from the early 19th century school.
See article for full details.

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

Map object based on this source.

Copeland, G. W., c1965, Photos (Record Office Collection). SDV358497.

Photos of archways in vicarage garden wall.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV323139Personal Comment: Reed, S. J.. 2005. Excavations by Exeter Archaeology. Not Applicable.
SDV339904Report - Assessment: Gent, T. H.. 2007. Review of the Archaeological Evidence for the Location of the Saxon Minster at Crediton. Exeter Archaeology Report. 07.69. A4 Stapled + Digital. 3.
SDV344212Report - Geophysical Survey: GSB Prospection. 2007. The Search for Saxon Crediton. GSB Prospection Report. 2007/38. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1, 5; figures 18, 21.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV349463Website: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Maps and Apportionments. http://devon.gov.uk. Website.
SDV358497Record Office Collection: Copeland, G. W.. c1965. Photos. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV358570Archive - Survey: Devon Religious Houses Survey. 1986-7. Devon Religious Houses Survey. Crediton. Devon Religious Houses Survey. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV363629Article in Serial: Allan, J. + Blackmore, S. + Passmore, A.. 2010. Archaeological investigations around Crediton Parish Church, 1984-2007. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 68. Paperback Volume. 118-137.
SDV53272Worksheet: Silvester, R. J.. 1977. Holy Cross Church. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Register. Worksheet.
SDV53415Report - Survey: Weddell, P. J.. 1986. The Saxon Minster Collegiate Church and Bishop's Palace at Crediton. Devon Religious Houses Survey. 6. A4 Stapled + Digital. 4-5.
SDV58742Article in Serial: Venn, T. W.. 1955. An Introduction to Crediton, alias Kirton or sometimes Critton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 87. A5 Hardback. 26, 28.

Associated Monuments

MDV60864Related to: Former vicarage garden, Crediton (Monument)
MDV619Related to: Holy Cross Parish Church, Crediton (Building)
MDV66965Related to: Litterburn Stream (Monument)
MDV18839Related to: Possible Collegiate Hostel, Church Street, Crediton (Building)
MDV71718Related to: Stream Culvert to the north of Crediton Parish Church (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV7349 - SHERD (XIII - 1201 AD to 1300 AD)
  • FDV7367 - CENSER (XIV - 1301 AD to 1400 AD)
  • FDV7365 - CARVED OBJECT (XV - 1401 AD to 1500 AD)
  • FDV7360 - JETTON (XV to XVI - 1401 AD to 1600 AD)
  • FDV7350 - SHERD (XVI - 1501 AD to 1600 AD)
  • FDV7359 - PIPE (SMOKING) (XVII to XIX - 1601 AD to 1900 AD)
  • FDV7351 - SHERD (XVII to XVIII - 1601 AD to 1800 AD)
  • FDV7368 - WORKED STONE (XVII to XVIII - 1650 AD to 1750 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV4348 - Assessment of a Survey Searching for the Saxon Minster in Crediton
  • EDV4587 - Geophysical Survey around Holy Cross Parish Church, Crediton
  • EDV8262 - Excavation on the site of the new vicarage, Crediton
  • EDV8263 - Excavation in Crediton Church car park

Date Last Edited:Apr 22 2020 3:00PM