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HER Number:MDV6204
Name:Providence Chapel, Throwleigh


Chapel was built in 1839 by Bible Christians. In 1869 a schoolroom was built onto the chapel which was used until the new school opened in 1877.


Grid Reference:SX 675 893
Map Sheet:SX68NE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishThrowleigh
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTHROWLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX68NE/84
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • BIBLE CHRISTIAN CHAPEL (XIX - 1839 AD to 1840 AD (Between))
  • SCHOOLROOM (XIX - 1869 AD to 1869 AD (Between))

Full description

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

'Bible Christian Chapel' is marked on the late 19th century historic map.

Ordnance Survey, 1904 - 1906, Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map (Cartographic). SDV325644.

Unchanged from the late 19th century historic map.

Thorne, R., 1975, The Last Bible Christians. Their Church in Devon in 1907, 72 (Article in Serial). SDV15286.

Providence Chapel, roadside, Providence Place. School, cemetery, opened 1839.

Department of Environment, 1987, Throwleigh, 165 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV274669.

Methodist Chapel, originally Bible Christian. Dated 1839 and is said to have been built at the expense of R. D. Gay of nearby Providence Place. Plastered granite stone rubble lightly incised as ashlar; slate roof.
Plan and description: chapel with its side facing the road to the south-west. The entrance is under the gallery at the right (south-east) end and there are assembly rooms on the left end. The front of the chapel has a single tall window with pointed head containing a pattern of 20th century leaded glass and there are two similar to rear. The roof is hipped each end. Doorway in right end with small gabled porch containing a 20th century door above which there is a small lead plaque inscribed Bible Christian Chapel, 1839. There is a similar porch left of the chapel to the assembly rooms with a 16-pane sash alongside to left. The roof of this section is lower and it is gable-ended. The end contains two round-headed windows containing y-tracery glazing bars and there is another over the main chapel porch.

Howis Croxford, C. A., 1988, A Walkabout Guide to Throwleigh, 14-15 (Pamphlet). SDV361768.

Providence Chapel
In the 1830s, a Mrs Callard, a widow and Bible Christian living in Chagford, bought Combe (now known as Combe Farm), to start up a dame school. She found the lanes leading up to the village hazardous when attending Sunday services, which were mostly held in private houses. A nonconformist minister in Chagford encouraged her to set up a chapel in Throwleigh and with the help of Mr Richard D. Gay (a member of the Church of England who had converted to Wesley's Methodism), and with the gift by the Lord of the Manor of a piece of land at the top of the hill on the Wonson holding, they built the chapel in 1839 at a cost of £136.7s4d. It became allied to the Methodist movement and was followed by a Sunday School room in 1864 (costing £62.16s2d).
Mr Gay moved out to Combe to supervise this and later built 'a respectable residence' opposite the chapel and called it Providence Place. Within a few years, several other nonconformist families came to live in more cottages built around Providence Place and by 1860 a new gallery was needed to accommodate the numbers.

Stanbrook, M., 1991, Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered, 20 (Monograph). SDV359884.

The chapel at Providence was built in 1839 by the Bible Christians and in 1869 a school room was built onto the chapel which was used until the new school opened nearby in 1877.

Ordnance Survey, 2016, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359352.

'Providence Methodist Church' is depicted on the modern mapping.

Devon History Society, 2019, Early Victorian Schools, 15-16, 24, 33-34 (Article in Serial). SDV363127.

Throwleigh is one of the case studies examined in chapter on development of elementary education in rural parishes, 1833-1870. Throwleigh had no school recorded in the 1833 Enquiry. The Bible Christians had established a chapel nearby at Providence and Richard Gay was a teacher to the congregation. Successive rectors of Throwleigh tried and failed to raise funds from the Anglican congregation and the National Society to set up and fund a school but a separate school was never established and classes continued to be held in the Rectory.
Throwleigh is further mentioned in chapter on religious rivalry; a parish to poor to financially support separate Anglican and dissenting schools.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV15286Article in Serial: Thorne, R.. 1975. The Last Bible Christians. Their Church in Devon in 1907. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 107. A5 Paperback. 72.
SDV274669List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Throwleigh. Historic Houses Register. A4 Bound. 165.
SDV325644Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1904 - 1906. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Second Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV336179Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880-1899. First Edition Ordnance 25 inch map. First Edition Ordnance Survey 25 inch Map. Map (Digital).
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #96916 ]
SDV359884Monograph: Stanbrook, M.. 1991. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Old Dartmoor Schools Remembered. Paperback Volume. 20.
SDV361768Pamphlet: Howis Croxford, C. A.. 1988. A Walkabout Guide to Throwleigh. Village guide. A5 Paperback. 14-15.
SDV363127Article in Serial: Devon History Society. 2019. Early Victorian Schools. The Devon Historian. 88. Paperback Volume. 15-16, 24, 33-34.

Associated Monuments

MDV122946Related to: Higher Providence Cottage, Throwleigh (Building)
MDV93123Related to: Providence Place and Combe Cottage, Throwleigh (Building)
MDV53190Related to: School south-east of Providence Cottage, Throwleigh (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jul 22 2019 10:25AM