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HER Number:MDV20738
Name:Church of St. Mary, Highweek Street, Newton Abbot


Former chapel originally built in the 15th century but much altered. It is now converted into housing and part of 11-19 St. Marys Court.


Grid Reference:SX 856 714
Map Sheet:SX87SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNewton Abbot
Ecclesiastical ParishHIGHWEEK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX87SE/129
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 464402
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 464398
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX87SE36

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHAPEL (XV to XX - 1401 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX87SE36 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV338365.

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

Chapel marked on 1880s-1890s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map.

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

The 1930s 25 inch Ordnance Survey map shows the chapel after conversion to a public hall with a small area in the western corner preserved as a chapel.

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

St. Mary's Chapel and Hall, Highweek Street, Newton Abbot. Only tower with diagonal buttresses and one bay north of tower with perpendicular window remain. Rest altered in 1826.

Devon County Council, 1975, Newton Abbot Town Trails, 58 (Article in Monograph). SDV352459.

The present building dates from the 15th century but the site has much older associations. The spring which flows from under the church wall into the street is believed to have been used by early missionaries for baptisms. The church has remained almost unused since the new St. Mary's was built in 1906.

Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 136 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

The present structure, which dates to the 15th century, is now redundant. A chapel was probably first erected on this site soon after the foundation of the borough in the 13th century and was dependent on All Saints, Highweek visible on the hillside to the north-west.

Woolner, D., 1983, Lady Mary's Chapel, Newton Abbot (Pamphlet). SDV338366.

Summary of the history 1226-1983 given.

Department of Environment, 1983, Newton Abbot, 24 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV298253.

15th century church altered in 1823 when much was incorporated in St Mary's hall. The hall to the right has an 1823 datestone.

Timms, S. C., 1983, St. Marys Chapel (Personal Comment). SDV338363.

The main surviving features of chapel (which was built in Borough of Newton Bushel) are tower, nave, north aisle and piers to south aisle. Although still consecrated, chapel has been disused for some years and is in poor condition. Widening of Highweek Street in 1981 was designed to preserve the chapel. A good bell in tower may have been removed recently.

Dudley, E. R., 1983, St. Mary's Chapel-of-Ease (Worksheet). SDV338364.

Features noted. Photocopy of early 20th century photograph and annotated plan showing structural phases attached.

Westcott, K. A., 1988, Observations at St. Mary's Chapel, Newton Abbot, 1988 (Report - non-specific). SDV336541.

St Mary's Chapel was a parochial chapel built in the early 15th century to serve the medieval town of Newton Bushel, now subsumed within modern Newton Abbot. Founded as a chapel of ease dependent on Highweek church, it went out of ecclesiastical use in 1906. The original chapel took the form of a simple rectangle in plan. Around 1450 it was expanded by the addition of the south aisle and west tower. Early in the 19th century the south wall of the south aisle was demolished and an extension was built resulting in the current plan. Following closure early this century the east window of the south aisle, the piscina and the bell was removed to the new church of St Mary's, Abbotsbury. In 1926 the building was converted to a public hall for which a stage and balcony were installed. The west end was divided off to form a 'Wayside Chapel'. By the end of the 1960s the hall was no longer in use and neglect had inevitably led to a state approaching dereliction by 1988. Fortunately the process of decay has now been halted and the building is to be restored and brought back into use. The remains of two floors and the roof survived in the tower.

Timms, S. C., 1988, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV338367.

Chapel and adjacent school have been purchased by Teignbridge District Council for conversion to sheltered housing. Emergency repairs about to be put in hand. Exeter Archaeology to make a record.

Gaimster, D. R. M. + Margeson, S. + Barry, T., 1989, Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1988, 161-241 (Article in Serial). SDV336470.

Recorded in 1988, during repairs. Examination of fabric in the west bay of the nave of the chapel revealed a slit window in the original (circa 1400) construction, and a cut for insertion of the tower (circa 1450).

Exeter Archaeology, 2001, Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Redevelopment at Wolborough Street, Newton Abbot, 3 (Report - Assessment). SDV310051.

Oakey, N. J., 2004, Bradley Lane, Newton Abbot: Desk Based Assessment, 20, Fig. 3 (Report - Assessment). SDV338211.

Gent, T. H. + Leverett, M., 2007, Archaeological Assessment of the Proposed Redevelopment at Wolborough Street, Bank Street and East Street, Newton Abbot, 2 (Report - Assessment). SDV338207.

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

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

Church of St. Mary, Highweek Street. Formerly listed as Church of St. Mary and St. Mary's Hall. Former church, now converted into housing. Mid 15th century tower built under the patronage of the Yardes of Bradley Manor, Totnes Road; flanking additions including St Mary's Church Hall built 1826; further alterations 1870 by J.W. Rowell; remodelled 1992. MATERIALS: roughcast over rubble, slate roof. PLAN: plan of former tower, nave and north aisle, with St Mary's Church Hall attached to the right. EXTERIOR: tower in 3 stages with crenellated parapet, corner buttresses to obelisk finials to diagonal buttresses; flat-headed 2-light louvred belfry openings except a pointed-arched 2-light window with panel tracery; plain second stage; 3-light 19th century window with panel tracery over a 19th century recessed red sandstone pointed arch to a set-back 20th century door. To the left is a pent-roofed aisle with a crenellated parapet, a 3-light window similar to that of the tower over a similar arch and door. INTERIOR: altered. Various features including mid 15th century east window of the south aisle were removed in 1904-5 to St Mary Abbotsbury, Waverley Road. Date listed: 16th July 1949. Date of most recent amendment: 11th December 1996.

Unknown, 30/10/1987, Fight to Save Old Church (Article in Serial). SDV351314.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV298253List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. Newton Abbot. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 24.
SDV310051Report - Assessment: Exeter Archaeology. 2001. Archaeological Assessment of Proposed Redevelopment at Wolborough Street, Newton Abbot. Exeter Archaeology. 01.07. A4 Stapled + Digital. 3.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First 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.
SDV336470Article in Serial: Gaimster, D. R. M. + Margeson, S. + Barry, T.. 1989. Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1988. Medieval Archaeology. 33. Unknown. 161-241.
SDV336541Report - non-specific: Westcott, K. A.. 1988. Observations at St. Mary's Chapel, Newton Abbot, 1988. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 88.17. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV336668Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1930 - 1939. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Fourth Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV338207Report - Assessment: Gent, T. H. + Leverett, M.. 2007. Archaeological Assessment of the Proposed Redevelopment at Wolborough Street, Bank Street and East Street, Newton Abbot. Exeter Archaeology. 07.19. A4 Stapled + Digital. 2.
SDV338211Report - Assessment: Oakey, N. J.. 2004. Bradley Lane, Newton Abbot: Desk Based Assessment. Archaeological Investigations Ltd. 646. A4 Stapled + Digital. 20, Fig. 3.
SDV338363Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1983. St. Marys Chapel. Not Applicable.
SDV338364Worksheet: Dudley, E. R.. 1983. St. Mary's Chapel-of-Ease. Worksheet + Digital.
SDV338365Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX87SE36. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV338366Pamphlet: Woolner, D.. 1983. Lady Mary's Chapel, Newton Abbot. Photocopy + Digital.
SDV338367Personal Comment: Timms, S. C.. 1988. Not Applicable.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 136.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #82906 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV351314Article in Serial: Unknown. 30/10/1987. Fight to Save Old Church. Mid Devon Advertiser. Newspaper/Magazine Cuttin.
SDV352459Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Newton Abbot Town Trails. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 58.

Associated Monuments

MDV73592Related to: 20 -23 St Mary's Court, Highweek Street, Newton Abbot (Building)
MDV121195Related to: Cross at Highweek Chapel (Monument)
MDV22985Related to: Raised Pavement and Railings, Highweek Street, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV81302Related to: St. Mary's Church Hall, Highweek Street, Newton Abbot (Building)
MDV20737Related to: St. Mary's Church, Highweek, Newton Abbot (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4206 - Bradley Lane Assessment
  • EDV4214 - Wolborough Street, Bank Street & East Street, Newton Abbot
  • EDV756 - Wolborough Street Redevelopment

Date Last Edited:Mar 1 2018 6:58PM