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HER Number:MDV1559
Name:St. Andrew's Parish Church, Yarnscombe


Probably 13th century in origin, with 15th century south aisle and porch. Restored in 1846, including the addition of the vestry. Refurbished in 1884. Long-term restoration and repair programme in the 1970s and 1980s.


Grid Reference:SS 561 236
Map Sheet:SS52SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishYarnscombe
Ecclesiastical ParishYARNSCOMBE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5345
  • National Monuments Record: SS52SE19
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS52SE/4
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 91891

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Early Medieval to XVIII - 1066 AD to 1800 AD)

Full description

National Monuments Record, SS52SE19 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV15491.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 171 (Monograph). SDV336196.

Norman north transept tower with pinnacles and stair-turret. Four-bay arcade between nave and south aisle. Old ceiled wagon-roofs. Church fittings include font, chest, tiles, stained glass, church plate and monuments to John Cockworthy and John Pollard.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 519-520 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Parish church; St. Andrew's. Entirely 15th century. Some medieval tiles and glass remain in south aisle. Memorial to John Cockworthy in chancel.

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 occurrence of post-medieval relief tiles from North Devon in Yarnscombe parish church. Other details: Figures, Plates.

Timms, S. C., 1982, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV15482.

Three medieval glazed floor tiles said to be from this church are on display in museum room at Barnstaple Athenaeum. One shows St. George and the dragon.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 923 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Department of Environment, 1989, Yarnscombe, 207 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV336000.

Parish Church of St Andrew.
Parish church. Probably 13th century in origin, 15th century south aisle and porch; restoration of 1846, including the addition of the vestry, refurbishment of 1884, long-term restoration and repair programme in the 1970s and 1980s. Rough-squared. Stone rubble with a slate roof and granite volcanic and freestone dressings.
Plan: The position of the transeptal north tower is unusual in the county: nave, chancel, 4-bay granite south arcade, north-east vestry, south porch. 13th century features survive in the chancel and tower, the latter also said to have some traces of earlier work. The south aisle and porch were added in the 15th century.
Exterior: The chancel has a probably 13th century 3-light Early English east window with intersecting tracery, medieval masonry surviving on the exterior, the splayed internal jambs probably a 19th century rebuilding; 2-light square-headed cusped windows to the north and south sides. The lean-to vestry on the north side is said to be 1846 (church guide) but re-uses a 2-light square-headed cuspid medieval east window. The nave has a 3-light Perpendicular west window and a 2-light freestone Perpendicular north window. 2 stage 13th century transeptal north tower with diagonal buttresses, battlements and corner pinnacles; round-headed window on the east side, cusped belfry openings on north, west and east sides; polygonal stair turret on the west side. The south aisle has 3-light Perpendicular east windows, three 3-light Perpendicular granite windows, a rectangular rood loft stair turret and a doorway into the south chancel chapel with a depressed segmental head. 3-light Perpendicular east window. The south porch has a moulded granite outer doorframe with moulded
capitals below a late 18th century slate sundial, the gnomon at an angle to take account of the alignment of the church. The inner doorframe is also moulded granite; 19th century floor tiles and door, medieval ceiled wagon roof. There is a blocked west door to the nave.
Interior: Plastered walls; chancel arch formed from the junction of the nave and lower chancel roof with an asymmetrical arch supported on a large timber corbel on the south side; plain pointed arch into the tower; 4-bay granite south arcade with diagonally-set shafts to the piers, moulded capitals and shallow-moulded Tudor arches. The western respond abuts a short section of plain wall that divides the nave and aisle at the west end. Ceiled wagon roofs throughout, probably late medieval, except the easternmost section in the nave which appears to be a 20th century replacement. The rather odd black and white colour scheme, presumably 20th century but rather 17th century in character, has obscured much of the carved detail on the roof. Both doorways to the roof loft stair turret survive, the upper doorway plainer.
The chancel has a probable 1840s reredos with texts in stone frames; late 19th century tiling and a late 19th century Communion rail with iron standards decorated with leaves. On the north side a tomb recess (possibly an Easter Sepulchre) with carved spandrels and blind tracery on the back, the arch decorated with fleurons. The remains of a medieval figure survives on the back under a crocketted ogee arch - the figure may be God the Father holding a miniature figure of the crucified Christ. A Purbeck marble slab has been introduced into the recess, commemorating a member of the Cockworthy family. Late 19th century choir stalls with shaped ends and pierced tracery backs. The nave has a good 1848 stone drum pulpit on a stem, the sides with tracery panels and a text in carved Gothic script below the cornice, which is decorated with fleurons. Fifteenth century font, unusually well-preserved and unaltered with an octagonal bowl, the faces carved alternately with trefoil-headed panels and quatrefoil, with an old lead lining. Tomb recess in south wall of the aisle with carved spandrels and fleurons decorating the arch. Numerous 16th century and 17th century ledger stones pave the nave and aisle with 19th century tiled borders. In the east end of the aisle late medieval Barnstaple tiles survive with a variety of motifs. Nineteenth century nave and aisle benches with shaped ends. A probable 13th century oak chest with iron banding survives in the nave. The tower has a probably 13th century 2-centred chamfered stone doorframe into the stair turret. Royal Arms of George IV.
Monuments: The chancel has a white marble wall monument with a brattished frame commemorating Ann Loveband, died 1827. Late 17th century wall monument to John Pollard, died 1667, with a Latin inscription and 2 busts in medallions. In the nave a wall monument on the north wall commemorates John Loveband, died 1818. The monument looks much earlier: black marble with reeded pilasters and an oval inscription tablet and an urn above. In one of the roof panels above this monument a painted text has a decorated plaster frame, the text reads "Let me die the death of the rightous (sic) and let my last end be like his (Numbers 23c 10v)". A white marble wall plaque commemorates Anthony Loveband of Northchurch, died 1826. Other early 19th century white plaques in the aisle commemorate other members of the Loveband family. At the east end of the south aisle a slate ledger stone below the window with a Latin inscription.
Glass: Clayton and Bell east window with a memorial date of 1867. In the east window of the aisle fragment of 15th century medieval stained glass include armorial bearings and a winged figure. Other details: LBS no 91891.

Allan, J. + Griffiths, N. + Mills, A., 2020, Some Recent Finds of North Devon Pottery, 226; Appendix 1 (Article in Serial). SDV364780.

In 1969 Keen recorded tiles at Yarnscombe with a fleur-de-lis and initials HS (Henry Smith?), but since that time they have suffered extreme wear and the initials are now almost illegible. Others apparently matching these are among a few reset in the south aisle at Loxhore.

Anonymous, Undated, The Paris [sic] Church, Yarnscombe (Un-published). SDV15483.

The oldest part is the tower which has traces of Norman work. The chancel and nave were built in the first half of the 13th century. The south aisle and porch were added in the 15th century. The style is Early English with a barrel ceiling of oak-beams. Monolithic granite pillar divides the south aisle from the nave. All the pillars are of Dartmoor granite. Some renovation has been carried out and in 1846 the vestry was added, also at this time the high backed pews were removed and the present pews of pine and deal installed. During this work the footings of a rood screen was discovered and further examination brought to light the ancient spiral stairway and the opening of the rood loft. Some ancient Barnstaple tiles are situated near the organ. The only ancient glass can be seen in the east window of the south aisle. Many monuments. Ancient chest carved from an oak log. Six bells in the tower. Other details: Notes found in the church.

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.
SDV15482Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1982.
SDV15483Un-published: Anonymous. Undated. The Paris [sic] Church, Yarnscombe. The Parish Church, Yarnscombe. A4 Single Sheet + Digital.
SDV15491National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. SS52SE19. NMR Index. Digital.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 519-520.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 923.
SDV336000List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1989. Yarnscombe. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 207.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 171.
SDV364780Article in Serial: Allan, J. + Griffiths, N. + Mills, A.. 2020. Some Recent Finds of North Devon Pottery. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 78. Paperback Volume. 226; Appendix 1.

Associated Monuments

MDV1560Parent of: Yarnscombe Church Sundial (Building)
MDV35682Related to: Churchyard Gates, Yarnscombe (Building)
MDV33057Related to: Font, Yarnscombe Parish Church (Monument)
MDV33682Related to: Shelly House, South Zeal (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Mar 21 2022 11:55AM