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HER Number:MDV8732
Name:St. John the Baptist church, North Bovey

Summary

Church of St. John the Baptist. 13th century chancel, the remainder 15th century with various 19th and early 20th century restorations. Good interior with pulpit, 15th century rood screen and 16th century bench ends.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 739 838
Map Sheet:SX78SW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishNorth Bovey
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishNORTH BOVEY

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 615295
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX78SW/17
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XIII to Late Medieval - 1201 AD to 1539 AD (Between))

Full description

Keyser, C. E., 1898, On the Panel Paintings of Saints on the Devonshire Screens (Article in Serial). SDV134840.


Bligh Bond, F., 1903, Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts. Part II, 443 (Article in Serial). SDV6113.

St John the Baptist: rood screen, much mutilated. Perpendicular. Groining lost, spandrels covered with fragments of old enrichment nailed on. Parclose north and south.


Thornton, W. H., 1906-1907, North Bovey Church Bells (and footnote), 186-187 (Article in Serial). SDV304441.

Church Bells. In the year 1500, the parishioners of North Bovey purchased a bell for the church from a bellfounder of Exeter of the name of Robert Russell for $21. Legal proceedings ensued, which are still recorded in the early chancery proceedings in the public records office, bundle 170, no.25. All the bells now in the tower of North Bovey church have been recast from ancient bells. In 1813 the peal of four was converted into one of six.


Thornton, W. H., 1912-1913, The Bells of North Bovey, 118-120 (Article in Serial). SDV304442.

In 1912 bell again recast.


Thompson, A. H., 1913, Church Architecture in Devon, 470 (Article in Serial). SDV15387.


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

During restoration work when old timbers were removed, evidence for a thatched roof was discovered.


Fryer Cornelius, C., 1946, Ancient Devon Parish Churches within a Ten Mile Radius of Newton Abbot, 86, 123-152 (Article in Serial). SDV312246.

North Bovey parish church - seat ends occur against west jambs of parclose screen. Probable original stall arrangement in Devon chancel, single range of seats on either side running from jamb of parclose door to jambs of rood screen doors.


Worth, R. H., 1950, The Moorstone Age, Part 2, 338-9, plate 50 fig.1 (Article in Serial). SDV336081.

North Bovey Church. Domestic mortar, unusual shape. In plan, square with slightly curved sides, and fully rounded angles. At the centre of its height the stone is constricted to 285 millimetres. The cavity is also square in plan, with rounded angles. Granite.
(Second possible mortar) Small type of mortar, often claimed as holy water stoup, begging bowl, grain for eucharistic wafer ground in it etc. Approximately circular, with projecting lobes as handles. The bottom is rounded, the section approximating to a semi-ellipse. Not granite or Roborough Down Elvan.


Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 214 (Monograph). SDV336217.

Church of St. John. Granite construction, with unbuttressed tower with stair-turret. Wide, low interior with arcade of five bays on octagonal granite piers. Wagon roofs in the aisles and chancel.
Screen across nave and aisles. Solid spandrels, with blank tracery, the cornice with only one band of decoration. Good statuettes above each other in the door surround. Parclose screens with three-light tracery.


Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 340 (Monograph). SDV17562.

Parish church of North Bovey. St John the Baptist. 'A 15th century granite building of the moorland type. Contemporary rood screen sadly mutilated. 16th century benches. Wagon roofs have carved bosses, those in the chancel being especially good. Many granite floor slabs to 16th and 17th century yeomen. '


Lamb, S., 1957, Some notes on 18th century furnishings in the parish churches of Devon, 218 (Article in Serial). SDV65364.

Parish church. Pulpit removed 1910.


Griffith, F. M., 1984, DAP/CA, CA 12 (Aerial Photograph). SDV302442.


Devon County Council, 1986, GJ (Aerial Photograph). SDV224366.


Department of Environment, 1987, North Bovey, 166-167 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV348844.

Church of St. John the Baptist. 13th century chancel, the remainder 15th century with various 19th and early 20th century restorations. Walls are rendered except for lower two stages of tower which are granite ashlar. Granite ashlar and volcanic stone detail. Slate roof to nave, chancel and aisles with crested ridge tiles and granite coping stones and kneelers. Nave with narrower chancel, north and south aisles and west tower. Single storey south. Perpendicular throughout except for 13th century chancel. Unbuttressed west tower of three stages.
Good interior. Porch has wagon roof with moulded ribs and wall plates with bosses, with bosses also at either end of collar purlin. See List for full details.
Parclose screens either side of chancel with square-headed tracery and doorways, each has one early carved bench end attached at the west side of the doorway. A few early bench ends survive and details are given in List.
The carved oak pulpit dates from 1910 and replaces an 18th century one.
Fine late 15th century timber screen running across nave and both aisles but much mutilated by restoration probably mainly dating from the work of Rev. W. H. Thornton 1874-6 who wrote in 1899 that he had blended into the church of North Bovey all sorts of spoils from all sorts of churches. It is Pevsner type a with perpendicular lights and pointed tracery with at least three different types of panelling and the carving in the spandrels mutilated and considerably replaced with fragments from other screens. The cornice of the screen is mainly original.


Simkins, M. A. + Simkins, R. J. J., 1991, Lord Hambledon and Moretonhampstead, 182 (Article in Serial). SDV347370.

1919 improvements by Lord Hambleden. Organ loft moved; tower, roof and flooring repaired; new altar (old one moved to north choir chapel); font moved; pews restored. 14th century piscina discovered in the south choir aisle during 1919 improvements. Grave slabs of 17th century rectors also found during improvements under the altar and relaid in the chancel.


Ordnance Survey, 2015, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV357601.

Depicted on the modern mapping.


English Heritage, 2015, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV357602.

NORTH BOVEY NORTH BOVEY SX 78 SW 4/224 Church of St John the Baptist - 23.8.1955 - GV I
Parish church. C13 chancel, the remainder C15 with various C19 and early C20 restorations. Walls are rendered except for lower 2 stages of tower which are granite ashlar. Granite ashlar and volcanic stone detail. Slate roof to nave, chancel and aisles with crested ridge tiles and granite coping stones and kneelers. Nave with narrower chancel, north and south aisles and west tower. Single storey south porch. Perpendicular throughout except for C13 chancel. Unbuttressed west tower of 3 stages. Doorway on west side has jambs and arch each constructed out of 2 massive granite blocks, has pointed 4-centred arch with roll and hollow moulding and ball stops, with relieving arch above. Window above probably late C19 replacement, also has relieving arch. At the second stage on the south side is a very small slit window opening with arched head. On the east side at this stage is a small single light square-headed window opening. Round headed 2- light belfry openings at third stage except for north side which has 2 single light openings. Pentagonal stair turret projection on north side of tower with slit window openings, battlemented at the top and rising above the battlementation of the tower which has a 4-sided pinnacle at each corner with ball finials. Stone lean-to added probably in C19 in angle between tower and north aisle, partly enclosing stair turret. North aisle has buttresses set back from corners between windows. The plinth continues from the tower. 3-light Perpendicular traceried windows retain original jambs and hoodmoulds but tracery replaced in volcanic stone, also the mullion of the west window in granite. Between the 2 most easterly windows on the north side is semi-hexagonal rood stair turret projection with moulded granite capping. The chancel has no plinth. On its north side is a plain lancet window with 4-centred head. East window replaced in 1874 all in volcanic stone, 3-light Perpendicular style. On south side of chancel is single light window with 4- centred head. To its left is priest door with 4-centred arched granite surround, hollow chamfered. The plinth starts again at the south aisle chapel. East window of south chapel has original moulded granite jambs and hoodmould but mullions replaced in granite and tracery in volcanic stone in C19. Buttresses set back from corners of south aisle and intermediate ones between windows. 3-light Perpendicular traceried windows on the south side of the aisle the most easterly window retains its original granite mullions and jambs with tracery and hoodmould replaced in volcanic stone. The 2 windows to its left retain only their original jambs, the rest replaced. The gabled porch appears to have been added as it partially overlaps a buttress of the south aisle, probably late C15. It has setback buttresses and the plinth follows the same course as on the south aisle. The porch doorway has roll and hollow moulding to its granite jambs on inside and out with cushion stops on the outside and pointed 4-centred arch. The window to the left of the porch is the same as the previous 2.
Good interior. Porch has wagon roof with moulded ribs and wall plates with bosses, with bosses also at either end of collar purlin. Holy water stoup in east wall. Stone seats either side with chamfered edge. Doorway to church has 2-centred granite arch with plain chamfer. The nave has octagonal stone pillars and capitals to either aisle with slight variation of squatter bases to south aisle and taller ones to north aisle. Both arcades have 4-centred arches. Granite voussoir arch to tower supported on chamfered jambs with a chamfered stone projecting inwards from the springing of the arch either side. The nave roof was treated for infested woodwork in 1955 when it was much repaired and any bosses and moulded timbers were presumably destroyed although the basic wagon roof structure survives with C20 boarding in between. The aisles have similar roof structure but with the moulded ribs, carved wall-plates and uncoloured bosses surviving, probably C15. The wagon roof to the chancel is particularly interesting for its bosses, some of which are purely decorative but others are pictorial or symbolic. 3 depict the heads of a king and 2 queens thought to be King Edward I (1272-1307) and his Queens, Margaret of France and Eleanor of Castille. Another shows 3 rabbits with their ears joining to form a triangle which may be symbolic of the Trinity. The wall-plates to the chancel also have a series of carved decorative and symbolic medallions. In the south wall of the chancel is a plain piscina. The south chapel also has a piscina in its south wall with trefoil-headed opening and carved spandrels. In the north chapel is an arched stone doorway to rood stairs with square-headed stone doorway at the top. Fine late C15 timber screen running across nave and both aisles but much mutilated by restoration probably mainly dating from the work of Rev W H Thornton 1874-6 who wrote in 1899 that he had "blended into the church of North Bovey all sorts of spoils from all sorts of Churches". It is Pevsner Type A with Perpendicular lights and pointed tracery with at least 3 different types of panelling and the carving in the spandrels mutilated and considerably replaced with fragments from other screens. The chancel doorway has jambs decorated with carved figures each standing under a crocketed canopy as at nearby Manaton Church. The cornice to the screen is mainly original and consists of alternate grapes and birds with running vine leaf. The whole is coated with a dark brown paint. Parclose screens either side of chancel with square-headed tracery and doorways, each has 1 early carved bench end attached at the west side of the doorway. Both also coated with brown paint. The altar in the south chapel is comprised of panels of Medieval panelling, possibly re-used, similar to the panelling of the screen, restored in its original colours. A few early bench ends survive, 1 has the initials W.P., possibly referring to William Pipard, an early Lord of the Manor. Another is more Renaissance in design and has the head of a man wearing a hat with a feather in it. Below him are 2 Tudor roses in circular plaques beneath which is a plant with a human face sprouting from the top. The church was mainly re-seated in 1919 during the restoration by Sir Charles Nicholson. Granite octagonal font with carved panels on each face and moulded pedestal. The carved oak pulpit dates from 1910 and replaces an C18 one. Fragments of Medieval glass survive in the upper tracery of the north window to the north chapel portraying the emblems of the 4 evangelists. The remainder of the window glass is mid-late C19 and early C20, some of which are commemorative. On the north side the glass is frosted while on the south side it is clear. There are a number of C17 granite tomb slabs in the aisles and nave, some decorative, whilst in the chancel are granite memorial slabs to former rectors including William Hambert (died 1670) and George Line (died 1684). Sources: The Church of North Bovey in Devonshire" - Mrs. R. Hughes, North Bovey. "A short history and Guide" - Rev. Leo Sherley-Price; Devon C19 Churches Project "Notes on North Bovey" - Rev. Fulford Williams.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV124362Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1927. Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown.
SDV134840Article in Serial: Keyser, C. E.. 1898. On the Panel Paintings of Saints on the Devonshire Screens. Archaeologia. 56. Unknown.
SDV15387Article in Serial: Thompson, A. H.. 1913. Church Architecture in Devon. Archaeological Journal. 70. Unknown. 470.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 340.
SDV224366Aerial Photograph: Devon County Council. 1986. GJ. Devon Aerial Photograph. Unknown.
SDV302442Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1984. DAP/CA. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). CA 12.
SDV304441Article in Serial: Thornton, W. H.. 1906-1907. North Bovey Church Bells (and footnote). Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 4. Digital. 186-187.
SDV304442Article in Serial: Thornton, W. H.. 1912-1913. The Bells of North Bovey. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 7. Unknown. 118-120.
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. 86, 123-152.
SDV336081Article in Serial: Worth, R. H.. 1950. The Moorstone Age, Part 2. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 82. A5 Hardback. 338-9, plate 50 fig.1.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 214.
SDV347370Article in Serial: Simkins, M. A. + Simkins, R. J. J.. 1991. Lord Hambledon and Moretonhampstead. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 123. Unknown. 182.
SDV348844List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1987. North Bovey. Historic Houses Register. A4 Single Sheet. 166-167.
SDV357601Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #108812 ]
SDV357602National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2015. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital.
SDV6113Article in Serial: Bligh Bond, F.. 1903. Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts. Part II. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 35. Digital. 443.
SDV65364Article in Serial: Lamb, S.. 1957. Some notes on 18th century furnishings in the parish churches of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 89. A5 Hardback. 218.

Associated Monuments

MDV35472Related to: Chest tomb south of church, North Bovey (Monument)
MDV35473Related to: Chest tomb south of church, North Bovey (Monument)
MDV108885Related to: Church gate, North Bovey (Monument)
MDV8740Related to: Cottages 35 meters north-east of church, North Bovey (Building)
MDV35474Related to: Headstone north-east of church, North Bovey (Monument)
MDV35471Related to: Illegible headstone south-west of church, North Bovey (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV2609 - MORTAR (VESSEL) (Unknown date)
  • FDV2892 - MORTAR (VESSEL)? (Unknown date)
  • FDV2891 - BELL (XV to XIX - 1500 AD to 1899 AD)
  • FDV6030 - TOMBSTONE (XVI to XVII - 1600 AD to 1699 AD)

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jun 19 2017 12:33PM