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HER Number:MDV788
Name:Church of St. Peter Ad Vincula, Combe Martin


The parish church of St. Peter Ad Vincula is mainly 15th-early 16th century in date including the tall west tower, but retains 13th century fabric in the south transept. It was restored in 1858 and again in 1881.


Grid Reference:SS 586 463
Map Sheet:SS54NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishCombe Martin
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCOMBE MARTIN

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5276
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS54NE/7
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

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

Full description

Blaylock, S. R., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV51846.

Evidence for ten medieval stone sculptures in niches survive at the church of 'st peter ad vincula' in combe martin (blaylock).

Mahood, A. S., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV60423.

Combe martin parish church. S wall of nave older than chancel, a remnant of a norman church; original chancel probably apsidal, narrower and shorter than the present one. Four quoin stones are near the top of the nave wall against which the early english chancel was built. Tower probably built before the n aisle was added in perpendicular style, and whole n wall of nave removed. Older windows in tower have decorated tracery. An animal figure on e buttress of s side of tower supports a shield with three lions passant, the royal arms from richard i to 1340 when edward iii added the fleur-de-lys. Plinth of tower has a concave chamfer and is larger and higher than the plinth of the n aisle which has a flat chamfer and is at ground level. A pierced stone slab, with marked internal splay, forms the lowest window in the tower stair. A strong relieving arch suggests that this stone was valued as part of an older building. A swastika on s pier and two interlaced triangles forming a pentagram on n pier seem to be mason marks. Fine screen with painted panels containing figures of the apostles. Monument in s aisle with an effigy of wife of thomas hancock ob.1637. A noon-tide indicator, on e side of s porch, consists of a stone projecting corbel fashion from the wall, and two stones with oblique grooves at ground level, one behind the other. There is an oblique groove on its upper face sloping 51mm to 64mm from the wall, and a vertical groove on the s face. Sundial above porch entrance (mahood).

1970, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV60424.

Grinsell (1970) says that the dedication was originally to st. Petrock.

1905, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV60426.

St peter's church marked on os 6" (1905) map (os).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV60428.

Mahood, a. E. /tda/65(1933)34/combe martin church.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV60429.

Grinsell, l. V. /archaeology of exmoor/(1970)210.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV60430.

Doe/hhr:combe martin/(9/4/1987)34.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV60431.

Des=os 6"(1905)5ne.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV60432.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV60433.

Cherry, b. + pevsner, n. /the buildings of england:devon/(1989).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV60434.

Des=blaylock,s. R.(exeter archaeology)/archaeological recording of the figure sculpture on the tower of the church of our lady, upton pyne/(september 2003)10-11/ea report 03.53.

Department of Environment, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV325790.

Parish church. Fabric to south transept and, principally on south side, to chancel and nave is 13th century. In early 15th century the north aisle and north chancel chapel, north porch and west tower were added, and in late 15th century or early 16th century a north transept. South porch rebuilt 1725. Church restored 1858 and again 1881. Stone rubble with ashlar dressings. Embattled parapets to west tower. Probably originally cruciform on plan. Many various features see doe list for full details (doe).

Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J., 2007, The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report, No. 799 (Report - Assessment). SDV339712.

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

Historic England, 2016, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV359353.

Church of St. Peter Ad Vincula. Parish church. C13 fabric to south transept and, principally on south side, to chancel and nave. In early C15 the north aisle and north chancel chapel, north porch and west tower were added, and in late C15 or early C16 a north transept. South porch rebuilt 1725. Church restored 1858 and again 1881. Stone rubble with ashlar dressings; dressed stone facade to south porch. Slate roofs with coped gable ends and apex crosses. Embattled parapets to west tower, vestry, north transept and north porch. Probably originally cruciform on plan, the earlier north transept removed when north aisle was added and now comprising: west tower, nave, chancel, north aisle and chancel chapel, north and south transepts and porches. Impressively tall west tower of 4 stages. Embattled parapets with crocketted corner pinnacles surmounted by crosses. Setback buttresses with grotesque carved animal- figures to the top offsets and trefoil-headed niches to north and south buttresses containing statues. Integral stair turret at south-west corner. Large 3-light Perpendicular bell-openings to each face. 4-light Perpendicular west window with pointed arched corbelled hoodmould. Cusped niche above containing figure of Christ. Perpendicular west doorway with label hoodmould and fleuron and shield decoration around the central hollow moulding. South side has single trefoil-headed light to second stage above a window of 2 trefoil headed lights with quatrefoil tracery beside which is an ogee-headed niche to the right with statue. 3 narrow C19 Perpendicular style windows of 2 lights each, 1 to each side of south porch, the third to the south transept. The westernmost window bears traces of a C15 4-centred arch, but the embrasures of the other 2 are C13, widened slightly in C18. South porch has unmoulded semi-circular headed dressed stone doorway with slate sundial above dated 1753. Plain ceiled barrel roof. Pointed arched inner doorway with chamfered surround and C19 door incorporating old sanctuary ring and lock. Opposing boards above the arches at either end bearing painted texts, that over inner doorway is nowy-arched with painted angels bust to the top. South transept has slate wall monument to left of window by R Pile of Ilfracombe with inscription to Mary Clegg (d.1810). Chancel south side has 2 C19 lancets flanking trefoil-headed priests door. Wall tablet to Johan Ash (d.1668) and husband. Stepped 3-light lancet east window. 2 slate wall headstones to left to William Cutcliffe, mariner by W Facey and Jane Cutcliffe (d.1832). Large Perpendicular style 4-light east window to north aisle. 2 slate wall headstones below to Mary Lerwill (d.1837) and husband and to Richard Nutt (d.1781) 'last of that family called Nutt from Coulcott' with indictment never to open these graves. Third slate headstone to Thomas Wade 'some years a faithful assistant in the Free School in Combe Martin'. (d.1773). North side has symmetrical disposition of vestry, transept and porch with diagonal buttresses and embattled parapet. Single lancet to east side of vestry. 4-light Perpendicular style 4-centred arched window to south transept, flanked by pointed- arched Perpendicular style windows to north aisle. Lead rainwater head in angle of south transept and north aisle. The height of the porch suggests it once contained a parvise. Infilled niche above pointed arched doorway with moulded surround with engaged shafts. Pointed arched inner door with board above with painted text. On external east wall of porch are 2 wall monuments, that to left early C19, straight- headed with incised Ionic pilasters to round arch, winged angels to spandrels and inscription to members of Dovell family, that to right ogee-headed with angel to top and inscription to John Linch, joiner (d.1781) 'Aged abuet 65 years'. Two 3-light Perpendicular style windows to right of porch and to west end of aisle. Interior; fine waggon roofs throughout (except to south transept which has a plain ceiled barrel roof) with moulded ribs and purlins and carved bosses at the intersections. The north transept roof is of smaller panels and has carved paterae to the centre of each panel. Stone corbels at intervals to nave and north aisle below the wall plates probably formerly carried carved demi-angels to the foot of each rib. North arcade to nave of 3 bays with Pevsner B-type piers and stiff-leaf capitals. Twin arches between chancel and chancel chapel, the western pier with double trefoil-headed blind tracery to north and south sides and on west side are 2 canopied niches with 2 statues supported on slender engaged faceted shafts with original painted scrolling foliage pattern below and to backs of niches. The niches are incorporated in the fine C15 screen of 9½ bays. The chancel bays are of 3 panels, the chancel chapel bays of 4 panels, all the panels except 3 retaining original painted figures. Each bay is of 4 lights with Pevsner type A tracery, the stiles, muntins and back middle rail retaining chevron and other painted decoration. The coving and cornice are C20 replacements to the front, but to rear west end above the arches is a plastered cornice bearing date 1727 and initialled IP TH. Late C15 or early C16 parclose screen with carved spandrels and cornice of 5 bays. Pevsner 'B' type mouldings to tall pointed tower arch, and similar responds to north transept arch with concave capitals. C13 unmoulded pointed arch to south transept. C19 patterned tiled floor to chancel. C19 nave seating. C15 font with octagonal lead-lined bowl decorated with blind traceried panels to each facet. Short circular stem with 4 outer supporting colonettes. C16 oak chest. Semi-circular headed doorway at foot of rood loft stairs in south transept. 10 C16 carved bench ends to north chancel chapel, some of the benches retaining original timber. Probably C15 vestry plank door with original sanctuary ring and lock and similar door to west tower stair turret. Large painted Royal Arms to west tower. Monuments. Chancel, south wall. Wall monument to Richard Harding (d.1831) and family by J Gould of Barnstaple. North aisle, to George Ley (d.1716). Rectangular plaque with pilasters and cherubs head above skull to top. Early C18 wall monument to Harding family with fluted pilasters capped with urns, semi-circular headed arch with achievement to base, plaque below with shaped head. North chancel chapel. North side, marble monument to Judith Ivatt (d.1634), wife of Thomas Ivatt 'his Majesty's principal sercher in the port of London'. Semi-circular headed pediment with standing putti, achievement and frontal demi-figure flanked by colonnettes. Brass on south side to William Hancock (d.1587) with coat-of-arms above inscription. Stained glass: to all principal windows, chancel east window to R M Thomas (d.1862), south-west nave window to Francis Thomas (d.1856), north aisle west window to William Dovell (d.1866), north window to Harding family and east window of chancel chapel to John and Mary Staple. The chancel west lancet retains some medieval glass to the central portion depicting seraphim and wheels.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV325790Migrated Record: Department of Environment.
SDV339712Report - Assessment: Collings, A. G. + Manning, P. T. + Valentin, J.. 2007. The North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Phase 1. Archaeological Survey. Summary Report. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.22 (rev.1). A4 Stapled + Digital. No. 799.
SDV359352Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2016. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #105612 ]
SDV359353National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2016. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV51846Migrated Record: Blaylock, S. R..
SDV60423Migrated Record: Mahood, A. S..
SDV60424Migrated Record: 1970.
SDV60426Migrated Record: 1905.
SDV60428Migrated Record:
SDV60429Migrated Record:
SDV60430Migrated Record:
SDV60431Migrated Record:
SDV60432Migrated Record:
SDV60433Migrated Record:
SDV60434Migrated Record:

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 8 2017 2:23PM