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HER Number:MDV6974
Name:Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Throwleigh


Throwleigh Parish Church was rebuilt in the 15th century with the north aisle being added in the 16th century and was renovated circa 1945. It retains much original 15th and 16th century detail


Grid Reference:SX 667 907
Map Sheet:SX69SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishThrowleigh
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTHROWLEIGH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5151
  • National Monuments Record: SX69SE55
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 897965
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX69SE/28
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 94765

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Constructed, XII to XV - 1200 AD (Between) to 1499 AD (Between))

Full description

Keyser, C. E., 1898, On the Panel Paintings of Saints on the Devonshire Screens, 183-222 (Article in Serial). SDV134840.

Bligh Bond, F., 1902, Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts, 489-490 (Article in Serial). SDV15462.

Rood Screen dated to 1544, contained painted panels. Removed, fragments worked into bench-ends. Portions of a parclose screen remaining, coloured and gilt.

Everett, A. W., 1938-1939, Easter Sepulchre in Throwleigh Church, 267-269 (Article in Serial). SDV350265.

In 1938 an Easter Sepulchre was discovered consisting of an arched recess over a grave. It has a unique design of moulded stonework and plastered masonry. It may at one time have incorporated a wooden panel depicting the resurrection, painted or carved. Apart from the panel the sepulchre has been restored to its original position and appearance, after having been taken to pieces and removed in 19th century.

Morris, P., 1943, Exeter Cathedral. A Conjectural Restoration of the 14th Century Altar Screen, 140 (Article in Serial). SDV350266.

Easter Sepulchre constructed as a permanent feature in Throwleigh Parish Church.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 494 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Throwleigh parish church, St. Mary the Virgin, was rebuilt of granite in 15th century, with a north aisle added early in the 16th century. The granite tower was added circa 1500

Crowley, J., 1961, Sundials in South Devon, 273-4 fig.7 (Article in Serial). SDV4705.

Interesting metal sundial over the south porch door. Bought at a junk shop in Exeter in 1910 and erected in memory of 'Robert Fitzgerald Penrose' who died in August 1914. A copy of one now on Ringmore Towers, Shaldon. 17th century. Unusual to find identical dials. A third similar dial illustrated in Mrs Gatty's book of sundials (1888) over the porch of a house in priest gate, Peterborough, Northamptonshire. The Throwleigh dial and the Peterborough one have the initials W. H., the Shaldon one T. H., members of the Hake family. Made by a stone mason called Loving for the Hake family. The Throwleigh dial is dated 1663 and is inscribed 'Vivat carolus secundus'. On thin metal. The dial is peppered with punning mottoes, a play on the word ‘sol’.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GJ, 1 (Aerial Photograph). SDV287918.

Department of Environment, 1987, Throwleigh, 173 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV274669.

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

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 804 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Keen, I., 1990, Fifteenth Century Floor Tiles from Spreyton and Throwleigh, 189-191, Fig. 5 (Article in Serial). SDV350263.

A single decorated tile, slightly worn, set into the floor immediately east of the font. The design is raised above the background which is filled with white slip. The whole tile is glazed yellow (glaze survives only in part). Assigned to the same group as Spreyton. There is no dating evidence, but the church was remodelled in the mid 15th century.

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

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

Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Throwleigh. Parish church. Small part may be late 13th - early 14th century, mostly rebuilt in the 15th century (possibly by Thomas Courtenay who was patron of the benefice in 1453), north aisle added in the 16th century; renovated circa 1945 by Herbert Read. The oldest section, west end of south wall of nave, is granite stone rubble; the rest is large coursed blocks of granite ashlar; granite ashlar detail, most of it original; slate roof. Plan: Nave with lower and narrower chancel. South doorway with 15th century south porch and contemporary rood stair turret at the break between nave and chancel on the south side; 15th century west tower with internal stair turret. 16th century north aisle overlaps chancel but is not full length. Exterior: Tall west tower of 3 stages with embattled parapet, set back buttresses and corner pinnacles. 2-light belfry windows and west side has a 4-centred arch doorway and a 3-light window above containing Perpendicular tracery. The south side of the nave at the west end (left of the porch) contains a small twin lancet window, pointed heads with sunken spandrels and shallow hoodmould. The gabled porch has set back buttresses and a 2-centred outer arch with moulded surround and carved spandrels, the right one containing the initials TC crudely carved. Above it a good brass sundial dated 1663 was put there in 1913. The rest of the church, including the aisle, is granite ashlar with a moulded plinth. To right of the porch a tall late 16th-early 17th century 3-light mullioned window. The semi-octagonal rood turret displays a carved foliate cornice and has the remains of an embattled parapet. Chancel has set back buttresses and gable apex cross. The original 15th century windows have Perpendicular tracery and hoodmoulds, the east window with carved labels, but one of south windows replaced by another late 16th-early 17th century mullioned window. South side has unusually ornate priests doorway. Doorway itself is a 2-centred arch and is small and narrow with a moulded surround. However, in front of this, the frame breaks forward from the wall and the surround here is carved with stylized ferns and has deeply cut carved foliate spandrels. 16th century north aisle has set back buttresses and the 4 windows of the north side are separated by buttresses. These and another in east end are 3 lights with segmental heads and hoodmoulds, outer lights only have pointed heads. Good interior: South door a 2-centred arch retooled in 19th century and contains ancient studded plank door with coverstrips and oak lock. The porch and nave have restored but essentially original 15th century ceiled wagon roofs with moulded purlins and ribs and carved oak bosses and north aisle has a similar wagon roof but is 16th century and most bosses are replacements. Chancel has a more ornate version with carved ribs and purlins. The crestwork between nave and chancel is 19th century. Tall plain 2-centred tower arch. 4-bay granite arcade; 1 overlapping the chancel. Moulded piers (Pevsners Type A) with plain caps and low moulded arches. Mostly plastered walls and east window has moulded inner arch on vaulting shafts. Floor is mostly 20th century slate and parquee but chancel floor includes a good group of 17th and early 18th century graveslabs and more have been reset in the tower. Also there are a couple of probably 17th century glazed tiles. Rood stair has flat-topped doorway with moulded surround. Easter Sepulchre in chancel is unique. At the base is a niche under a depressed arch carved with coarse scroll enrichment between panelled buttresses. Above it is thought there was a carved board. Sanctuary is result of 20th century modernisation. Low oak chancel screen is 20th century based on wainscotted section of the original which was dated 1544 and it incorportes small sections of the original. 20th century rood beam with carved figures. Stalls, lectern and benches are 20th century and timber. One bench may be 16th century and other bench ends have earlier pieces worked in. Oak drum pulpit made up from carved pieces of 16th century craftmanship. Granite font is 15th century; plain octagonal bowl with moulded stem and plinth and has 19th or 20th century oak cover. Tower screen and other furniture is 20th century except for a 17th century oak chest. No memorials. East window stained glass by Comper and east window of nave is by Bell of Bristol. This is a good moorland church with some unusually good 15th and 16th century detail. Date listed: 22nd February 1967.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV134840Article in Serial: Keyser, C. E.. 1898. On the Panel Paintings of Saints on the Devonshire Screens. Archaeologia. 56. Unknown. 183-222.
SDV15462Article in Serial: Bligh Bond, F.. 1902. Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 34. Unknown. 489-490.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 494.
SDV274669List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Throwleigh. Historic Houses Register. A4 Bound. 173.
SDV287918Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GJ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 804.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #99150 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV350263Article in Serial: Keen, I.. 1990. Fifteenth Century Floor Tiles from Spreyton and Throwleigh. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 48. Paperback Volume. 189-191, Fig. 5.
SDV350265Article in Serial: Everett, A. W.. 1938-1939. Easter Sepulchre in Throwleigh Church. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 20. Unknown. 267-269.
SDV350266Article in Serial: Morris, P.. 1943. Exeter Cathedral. A Conjectural Restoration of the 14th Century Altar Screen. Antiquaries Journal. 23. 140.
SDV361768Pamphlet: Howis Croxford, C. A.. 1988. A Walkabout Guide to Throwleigh. Village guide. A5 Paperback.
SDV4705Article in Serial: Crowley, J.. 1961. Sundials in South Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 93. A5 Hardback. 273-4 fig.7.

Associated Monuments

MDV94221Related to: Chest Tomb in St. Marys Churchyard, Throwleigh (Monument)
MDV94224Related to: Chest Tomb in St. Marys Churchyard, Throwleigh (Monument)
MDV33272Related to: Church House, Throwleigh (Building)
MDV94225Related to: Coombe Headstone in St. Marys Churchyard, Throwleigh (Monument)
MDV93569Related to: Cross Shaft in Throwleigh Churchyard (Monument)
MDV94226Related to: Garret Headstone in St. Marys Churchyard, Throwleigh (Monument)
MDV114078Related to: Graveyard, St. Mary's Church, Throwleigh (Monument)
MDV94220Related to: Harvey Headstone in Throwleigh Churchyard (Monument)
MDV93570Related to: Initialled Headstone in St. Marys Churchyard, Throwleigh (Monument)
MDV94223Related to: James Headstone in St. Marys Churchyard, Throwleigh (Monument)
MDV94218Related to: Knapman Headstone in St. Mary's Churchyard, Throwleigh (Monument)
MDV94222Related to: Risso Headstone in St. Marys Churchyard, Throwleigh (Monument)
MDV6854Related to: St. Michael's Parish Church, Spreyton (Building)
MDV94219Related to: Stennway Headstone in Throwleigh Churchyard (Monument)
MDV6976Related to: Throwleigh War memorial, St Mary's Churchyard (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV4129 - FLOOR TILE (XV to XVI - 1401 AD to 1600 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV6908 - Watching brief in churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, Throwleigh

Date Last Edited:Sep 6 2022 3:30PM