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HER Number:MDV14989
Name:St. Mary's Church, Black Torrington

Summary

Fifteenth- and 16th century possibly with some 14th century fabric, restored in 1902-3.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 464 057
Map Sheet:SS40NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBlack Torrington
DistrictTorridge
Ecclesiastical ParishBLACK TORRINGTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5055
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS40NE/11
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 91568
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SS40NE5

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XIV to Post Medieval - 1301 AD to 1750 AD (Between))

Full description

National Monuments Record, SS40NE10 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV17413.


Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 56 (Monograph). SDV336196.

St. Mary's parish church, Black Torrington. Tower with diagonal buttresses and pinnacles. Five-bay arcade between nave and south aisle. Unceiled wagon-roof in aisle. Pevsner mentions church fittings including communion rails, tiles, church plate and monument.


Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 503 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Entirely 15th century and well restored.


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

Tiles from North Devon with typical Barnstaple motifs, fleur-de-lis, rose, etc. Other details: Figs., Plates.


Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1978 - 1989, SS40NE5 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV17405.

The chapel of St. Mary's at Wytheley, Black Torrington was licensed by Bishop Stafford in the early 15th century (citing Oliver).
13/12/1978: Wytheley not located.


Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/FZ, FZ (Aerial Photograph). SDV17412.


Department of Environment, 1988, Black Torrington. Provisional List (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV17406.

Parish church. Fifteenth century and 16th century possibly with some 14th century fabric, restored in 1902-3. Roughly squared sandstone rubble walls with granite dressings. Gable-ended tile roof. Nave, south aisle and chapel, north transept, west tower and south porch. The church is basically perpendicular. Three stage crenellated tower with diagonal buttresses and obelisk pinnacles. See list for full details.


Department of Environment, 1989, Black Torrington, 11 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV336021.

Church of St Mary.
Parish church. Fifteenth century and 16th century possibly with some 14th century fabric, restored in 1902-3. Roughly squared sandstone rubble walls with granite dressings. Gable-ended tile roof.
Plan: nave, south aisle and chapel, north transept, west tower and south porch. The church is basically a Perpendicular building but the transept may represent the remains of a 14th century structure and there is evidence of Norman origins. The south aisle was probably an early 16th century addition. By 1902 the building had become dilapidated and its thorough restoration entailed a partial rebuilding under the direction of Revd. Medley Fulford and Mr. Lucius Reichel. The work involved a restoration of the nave roof, part of the south wall rebuilt, re-laying of the floor and re-seating.
Exterior: 3 stage crenellated west tower with diagonal buttreses and obelisk pinnacles. 4-centred heads to 2-light belfry openings. 4-centre arched granite west doorway with hollow and ogee-moulding and inscribed scroll stops. Eighteenth century fielded panel door. West window has had its mullions and tracery renewed in Perpendicular style. North wall of nave has tall 3-light 17th century straight-headed granite mullion windows. The north transept has a large lateral stone stack on west wall and possible 14th century Decorated 2-light north window. It has a 15th century 2-light east window. The north window to the chancel is similar style but smaller and partly restored. East window is a complete early 20th century restoration in Perpendicular style. Small inset slate plaque to left of window commemorates James Lake, rector 1708. South aisle has tall 16th century 3-light granite mullions with segmental heads and buttresses inbetween wnich date from the restoration. Very shallow arched granite priest's door. Restored Perpendicular window at west end of aisle. Gabled south porch with 4-centred granite doorway wnich has double chamfered head and moulded jambs with capitals. Early 19th century panelled gates with spikes above.
Interior: porch has plain early wagon roof partly repaired. Very tall granite south doorway with depressed 4-centred head, ogee and hollow moulding and ball stops.
Internal walls have 20th century plaster apart from chancel which is lined with dressed Hatherleigh stone.
Five-bay tall granite south arcade of Pevsner A-type piers with 4-centred moulded arches on capitals carved with raised diamond motif. Very tall tower arch with 4-centred double-chamfered head. No chancel arch. Simple rubble arch to transept. In transept is piscina wnich re-uses as its head a piece of stone carved with Norman zig-zag design. South aisle has good wagon roof with carved ribs, bosses and wall-plate. Renewed arch-braced roof to nave, chancel and transept probably of 1902. Unusual 18th century screen divides aisle from chapel with 2 tall roundheaded panels bearing quotations from the Bible and with fluted pilaster to either side of central doorway. Modern carved pulpit with 17th century cupola-shaped sounding board above. Seventeenth century altar rails with moulded handrail and turned balusters now stand in front of font. Octagonal 15th century granite font with stringcourse at top of shaft carved with trefoiled panels.
Good slate memorial on north wall to members of Coham family who died at various times 1722 - 1768. To left and right at top of panel are coloured heraldic shields. Beyond is another simpler memorial to Stephen Coham buried 1757. At the west end is a long slate memorial with white fluted column to either side and cornice above. Surmounted by armorial shield. Inscription on round-headed marble slab to William Holland Coham Rector of Halwill who died 1852.
On south wall are 3 more simpler early 19th century memorials. Other details: LBS number 91568.


Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 187 (Monograph). SDV325629.


Fletcher, M. J., 1995, Report on the Archaeological Monitoring of the Excavations of a Trench in St. Mary's Churchyard, Black Torrington, Devon (Un-published). SDV10301.

Recording during excavation of a drainage trench in the churchyard identrified five burials, two of which were of possible medieval date.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV10301Un-published: Fletcher, M. J.. 1995. Report on the Archaeological Monitoring of the Excavations of a Trench in St. Mary's Churchyard, Black Torrington, Devon. A4 Stapled + Digital.
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.
SDV17405Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1978 - 1989. SS40NE5. Card Index.
SDV17406List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Black Torrington. Provisional List. Historic Houses Register. Unknown.
SDV17412Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/FZ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). FZ.
SDV17413National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. SS40NE10. National Monuments Record Index. Digital.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 503.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 187.
SDV336021List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1989. Black Torrington. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 11.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 56.

Associated Monuments

MDV58122Related to: Burials in Black Torrington Churchyard (Monument)
MDV126231Related to: Cobbled pathway to St Mary's Church, Black Torrington (Monument)
MDV58123Related to: Eighteenth Century Coin from Black Torrington Churchyard (Find Spot)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Aug 1 2019 10:21AM