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HER Number:MDV1481
Name:Sampford Peverell Parish Church


Parish Church of St John the Baptist in Sampford Peverell was built in the 13th century with the south aisle and porch added in the 15th century. The tower was rebuilt in 1815 and the rest restored in 1863


Grid Reference:ST 029 142
Map Sheet:ST01SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishSampford Peverell
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSAMPFORD PEVERELL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 4937
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: ST01SW/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 95993

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XIII to XIX - 1201 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

NMR, ST01SW 17 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV57256.

Boulton, 1849, Untitled Source, 185-6 (Article in Serial). SDV57247.

In essence, an Early English church, originally nave and chancel only. S aisle was added in the perpendicular period, possibly by Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII. Tower was rebuilt in 19C.

Ordnance Survey, 1903, 6" 46NW (Cartographic). SDV57255.

Thompson, A. H., 1913, Church Architecture in Devon, 461,482 (Article in Serial). SDV15387.

Cresswell, B. F., 1919, Proceedings at the 58th Annual Meeting, 34-5 (Article in Serial). SDV321309.

Before Domesday the church belonged to Brittric, of Gloucester, then given to Queen Matilda. Church much altered, with a tower rebuilt in 1815. Before this it was an Early English tower with a spire. The bowl of the old Norman font was placed outside to catch drippings, but has now been restored. Church carefully restored in 1864. In the chancel is a recumbent effigy said to be of Sir Hugh Peverell, patron in 1278. Interesting brass of Margaret Poulett, died 1602. Early aumbry in chancel and on north and south sides a double piscina of Early English work. North entrance is through an early medieval door (Early English). Remarkable chalice, French or low country work with sides embossed. Also an early Exeter chalice by J Jones, 1573. All the other plate is of 18C.

Church, J., 1959-1961, Sampford Peverel church plate, 84 (Article in Serial). SDV57248.

Description of two chalices given.

English Heritage, 1966, Sampford Peverell, LBS No95993 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV57249.

Church of St John the Baptist. Parish church built in the mid 13C (it was first consecrated in 1259), south aisle and porch built in 1498 at the cost of Lady Margaret Beaufort according to the church guide, tower rebuilt in 1815 and the rest restored in 1863 at the cost of the Rev G W R Ireland, organ and vestry added in 1870. Local red sandstone conglomerate stone, coursed ashlar to the nave and chancel, neater ashlar to the tower, rubble to the aisle and porch; Early English purple volcanic ashlar detail, 15C Beerstone and 19C Hamstone detail; slate roof. Plan: Early English nave and chancel under a continuous roof, late 15C Perpendicular south aisle with porch at the west end under the same roof, 1815 west tower replaced an Early English tower with spire. Exterior: the tower is an interestingly early example of 19C Gothic. It has 3 stages with diagonal buttresses and an embattled parapet with corner pinnacles. It has 2-light belfry windows in Early English style. West doorway is an unusual 2- centred arch with a moulded surround containing a square headed door with fanlight above containing cusped tracery. Directly above is a worn plaque which originally commemorated the 1815 rebuild, and above that a Perpendicular style window. The clockface on the south side has a cusped hoodmould. 1870 lean-to vestry against west end of the porch with perpendicular detail. The gable of the porch above the vestry roof is Beerstone ashlar, panelled with sunken quatrefoils and containing a small window with carved lintel. At the left end of the south aisle is the large 2- centred outer arch with moulded surround. Above it is one of the several Hamstone plaques around the church commemorating the 1863 renovation. Above that a cinquefoil-headed lancet. The rest of the aisle has restored 3-light windows with Perpendicular tracery and hoodmoulds. The chancel and nave contain volcanic Early English windows most with plate tracery. On the north side a wide buttress (probably a former rood stair turret) marks the break between nave and chancel. There is a north doorway, a recessed pointed segmental arch with half-engaged shafts each side and hoodmould. Interior: south door is a 19C replacement 2-centred arch with moulded surround. Nave and chancel have a continuous roof. It and the aisle roof are open with 19C arch-braced trusses and boarded backs. In the nave the trusses spring from moulded Beerstone corbels whereas those in the chancel have corbels carved with stiff leaf foliage. The chancel roof also has single sets of windbraces. The tower arch is blocked with the organ in front of it. No chancel arch. Tall 5-bay Beerstone arcade with one overlapping the chancel. The piers are moulded (Pevsner's type B) and there are moulded caps to the shafts only. Floor is laid with red quarry tiles and includes some graveslabs in the chancel. The walls are plastered. The Early English windows have volcanic ashlar inner arches with half-engaged shafts and moulded caps and bases and hoodmoulds. There is a volcanic stringcourse around nave and chancel below sill level. The aisle windows have chamfered Beerstone inner arches. The north side of the chancel contains a volcanic double piscina with arcned heads and pier with moulded cap and base. The double-headed niche on the south side is thought to be the remains of an Easter sepulchre. The furniture and fittings are mostly from the 1863 renovation. Gothic style carved oak reredos features a central panel featuring a representation of the Good Samaritan. Oak communion rail on twisted wrought iron standards with repoussee brackets. Oak choir stalls with linenfold panelling on the fronts is dated 1959. Chancel also contains 2 richly-carved 17C oak chairs. Low Salcombe stone chancel screen carved on the front as a blind Early English arcade enriched with marble shafts. A stone book rest on top serves as a lectern. The Salcombe ashlar pulpit is in similar Early English style. Nave and aisle have plain pine benches remarkable in that they still retain brass candle holders on twisted wrought iron standards. Late 12C Beerstone drum font containing 3 bands of ornamentation was altered in the 19C and has a new base. 17C oak chest with carved panelled front in south aisle. Good monuments: north of the altar lies the very worn Beerstone recumbent figure of a knight in armour said to be Sir Hugh Peverell who was patron of the church in 1278. Above it a good marble mural monument in memory of Margaret Poulett (d.1602) includes a brass plate and is framed with carved garlands and symbols of death. In the nave a marble monument in memory of Margaret Collins (d.1655). The rest are 19C, the best a marble mural monument in memory of Elizabeth Dawbney (d.1809). Painted royal arms of George I, dated 1722, in the tower. The church is remarkable for the complete set of late 19C-early 20C stained glass windows it contains. These were made by Lavers, Barraud and Westlake, the best one at the east end of the aisle. It is rare for a church in Devon to retain such extensive Early English fabric. Sources: Church Guide, Devon SMR, Devon C19 Church Project.

Griffith, F. M., 1987, DAP/HV, 10-12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV321300.

Department of Environment, 1988, Sampford Peverell (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV51643.

Other details: Provisional list.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 715 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Griffith, F. M., 1991, DAP/UI, 1-4 (Aerial Photograph). SDV51650.

Tucker, T. J. F., 2005, Letter to N Gillam-Smith (Correspondence). SDV321287.

During the time of Margaret Beaufort in 15C the south aisle & porch were added to the church. Between 1533 to 1540 the rectors were in the gift of the Duke of Richmond & Somerset & from 1540 to 1760 with the Powletts. From 1908 to 1967 it was with Keble College.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV15387Article in Serial: Thompson, A. H.. 1913. Church Architecture in Devon. Archaeological Journal. 70. Unknown. 461,482.
SDV321287Correspondence: Tucker, T. J. F.. 2005. Letter to N Gillam-Smith.
SDV321300Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1987. DAP/HV. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10-12.
SDV321309Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1919. Proceedings at the 58th Annual Meeting. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 51. 34-5.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 715.
SDV51643List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Sampford Peverell. Historic Houses Register.
SDV51650Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1991. DAP/UI. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1-4.
SDV57247Article in Serial: Boulton. 1849. Archaeological Journal. 6. 185-6.
SDV57248Article in Serial: Church, J.. 1959-1961. Sampford Peverel church plate. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 28. 84.
SDV57249List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 1966. Sampford Peverell. Historic Houses Register. LBS No95993.
SDV57255Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1903. 6" 46NW. 6".
SDV57256National Monuments Record Database: NMR. ST01SW 17. ST01SW.

Associated Monuments

MDV43978Parent of: FINDSPOT in the Parish of Sampford Peverell (Find Spot)
MDV5534Parent of: FINDSPOT in the Parish of Sampford Peverell (Find Spot)
MDV1483Parent of: FONT in the Parish of Sampford Peverell (Monument)
MDV1482Parent of: ROOD SCREEN in the Parish of Sampford Peverell (Monument)
MDV11474Related to: Castle, Sampford Peverell (Monument)
MDV71240Related to: Gateway to St John the Baptist Churchyard (Building)
MDV11476Related to: Sampford Peverell, The Old Rectory (Building)
MDV36679Related to: Sampford Peverell, The Rectory (Building)
MDV71235Related to: Wreck of the Alpha in Ayrmer Cove, bigbury (Maritime)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1159 - DAP/UI
  • EDV1160 - DAP/HV

Date Last Edited:Nov 24 2017 10:49AM