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HER Number:MDV768
Name:St Mary's Parish Church, West Worlington

Summary

St Mary's parish church in West Worlington with 13th century tower, partly 14th century chancel and 15th century aisles, restored in 19th century

Location

Grid Reference:SS 769 134
Map Sheet:SS71SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishEast Worlington
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishWEST WORLINGTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5319
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS71SE/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XIII to XV - 1201 AD to 1500 AD (Between))

Full description

NMR, SS71SE8 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV61333.


Cresswell, B. F., 1920 - 1921, Milles' parochial collections for Devon (Article in Serial). SDV61326.

Author notes roof of 'shindles' or 'oak boards shaped like slates'.


Cresswell, B. F., 1927, Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders, 155 (Article in Serial). SDV124362.


Delderfield, E., 1977, A Devon Church That Has a Twisted Spire (Article in Serial). SDV61325.

Parish Church of St Mary. Ancient stone arch set midway in Church Cottage and the path proceeds to the church. One of the few Devon churches with a twisted spire, of wooden shingles which surmounts a 13th century tower. Struck by lightning July 1976 and severely damaged, but is being restored. Interior built of local dun stone. Nave and south aisle are 15th century. Simply carved screen, 3.05 meters wide, encloses the chapel of the Stucleys at the west end. Barrel roof with carved bosses and some ancient carved pew ends, the work of local carpenters. The ancient piscina and credence shelf are quite plain. Great oak beam which supports the passage through the cottage and other buildings was constructed with great ingenuity.


Department of Environment, 1987, West Worlington, 26 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV61327.

Parish church of St Mary in West Worlington. Predominantly 15th century, though tower 13th century and chancel partly 14th century; 19th century restoration. Coursed local rubble, coursed and squared to the tower, some Bathstone dressings; continuous gabled slated nave and chancel roof, clay ridge tiles, aisle with gabled roof with lead ridge, slate roof to porch with clay ridge, timber twisted broach spire to tower clad with shingles, restored 1908, lead capping, weathercock. Plan: nave, chancel, south aisle, south porch, west tower. Perpendicular style. Exterior: big broad squat tower with large quoins to west, 3-light west window with a stilted arch head, centre light reaching up to the apex, the flanking lights terminating lower down, label which continues as a weathered drip right around the tower; pointed-arch west doorway with 2 orders of cavetto mouldings, studded plank door; Spire restored after lightening strike, but retains some of its early structure. Nave with two 2-light trefoiled square-headed windows to the north, labels; similar window on north side of chancel, this appears replaced 19th century. 3-bayed aisle with 2-stage buttresses with offsets, fine-traceried 3-light Perpendicular windows. Small gabled porch, very plain outer door opening, inside slate floor, wooden bench to each side on a rubble base, 15th century waggon roof with moulded ribs, bosses replaced 19th century, leaf frieze to wallplate, part original, part recarved; moulded Perpendicular inner door opening, 19th century plank door, medieval style iron hinges. 13th century style east window of 3 lights with intersecting tracery (replacing an earlier window of the same style?). Interior: plaster removed from walls except the chancel. Slate floors, except chancel with Victorian High Gothic encaustic tile pavement. Simple double-chamfered tower arch, probably 15th century. No chancel arch. 3-bay arcade to aisle with Pevsner's B-type piers with standard Devon capitals with angel figures, a mask, and blank shields as well as the usual leaf decoration. Aisle with 15th century waggon roof, the same style as in the porch, moulded ribs, bosses (to centre with the Virgin and Child painted) cornice with a leaf frieze. 16th century waggon roof to nave, restored 19th century, moulded ribs, painted bosses, wallplate with a pierced frieze. Ceiled 19th century waggon roof in chancel. Good set of carved 16th century bench ends, geometrical patterns, tracery and floral carving in relief, some 19th century copies. Seat in aisle with back of l7th century panelling; fielded pine dado panelling to north wall of nave and south wall of aisle. Good traceried parclose screen with Pevsner's A-type tracery. 14th century piscina to chancel. Victorian High Gothic pulpit, lectern, altar rails and altar table. Wall monument to Thomas Stucle of 1663, with flanking Corinthian columns, pediment, strapwork ornament, cherubs and achievement, coloured and guilded. Late 19th century wall monument. Painted plaque over south door: "John Cook Warden 1726". Georgian Royal Arms. Much old glass to windows, probably 18th century, clear panes with irregular canes. Fragments of medieval stained glass to top lights of west window of south aisle. Stained glass window to chancel dated 1890, window to aisle dated 1908. Under tower parish chest dated 1690, early 19th century strong box, and charity plaque dated 1835. 15th century ring-chamber floor, moulded ribs, framed in 6 panels.


Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 904 (Monograph). SDV325629.


Blaylock, S. R., 2002, Observations at St Nicholas' Church, Brushford, Somerset, 6-7 (Report - non-specific). SDV338883.

Surviving shingle roofed spire at West Worlington. A shingled main roof was mentioned in 1927 but is not shown on early 20th century photographs.


Fletcher, M. J., 2011, Archaeological Monitoring of the Project to Repair the Central Pews and Pew Platform in the Nave (Report - Watching Brief). SDV347331.

The sites of two crude unmarked burials recorded in the south aisle. One is a 60 centimetres in diameter and 50 centimetres deep pit situated immediately beside the rear column of the arcade, with no coverstone or slab. No trace of skeletal meaterial survived, except for a calcinated spread in the bottom, indicating almost totally decayed remains. It had been crudely and tightly filled with a mass of local stone pieces, almost certainly to strengthen the footings of the immediately adjacent colunm. This suggests it pre-dates the arcade.
The second burial was also in an unlined pit, 80 centimetres by 56 centimetres by 39 centimetres deep, containing a small skull and much calcinated bone. Probably a child wrapped in a shroud.
The central part of tthe nave appears to have been excavated to a depth of at least 60 centimetres and re-filled with loos clean soil with a high stone content, also containing fragmentary skeletal material and fragments of probably 19th ccentury wall plaster. This is likely to have occurred when the church was renovated in the mid 19th century, and it was probably at this time that graves and vaults were removed from the interior of the church. The inscribed ledger stone at the top of the south aisle indicates at least one significant burial here.


Historic England, 2017, National Heritage List for England, 1107298 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359963.

EAST WORLINGTON WEST WORLINGTON SS 71 SE 8/33 Church of St Mary 20.2.67 GV I Anglican parish church. Predominantly C15, though tower C13 and chancel partly C14; C19 restoration. Coursed local rubble, coursed and squared to the tower, some Bathstone dressings; continuous gabled slated nave and chancel roof, clay ridge tiles, aisle with gabled roof with lead ridge, slate roof to porch with clay ridge, timber twisted broach spire to tower clad with shingles, restored 1908, lead capping, weathercock. Plan: nave, chancel, south aisle, south porch, west tower. Perpendicular style. Exterior: big broad squat tower with large quoins to west, 3-light west window with a stilted arch head, centre light reaching up to the apex, the flanking lights terminating lower down, label which continues as a weathered drip right around the tower; pointed-arch west doorway with 2 orders of cavetto mouldings, studded plank door; Spire restored after lightening strike, but retains some of its early structure. Nave with two 2-light trefoiled square-headed windows to the north, labels; similar window on north side of chancel, this appears replaced C19. 3-bayed aisle with 2-stage buttresses with offsets, fine-traceried 3-light Perpendicular windows. Small gabled porch, very plain outer door opening, inside slate floor, wooden bench to each side on a rubble base, C15 waggon roof with moulded ribs, bosses replaced C19, leaf frieze to wallplate, part original, part recarved; moulded Perpendicular inner door opening, C19 plank door, medieval style iron hinges. C13 style east window of 3 lights with intersecting tracery (replacing an earlier window of the same style?) Interior: plaster removed from walls except the chancel. Slate floors, except chancel with Victorian High Gothic encaustic tile pavement. Simple double-chamfered tower arch, probably C15. No chancel arch. 3-bay arcade to aisle with Pevsner's B- type piers with standard Devon capitals with angel figures, a mask, and blank shields as well as the usual leaf decoration. Aisle with C15 waggon roof, the same style as in the porch, moulded ribs, bosses (to centre with the Virgin and Child painted) cornice with a leaf frieze. C16 waggon roof to nave, restored C19, moulded ribs, painted bosses, wallplate with a pierced frieze. Ceiled C19 waggon roof in chancel. Good set of carved C16 bench ends, geometrical patterns, tracery and floral carving in relief, some C19 copies. Seat in aisle with back of Cl7 panelling; fielded pine dado panelling to north wall of nave and south wall of aisle. Good traceried parclose screen with Pevsner's A-type tracery. C14 piscina to chancel. Victorian High Gothic pulpit, lectern, altar rails and altar table. Wall monument to Thomas Stucle of 1663, with flanking Corinthian columns, pediment, strapwork ornament, cherubs and achievement, coloured and guilded. Late C19 wall monument. Painted plaque over south door: "John Cook Warden 1726". Georgian Royal Arms. Much old glass to windows, probably C18, clear panes with irregular canes. Fragments of medieval stained glass to top lights of west window of south aisle. Stained glass window to chancel dated 1890, window to aisle dated 1908. Under tower parish chest dated 1690, early C19 strong box, and charity plaque dated 1835. C15 ring-chamber floor, moulded ribs, framed in 6 panels.
Date first listed: 20th February 1967.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV124362Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1927. Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 155.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 904.
SDV338883Report - non-specific: Blaylock, S. R.. 2002. Observations at St Nicholas' Church, Brushford, Somerset. Exeter Archaeology Report. 02.68. A4 Stapled + Digital. 6-7.
SDV347331Report - Watching Brief: Fletcher, M. J.. 2011. Archaeological Monitoring of the Project to Repair the Central Pews and Pew Platform in the Nave. A4 Stapled.
SDV359963National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2017. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1107298.
SDV61325Article in Serial: Delderfield, E.. 1977. A Devon Church That Has a Twisted Spire. Express & Echo. Newspaper/Magazine Cutting + Digital.
SDV61326Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1920 - 1921. Milles' parochial collections for Devon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 11 Part 1. Unknown.
SDV61327List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. West Worlington. Historic Houses Register. Unknown. 26.
SDV61333National Monuments Record Database: NMR. SS71SE8. NMR Index. Card Index.

Associated Monuments

MDV767Related to: West Worlington, Church, Middle & Lower Cottages (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV5092 - Archaeological Monitoring in the Nave of West Worlington Church

Date Last Edited:Dec 14 2017 12:04PM