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HER Number:MDV8656
Name:St Bartholomew's Parish Church, Coffinswell


St Bartholomew's parish church in Coffinswell built in the 12th century with later additions and alterations


Grid Reference:SX 891 684
Map Sheet:SX86NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishCoffinswell
Ecclesiastical ParishCOFFINSWELL

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5082
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX86NE/5
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 84791

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XII to XX - 1150 AD to 1950 AD (Between))

Full description

Brownlow, 1893, A Visitation of St Mary's Church, 444-5 (Article in Serial). SDV339082.

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

An oratory may have existed at Coffinswell at the time of Domesday, as it was one of the areas where Tavistock Abbey held estates.

Cresswell, B. F., 1904-1905, Armorial Bearings at Coffinswell, 36-7 (Article in Serial). SDV342483.

Armorial bearings of four local families on pillars of the church.

F. W., 1904-1905, Coffinswell Shields, 95-6 (Article in Serial). SDV342484.

Whitley, H. M., 1910, Visitations of Devonshire Churches, 456-7 (Article in Serial). SDV167843.

1301 Episcopal visitation noted.

Thompson, A. H., 1913, Church Architecture in Devon, 471 (Article in Serial). SDV15387.

Fryer Cornelius, C., 1946, Ancient Devon Parish Churches within a Ten Mile Radius of Newton Abbot, 123-52 (Article in Serial). SDV312246.

Fryer Cornelius, C., 1947, Fittings, Furnishings and Finishings of the Ancient Devon Parish Churches within a Ten Mile Radius of Newton Abbot, 81-9 (Article in Serial). SDV312247.

Keble Martin, W., 1955, A Short History of Coffinswell, 176-180 (Article in Serial). SDV342480.

Church of St Bartholomew. Land for a church granted in 1159. Little more than a thatched barn, consisting of a nave. An oblong thatched structure of stone or cob, with a small south chapel projecting near the eastern end. Narrow Norman windows placed high up with no glass. Norman font. The tower seems to have been added about 1220. Walls 2.0 metres thick and not quite square with the nave. Of red sandstone. Glass windows in the decorated style were inserted mid-14th century. A three-light granite window in the south-west corner near the tower was added in the 15th century, north aisle erected late 15th century. The windows followed the style of the earlier 14th century ones. The north aisle was thatched like the nave and a broad trench around it caught the drip off the thatch. The roof was slated in the 19th century. The vestry was built 1820, blocking the west window of the north aisle. The altar was at St Mary church before 1855, one of the several copies made in wood of the high altar in Cologne cathedral. An older oak table altar with carved sides stood in the vestry but was removed in 1925 to the chapel of the retreat house at West Ogwell. The altar rails of oak are carved in the Gothic style. The screen is of simple pattern fastened with iron stays to the first pillar. Probably erected before the north aisle was built and never extended across it. Can still be seen where the tympanum cut the old wall plate above the pillar. It was removed in 1822 and lost. The stair to it from the south also removed and an entrance porch made in its place. The 1783 gallery was removed 1862. The old high pews removed 1871. A modern pulpit replaced a double decker of massive proportions. Two bells noted at the visitation of 1301 have disappeared. Two bells were added in Henry VII's reign and are still in use. There is a set of stocks in the vestry and an oak chest with slits for coins and two iron clasps for double locking. A fine granite cross was found supporting a cattle shed in the village. The visitors in 1301 reported that the chapel had a good missal with musical notes, an old gradale, a good troparium and ordinale, a legenda and psalter, an old monastic antiphonale, a manuale and hymnale. A fairly good chalice, gilt inside. Two complete sets of vestments and two albs. Nine altar cloths. A thurible, wooden chrismatory a wooden pyx for the eucharist without a lock. Two surplices and a rochet, a lenten veil. A processional cross, two cruets. Two bells for the dead..

Department of Environment, 1987, Coffinswell, 60 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV342476.

Church of St Bartholomew in Coffinswell. Probably 13th century tower and nave. 14th century transept and 15th century north aisle. Mid 19th century vestry. Rendered, probably sandstone/limestone, rubble walls. Gable ended slate roofs to nave, aisle, transept and vestry. Nave, very shallow sanctuary, south transept, north aisle and west tower mid 19th century vestry at west end of north aisle. 2 stage unbuttressed west tower, tapering, with battlements. 4 centred granite arched west doorway with hollow chamfer and ball stops. 3-light lancet window above, possibly original, with granite framing and hoodmould. 2-light arched belfry openings. On north side of tower are 2 small slit windows lighting the stair (which is contained within the tower). Tower has chamfered plinth. Blocked single arched light windows on east side of tower at first stage. Nave has tall early 16th century 3-light granite mullion window towards west end. It has a rebated frame with depressed arched heads to the lights and recessed spandrels, the mullions have been renewed. Square hoodmould above. Towards east end of nave is 19th century 3-light window in Bath stone with Perpendicular tracery and carved headstops to hoodmould. Immediately to its right is late 19th century lean-to porch to transept which has single light cusped head window in its side and 2-centre arched doorway at the front. The transept has a 19th century Bath stone 2-light window with Perpendicular tracery on its south side. Similar date window with slightly simpler tracery on its east side and circa late 19th/early 20th century east window in Bath stone with 3-lights and Perpendicular tracery. The north aisle windows are all 3-light 19th and 20th century restorations in Beer stone with Perpendicular tracery. According to a plaque inside, the east and west windows in the aisle were repaired and restored in 1938. 15th century granite doorway towards west end of aisle has 4-centred arch and is chamfered with ball stops. Mid 19th century lean-to addition of vestry at west end of aisle erected by the Rev George Coleridge (vicar of Coffinswell 1827-47). This has a doorway to the left with arched wooden doorframe and a 4-light casement to the right with leaded panes. The vestry partially covers the blocked west window of the aisle. Interior: 4 bay arcade to north aisle has Pevsner Type B Beer stone piers which have foliage capitals. The most westerly of these is further decorated with several coats of arms which refer to the Holbeame family and their connection with other families. This suggest that the aisle was erected by John Holbeame, a local gentleman who died in 1473. The moulding continues from the piers into the 4-centred arches. Square bases to piers. Very tall round-headed tower arch springing from chamfered impost stones. Similar arch to transept. In south wall of sanctuary is piscina with probably restored trefoil-headed opening. On east wall of sanctuary to right of window is an exposed small section of probably late l5th/eariy 16th century wall painting, somewhat damaged, which appears to be in a fish-scale pattern with the predominant colours of red and grey. It is likely this exists elsewhere in the Church concealed by plaster. Plastered barrel ceilings to nave and aisle are probably 19th century restorations, although the one in the aisle may re-use some of the original moulded ribs. Boarded screen to tower arch has late 17th/early 18th century turned balusters on top of it which may be the former alter rails. Hung on the screen are the foot imprints, with signatures of 19th century plumbers. There are also some old framed deeds hanging here. Circular Norman font with cable moulding at top of pedestal with palmettes and a band of crosses saltire above. Slate floor incorporates 3 early 18th and early-mid 19th century slate ledger-stones. On the south wall of the sanctuary is a slate memorial with moulded plaster surround to Thomas Parch, his wife Johanna and their sons Thomas and Zachariah who died 1706-24. Other details: LBS Number 84791.

Griffith, F. M., 1991, DAP/UP, 4-5 (Aerial Photograph). SDV233144.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV15387Article in Serial: Thompson, A. H.. 1913. Church Architecture in Devon. Archaeological Journal. 70. Unknown. 471.
SDV167843Article in Serial: Whitley, H. M.. 1910. Visitations of Devonshire Churches. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 42. A5 Hardback. 456-7.
SDV233144Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1991. DAP/UP. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 4-5.
SDV312246Article in Serial: Fryer Cornelius, C.. 1946. Ancient Devon Parish Churches within a Ten Mile Radius of Newton Abbot. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 78. A5 Hardback. 123-52.
SDV312247Article in Serial: Fryer Cornelius, C.. 1947. Fittings, Furnishings and Finishings of the Ancient Devon Parish Churches within a Ten Mile Radius of Newton Abbot. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 79. A5 Hardback. 81-9.
SDV339082Article in Serial: Brownlow. 1893. A Visitation of St Mary's Church. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 25. A5 Hardback. 444-5.
SDV342476List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. Coffinswell. Historic Houses Register. Website. 60.
SDV342480Article in Serial: Keble Martin, W.. 1955. A Short History of Coffinswell. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 87. A5 Hardback. 176-180.
SDV342483Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1904-1905. Armorial Bearings at Coffinswell. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown. 36-7.
SDV342484Article in Serial: F. W.. 1904-1905. Coffinswell Shields. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown. 95-6.
SDV863Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1898. The Domesday Churches of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 30. A5 Paperback. 310.

Associated Monuments

MDV106635Parent of: Coffinswell War Memorial Tablet, St Bartholomew's Church (Monument)
MDV8657Parent of: Font at St Bartholomew's Parish Church, Coffinswell (Building)
MDV8659Parent of: Stocks at St Bartholomew's Parish Church, Coffinswell (Monument)
MDV8659Related to: Stocks at St Bartholomew's Parish Church, Coffinswell (Monument)
MDV8683Related to: Court Barton Farmhouse, Coffinswell (Building)
MDV8658Related to: Cross at St Bartholomew's Parish Church, Coffinswell (Building)
MDV8659Parent of: Stocks at St Bartholomew's Parish Church, Coffinswell (Monument)
MDV8659Related to: Stocks at St Bartholomew's Parish Church, Coffinswell (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Dec 7 2017 12:47PM