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HER Number:MDV6980
Name:St Andrew's Church, South Tawton


The parish church of St. Andrew may have originated as a manorial chapel. A handsome 15th century fabric with fine tower. Good wagon roofs with well carved bosses. Embattled parapets to aisles and porch. Chapel and porch granite ashlared. Fine early 18th century pulpit, with inlay figures. Altar rails late 17th century. Monuments late 16th and 17th century.


Grid Reference:SX 653 944
Map Sheet:SX69SE
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishSouth Tawton
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishSOUTH TAWTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 615339
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX69SE/29
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Late Medieval - 1401 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Lega-Weekes, E., 1901, The Neighbours of North Wyke: Part 1, 399-468 (Article in Serial). SDV347144.

Church contains a monument to John Wyke of North Wyke.

Lega-Weekes, E., 1907, The Churchwardens' Accounts of South Tawton. Introduction (continued), 319 (Article in Serial). SDV348222.

Description of South Tawton parish church.
Piscina in Parish Church. An arched niche, presumably a piscina, remains in the walling of the second bay of the south aisle. The bottom is not pierced, but a solid stone. A second niche, also with unpierced bottom, but with a square head lies farther to east in the same wall. In the right position to have served as a piscina to an altar at the eastern extremity.

Cresswell, B. F., 1918-1919, Sepulchral Slabs with Crosses in Devon Churches, 9 (Article in Serial). SDV7613.

The north doorway is blocked, and against it on the exterior of the church has been set a coffin-shaped stone incised with a cross.

Blackwell, A. E., 1952, Seventeenth Annual Report of the North Devon Branch, 337 (Article in Serial). SDV7168.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 491 (Monograph). SDV17562.

The parish church of St. Andrew, is a 15th century building, mostly of granite, with a particularly fine west tower. Principal features; roof bosses, pulpit and font which was neglected outside the church, but has now been replaced within.

South Tawton Parish Council, 1984, South Tawton Heritage Trail (Pamphlet). SDV240657.

The parish church of St. Andrew may have originated as a manorial chapel but the "parochia de suthawthune" is mentioned as early as 1199 and the names of the clergy serving the parish are recorded from 1262. The building dates from the 14th century with a 15th century tower 75 foot (23 metres) high.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GH, 11-12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV336864.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/GI, 15 (Aerial Photograph). SDV233142.

Department of Environment, 1988, South Tawton, 152-153 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV336452.

A handsome 15th century fabric with fine tower. Good wagon roofs with well carved bosses. Embattled parapets to aisles and porch. Chapel and porch granite ashlared. Fine early 18th century pulpit, with inlay figures. Altar rails late 17th century. Monuments late 16th and 17th century.

Ordnance Survey, 2015, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV357601.

Depicted on the modern mapping.

English Heritage, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV357602.

4/201 Church of St Andrew 22.2.1967 GV I
Parish church. C15 and C16, major renovation of 1881. Most is built of large blocks of coursed granite ashlar, older parts of both aisles are more rubble with Cocktree ashlar voussoirs; granite ashlar detail; slate roofs.
Plan: nave and chancel under a continuous roof. North and south aisles both have east chapels, the larger one is the Wyke Chapel on the northern side. Tall west tower. Most of the church was rebuilt in the C15 but not in one phase. For example the oldest walls are those of the aisles but in both cases their east chapel and parapet is secondary. The porch is probably C16. Vestry new-built in 1881.
Exterior: tall and impressive west tower of 3 stages with set back buttresses, embattled parapet with corner pinnacles, 2-centred arch with moulded surround to west doorway and 3-light window directly above has Perpendicular tracery. Both aisles are 5 bays divided by buttresses. Both 4-bay sections to the nave contain three 3-light windows with similar Perpendicular tracery and contain a doorway, a plain 2-centred arch, west of centre. The south doorway has a C16 porch with embattled parapet and 2-centred outer arch with ovolo-moulded surround. North doorway is blocked and has a small window above. Windows of chapels and chancel are different in style through still contain Perpendicular tracery and east window of chancel, for instance has an elliptical arch head. Narrow priests door at right end of south aisle and semi-hexagonal rood stair turret marks break between nave and Wyke Chapel on north side.
Good Interior: nave has a very good wagon roof, now open. It has hollow-chamfered ribs enriched with 4-leaf motifs, good carved oak bosses and a carved foliate wall plate interrupted by a series of carved angels in various poses, some playing musical instruments. Chancel roof (like the porch) is apparently a C19 replacement but copy of the original. Aisles have original low pitch roofs also with good carved oak bosses. Tall tower arch is moulded with caps to shafts. 5-bay arcades both sides are mostly Beerstone with moulded shafts (Pevsner's type A) with caps to shafts only (all except one carved with foliage). Both have one bay overlapping the chancel and that on the north side is granite and moulded differently. Floor of C19 tiles including a large number of mostly C17 and C18 graveslabs. Chancel floor a C19 chequer pattern of black and white marble. In north aisle narrow granite doorways to rood stair. Plastered walls. C19 Gothic Beerstone reredos enriched with marble. C19 arch to organ loft north of sanctuary containing rich early C20 carvings. Altar rail 1903 rebuild of a late C17 one with twisted balusters. C19 oak stalls. Very ornate oak chancel screen with parcloses in late Perpendicular style is dated 1902 C19 brass eagle lectern. Good C18 octagonal drum pulpit contains fielded panels inlaid with marquetry Evangelists. C19 pine benches with tracery carved in the ends; a couple are oak and maybe reused from late medieval benches. Granite font with simple cusped panels around the bowl and moulded stem is dated 1851 but the original is there too with a remarkably crude bowl; it may be Norman. Tower screen similar to and probably contemporary with chancel screen. Good monuments. The best is that of John "Warrior" Wykes in the north chapel dated 1592; his recumbent figure dressed in armour lays on a granite ashlar chest tomb and has a Beerstone tester carried on Ionic columns and the whole of this part carved with strapwork and containing the Wyke arms. South chapel has the unusual Burgoyne memorial dated 1651, a slate wall plaque carved as a family praying at a desk. It is framed in Beerstone which also includes carved figures at prayer. Other good memorials to William Oxenham (died 1743), Francis Moore (died 1739), 2 similar Battishill memorials, both called Thomas, one died 1727, the other 1728. Others from late C18 and C19. Marble benefaction board recording gift of William Oxenham in 1731. Painted charity board dated 1890.
This is a particularly good granite church with high quality craftsmanship from all periods, C15-early C20.

Griffith, F. M., 23/11/1988, DAP/JJ, 1,1a (Aerial Photograph). SDV134521.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV134521Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 23/11/1988. DAP/JJ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper) + Digital (Scan). 1,1a.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 491.
SDV233142Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GI. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 15.
SDV240657Pamphlet: South Tawton Parish Council. 1984. South Tawton Heritage Trail. Unknown.
SDV336452List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. South Tawton. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 152-153.
SDV336864Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/GH. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 11-12.
SDV347144Article in Serial: Lega-Weekes, E.. 1901. The Neighbours of North Wyke: Part 1. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 33. A5 Hardback. 399-468.
SDV348222Article in Serial: Lega-Weekes, E.. 1907. The Churchwardens' Accounts of South Tawton. Introduction (continued). Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 39. Hardback Volume. 319.
SDV357601Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #99162 ]
SDV357602National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV7168Article in Serial: Blackwell, A. E.. 1952. Seventeenth Annual Report of the North Devon Branch. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 84. A5 Hardback. 337.
SDV7613Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1918-1919. Sepulchral Slabs with Crosses in Devon Churches. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 10.1. Unknown. 9.

Associated Monuments

MDV109189Related to: Black Hall Farm, South Tawton (Monument)
MDV6982Related to: Church House, South Tawton (Building)
MDV33604Related to: Four cottages in South Tawton (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 19 2017 12:37PM