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HER Number:MDV1569
Name:Christ Church, Bear Street, Barnstaple


A Bible Christian Chapel which opened 1876, the tower being added in 1892. The interior is of considerable quality.


Grid Reference:SS 559 333
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/113

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BIBLE CHRISTIAN CHAPEL (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880-1899, First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map (Cartographic). SDV336179.

'Bible Chris. Chapel' marked on 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map. Map object based on this.

Thorne, R., 1975, The Last Bible Christians. Their Church in Devon in 1907, 67 (Article in Serial). SDV15286.

Thorne Memorial Chapel, Bear Street. Opened 1876, enlarged 1891. School opened 1939.

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

Christ Church marked on modern mapping.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Christ Church. Methodist chapel, originally built for the Bible Christians. 1875-6. By WC Oliver, who remodelled it and added the tower in 1891-2. Carved woodwork by Harry Hems of Exeter; pulpit by a Mr Gillet. Purplish, coursed and squared stone rubble with horizontal bands of limestone in the tower; coursed and squared slatestone rubble at the back. Details, both front and back, are in limestone, with some polished pink granite at the front. Slated roofs with pierced red ridge-tiles; spire leaded.
Plan consists of an oblong galleried chapel with small 5-sided apse at the north end. Foyer at S end, fronting Bear Street; square tower at south-west corner. Minister's room contrived in ground storey of apse. 2-stage front to Bear Street in Early English style. In centre is the gabled end of the main chapel range with 3-light Gothic window in each stage, the arches springing from attached columns; window in upper storey has taller central light, the whole set in a shallow recess with pointed arch. Lower sections at each side contain doorways to foyer, 2 on the right and one on the left; these have moulded pointed arches and attached columns of pink granite. Upper stage has 2 windows of 2 lights, with plate tracery on right-hand side; 2-light window with pointed arches springing from attached columns on left-hand side. 3-stage tower with moulded string courses between the stages. Lowest stage has doorway with pointed arch, the latter enclosed by a gabled hood with carved finial. 3-light window in middle stage with similar hoods to each light, the arches springing from attached columns. Uppermost stage has 3 slit windows with pointed arches in each face. Bracketed top cornice, surmounted by parapet with trefoil-headed panels; large square finial at each corner with similar panels. Short spire with patterned leading and gabled ventilator in each face; decorated lightning conductor on top. Interior is of considerable quality. Galleries on all 4 sides carried on cast-iron columns with foliated capitals. Gallery fronts have enriched openwork cast-iron panels. Further columns rise to support the roof, with decorative cast-iron brackets rising to the wall-plates. Roof has arch-braced trusses combined with trussed common rafters. Elaborately carved pulpit at north end with fluted and twisted columns flanking open Gothic panels; 3 good chairs underneath with Gothic decoration. At east end a wooden screen dividing off the foyer; upper panels with trefoiled arches and coloured glass. In gallery above it an organ of 1880. The Church Hall of 1939, which adjoins the chapel on the east, is not included in the listing. Date listed: 31st August 1988.

Southwest Archaeology, 2013, Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database, BHBS Mapping Area 550 (Un-published). SDV351581.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV15286Article in Serial: Thorne, R.. 1975. The Last Bible Christians. Their Church in Devon in 1907. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 107. A5 Paperback. 67.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #81645 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV351581Un-published: Southwest Archaeology. 2013. Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database. Greater Barnstaple Area Project. Digital. BHBS Mapping Area 550.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 4 2013 10:02AM