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HER Number:MDV4763
Name:St James Chapel, Okehampton


Former Chapel of Ease, rebuilt in the 19th century following a fire, although the 15th century tower remains. The interior retains some 16th to 18th century woodwork.


Grid Reference:SX 588 952
Map Sheet:SX59NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishOkehampton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishOKEHAMPTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5145
  • National Monuments Record: 440819
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX59NE/12
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 93365
  • Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division: SX59NE5

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHAPEL OF EASE (XV to XIX - 1401 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Griffith, F. M., 10/3/1988, DAP/KC, 7-8 (Aerial Photograph). SDV264516.

Prickman, J. D., 1901, A Chapter in the History of The Chapel of St. James, Okehampton, 640-50 (Article in Serial). SDV349557.

Earliest reference to the chapel is in 1523. New seats were installed in 1626. Old chapel torn down and new one built in 1862. Tower is only remaining part of old building, and a bell bearing trademark of R. Norton, Exeter bellfounder mid-14th century. Inscribed: "est michi collatum ibs istud nomen amatum". Arched doorway of red sandstone and pulpit and a few seats are the only interesting features left.

Hunter, W., 1925, A History of Okehampton Grammar School, 213-225 (Article in Serial). SDV349558.

From 1610 to 1806 the post of chaplain of St. James' Chapel was combined with that of Grammar School master.

Young, E. H., 1926, The Story of The Chapel of St. James, Okehampton, 311 (Article in Serial). SDV349556.

The Chapel of St. James. Its origin is unknown, it being first mentioned in the reign of Edward I; the tower is of late 14th century date. Although ruinous in 1794 the chapel was restored in 1861. The west tower is of granite, having B- type buttresses and obelisk pinnacles. There is an old, now blocked, three bay north arcade of octagonal piers, as well as old woodwork - Perpendicular, Tudor and 18th century - worked into the readers desk and pulpit.

Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 155, 157 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

The chapel of St. James is first documented in 1178 and in 1365 papal permission was granted to the burgesses to worship in the chapel rather than the parish church. The chapel burnt down in the 19th century and only the tower predates the reconstruction of 1862.

Department of Environment, 1983, Okehampton, 3 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV342832.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 808 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Kenyon, D. R., 1997, Market Street, Okehampton: Archaeological Assessment (Report - Assessment). SDV346209.

Child, P., 1998, Proposed Enhancement Scheme Adjacent to St James Chapel, Okehampton (Correspondence). SDV347338.

National Monuments Record, 2012, 440819 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV349560.

Chapel 15th century tower, Nave and Chancel rebuilt 1862

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

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

Chapel of St James, 15th century west tower. Nave and chancel in one rebuilt in 1862. Perpendicular west tower built of dressed granite in three stages with setback buttresses and polygonal north-east stair turret with battlements. Embattled parapet and obelisk pinnacles. Bell openings with two four-centred arch lights. Three-light west window with reticulated tracery over moulded doorway with two-centre arch. The Victorian nave and chancel built of Delabole Mate with granite dressings and slate roof. Plain cusped lancets, two-light on south side. Three-light east window with interjecting glazing bars. Interior: blocked three-bay north arcade with octagonal granite piers. Small 19th century wooden gallery at the west end. Pulpit and reader's desk made up from circa 16th/17th century carved woodwork. Old bench ends and fragments of tracery, probably from screen, on south wall. Reused circa 18th century twisted balusters in late 19th century altar rail.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, Unknown, SS59NE5 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV349559.

Chapel of ease situated in the market place, founded as a chantry, is small but has a massive tower of granite, and is now the property of the corporation.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV264516Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 10/3/1988. DAP/KC. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 7-8.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 808.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 155, 157.
SDV342832List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. Okehampton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 3.
SDV346209Report - Assessment: Kenyon, D. R.. 1997. Market Street, Okehampton: Archaeological Assessment. Cotswold Archaeology Report. 97498. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV347338Correspondence: Child, P.. 1998. Proposed Enhancement Scheme Adjacent to St James Chapel, Okehampton. Letter. A4 Single Sheet.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital).
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV349556Article in Serial: Young, E. H.. 1926. The Story of The Chapel of St. James, Okehampton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 61. A5 Hardback. 311.
SDV349557Article in Serial: Prickman, J. D.. 1901. A Chapter in the History of The Chapel of St. James, Okehampton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 33. A5 Hardback. 640-50.
SDV349558Article in Serial: Hunter, W.. 1925. A History of Okehampton Grammar School. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 57. A5 Hardback. 213-225.
SDV349559Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. Unknown. SS59NE5. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV349560National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2012. 440819. National Monuments Record Database. Website.

Associated Monuments

MDV4769Related to: Mount Rhibban, St James' Chapel (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 7 2017 2:51PM