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HER Number:MDV6033
Name:St. Gabriel's Church, Postbridge


St. Gabriel's Church was built in 1869 as a chapel of ease and was also used as a school during the week. It was the first church designed by Robert Medley Fulford. The school closed in 1931 and the chapel was eventually consecrated in 1934.


Grid Reference:SX 651 791
Map Sheet:SX67NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishDartmoor Forest
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishLYDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 615594
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX67NE/52

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHAPEL OF EASE (Built, XIX - 1869 AD to 1869 AD)
  • SCHOOL (XIX to XX - 1869 AD to 1931 AD (Between))
  • CHURCH (XX to Unknown - 1934 AD (Pre))

Full description

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

St. Gabriel's Church marked as a Chapel of Ease.

Chanter, J. F., 1927, Sixteenth Report on Church Plate, 118 (Article in Serial). SDV239594.

Chalice and paten in All Saints Church [sic], Postbridge. Both with Birmingham marks.

Stanbrook, M., 1991, Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered, 76-80 (Monograph). SDV359884.

When the subscriptions were being collected in 1868 for the construction of a chapel at Postbridge, the Duchy of Cornwall, who gave the site, made a proviso that there should be a school, which is how it was used on week-days. Mrs Back was mistress in 1869 when it opened. It struggled in the late 19th century financially and saw a high turnover of teachers. Several times the Rector appealed to the Lydford School to take it over, but was always refused. Things improved in the 20th century and Canon Hall's diocesan reports were full of praise for 'this happy little family'. The school (like many other moorland schools) struggled to maintain high attendance from the pupils. At Christmas 1931, it was decided to close the school as there were so few pupils remaining and in 1934 the chapel was eventually consecrated.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

English Heritage, 2013, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV350785.

Church of St. Gabriel. Church. 1869 by Robert Medley Fulford - his first church. Granite rubble walls and granite dressings. Gable ended slate roof.
Plan: Nave and chancel with north porch. Exterior: 2 windows to nave each side of 1 and 3 lights with shouldered heads. Chimney projection between the 2 north windows - cut off above eaves. Chancel has 1-light cusped window on north and south sides. 3-light east window with cinquefoiled and cusped heads. Above division between nave and chancel is belfry at roof apex and another overhanging belfry at the right gable end. Leanto porch against north wall with shouldered-head doorway.
Interior: Chancel arch is corbelled from walls and constructed of alternating voissoirs of stone and bricks. Simple A-frame roof to nave, common rafter roof to chancel.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV239594Article in Serial: Chanter, J. F.. 1927. Sixteenth Report on Church Plate. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 59. A5 Hardback. 118.
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV350785National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2013. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #96570 ]
SDV359884Monograph: Stanbrook, M.. 1991. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Paperback Volume. 76-80.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds

  • FDV3242 - CHURCH PLATE (XVIII to XIX - 1750 AD to 1900 AD)

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 19 2017 12:34PM