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HER Number:MDV62492
Name:Parish Church, Tedburn St. Mary


13th century church with late 13th, early 14th century additions and extensions including the west tower and north aisle. The chancel and chancel arch were rebuilt in 1868.


Grid Reference:SX 806 944
Map Sheet:SX89SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTedburn St. Mary
Ecclesiastical ParishTEDBURN ST.MARY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5003
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX89SW/64
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II*): 401264

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XIII to XIX - 1201 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

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

The parish church of St. Mary lies to the north-west of the present village, where the old village used to be.

Steinmetzer, M., 2009, Archaeological Monitoring at the Churchyard of St Mary's Church, Tedburn St Mary, Devon (Report - Watching Brief). SDV342497.

Monitoring of the demolition of a collapsed section of churchyard wall recovered fragments from the late medieval church windows. The pieces, of Beer stone, came from the north aisle windows which have been heavily repaired and suggest, firstly that the windows were remodelled in the late 15th or early 16th century and secondly, that there was a further phase of window repairs, perhaps in the 18th century, prior to 19th or 20th century restorations.

Ordnance Survey, 2017, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359962.

Historic England, 2017, National Heritage List for England, 1215975 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359963.

Church of St Mary. Parish church. Parts of nave fabric and transept C13, north chancel chapel (now organ chamber) circa late C13/early C14, north aisle circa late C14 in origin with some later remodelling, west tower late C14/early C15, 1868 chancel by Edward Ashworth. Volcanic trap; the chancel masonry snecked; tower ashlar; porch squared and coursed; nave, transept and north aisle roughcast; freestone dressings; slate roofs. West tower, nave, chancel, north aisle, south west porch, south transept. The south transept probably dates from an Early English C13 cruciform church which was probably extended by a north chancel chapel or chantry in late C13/early C14, before the north aisle was added. Pevsner suggests that the unusual design of the north aisle windows may be late C14. The arch between the chancel and the organ chamber has clearly been remodelled several times. The north arcade has variations which suggest that it has also been partly rebuilt. In 1868 the chancel and chancel arch were completely rebuilt by Edward Ashworth of Exeter in a Decorated style. Ashworth's wall decoration has been obliterated in the C20. The 1868 chancel has a coped gable andkneiiiiikith a single angle buttresses with set-offs and Geometric Decorated 3-light east window with a hoodmould and large uncarved label paired stops. The south side has 2 chamfered lancets in square-headed architraves, 1 similar window on south side. The south transept has a similar 1868 east window, a 2-light C19 south window with trefoil-headed lights and a square- headed hood-mould with label stops. The west wall has a 1-light chamfered Early English lancet. A false gable divides the nave from the chancel, the nave has one 2- light square-headed chamfered window. The north aisle has a diagonal east buttress and unusual windows which Pevsner suggests may be late C14. The east window consists of paired 2-light arched cusped traceried windows in a square-headed architrave divided by a single moulded mullion. There are 5 similar windows on the north side; the west window of the aisle consists of 3 cusped lights below head tracery in a square-headed architrave. The grand 3-stage battlemented west tower has diagonal buttresses with set-offs, a projecting south east battlemented polygonal stair turret with slightly oversailing polygonal corner pinnacles with obelisk finials and a shallow-moulded granite west doorway below a 3-light Perpendicular west window with renewed tracery and a hood- mould. The string course rises as a hood-mould above cusped ogee arched statue niche on the west face and a chamfered bellringers' opening on the south side. 2-light traceried belfry openings on all 4 faces. The tall battlemented south west porch has a chamfered rounded outer doorway. The interior has stone benches and a flat plastered ceiling although corbels for vaulting ribs survive. The rounded chamfered inner doorway has a hood-mould and a C19 text on tin. Interior Plastered walls; tall chamfered volcanic tower arch, C19 chancel arch springing from a corbel on the south wall and a pier and capital to the north which abut a medieval pier. Steeply-pointed arch to transept, surviving corbel from former arch between north aisle and north chancel chapel. The arcade is puzzling; the east respond, west respond and westernmost arch are volcanic, the rest Beerstone, with different mouldings to the piers and arches and rustic carved captials. The arch between the chancel and north chancel chapel is a curious design, probably as a consequence of adjusting the aisle and chancel chapel to the pier of the former north transept. The easternmost respond is partly late C13/early C14 and a fragment of an early arch with a shallow image niche survives abutting a volcanic double-chamfered arch on the chancel side and a further granite chamfered arch. On the chancel chapel side 2 granite chamfered arches abut the volcanic arch. A trefoil-headed piscina in the south chancel chapel confirms an early date for the fabric. The nave and aisle roofs are unceiled waggons with moulded ribs and bosses, all largely C19, parts of the carved wall plate in the north aisle are medieval. The chancel roof is 1868; collar rafter with struts, the transept roof has slender ribs ceiled with C20 sheeting. The chancel has an 1868 low stone screen with blind tracery divided by shafts with carved capitals, iron railings above have been removed. The 4-sided stone pulpit on a wineglass stem is attached to the screen; the pulpit is brattished with trefoil-headed blind arches containing paintings of saints on tin. The chancel has good 1868 tiling on the sanctuary step and a particularly fine 1868 altar rail with painted iron foliage. Co-eval choir stalls have poppy-headed ends and open tracery; a C19 parclose screen divides the chancel from the north chancel chapel. Good set of 1868 brass fittings including a candelabra and processional cross. The C19 stained glass in the chancel is a part of the architectural design with a good east window by Drake of Exeter and quarries in the north and south windows. The south transept has a circa late C13/early C14 ogee-headed Beerstone tomb recess with rustic cutting. The nave and aisle have some medieval bench ends and benches, circa early C16, carved with tracery and fleur de lis. Circa 1870s bench ends have various tracery motifs. C19 octagonal font with carved panels on carved stem. Memorials include a number of ledger stones used to pave the church and a particularly fine brass wall monument commemorating the wife of Dr Edward Gee, rector 1596-1618. The long verse in both Latin and English is unusually sophisticated: "Yett shall thy features 0 my Jane out of my heart then slyde/when beasts from field and fishes all out of the seas shall glyde/". A large Gothic wall monument on the south wall of the nave commemorates members of the Langdon family, recording names from 1821-1898. A medieval church with an intriguing building history, some unconventional medieval tracery for the county and an 1868 chancel with good co-eval fittings.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume.
SDV342497Report - Watching Brief: Steinmetzer, M.. 2009. Archaeological Monitoring at the Churchyard of St Mary's Church, Tedburn St Mary, Devon. Exeter Archaeology Report. 09.29. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV359962Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2017. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #97036 ]
SDV359963National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2017. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1215975.

Associated Monuments

MDV104749Parent of: War Memorial in St. Mary's Church (Monument)
MDV75545Related to: Medieval Cross, Parish Churchyard, Tedburn St. Mary (Monument)
MDV75544Related to: Parish Churchyard, Tedburn St. Mary (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4518 - Archaeological Monitoring of Churchyard Wall, Tedburn St. Mary

Date Last Edited:Nov 24 2017 1:43PM