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HER Number:MDV8617
Name:St. Mary's Parish Church, Denbury


Early 14th century church dedicated by Bishop Stapeldon in 1318. It was repaired circa 1845, the chancel being repaired in 1866. The whole church was repaired again in 1912.


Grid Reference:SX 823 688
Map Sheet:SX86NW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishDenbury and Torbryan
Ecclesiastical ParishDENBURY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5116
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX86NW/15
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Built, XIV - 1301 AD to 1400 AD (Between))

Full description

GROVES, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV24083.

Photos + description of possible saxon stonework (groves).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV242.

An oratory may have existed at denbury at the time of the domesday book, as this was one of the areas where tavistock abbey held estates (reichel).

CRESSWELL, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV25789.

The sword is believed to have belonged to captain joseph taylor, r. N. , who died in 1733, and whose memorial is in the south transept (cresswell).

KNOWLES, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV283484.

Church centrally positioned at the highest point within the settlement. Rectangular churchyard with building at western centre since originally built in 1298. Possible saxon stone work was revealed around the e end of the chancel during repairs in 1995 up to a height of 1-2m above ground level (knowles).

A.L.R, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298527.

18th century helmet and sword to be found in denbury church (a. L. R. ).

DOE 1987, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298529.

Church of st. Mary the virgin. Early c14 (dedication by bishop stapeldon in 1318) with c19 vestry. Repaired about 1845, chancel restored in 1866, whole church repaired under auspices of s. P. A. B. In 1912, by william weir. Stone roughcast rendered. Slated roofs. Nave, chancel, north and south transepts, west tower, south porch, vestry at east side of north transept. See doe list for full details (doe 1987).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298533.

Hoskins, w. G. /devon/(1954)500.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298534.

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

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298535.

Cornelius, c. F. /tda/78(1946)123-152/parish churches within ten miles of newton abbot.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298536.

Thompson, a. H. /arch j. /70(1913)487/church architecture in devon.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298537.

Reichel, o. J. /tda/30(1898)310/the domesday churches of devon.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298538.

A. L. R. /dcnq/11,pt.1(1920-1921)92/armour, helmets, etc. In devon and cornwall.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298539.

Cresswell, b. F. /dcnq/10 pt.1(1918-1919)85/armour, etc. , in devon and cornwall churches.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298540.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298541.

Kelly's directory of devon/(1914)199.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298542.

Pevsner, n. /south devon/(1952)118-9.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298543.

Council for the care of churches/schedule of bells for preservation/(1984).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298544.


Untitled Source (Aerial Photograph). SDV298545.

Aph=dap/gv 3,3a(10/12/1986).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298546.

Des=knowles, a. /landscape archaeology questionnaire: denbury/(1999)/das questionnaire/in pf.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV298547.

Des=groves, s. L.(denbury & torbryan parish council)/(11/5/2001)/letter + photos in pf.

BATH, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV306327.

Church of st. Mary the virgin. Originally a grade b listed building. Present building dedicated in 1318. On site of earlier church as the church was confirmed to the abbot of tavistock by papal bill 1193. Plan cruciform. Early english and perpendicular, with west tower. Stone, exterior roughcast. Irregular junction of chancel and transept suggests church was dedicated in 1318 was nave and chancel only. Roof - weather stones on east face of tower indicate that the roof of the nave was lowered. Slate. Pack saddle type with weather vane. Tower was 62ft high. Two stages. Embattled with pinnacles. Unbuttressed. Tower windows - west - three light, pointed, decorated with tracery. Lozenge shaped light above. Slits to light inner belfry stairs (34 steps). Belfry windows north, south, west, two light, with semi-circular arches. Old church clock, north face of tower. Not working - only one hand. Doors - west - plain, pointed arch. North - blocked up. South east - priests' door, admitting to chancel south. South freestone granite doorway, porch with open timbered roof, stone benches. See worksheet for further details (bath).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV335.

Parish church of st. Mary. Cruciform building with a battered tower, all of 14th century date. Almost certainly the church dedicated by bishop stapledon in 1318. The fine 12th century font remains from an earlier church (hoskins).

Masson Phillips, E. N., Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV5785.

Permian red sandstone used in this church is from roundham, paignton (masson phillips).

Delderfield, E., 1964, A Tudor Manor of Mystery and Charm (Article in Serial). SDV361942.

The church, largely rebuilt and dedicated by Bishop Stapeldon in 1318 has a Norman font encircled with a honeysuckle design. There are roof loft stairs and the door survives in good condition. A rare piscina also survives.

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, 2017, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV359962.

Historic England, 2017, National Heritage List for England, 1170197 (National Heritage List for England). SDV359963.

Parish church. Early C14 (dedication by Bishop Stapeldon in 1318) with C19 vestry. Repaired about 1845, chancel restored in 1866, whole church repaired under auspices of S.P.A.B. in 1912, by William Weir. Stone roughcast rendered (except for south porch of stone rubble). Slated roofs. Nave, chancel, north and south transepts, west tower, south porch, vestry at east side of north transept. Nave has two late C19, medieval-style windows each side. At west end of north face a chamfered doorway with two-centred arch and hood-mould. South transept has late C19 Perpendicular windows of three lights in east and south walls, and has (probably C19) buttresses at south end of east and west walls. North transept has similar north window, but a medieval window with 2-centred head in east wall (blocked, no tracery visible). Chancel has C14 window on each of north and south sides, having 2-centred heads and 2 lights with pointed arches. South side has a similar window to left, at a lower level, heavily restored externally. Priest's door with moulded surround and two-centred arch. East window has 2-centred arch and 3 lights with intersecting tracery. Tapering 2-stage tower with projecting stone plinth, string course above each stage and battlements at the top. West face has moulded doorway with rounded head. Above it a 3-light window with 2-centred arch and intersecting tracery. Belfry openings of 2 lights, 2 centred arches, each side; lights with 2- centred arches, except for those in east face which match the north and south chancel windows. Weatherings of older, much steeper nave roof. In north case a diamond-shaped clockface with gilt lettering and a single hand; information sheet in church says clock dial 1730, restored 1968. Weather vane above tower on curved iron supports. South porch gabled, with C19 coping and cross. Inner doorway moulded with 2-centred arch. Contains good pair of C19 wood gates imitating C14 tracery; wooden grilles instead of panels. Interior: both transepts and tower have double-chamfered imposts. Chancel has piscina with trefoiled head in south wall. In north wall, cut into by C19 vestry doorway, a large, crude, quatrefoil- shaped window. To left of it the upper doorway of the former stair to roof screen; chamfered, with 2-centred arch. Nave, chancel and transepts have old wagon-roofs with moulded ribs. Fittings: Norman font of pink sandstone with palmette decoration. Wooden screen across opening to north transept (previously across south transept and thought to have been brought from Dartington old church); has five openings with 2-centred heads having quatrefoils and darts in the spandrels, each opening (except the centre doorway which has only the head-tracery) of three ogee-headed lights with plain penels below. Monument: in west wall of south transept, grey and white marble monument to Jospeh Taylor, esquire (d.1732), signed John Weston, consists of an obelisk with man's head in profile surrounded by canon, an anchor and other naval equipment. Low-relief panel below of a three-masted ship engaging four-oared galleys. Belfry not inspected but reported to contain a bell of 1631 and a bell of 1633. Sources: W G Hoskins, Devon, 1954, p.500. N Pevsner, South Devon, 1952, pp. 118-9. Kelly's Directory of Devonshire, 1914, p.199. Council for the Care of Churches, Schedule of Bells for Preservation 1984.
Date first listed: 15th October 1984.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV24083Migrated Record: GROVES.
SDV242Migrated Record:
SDV25789Migrated Record: CRESSWELL.
SDV283484Migrated Record: KNOWLES.
SDV298527Migrated Record: A.L.R.
SDV298529Migrated Record: DOE 1987.
SDV298533Migrated Record:
SDV298534Migrated Record:
SDV298535Migrated Record:
SDV298536Migrated Record:
SDV298537Migrated Record:
SDV298538Migrated Record:
SDV298539Migrated Record:
SDV298540Migrated Record:
SDV298541Migrated Record:
SDV298542Migrated Record:
SDV298543Migrated Record:
SDV298544Migrated Record:
SDV298545Aerial Photograph:
SDV298546Migrated Record:
SDV298547Migrated Record:
SDV306327Migrated Record: BATH.
SDV335Migrated Record:
SDV359962Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2017. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #112689 ]
SDV359963National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2017. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1170197.
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.
SDV361942Article in Serial: Delderfield, E.. 1964. A Tudor Manor of Mystery and Charm. Western Morning News. Photocopy.
SDV5785Migrated Record: Masson Phillips, E. N..

Associated Monuments

MDV38496Related to: 5 and 7 East Street, Denbury (Building)
MDV8633Related to: Denbury, Church House Inn (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 6 2018 12:10PM