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HER Number:MDV857
Name:St Peter's Parish Church, Barnstaple

Summary

The present church dates to the late 12th or early 13th century, although there was a church here in the 11th century. It was enlarged in 1318 and the spire was added in 1388-89. It was restored in the 19th century. The interior contains many 17th century wall monuments, mostly to Barnstaple merchants.

Location

Grid Reference:SS 558 332
Map Sheet:SS53SE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBarnstaple
DistrictNorth Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBARNSTAPLE

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5209
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS53SE/53
  • Old Listed Building Ref (A)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Early Medieval to XXI - 1066 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Griffith, F. M., 18/12/1985, DAP/FU, 1-6A (Aerial Photograph). SDV74027.


Gribble, J. B., 1830, Barnstaple (Cartographic). SDV357319.

St. Peter & St. Paul's Church marked as having seats for 850.


Ordnance Survey, 1855-1895, First Edition 1:500 Town Map (Cartographic). SDV338879.


Reichel, O. J., 1898, The Domesday Churches of Devon, 310 (Article in Serial). SDV863.

The parochial chapel of St. Peter was in existence at the time of the Domesday survey. It was bestowed upon the Cluniac cell of St. Martin de Campis in Paris.


Chanter, J. F. + Reed, H., 1907, Second Report of the Church Plate Committee, 114; Plate (Article in Serial). SDV70301.

Church plate:
Chalice number one; a silver-gilt cup with cover which has a seal-head. Marks: (i) date-letter 1554 london; (ii) leopard's head crowned; (iii) lion passant in oblong; (iv) maker's mark, an open hand with a crown over in shield.
Chalice number two; a late example of Elizabthen style with cover. Usual foliated band and slight leaf ornamentation at base; stem with knop. Marks: (i) 't' in square shield, and 'mathev' interlinked letters in rectangle. Cover has same marks and date 1608 on foot.
Paten number one; plain on foot. Marks: (i) maker's,'A. R. ' in irregular shaped shield; (ii) leopard's head crowned; (iii) lion passant; (iv) date- letter 1683. Arms: impaled dexter, sword and cross keys (Exeter); sinister, a cross bottonny for Lamplugh: also on the rim arms of Barnstaple.
Paten number two similar to number one.
Flagons: a pair of tankard shape. Marks: (i) maker's 'T. C. ' linked in shield; (ii) leopard's head crowned; (iii) lion passant; (iv) date-letter 1683London. Inscription: 'the purchase of this town and parish, 1684; John Boyse, vicar; James Kempland, junior, Christopher Hunt, churchwardens'. Alms dish of brass.


Chanter, J. F., 1910 - 1911, The Christmas Family of Bideford, 210 (Article in Serial). SDV95309.

There is a 17th century monument in the parish church to the Christmas family.


S., E. D., 1910-1911, The Restoration of an Ancient Chasuble to Barnstaple Church, 105 (Article in Serial). SDV356773.

A chasuble has been restored to Barnstaple church by Mrs. Peard, in whose family it has been for 350 years. The chasble is referred to in an inventory of church goods made in 1560.


Thompson, A. H., 1913, Church Architecture in Devon, 485, 490 (Article in Serial). SDV15387.


Cresswell, B. F., 1922 - 1923, Mural Paintings in Devonshire Churches, 310-311 (Article in Serial). SDV6556.

A mural painting of St. Nicholas in episcopal costume was revealed during restoration work. In excellent condition, it soon deteriorated.


Rogers, I., 1922-1923, Ancient Clocks at Barnstaple, 185-6 (Article in Serial). SDV78814.

The steeple was erected in 1329. Its costs included a clock. Since then there has always been a clock with chimes and later quater bells, the latest clock having been erected in 1913.


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

Broached lead spire of the decorated period, was paid for by the corporation in 1389.


Watkin, H. R., 1930 - 1934, Seven Hundred Years Ago. AD 1232, 212 (Article in Serial). SDV81790.

Watkin mentions the existence of a carved grave slab in 1917. From the description it could date to the 13th century.


Reichel, O. J., 1939, The Church and the Hundreds in Devon, 341 (Article in Serial). SDV15424.


Williams, E. C., 1942, Mural Paintings of the Three Living and the Three Dead in England, 39 (Article in Serial). SDV349386.

Figures over the tower arch may have been part of a mural depiction of the "trois vifs".


Masson Phillips, E. N., 1943, Supplementary Notes on the Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon. (Third Paper), 263 (Article in Serial). SDV320746.

Palme Crosse
Ina return made by the Royal Commissioners of the inventory of St. Peter's Church Barnstaple, in the last year of the reign of Edward VI there is an item "Sir John Chechester Knyght pulled down the Palme Crosse and caryed away the stones, iron and led to the valewe of £2." (J. R. Chanter, Hist. of St. Peter's Ch., 75.)


Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: North Devon, 45-46 (Monograph). SDV336196.

Extensively restored 1866-1882. The tower is the most interesting feature, the spire is late 17th century, although the tower itself is 13th century. Chancel probably same date, perpendicular style in evidence in the aisles. Dedication of church is said to be 1318 but fabric seems to show earlier features. Church plate, stained glass and monuments also described briefly.


Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 329 (Monograph). SDV17562.


Crowley, J., 1957, Sundials in North Devon, 180 (Article in Serial). SDV273904.

Sundial dated 1787. Lost until 1882 when it was discovered in a garden and re-erected. Constructed of wood with figures and the names of the churchwardens painted on it in black and white. This dial and one at Sandsford are the only wooden ones in north Devon.


Keen, L., 1969, A Series of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Lead-Glazed Relief Tiles from North Devon, 154-170 (Article in Serial). SDV15342.

Occurrence of post-medieval relief tiles manufactured in North Devon noted.


Department of Environment, 1973, Barnstaple, 22 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV89941.

Church of St. Peter. Consecrated 1318. Aisles 1670. Broach spire, slightly leaning. Many fine 17th century wall monuments. Doddridge library (adjoining church and now vestries) 1667, in Gothic style. Pre-reformation chasuble.


Devon County Council, 1975, Barnstaple Town Trail, 17 (Article in Monograph). SDV352446.


Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 70 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

Barnstaple was a single parish and St. Peter's the only church in the town until the Victorian period. The church was modernised between 1866 and 1882 but parts of the present church appear to predate the dedication of a new church in 1318, and a church is first documented in the early 12th century. The churchyard has not been used for burials since the mid 19th century and in the medieval period would have extended as far as the town wall. The discovery of Saxon burials, however, in the area of the castle makes the location of the earliest religious building in Barnstaple of particular interest.


ASI Heritage Consultants, 2000, Leaderflush and Shapland Site, Barnstaple: Archaeological Assessment (Report - Assessment). SDV70999.


English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Church of St Peter including the Doddridge Library (Formerly Listed as: Church Lane (West side) Church of SS Peter and Paul).
Parish church. Probably late 12th- or early 13th century, enlarged 1318. Spire added 1388-9; Doddridge Library 1667. Restored by Gilbert Scott from 1866 onwards, and by JO Scott in the 1880s. Tower, nave and chancel of random stone rubble; aisles, chancel chapels and Doddridge Library of coursed rubble. Limestone details. Slated roofs. Ribbed leaded spire.
Plan: nave: north and south aisles; north transept with tower in place of south transept; chancel; north and south chancel chapels; Doddridge Library adjoining north chancel chapel with entrance from Church Walk. Mostly Perpendicular windows restored in 19th century.
Exterior: Tudor-arched windows in north aisle. Nineteenth century S door with pointed arch; above it a blank panel in old Perpendicular surround with cinquefoil arch. Smaller south chancel door of similar date; above it an octagonal sundial with gilt lettering, including date 1732. Twisted broach spire with louvred belfry openings; these have triangular pediments with ball finials, 2 of the pediments dated 1636. Higher up on the east and west side are small gabled canopies, that to east with 2 bells. Doddridge Library has Tudor-arched doorway and 3-light stone-mullioned window with cinquefoiled heads to the lights, both probably 19th century. Upper storey has 2 windows, each of 3 lights with restored ovolo-moulded wood mullions. Between them is a moulded plaque inscribed BIBLIOTHECA DODDRIDGIANA 1667. The front is finished with a pair of moulded string courses having ashlar masonry between them and above them a crenellated parapet carved with quatrefoils and the town arms.
Interior: has 14th century-style nave and chancel arcades designed by Scott (carving by Harry Hems). Tower has two 14th century pointed arches with quarter-round mouldings. Waggon roofs throughout, that to chancel boarded and with angels. Chancel and south chancel chapel have medieval niches with trefoiled heads, presumably piscinas originally; the second of these is unusual in having small side-niches with pointed heads.
Fittings: 19th century Gothic pulpit and font, the former with re-set medieval Barnstaple tiles beneath it. Organ with Gothic case and painted pipes, 1882 by JO Scott. Stained-glass tower window by Clayton & Bell; west window by WF Dixon.
Monuments: numerous 17th century wall monuments, mostly to Barnstaple merchants; many have busts or whole figures in high relief. These include in north transept Thomas Horwood (died1658), founder of the almshouses in Church Lane.
Bells: 6 by John Briant, 1803; 2 Barwell trebles added in 1897. Restored 1980. Doddridge Library has part of a double-rib ceiling upstairs. Date listed 19th January 1951. Date of most recent amendment: 29th September 1999.


Southwest Archaeology, 2013, Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database, BHBS Mapping Area 996 (Un-published). SDV351581.

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.
SDV15342Article in Serial: Keen, L.. 1969. A Series of Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Lead-Glazed Relief Tiles from North Devon. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 32. Photocopy + Digital. 154-170.
SDV15387Article in Serial: Thompson, A. H.. 1913. Church Architecture in Devon. Archaeological Journal. 70. Unknown. 485, 490.
SDV15424Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1939. The Church and the Hundreds in Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 71. A5 Paperback. 341.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 329.
SDV273904Article in Serial: Crowley, J.. 1957. Sundials in North Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 180.
SDV320746Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1943. Supplementary Notes on the Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon. (Third Paper). Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 75. A5 Hardback. 263.
SDV336196Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: North Devon. The Buildings of England: North Devon. Paperback Volume. 45-46.
SDV338879Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1855-1895. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. First Edition 1:500 Town Map. Map (Digital).
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 70.
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV349386Article in Serial: Williams, E. C.. 1942. Mural Paintings of the Three Living and the Three Dead in England. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 7. Unknown. 39.
SDV351581Un-published: Southwest Archaeology. 2013. Greater Barnstaple Area Project Database. Greater Barnstaple Area Project. Digital. BHBS Mapping Area 996.
SDV352446Article in Monograph: Devon County Council. 1975. Barnstaple Town Trail. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 17.
SDV356773Article in Serial: S., E. D.. 1910-1911. The Restoration of an Ancient Chasuble to Barnstaple Church. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 6. Unknown. 105.
SDV357319Cartographic: Gribble, J. B.. 1830. Barnstaple. Frontispiece to Memorials of Barnstaple. a4 single Sheet + Digital.
SDV6556Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1922 - 1923. Mural Paintings in Devonshire Churches. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 12. Unknown. 310-311.
SDV70301Article in Serial: Chanter, J. F. + Reed, H.. 1907. Second Report of the Church Plate Committee. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 39. A5 Hardback. 114; Plate.
SDV70999Report - Assessment: ASI Heritage Consultants. 2000. Leaderflush and Shapland Site, Barnstaple: Archaeological Assessment. ASI Heritage Consultants Report. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV74027Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 18/12/1985. DAP/FU. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 1-6A.
SDV78814Article in Serial: Rogers, I.. 1922-1923. Ancient Clocks at Barnstaple. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 12. Unknown. 185-6.
SDV81790Article in Serial: Watkin, H. R.. 1930 - 1934. Seven Hundred Years Ago. AD 1232. Transactions of the Torquay Natural History Society. 6. Unknown. 212.
SDV863Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1898. The Domesday Churches of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 30. A5 Paperback. 310.
SDV89941List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1973. Barnstaple. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 22.
SDV95309Article in Serial: Chanter, J. F.. 1910 - 1911. The Christmas Family of Bideford. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 6. Unknown. 210.

Associated Monuments

MDV811Related to: Dodderidge Library, St. Peters Church, Barnstaple (Building)
MDV14597Related to: Saxon Cemetery at Barnstaple Castle (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV5256 - CHURCH PLATE (XVI to XVII - 1501 AD to 1700 AD)

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Feb 23 2018 10:04AM