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HER Number:MDV20737
Name:St. Mary's Church, Highweek, Newton Abbot


Built 1904-6 on the site of Abbotsbury House. Free Perpendicular Gothic design by E.H. Sedding incorporating a 15th century window from St. Mary's Chapel, Highweek Street.


Grid Reference:SX 857 715
Map Sheet:SX87SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNewton Abbot
Ecclesiastical ParishUNKNOWN

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5119
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX87SE/128
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 464569

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHURCH (XX - 1904 AD to 1906 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Neither Abbotsbury House or St. Mary's Chruch are depicted on the 1904-1906 25 inch Ordnance Survey map. The map shows the situation after the house has been demolished and prior to the construction of the church with housing beginning to encroach on the grounds.

Ordnance Survey, 1930 - 1939, Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV336668.

St. Mary's Church marked on 1930s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map completely surrounded by housing.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 212, 281 (Monograph). SDV336217.

Design influenced by J.D. Sedding, E. Sedding's more talented brother. Compare with St. Peter's Church, Shaldon.

Department of Environment, 1983, Newton Abbot, 25 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV298253.

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

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

Church of St. Mary, Abbotsbury.Church. 1904-1906, dated 1905 on rainwater heads. By E.H. Sedding.
MATERIALS: rock-faced Devon limestone rubble with freestone dressings and slate roof.
STYLE: Free Perpendicular Gothic.
PLAN: cruciform.
EXTERIOR: 15th century central east window transferred from St Mary's Chapel, Highweek Street, has curvilinear star-shaped tracery found in other local churches and is surrounded by crocketed niches and badges of the Yarde and Ferrers families. Buttresses gabled to the upper offsets, weathered to the lower two, step well forward to the line of a lean-to single-storey range below the window. The long 6-bay nave is articulated by flying buttresses supporting at the eaves octagonal plinths intended for conical-roofed octagonal turrets (only those to the front have them) and terminated by deep wall-like gabled piers. Two-light traceried clerestorey windows with segmental arches are over shallow pointed-arched 3-light windows to the aisles. The north transept has a tall 4-light window and a timber belfry to the left return. The west front is flanked by offset buttresses which step forward in stages to flank a single-storey pent-roofed baptistery with 20th century central doors flanked by buttresses supporting two broken niches and two 2-light trefoil-headed windows to each side. The slightly-pointed, almost semicircular-arched west window has 2 chamfered mullions and swirling tracery made popular by the architect's uncle J.D. Sedding.
INTERIOR: smooth stone-faced walls; panelled barrel-vaulted roof with foliate corbels; pointed arches on deeply-chamfered, almost octagonal piers with colonettes to the nave side connected by foliate bands at impost level and engaged to the slightly-projecting clerestory wall which has foliate bosses to the coving of the lower edge and small pierced quatrefoil panels above the coving. The ceilings of the aisles are articulated by pointed stone arches. The chancel has a pointed arch and a slightly lower ceiling similar to that of the nave; an ornate crested rood screen with 8 open panels to the top over a wide arch to the centre and 2 panels to each side; an elaborately-carved crested reredos and an organ to the left; a marble floor and communion rail with carved pierced panels; fine carved chior stalls. In the nave, to the front-left of the rood screen are sweeping stairs to a carved octagonal pulpit on 8 columns with a crested tester.
FITTINGS: include a font on a pedestal to the north aisle, an eagle lectern, and good original 4-light wrought-iron chandeliers.
GLASS: some stained glass to the east window and aisles, other windows have subtle cobweb-pattern leading.
Date listed: 16th July 1949.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV298253List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. Newton Abbot. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 25.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 212, 281.
SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #82905 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV20736Related to: Abbotsbury House, Newton Abbot (Building)
MDV20738Related to: Church of St. Mary, Highweek Street, Newton Abbot (Building)
MDV91954Related to: Churchyard walls and piers around St. Mary's Church, Waverley Road, Highweek, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV9229Related to: Cross at St. Mary's Church, Highweek (Monument)
MDV9916Related to: Shaldon, St Peters (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 7 2017 2:03PM