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HER Number:MDV8364
Name:St Michael & All Saints, Stokenham


The parish church which was built in 15th or early 16th century was originally dedicated to the 12th century St Humbert the Confessor.


Grid Reference:SX 808 428
Map Sheet:SX84SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishStokenham
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishSTOKENHAM

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5201
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX84SW/2
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 99994
  • Tide Project: 24/11/2021

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Built, XV to XVI - 1401 AD (Between) to 1600 AD (Between))

Full description

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 273 (Monograph). SDV336217.

Remarkably large church. West tower of Totnes type, projecting chancel, large 4-light perpendicular windows, specially spectacular.

Williams, H. F. F., 1952 - 1953, The rectory and vicarage of Stokenham, Devon., 153-60 (Article in Serial). SDV158134.

Lists of rectors and vicars of Stokenham given.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 482 (Monograph). SDV17562.

St Michael and All Angels, Stokenham Parish Church. Originally dedicated to St Humbart the Confessor (died 1188). 15th century or early 16th century.

Department of Environment, 1960, Stokenham (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV158220.

Church of St Michael. Mainly late medieval but traces of early 14th century work at east end of chancel. Roofs all modern. Good arcades of Beer stone with elaborately carved caps. Rood screen 15th century but much mutilated and badly repainted. Late 17th century mural tablet with well carved stone frame. Most of the interior unfortunately scraped.

Department of Environment, 1967, Stokenham (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV321701.

Church of St Michael, Parish church. 1431 rebuilding of a 14th century church restored in 1874 and 1890. Dressed slate rubble; 19th century limestone windows but 15th century granite windows in tower. Slate roofs with stone and concrete coping to gable ends. Plan and Development: Nave, chancel, 6-bay north and north aisles, north and south transepts, west tower, south porch and vestry on north side of chancel. The first rector in 1309-10. The dedication of 1431 must have been a rededication when the church was virtually rebuilt. The nave was entirely reconstructed when the north and south aisles were added. The north and south transepts indicate it was a uniform plan but it is not certain whether they too were rebuilt. The chancel was not completely rebuilt since there is some 14th century work but the 15th century west tower replaces an earlier tower of which only the tower arch survives. The south porch is probably a 17th century addition. The vestry on the north side of the chancel was probably added in circa early 19th century when the church was refenstrated since Davidson in 1842 mentions that the church was "modernised with incongruous wooded mullions" - possibly like the vestry windows. The church was restored in 1874 at a cost of £1,200 (or £1,800) and all the windows were replaced except for the tower windows. In 1890 the chancel was restored at a cost of £300. Exterior: Chamfered plinth around the church. 19th century 4-light perpendicular 2-centred arch south windows (and 3-light perpendicular east and west windows of south aisle) with buttresses between. The south transept has 19th century 3-light 3-centred arch perpendicular window with slate sundial below dated 1811 and polygonal rood stair turret in the right hand angle with very small round-headed lancets and embattled parapet. Gabled south porch has dressed slate segmented arch, the inner doorway has double roll-moulded 4-centre arch and 19th century plank door with strap hinges. North side similar but without porch. The chancel has large 19th century perpendicular east window, 19th century perpendicular 2-light south window and priest's doorway on south side with dressed slate 2-centred (almost round) arch and 20th century door. Parallel on north side slate 2- circa early 19th century vestry with slate coped gable ends, east end stack and 2 19th century windows with wooden mullions and curved braces. Tall 3-stage west tower with set back buttresses with set-offs, granite 2-light bell openings with 4-centred heads, hoodmoulds and slate louvres, embattled parapet without pinnacles and polygonal stair turret at centre of south side with embattled parapet above tower parapet; 4-centred arch external doorway at base of stair tower; 15th century perpendicular 3-light west windows with mould above round arch double-chamfered dressed slate west doorway (now a window). Interior: Beerstone arcades and rear arches and exposed stone rubble walls late 19th century quarry tile floor. Unceiled waggon roofs with moulded ribs and bosses appear to be late 19th century except for the south aisle roof which is largely 15th century and the chancel which is ceiled between the ribs and might also be 15th century. 6-bay north and south arcades in Beerstone with B-type piers (wave moulding between the shafts) moulded bases, carved foliage capitals and moulded 4-centred (almost round) arches. Tall unmoulded 2-centred tower arch with chamfered imposts. Fine 14th century double piscina on south side of chancel with cusped agee arches with crockets head stops and bases with covered heads and foliage. 13th century style reredos with blind 4-bay arcade. Other details: LBS Number 99994.

Roberts, W. A., 1980, Books on Stokenham, Stokenham Occasional Papers Book 2 (Pamphlet). SDV146480.

There was a lawsuit in 1198 as to who had the right to apppoint the parson at the church, the Lord of the Manor or the Abbot. In the 16th century Sir Frances Drake obtained the advowson of Stokenham Church from Queen Elizabeth I for Francis Fletcher who had been chaplain on the Golden Hind.

Pearce, S. M., 1982, Church and Society in South Devon, AD 350-700, 1-18 (Article in Serial). SDV336077.

Impett, R. M., 1989, Stokenham (Ground Photograph). SDV339600.

Slater, T. R., 1991, Controlling the South Hams: The Anglo-Saxon burh at Halwell, 69 (Article in Serial). SDV155659.

Clearly the Minster Church of the royal estate of Chillington. Placename element 'Stoc' suggests a British foundation (see Pearce). Possible early mother/daughter link with St. Michael, Blackawton. Other details: Figure 4.

Fletcher, M. J., 2002, Untitled Source (Personal Comment). SDV158137.

Archaeological work carried out at some time between 1997 and 2000 in connection with drainage works. No report yet received.

Williams, H. + Turner, S., 2005, Stokenham, Devon: archaeological survey and excavation in 2005, 44-64 (Article in Serial). SDV342101.

Williams, H. + Turner, S., 2005, Stokenham: Archaeological Survey and Excavation in 2005, 1-5,Figs 1-2 (Report - Survey). SDV321702.

Unique dedication of the Parish Church at Stokenham to St Humbert the Confessor with rich medieval documentation of the parish. The south-facing church is on the southeast side of the village with the site of Stokenham manor house to the east which possibly dated to the 12th century and was abandoned in 1585. The church is thought to represent the Anglo-Saxon minster church of Coleridge Hundred whose royal estate was 1.5 kilometres to the west at Chillington. The topography of the village suggests the presence of a large sub-circular enclosure encompassing the church and the village green to the west with numerous slight earthworks. The area to the east of the church was surveyed in 2005 prior to an extension to the churchyard and a small excavation was undertaken. Other details: Universities of Exeter & Newcastle.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV146480Pamphlet: Roberts, W. A.. 1980. Books on Stokenham. Leaflet + Digital. Stokenham Occasional Papers Book 2.
SDV155659Article in Serial: Slater, T. R.. 1991. Controlling the South Hams: The Anglo-Saxon burh at Halwell. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 123. A5 Paperback. 69.
SDV158134Article in Serial: Williams, H. F. F.. 1952 - 1953. The rectory and vicarage of Stokenham, Devon.. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 25. Unknown. 153-60.
SDV158137Personal Comment: Fletcher, M. J.. 2002.
SDV158220List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1960. Stokenham. Historic Houses Register. A4 Spiral Bound.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 482.
SDV321701List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1967. Stokenham. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV321702Report - Survey: Williams, H. + Turner, S.. 2005. Stokenham: Archaeological Survey and Excavation in 2005. University of Exeter and University of Newcastle. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1-5,Figs 1-2.
SDV336077Article in Serial: Pearce, S. M.. 1982. Church and Society in South Devon, AD 350-700. Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society. 40. Paperback Volume. 1-18.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 273.
SDV339600Ground Photograph: Impett, R. M.. 1989. Stokenham. Impett Slide Collection. Slide.
SDV342101Article in Serial: Williams, H. + Turner, S.. 2005. Stokenham, Devon: archaeological survey and excavation in 2005. Excapades. 1(1). A4 Stapled + Digital. 44-64.

Associated Monuments

MDV8365Parent of: Rood Screen at Stokenham Parish Church (Building)
MDV45493Parent of: Stained Glass at Stokenham Parish Church (Find Spot)
MDV8366Parent of: Sundial at Stokenham Parish Church (Monument)
MDV104691Parent of: War Memorial in St. Michael and All Angels' Church (Monument)
MDV71392Related to: Edmonds and Gillard tomb south of Stokenham Parish Church (Building)
MDV71394Related to: Headstones east of Stokenham Parish Church (Building)
MDV71391Related to: Lychgate at Stokenham Parish Church (Building)
MDV66800Related to: Medieval Coins east of Stokenham Parish Church (Find Spot)
MDV8382Related to: Priory at Stokenham (Monument)
MDV13757Related to: Stokenham Manor House (Monument)
MDV71393Related to: Tomb southeast of Stokenham Parish Church (Building)
MDV71390Related to: Wall west of Stokenham Parish Church (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV1570 - Geophysical Survey at Stokenham
  • EDV1571 - Archaeological Excavation at Stokenham
  • EDV1576 - Fieldwalking Survey at Stokenham
  • EDV1579 - Stokenham: Churchyard Survey

Date Last Edited:Jun 12 2024 1:45PM