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HER Number:MDV22968
Name:St Leonard's Church, Wolborough Street, Newton Abbot


St Leonard's Church replaced the medieval church in the 19th century and recently became an antiques shop.


Grid Reference:SX 856 711
Map Sheet:SX87SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishNewton Abbot
Ecclesiastical ParishWOLBOROUGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX87SE/254
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHURCH (XIX - 1801 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Harris, S. G., 1899, Notes on the History of Newton Abbot, 290 (Article in Serial). SDV338239.

Department of Environment, 1983, Newton Abbot, 39 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV298253.

Church of St Leonard, Wolborough Street. Built in 1835. Architect Richard Millward but chancel of 1876 by J W Rowell. This replaced the medieval church of St Leonard in the market place which was pulled down except for the tower. Built of stone rubble. Five bay nave. West end gable ended and flanked by octagonal turrets. Traceried windows. Double doorcase. The interior has a gallery on 3 sides supported on iron clustered columns with capitals of 4 cherubs, rams, pigs, kings, merchants or peasants heads.

Weddell, P. J., 1985, The Excavation of Medieval and Later Houses at Wolborough Street, Newton Abbot, 77-103 (Article in Serial). SDV338225.

Council for the Care of Churches, 1996, Wolborough St Leonard (Report - Survey). SDV338238.

Full description given. Structure sound. West and north elevations in good repair following cleaning and repointing in 1986. Recommended for redundancy.

Oakey, N. J., 2004, Bradley Lane, Newton Abbot: Desk Based Assessment, 20 (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. Leonard, Wolborough Street. 1835 by Richard Millward, chancel and interior alterations 1876 by JW Rowell. MATERIALS: Devon limestone rubble with freestone dressings and slate roof, crested to the chancel. PLAN: rectangular 5-bay plan with chancel of 1876. EXTERIOR: central bay of the gabled 3-bay north-west facade facing Wolborough Street is stepped forward and flanked by octagonal turrets offset in 3 stages with crenellated crown-like parapets to the tops. Five lancet recesses to the apex have a louvred opening in the tallest central one. Moulded string courses above and at sill level of a large 4-light pointed-arched traceried window with alternate red and cream voussoirs, which is above planked doors in paired pointed arches with headstops to hoodmoulds and circular windows to the tympana. The outer ranges in the lower slopes of the gable have 2-light traceried windows above pointed-arched hoodmoulds to former doors (now blocked) with 20th century windows. A wide flight of four granite steps is flanked by cast-iron bootscrapers. The chancel is of squared Devon limestone with cream freestone dressings. The returns have continuous dripmoulds with foliate terminal stops over five tall shallow-pointed 3-light windows with trefoils-headed lights. The late 19th century vestry to the right of the right return has 2-light windows with quatrefoils between trefoil-headed lights and foliate stops to the hoodmoulds; to the far right are three granite steps to the shouldered-arched planked door with elaborate strap hinges. To the rear is a single-storey lean-to with flat arches to 3-light windows.
INTERIOR: 5-bay nave has been divided by a large concertina screen to form a hall to the front. The gallery above has been half ceiled over. The whole unaltered shallow-pitched nave ceiling is panelled with foliate bosses to the angles and two circular ventilation roses; a panelled gallery to the sides and north-west end is supported on slender ribbed cast-iron columns with masks and animals to the capitals. The rest is mostly of late 19th century character including the pews. The floor to the nave is boarded, the choir and chancel have a polychromatic tiled floor; the choir, with pointed stone arches housing organ pipes on the left, is separated from the nave by a stone quatrefoil-panelled plinth to wrought-iron railings with steps and double gates to the centre. To the left is an octagonal marble pulpit with a foliate cornice over statues of saints and bishops in trefoil-headed recesses in each facet, to the right is a wrought-iron lectern. The wide moulded chancel arch rests on polished paired red marbled colonettes on corbels. The chancel (1876) has 3-light clerestorey windows, a richly-painted panelled ceiling, a three-light stained-glass window and as brass communion rail. The south chapel has an octagonal font with quatrefoil panels to the top, trefoil-headed panels to the shaft and rounded moulding to the base. Entrance hall has a shallow groin vault (1835) and l876 doors, gallery stairs and balusters with chamfered arrises to diagonal framing over planking. HISTORY: this church was built to replace the 15th century Church of St Leonard in Wolborough Street, demolished except for the tower in 1836 for road widening. Date listed: 22nd March 1983.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV298253List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. Newton Abbot. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 39.
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.
SDV338225Article in Serial: Weddell, P. J.. 1985. The Excavation of Medieval and Later Houses at Wolborough Street, Newton Abbot. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 43. Paperback Volume. 77-103.
SDV338238Report - Survey: Council for the Care of Churches. 1996. Wolborough St Leonard. Council for the Care of Churches Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV338239Article in Serial: Harris, S. G.. 1899. Notes on the History of Newton Abbot. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 31. A5 Hardback. 290.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV42000Related to: Burgage plot and Tenement south of Wolborough Street, Newton Abbot (Monument)
MDV9170Related to: St Leonard's Tower, Wolborough Street, Newton Abbot (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

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

Date Last Edited:Aug 23 2018 4:00PM