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HER Number:MDV8496
Name:Blackawton, St Michael


Parish church, 14th century chancel and possibly tower, nave and aisle rebuilt in circa later 15th or early 16th century. Restored in late 19th century.


Grid Reference:SX 804 509
Map Sheet:SX85SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBlackawton
DistrictSouth Hams
Ecclesiastical ParishBLACKAWTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5182
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX85SW/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (B): 99809

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XIV to XIX - 1301 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV144850.

Hoskins, w. G. /devon/(1964)339.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV144851.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV144852.

Pevsner, n. /buildings of england: south devon/(1952)53.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV144853.

Masson phillips, e. N.(ed) + worth, r. H. /tda/111(1979)169/church geology.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV144854.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV144855.

Slater, t. R. /tda/123(1991)69/controlling the south hams:the anglo-saxon burh at halwell/fig 4.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV335.

Parish church of st. Michael, blackawton. It is essentially a 14th. Century building, greatly enlarged in the late 15th century. Of the 12th. Century church there remains only the fine font. There is a jacobean pulpit, and a font cover of the same date. Royal arms 1680, and a considerable number of floor slabs and other memorials (hoskins).

SLATER, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV42392.

Possibly 13th century (pevsner). Vis=3/1/1962 (os) church is still in regular use (os). Vis=permian red sandstone used in this building is from roundham, paignton (masson phillips). Vis=church of st. Michael. Late c13 in origin, to which period belong the chancel and tower. Enlarged and refashioned in late medieval period. Much renewed wagon roofs. Fenestration mostly postmedieval. Beerstone arcades. Font c12 and of local type in red sandstone. Good early c16 rood screen with much original colour. Pulpit early c17. Altar tomb with block marble slab to richard sparke, 1700 (doe). Vis=possible early mother/daughter link with st. Michael, stokenham (slater).

Woodcock, A., 2009, Honeysuckle and Red Sandstone: Some Characteristics of Romanesque Stonecarving in South Devon, 77-92 (Article in Serial). SDV361655.

Mid to late 12th century stone carving in Ashprington, Blackawton, Buckfastleigh, Cornworthy, Dartmouth (St Petrox), Denbury, Paignton, South Brent, Thurlestone, Ugborough and Wolborough.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

English Heritage, 2014, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV355683.

Parish church. C14 chancel and possibly tower; nave and aisle rebuilt in circa later C15 or early C16. Restored in 1887, 1893, 1895 and 1898. Local shale rubble with granite and some red sandstone dressings slate roof. Plan and development: The existing plan comprises:- nave, narrower chancel, 6-bay north aisle and 4-bay south aisle with a porch in the angle at the west end, west tower and a vestry at the east end of the north aisle. All that remains of the C14 church is the chancel, the altar of which was dedicated in 1333 by Bishop Grandisson, and possibly the west tower. The rest of the church, ie the nave and aisles was rebuilt in the late C15 or early C16, although the circa C14 south doorway might be in situ. The south porch is of uncertain date. The vestry on the north side of the chancel was added probably in the C19. In 1766 the church was reseated. The church was restored in 1887 when the roofs were repaired and it was refloored and reseated at a cost of £700 (Kelly 1889). The chancel and vestry were restored in 1893 and the chancel reroofed in 1893. In 1898 most of the windows were renewed. Exterior: The 4-bay south aisle has 4 large Perpendicular style 4 centred arch windows with original hoodmoulds but renewed tracery; between the windows buttresses has a slate sundial dated 1736. Blocked window in east end of south aisle and gabled porch in the angle of the west end of south aisle and gabled porch in the angle of the west end of south aisle. The porch has a dressed slate 2-centred arch, late C19 or C20 gates and a circa C14 2-centred arch inner doorway with ovolo and cavetto mouldings and an C18 fielded panel door. The roof the porch has been replaed. To the left, west, of the porch 3-light nave window with replaced Perpendicular style tracery. The long 6-bay north aisle has 6 Perpendicular granite windows with 4- centred arches with hoodmoulds, buttresses between the windows with concrete weathering to the set-offs and between the 2 eastermost windows the rectangular-plan rood stair turret with a slate roof. Both the east and west end windows of the north aisle have been blocked. The chancel has late C19 as early C20 Perpendicular style 3-light east window and 2 smaller 3-light Perpendicular style south windows. The priests doorway on the south side has a cavetto and rounded moulding and 2-centred arch. The early north windows have been blocked by the later C19 vestry which has a doorway and window on its east gable end. The tall west tower is in 2 stages with a string course, an embattled parapet on a corbel table, diagonal buttresses and a polygonal stair turret on the south side also with a corbelled parapet whose battlements are missing. 2-light bell-openings, only the east and north openings have traceried 2-Centre arches, the west opening like the 3-light west window below has its traceried window replaced by a circa C17 granite mullion flat- headed window with a hoodmould. The west doorway, a slate, almost round arch its original moulded frame probably having been removed; the west door in C20. Interior: The interior walls are plastered and limewashed. The floors are paved in slate. The nave and aisles have C15 or early C16 waggon roofs with moulded ribs but the plaster panels have been removed. The chancel has a late C19 waggon roof. Similar north and south arcades, north arcade 6 bays, south arcade 4 bays; B-type piers with shafts of the corner and wave moulding between, carved foliage capitals, one capital on the north side has arms of Torre Abbey and one on the south side has arms of the see of Exeter; moulded 2-centred arches. The window rear arches are cavetto moulded. The tower arch is blocked. Doorway to the tower stair has a chamfered round arch. A2-centred arch road stair doorway rebated for a door (missing). The chancel is narrower and has an oddly adapted chancel arch; and a good C14 triple sedilia on the south side with an integral double piscina; the sedilia had cusped arches and hoodmoulds, the double piscina has corbelled basins and quatrefoil tracery with a hoodmould. On the north side of chancel 2 blocked lancets and a moulded 2-centred arch doorway now giving access to the vestry. Furnishings: Rood screen across nave and south aisle only, heavily restored and loft and canopy missing in south aisle but some of the original blue and red colour survives and the wainscot panels are painted with Renaissance designs with grotesque heads animals and shields displaying enblems of the crucifixion; 2 panels have initials "K" and "HVIII" for Katherine of Aragon and Henry VIII. The south aisle has C18 fielded panel dado probably of 1766 the date of the C18 reseating and the north aisle has some C19 dado panelling. C19 softwood benches and choir stalls. There is a low gallery at the west end with an C18 (probably 1766) panelled front with painted graining. Octagonal carved wood pulpit with blank arcaded panels strapwork frieze and guilloche band appears to be Jacobean but Cresswell states that it is C16 and originally it was set on the roof loft. Good Norman font in red sandstone, the round bowl has a frieze of palmettos with cable-moulding above and zigzag below; a circular item and moulded base Royal Arms of Charles II in south aisle dated 1680 with flanking texts. Hatchment in north aisle. Simple late C19 organ by Sims of Ryde (I.O.W.), provided in 1900 and set on platform made from parclose screen. Six bells, 5 of which were cast in 1782. Monuments: Fine brasses to Nicholas Ford died 1583 and Margaret his wife died 1588, 2 figures on ledger stone at centre of nave. Slate on north wall of chancel dated 1669 to Grace Stuer. Late C17 or early C18 wall monument in south aisle in moulded frame with cornice and another to William Roche died 1754. Also in south aisle a tomb chest to Richard Sparke, died 1700, with wrought iron railings of the Cholwiche family memorials the oldest is a floor stone to Richard Cholwich died 1646.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV144850Migrated Record:
SDV144851Migrated Record:
SDV144852Migrated Record:
SDV144853Migrated Record:
SDV144854Migrated Record:
SDV144855Migrated Record:
SDV335Migrated Record:
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #108608 ]
SDV355683National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2014. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV361655Article in Serial: Woodcock, A.. 2009. Honeysuckle and Red Sandstone: Some Characteristics of Romanesque Stonecarving in South Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 141. Paperback Volume. 77-92.
SDV42392Migrated Record: SLATER.

Associated Monuments: none recorded

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Aug 2 2018 8:38AM