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HER Number:MDV321
Name:St. Peter's Parish Church, Dowland


St. Peter's Parish Church in Dowland has some Norman fabric with 15th and early 16th century additions and partially restored in 1876


Grid Reference:SS 568 103
Map Sheet:SS51SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDowland
Ecclesiastical ParishDOWLAND

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5324
  • National Monuments Record: 33642
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS51SE/11
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 90892

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Early Medieval to XIX - 1066 AD to 1876 AD (Between))

Full description

Wapshott, E. + Morris, B., 09/04/2013, Land at Coombe Farm, Iddesleigh, Devon (Report - Survey). SDV355676.

The Grade I Listed Church of St Peter in Dowland, and the various Grade II Listed tombs in its churchyard are located in the centre of the village. The tombs and the churchyard, and the body of the church, are shielded from views of the proposed turbine by Manor Cottage and other historic properties. Trees, banks and barns also shield the church and any views from within the churchyard. The setting of the church in the landscape is not affected to the north toward Dolton, the west toward Meeth, but to the south to Iddesleigh the turbine will interrupt views. The effect on the church and its place as a prominent man-made feature in the landscape is therefore assessed as negative/moderate.

White, 1878, Untitled Source (Monograph). SDV5814.

Reichel, O. J., 1897, The Domesday Hundreds of Devon: Part 3. The Hundred of North Tawton, 251 (Article in Serial). SDV337560.

In 1166, Dowland Church was given to the Canonesses of Leigh in Burlescombe, together with half a ferling of land. It was charged with a payment of 12 pence annually towards the building of Exeter Cathedral. The vicarage of Dowland was endowed with all the altar dues in 1269 by Bishop Bronescombe.

Cresswell, B. F., 1927, Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders, 159 (Article in Serial). SDV124362.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 81 (Monograph). SDV336196.

Parish church of St Peter in Dowland. Small neglected church. Some Perpendicular work, ceiled wagon roof. Font and bench ends described.

Department of Environment, 1988, Dowland, 60 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV5753.

Church of St. Peter. Some Norman fabric with 15th and early 16th century additions, partially restored in 1876. Rubble walls, rendered to south side of nave and east end. Gable-ended slate roof. Nave, chancel, north aisle, south porch and west tower. The fabric of the nave is probably Norman.

Ellis, D. A., 1992, Dowland Past and Present, 19-34 (Pamphlet). SDV344172.

The arcade pillars were restored in the 1960s. The church tower has five 19th century bells.

Reed, S. J., 1993, St Peter's Church, Dowland (Report - Watching Brief). SDV5815.

A watching brief on building work on drains around the tower at St Peter's church in Dowland was carried out in 1993. Details of foundation construction noted, and part of an 18th century grave slab recovered. Photographs and description of work in parish file. Other details: Plan and Photographs.

National Monuments Record, 2010, 33642 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV336274.

Other details: SS51SE17.

English Heritage, 2010, Historic Houses Register (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV154869.

Church of St Peter in Dowland was Listed on 4th October 1960. Parish church with some Norman fabric with 15th and early 16th century additions, partially restored in 1876. Rubble walls, rendered to south side of nave and east end. Gable-ended slate roof. Plan: nave, chancel, north aisle, south porch and west tower. The fabric of the nave is probably Norman judging from the south doorway, the tower was added in the 15th century and the north aisle in the early 16th century, the date of the south porch is uncertain and it may have been restored. Exterior: three stage crenellated west tower with crocketted pinnacles and 2-light granite belfry openings. Slits for stairs on north side. Four-centred granite west doorway with roll and hollow moulding and arched hoodmould. Three-light Perpendicular or granite west window which has had one mullion renewed. The west end of the aisle has a circa 16th century late two-light stone mullion window. On its north wall the aisle has two early 16th century three-light segmental headed granite mullion windows with hoodmoulds and there is a similar window at its east end. The east window is three-light Early English style, probably a restoration. 20th century priest's doorway to south side of chancel. On south side of nave is a 14th century style partly restored window with a traceried square head. Plain gabled south porch with round-headed doorway. Interior is most remarkable for its oak three-bay arcade of which only one other exists in Devon (at Nymet Rowland). It has partly restored four-centred chamfered arches and Pevsner A-type piers although that at the west end is circular and of stone. There is no chancel arch and the tower arch is plain and pointed. 16th century carved bench ends survive fairly complete to the nave and aisle, except at the rear, their designs include the motifs of the Stafford and Kellaway families. The old wagon roofs with moulded ribs and carved bosses have been partly restored. The chancel roof is plastered. Very small roughly octagonal late medieval font on 20th century base. 19th or early 20th century pulpit. Various slate memorials survive, mainly from the 1st half of the 17th century to members of the Stafford family.The porch has an arch-braced roof which may be early. Narrow round headed Norman south doorway which has been plastered. The internal walls are plastered. Source: Beatrix Cresswell: Churches in the Deanery of Tarrington; White's Directory 1878. Other details: LBS Number 90892.

Ordnance Survey, 2010, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV344030.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV124362Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1927. Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 159.
SDV154869List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: English Heritage. 2010. Historic Houses Register. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 81.
SDV336274National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2010. 33642. National Monuments Record Index. Website.
SDV337560Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1897. The Domesday Hundreds of Devon: Part 3. The Hundred of North Tawton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 28. Unknown. 251.
SDV344030Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2010. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #87386 ]
SDV344172Pamphlet: Ellis, D. A.. 1992. Dowland Past and Present. Paperback Volume. 19-34.
SDV355676Report - Survey: Wapshott, E. + Morris, B.. 09/04/2013. Land at Coombe Farm, Iddesleigh, Devon. Southwest Archaeology Report. 130409. A4 Spiral Bound + Digital.
SDV5753List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Dowland. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound. 60.
SDV5814Monograph: White. 1878. White's Directory. Unknown.
SDV5815Report - Watching Brief: Reed, S. J.. 1993. St Peter's Church, Dowland. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit HER Entry. Unknown.

Associated Monuments

MDV323Related to: Churchyard Cross at St Peter's Parish Church, Dowland (Building)
MDV37861Related to: Kimp Headstone at St Peter's Parish Church, Dowland (Building)
MDV322Related to: Manor Cottage, Dowland (Building)
MDV76247Related to: The Old Vicarage, Dowland (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4585 - Watching Brief at St Peter's Church, Dowland

Date Last Edited:Dec 14 2017 12:13PM