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HER Number:MDV18320
Name:St Michael and All Angels, Heavitree


The medieval church is represented by the survival of the piers. Rebuilding took place in 1844-6, and at the end of the 1880s an imposing west tower was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.


Grid Reference:SX 937 922
Map Sheet:SX99SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishExeter
Ecclesiastical ParishHEAVITREE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 4919
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX99SW/9
  • Old Listed Building Ref (C): 88984

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XV to XIX - 1401 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Orme, N., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV22909.

First documented in papal charter of 1153 (orme).

Falla, T. J., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25331.

History of construction of tower given (falla).

G.R., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25773.

A document of 1586 refers to the parish chest in heavitree church (g. R. ).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25777.

Pevsner, n. /the buildings of england: south devon/(1952)151.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25778.

Clarke, k. M. /dcnq/6,pt.1(1910-1911)132-144,pls,figs/painted screen panels in heavitree church.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25779.

Cresswell, b. F. /dcnq/5,pt.2(1908)32-47,pl/heavitree: st. Michael.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25780.

G. R. /dcnq/1(1900-1901)62/the parishe of hevitree in the countye of devon.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25781.

Falla, t. J. /dcnq/34(1978-1981)123-125/e. H. Harbottle and heavitree church tower.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25782.

Thompson, a. H. /arch. J. /70(1913)475/church architecture in devon.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25783.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25784.

Dro=chanter 1001.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25785.

Oliver, g. /the lives of the bishops of exeter and a history of the cathedral/(1861)19.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25786.

Orme, n. /pdas/49(1991)123/the medieval chapels of heavitree.

CRESSWELL, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25789.

Parish church of st. Michael, heavitree. Built 1844-1846 with west tower of 1887 and enlarged chancel of 1893. Fittings include screen with standard tracery and monument to thomas gorges and his wife, died 1670 and 1671 (pevsner). Fragments of the rood screen were combined to make the western tower screen. Figures painted on the screen are described and illustrated (clarke). The church existed in the 12th century and is thought to have received some alterations in the 14th. It was rebuilt in the 15th century, followed by entire restoration in 1541. It was again wholly rebuilt in 1844-1846. The article gives details of the interior and monuments in the church (cresswell).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25793.

In the district chapel at polsloe park the front and sides of the altar are covered with traceried panelling which may have formed part of the rood loft. This panelling appears to have been at one time inserted in the gallery front of the parish church at heavitree, and to have been removed when the western gallery was taken down in the 19th century. It was placed in its present situation in polsloe park chapel in 1901 (clarke).

Department of Environment, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV327341.

Church of st. Michael. Rebuilt in perpendicular style in 1846. Chancel 1893. White limestone with slate roofs and castellations. Five bay nave. Three stage tower with corner buttresses. A few older features internally (doe).

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

English Heritage, 2014, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV355683.

Church of Saint Michael and All Angels (Formerly listed as: CHURCH STREET Heavitree Church of St Michael) Late medieval piers. Rebuilt 1844-6 by David Mackintosh of Exeter. Tower 1888-90, chancel extended 1898, both by E H Harbottle, also of Exeter.
MATERIALS: Grey Devon limestone with Bath stone dressings. Slate roofs (fish-scale shaped on south porch).
PLAN: Nave, chancel, north and south aisles, south porch, west tower, south chapel, north transeptal organ chamber, north vestry (also a room beneath the east end of the chancel).
EXTERIOR: This is a large suburban church in the Perpendicular style. Externally it is entirely of C19 appearance, having been rebuilt in the 1840s and then extended at both ends at the end of the century. The east end faces the road and is set high up due to the slope of the land so the east end of the chancel is placed above a room, now known as the Rifford Room. The east window is relatively small, is placed high, and has five lights with typical Perpendicular panel tracery: in its base are two rows of blind quatrefoils. North of the chancel is a large transeptally-arranged organ chamber. Its side windows, like those in the chancel, are single lights with a little tracery in the heads. In the angle between the organ chamber and the chancel is an L-shaped vestry. A single-storey entrance/passage runs across the north face of the transept. The six-bay aisles have quite large three-light windows with transoms. They are under their own gabled roofs and have embattled parapets whereas the east parts of the church have plain ones. At the west end is the most prominent component of the church - the west tower. This is modelled on the majestic medieval towers of Somerset and has three tall storeys, angle buttresses, and a demi-octagonal stair turret in the centre of the north face which rises up to the parapet. The buttresses are enriched at each level by small, blind, finialled single, ogee arches which, although small, add much to the sense of richness. The ground stage has a square-headed doorway with tracery in the spandrels: above is a large five-light window with a transom. The second storey is quite plain and has a small two-light window on the west face. The top stage has two-light belfry windows with pierced quatrefoil slabs infilling them. The parapet is embattled and has corner pinnacles and smaller intermediate ones. The south porch has an outer doorway with a continuously moulded outer order and an engaged shaft to the inner one.
INTERIOR: The walls are plastered and whitened. The dominant feature internally is the six-bay arcading between the nave and aisles. The medieval piers were retained at the C19 rebuilding and are lozenge-shaped with shafts at the corners and a large wave moulding between. In the capitals there are large angel busts. The arches to the arcades have fleurons in the hollow chamfering. At the west end there is a tall tower arch and between the nave and chancel another that is as broad as the nave. Over the nave is an arch-braced roof. The aisles have pitched roofs with tie-beams. Over the chancel there is wooden vaulting above the choir and a semi-circular roof over the sanctuary, divided into panels.
PRINCIPAL FIXTURES: The most prominent item is the 1870s marble and alabaster reredos whose elaboration is explained by the fact it was moved here from the Exeter Cathedral in 1939. It was designed by G G Scott and is tripartite with the centre, taller portion depicting the Ascension. The side portions, under very ornate canopies, depict Pentecost and the Transfiguration. The sedilia are triple and have overhanging Perpendicular tracery heads. Part of a medieval screen is used as the south parclose and has standard Perpendicular tracery. The stone pulpit, now sadly shorn of its support, is a fine, ornate piece with carved figures of the Four Evangelists and St Michael. The oak bench ends are square-headed and have borders of carved foliage running round them. There are two fonts: that in use probably dates from the 1840s work and has a traceried octagonal bowl: the other font appears to be medieval and has a squatter bowl but also with tracery. A number of minor monuments have been preserved from the old church, dating from the late C17 to the early C19. A number of windows have stained glass, mostly C19 and the products of various makers. The east end of the nave and the chancel have been largely cleared of their fittings and there are, thus, no stalls.
HISTORY: The medieval church is represented by the survival of the piers, the rest of the church being a progressive redevelopment in the C19. Rebuilding took place in 1844-6 under David Mackintosh (fl 1843-65) who was an Exeter architect. His known work was mainly on churches and his activity seems to have been confined to Devon. At the end of the 1880s an imposing west tower was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. Shortly after, in 1898, the chancel was extended east. For both these latter schemes the architect was Edward Hall Harbottle (1844-1927), a successful local architect. He had been articled to F R N Haswell, an architect in North Shields, Co. Durham, in 1859 for five years and remained as an assistant until 1866. He began practice in Exeter in 1869 and later went into partnership with his two sons. He was Ecclesiastical Surveyor to the diocese of Hereford, the archdeaconry of Exeter and was also county surveyor for Devon. In 1924-5 the roof was restored and the galleries removed,
The church is thus a multi-phase building which still retains significant traces of the ancient, medieval one in the form of the piers.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV22909Migrated Record: Orme, N..
SDV25331Migrated Record: Falla, T. J..
SDV25773Migrated Record: G.R..
SDV25777Migrated Record:
SDV25778Migrated Record:
SDV25779Migrated Record:
SDV25780Migrated Record:
SDV25781Migrated Record:
SDV25782Migrated Record:
SDV25783Migrated Record:
SDV25784Migrated Record:
SDV25785Migrated Record:
SDV25786Migrated Record:
SDV25789Migrated Record: CRESSWELL.
SDV25793Migrated Record:
SDV327341Migrated Record: Department of Environment.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #82203 ]
SDV355683National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2014. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV87828Parent of: War Memorials in St Michael's Church (Monument)
MDV18326Related to: All Saints' Church, Whipton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jan 4 2018 12:07PM