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HER Number:MDV143
Name:West Putford, St. Stephen


Cruciform building of early 14th century with west tower added about 1500. A rare example of a church that survived the 19th century largely untouched and underwent a conservative restoration following SPAB principles in the early 20th century.


Grid Reference:SS 358 156
Map Sheet:SS31NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishWest Putford
Ecclesiastical ParishWEST PUTFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5068
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS31NE/5
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Early Medieval to Post Medieval - 1066 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

NMR, SS31NE24 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV16737.

Clarke, K. M., 1914, The Baptismal Fonts of Devon, 34 (Article in Serial). SDV16795.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 166 (Monograph). SDV336196.

Unbuttressed west tower with stunted pinnacles. Aisleless. Church fittings include font, pulpit, communion rails, bench-ends, tiles and church plate.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 467 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Parish church cruciform building of early 14th century with west tower added about 1500. Almost entirely untouched by later restoration.

Keen, L., 1969, A Series of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Lead-Glazed Relief Tiles from North Devon, 144-170 (Article in Serial). SDV15342.

Keen notes the occurrence of relief tiles, post-medieval, from North Devon in the chancel.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 902 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Department of Environment, 1989, West Putford, 43 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV16733.

Church of St. Stephen. Parish church. Late c13-early c14. Subsequently refenestrated in parts, tower c1400, upper stage possibly c16 addition, floor tiles early c16, S door dated 1620, tower rebuilt using old masonry in 1883, chancel re-roofed and porch added late c19, church restored 1929-30, tower restored again c.1980 when the parapets were rebuilt and the roof and floors were relaid.1880s restoration by S. Hooper of Hatherleigh, 1920s restoration by Harbottle Reed. Coursed and roughly dressed local stone, remains of render on nave, slate roofs.
Plan: chancel, N + S transepts, nave and W tower. Three stage unbuttressed, crenellated tower with plain pinnacles, 3-light w window with continuous hoodmould, W door with unusual stops to moulded, round-headed opening which, like the plank door, presumably dates from the 1880s restoration; nave buttressed at W end, 2-light trefoil-headed window to left of gabled porch, unmoulded arched opening with double wrought-iron gates, open ribbed barrel vault roof, holy water stoup in right jamb of chamfered arch opening, ribbed door dated 1620; 3-light cinquefoil-headed window under square hoodmould, c19 3 light E window, 3 light pointed arch window in wall of N transept, the lower portion of which has been blocked, 2-light cinquefoil-headed on N front of transept, N wall of nave unlit except for a tiny 2-light square-headed opening E of the blocked n door.
Interior: rendered, exposed masonry in tower. No chancel arch, moulded tie beam to n transept with carved corbel in chancel wall, tie beam to s transept; tower arch tall and narrow, depressed pointed arched opening chamfered in 2 orders. Roofs: c19 scissorbrace roof to chancel, late medieval elsewhere; N transept, ribbed and plastered barrel vault with moulded wallplate, S transept plastered barrel vault with a section of moulded wallplate, nave ceiled and plastered wagon roof with moulded wallplate. Ogee-headed piscina in s transept; no rere arch to E window. Round headed doorway to roodstair in N transept, stair destroyed, evidence of niches in jambs of E window. Norman font of the girdle tub-type with cable moulding between bowl and plinth. Large number of encaustic tiles made in Barnstaple in early c16 with a variety of devices. C18 twisted baluster altar rails, pulpit composed of similar twisted balusters, possibly reworked. Painted royal coat of arms dated 1714. Altar table, choir stalls, benches and lectern early c20, a few remnants of the earlier bench ends survive. Good monument to the 2 wives of Anthony Gregory, rector, died 1681 and 1689; an oval tablet surrounded by cherubs' heads; good incised slate tomb slabs to Robert Mill, died 1711, with coat of arms, and to William Braund, died 1710; others to William Mill, died 1663 and Jno. Gifford, died 1788; Joan Short, died 1642, and an unidentified one with Gothic lettering. Fine collection of c18 and c19 slate headstones in churchyard. A rare example of a church that survived the c19 largely untouched and underwent a conservative restoration following SPAB principles in the early c20.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV15342Article in Serial: Keen, L.. 1969. A Series of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Lead-Glazed Relief Tiles from North Devon. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 32. Photocopy + Digital. 144-170.
SDV16733List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1989. West Putford. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 43.
SDV16737National Monuments Record Database: NMR. SS31NE24.
SDV16795Article in Serial: Clarke, K. M.. 1914. The Baptismal Fonts of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 46. Unknown. 34.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 467.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 902.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 166.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #81209 ]

Associated Monuments

MDV144Parent of: West Putford Font (Monument)
MDV99105Related to: Lych Gate, St Stephen's Church (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 7 2017 12:39PM