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HER Number:MDV182
Name:St. James' Parish Church, Parkham


Norman doorway and font, otherwise mainly 15th and early 16th century. Restored in 1875.


Grid Reference:SS 389 215
Map Sheet:SS32SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishParkham
Ecclesiastical ParishPARKHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5266
  • National Monuments Record: 987259
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS32SE/3
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 91483

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 133 (Monograph). SDV336196.

West tower with diagonal buttresses and pinnacles. Five-bay arcade between nave and south aisle. Pevsner mentions Norman door, font, communion rails and church plate.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 450-451 (Monograph). SDV17562.

St. James's church, Parkham. A mainly 15th century structure with early 16th century aisles. It has a fine Norman doorway to the south (circa1160-1170) and a Norman font surrounded by some excellent medieval tiles.

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

Keen records Barnstaple-type relief tiles, post-medieval, surrounding the font in Parkham church.

Griffith, F. M., 1985, EI 7a, 8, EI 7a, 8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV16646.

Department of Environment, 1988, Parkham, 151 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV16647.

Church of St. James.
Anglican parish church. Fifteenth century; restored in 1875. Squared and coursed slatestone with granite ashlar dressings; 15th century moulded coping and parapet, with frieze of chequered limestone and slatestone; late 19th century slate roof.
Plan: chancel and nave, with vestry and chapel to north, continuous south aisle, and west tower. Chancel has hood mould over late 19th century. Perpendicular-style 3-light window; one-bay side walls have label moulds over 15th century one-light windows with cinquefoiled heads and quatrefoil spandrels. Vestry, built 1875, to north of chancel, has chequered frieze to parapet. North chapel: late 19th century Perpendicular-style 3-light window to east; hood moulds over two 15th century two-light windows with cinquefoiled heads to north, restored in 19th century; Nineteenth century octagonal stack. Two-bay north wall of nave has label moulds over two 15th century three-light square-headed windows with cinquefoiled heads, flanking blocked 15th century doorway. South aisle: hood mould over late 19th century Perpendicular-style 3-light window in east and west gable; 4-bay south front has 15th century offset buttresses and label moulds over late 15th century three-light square-headed windows with cinquefoiled heads and mouchettes in spandrels; label mould over chamfered basket-arched doorway to east, with fleurons carved in spandrels. 15th century south porch, restored in 1875, has offset diagonal buttresses and moulded coping; sundial with gilt lettering, dated 1731, above hood mould over arched casement-moulded doorway, which is mostly late 19th century. Fine 12th century south doorway; round arch of 3 orders, with imbricated ornament, three-quarter roll and chevron carving; at the top of the arch is a humorous carving of a head with bulbous nose, as if peering over the doorway; the imposts are carved with interlacing round arches and have Celtic-style head carvings; carving of ram's head adjoins scalloped west capital and carving of man's head adjoins east capital carved with volutes (as at Buckland Brewer). The jambs flanking the doorway have moulded arrises. Door has late 19th century leaf applied to front of 15th century framework. Three-stage west tower has full-height diagonal corner buttresses and string courses; to west is a hood over a plain 3-light Perpendicular window with chamfered depressed-arched lights, set above label mould over moulded granite doorway with sunk spandrels to arched head. The door is 19th century but includes 15th century applied tracery. Two-light louvred belfry windows have chamfered depressed-arched lights.
Crenellated parapet has 18th century pyramidal crocketed pinnacles.
Interior: heavily restored in 1875. Fifteenth century four-bay north arcade with moulded stone arches, set on the usual quatrefoil-section
piers, and Perpendicular capitals with foliate and floriated carvings on abaci. Similar 6-bay south arcade. Late 19th century encaustic-tile pavement in chancel. Arch-braced roofs of 1875 throughout; these have 15th century moulded wall plates and corbels.
Fittings: late 19th century painted texts of Ten Commandments flank east window. Mid 18th century communion rail with barley-sugar balusters.
Plain choir stalls and pews, eagle lectern and wrought-iron candelabra with brass candle holders probably date from after 1875 restoration. Mid 18th century polygonal and panelled pulpit, with barley-sugar balusters to steps and carved frieze, is set on late 19th century base. Scalloped 12th century font has late 19th century ogee-shaped cover and late 19th century stone base and plinth, surrounded by reset 15th-16th century Barnstaple-type tiles. Late 19th century bier in north chapel.
Monuments: 17th century and 18th century ledger stone at east end of south aisle and 17th century inscription set in floor of choir. Chancel has tablets to Richard Walter, died 1842, and Rev. William Walter, died 1843. North chapel: mid 18th century monument with angels on broken pediment and Corinthian columns; monument to Thomas Saltren, died 1753, by Jonathan Richard Veale of Plymouth, has heraldic cartouche set beneath fine black and white marble eared architectural frame flanked by scrolls and wheatear carvings; three mid 18th century monumnts to west wall, which consist of urn on pedimented monument to centre flanked by tablets with swagged ornament. North wall of nave has slate tablet in architectural frame to Richard Blinch, died 1767, slate tablet set in nowy-headed architrave with plain pilasters to Susannah Nichols, died 1696, scrolled marble tablet to T.J.W. Thomas, died 1845, and monument to John Fortescue, died 1710, with painted foliate-carved frame flanked by reversed acanthus brackets. Other details: LBS number 91483.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 624 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Griffith, F. M., 1990, DAP/SX 15, SZ 15 (Aerial Photograph). SDV16650.

Bampton, J. + Boyd, N., 2018, Land off Barton Road, Parkham, Torridge: DBA, Geophysical Survey, Impact Assessment (Report - Geophysical Survey). SDV360706.

Desk-based assessment, geophysical survey and heritage impact assessment (HIA) for Land off Barton Road, Parkham, Devon.

A plan of the Church from the early 19th century was owned by George Stanlake, who was baptised in
Parkham in 1807 and emigrated to Canada in 1831. There are notes all around the plan to indicate the use of the adjoining land, along with notes on 17 burials which may be a record of relatives buried in Parkham, or relatives of those who emigrated. The annotations on the drawing are as follows, starting in the bottom left hand corner and going anticlockwise:
1. "Poor house garden"
2. under the next jog - "Poor house"
3. then a short vertical piece where the walkway is - "School Room"
4. then along the side that slopes gently up to the right - "Parkham Town Green"
5. then along the right hand side - "Mr. Griggs Meadow"
6. along the top - "Mr. Andrews[?] Lawn"
7. down the left hand side - "Mr. Andrews Meadow".

The boundaries of the adjacent plots cannot be seen, however, we can assume that the site was, at
least in part, Mr. Andrews Meadow.

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.
SDV16646Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1985. EI 7a, 8. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). EI 7a, 8.
SDV16647List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Parkham. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 151.
SDV16650Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1990. DAP/SX 15. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). SZ 15.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 450-451.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 624.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 133.
SDV360706Report - Geophysical Survey: Bampton, J. + Boyd, N.. 2018. Land off Barton Road, Parkham, Torridge: DBA, Geophysical Survey, Impact Assessment. Southwest Archaeology. 170616. Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV11682Parent of: Font in Parkham Parish Church (Monument)
MDV11683Parent of: Sundial on Parkham Parish Church (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV7486 - DBA, Geophysical Survey, Impact Assessment: Land off Barton Road, Parkham, Torridge (Ref: 170616)

Date Last Edited:Jan 18 2018 10:53AM