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HER Number:MDV9462
Name:St. Thomas a Becket's Church, Bridford

Summary

Chancel C14, remainder of church C15 with some early C16 fittings. Granite rubble and ashlar with slate roof and granite, volcanic and freestone dressings. Beautiful rood screen, thought to be early 16th century and other good fittings.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 816 863
Map Sheet:SX88NW
Admin AreaDartmoor National Park
Civil ParishBridford
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishBRIDFORD

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 615160
  • National Monuments Record: SX88NW39
  • National Record of the Historic Environment: 899585
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX88NW/1
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I): 85565

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XV to Early 20th Century - 1401 AD to 1901 AD (Between))

Full description

Howell, D. + Couttie, G. + Southgate, D., Visitors Guide to the Parish Church of St. Thomas a Becket (Leaflet). SDV296485.

Keyser, C. E., 1898, On the Panel Paintings of Saints on the Devonshire Screens, 183-222 (Article in Serial). SDV134840.

Parish Church, rood screen. One of the finest oak carved screens in Devon. The colour of it is something similar to antique gold. The Tudor rose identifying Henry VIII and the pomegranates for Catherine of Aragon date the masterpiece as early 16th century. Along the bottom panels are 28 figures. They are unusual because they are carved in relief and splendidly coloured. At some period the screen must have been robbed of three panels, which now make up the pulpit that is fixed to the screen at one end. Behind it is the door to the turret stair, which formerly led to the rood loft before it was removed. Over the door are the initials W. S. - Walter Southcote, who for 42 years up to 1500, was the rector and donated the screen. The precise date of the screen is put at 1508. The groining is missing; arcades and shafts are carved.
(Source thought to be Keyser; unconfirmed)

Gibbs, R., 1900-1901, Bridford and Lustleigh Screens, 139-142 (Article in Serial). SDV357256.

W. F., 1900-1901, Bridford Screen, 176 (Article in Serial). SDV296587.

Interesting to know if the Bridford screen is really in situ, since the arcade pillar shows no sign of having been used as a corbel; one of the proofs would be whether the staircase door opens into air or over it; if it is not, that would account for the very odd spandrel flaps tacked on to the side, which would be needed elsewhere.

Tate, A. L., 1900-1901, The Screen in the Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury, Bridford, 137-9 (Article in Serial). SDV296585.

Post-reformation screen and there is evidence that rood vaulting existed but was destroyed. The screen is said to carry the date 1508, but it was not found. It was fully coloured and gilt.

Bligh Bond, F., 1902, Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts, 539, 540, Plate 8 (Article in Serial). SDV15462.

Bligh Bond, F., 1903, Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts. Part II, 445-446 (Article in Serial). SDV6113.

Bridford, St. Thomas of Canterbury – A rood screen of singular inte5rest and high artistic merit, the detail having a decidedly Renaissance character and very rich and lavish. The groining is missing and its place is taken by the spandrel pieces brought down from the underside of the rood loft. The screen retains its ancient colouring and the lower panels bear small carved and illuminated figures of apostles and prophets. The date of the work is said to be 1508.

Cresswell, B. F., 1912 - 1913, Notes on the Churches of the Deanery of Kenn, Devon, 40-43 (Article in Serial). SDV303683.

Included in a survey of the churches of the deanery of Kenn.

Thompson, A. H., 1913, Church Architecture in Devon, 461,470,478 (Article in Serial). SDV15387.

Tapley-Soper, H., 1913-1915, Heraldry in Bridford, 73-76 (Article in Serial). SDV296482.

Fryer Cornelius, C., 1946, Ancient Devon Parish Churches within a Ten Mile Radius of Newton Abbot, 123-152 (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, 81-89 (Article in Serial). SDV312247.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 349 (Monograph). SDV17562.

St. Thomas a Becket Parish Church. There has been a church on the present site since the 13th century, for the chancel of the present church has been remarkably undisturbed. The rest of the church was built around 1500. It contains many of its medieval fittings: late medieval glass, carved stalls and bench-ends, a fine wagon roof, and a north parclose screen.

Ordnance Survey, 1963-1996, 1963-1996 National Grid OS Metric, (1979) (Cartographic). SDV350058.

(SX81608638) Ch [NAT].

Express & Echo, 1976, Parish Church, Bridford (Photograph). SDV296476.

Griffith, F. M., 1986, DAP/HP, 10,11 (Aerial Photograph). SDV304235.

Department of Environment, 1988, Bridford, 36 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV350338.

Parish Church. Chancel 14th century, remainder of church 15th century with some early 16th century fittings. Granite rubble and ashlar with slate roof and granite, volcanic and freestone dressings. West tower, nave, chancel, four bay north aisle, south porch, lean-to north-east vestry.
Notable 8 bay rood screen, said to have once had a 1508 date: the rood loft and coving are missing, but what survives is richly carved and coloured with unusual lively carved, (rather than painted) wainscot figures, probably the model for the 17th century figures on the Lustleigh screen. Granite doorframe to rood loft stair, rebated for a door.
See List for full details.

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 211-2 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Church of St Thomas a Beckett. C14th chancel. C15th West tower, nave, chancel, 4-bay South aisle, South porch and lean-to North-East vestry, with early C16th screen and other good fittings. Grade I.

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.

BRIDFORD BRIDFORD SX 88 NW 2/44 Church of St Thomas A Becket 30.6.1961, GV I
Parish church. Chancel C14, remainder of church C15 with some early C16 fittings. Granite rubble and ashlar with slate roof and granite, volcanic and freestone dressings.
Plan: West tower, nave, chancel, 4-bay north aisle, south porch, lean-to north-east vestry.
Exterior: Rubblestone chancel with a 3-light Decorated east window. The south side has a buttress with set-offs, a chamfered rounded priest's doorway, a 1-light cusped C19 Ham Hill window to the left and a medieval Decorated volcanic 2-light window to the right with a C19 hood mould and a rectangular ashlar granite rood stair turret. Granite ashlar nave with an unusually large, grand Perpendicular window to the right of the porch with a granite frame, freestone Perpendicular tacery and mullions with capitals; smaller 3-light Perpendicular window to left of porch with granite mullions and freestone tracery. Granite ashlar 4-bay north aisle with 3-light Perpendicular windows with granite mullions and C19 freestone tracery; similar east window; 2-light square-headed granite west window with decayed cusped freestone heads and replaced granite mullions. 3 stage battlemented granite ashlar tower, the belfry stage rubblestone with corner obelisks and internal northwest stair turret. Double-chamfered rounded west doorway; 3-light decorated west window with volcanic tracery and granite mullions; 2-light chamfered belfry openings on all 4 faces; moulded rectangular opening at bellringers' stage on south face. Gabled granite ashlar porch with angle buttresses with set-offs; rounded, moulded granite outer doorway with C19 timber gates and a moulded inner doorway with a C17 plank and coverstrip door. Unusually refined Perpendicular boarded wagon roof, boarded behind the ribs to porch: the ribs carved with beaded ribbons with delicately-carved bosses at the intersections.
Interior: Remarkable early C16 screen and other good fittings. Unplastered walls; timber chancel arch at junction between nave and chancel roof; plain tower arch; conventional late C15/early C16 Perpendicular granite north arcade. Probably Perpendicular ceiled wagon roof to nave and aisle, carved bosses to the nave; C19 keeled boarded wagon to the chancel with moulded ribs. Notable 8-bay rood screen, said to have once had a 1508 date: the rood loft and coving are missing, but what survives is richly carved and coloured with unusual lively carved, (rather than painted) wainscot figures, probably the model for the C17 figures on the Lustleigh screen. Granite doorframe to rood loft stair, rebated for a door. The pulpit is formed of similar panels. 4-bay Perpendicular traceried parclose: the parclose and rear of the rood screen have large demi-figures of a probably C17 date painted on the wainscot. The chancel has piscina with an ogival chamfered arch, C19 timber altar rail and an east window, probably by Drake of Exeter with a memorial date of 1872. Fragments of C15 stained glass in the south windows; chair made up of pieces of medieval carving in the early C19. The nave has square-headed C19 bench ends and a granite octagonal front on a volcanic stem and plinth. 1661 Royal Arms painted on a board above the south door; early C18 wall monument to Emanuel Hall, died 1703, with an inscription recording a charity, in a moulded frame on the south wall. C15 glass; the remains of a scheme by the Doddiscombsleigh atelier in the east window of the Lady chapel, includes figures and armorial bearings. Devon Nineteenth Century Churches Project Brooks, C and Evans, D, unpublished notes on the stained glass of Bridford Church. Reverend Carrington, "Parochiales Bridfordii", MS in DRO includes description of changes to the church in the early C19.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV134840Article in Serial: Keyser, C. E.. 1898. On the Panel Paintings of Saints on the Devonshire Screens. Archaeologia. 56. Unknown. 183-222.
SDV15387Article in Serial: Thompson, A. H.. 1913. Church Architecture in Devon. Archaeological Journal. 70. Unknown. 461,470,478.
SDV15462Article in Serial: Bligh Bond, F.. 1902. Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 34. Unknown. 539, 540, Plate 8.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 349.
SDV296476Photograph: Express & Echo. 1976. Parish Church, Bridford. Unknown.
SDV296482Article in Serial: Tapley-Soper, H.. 1913-1915. Heraldry in Bridford. devob. 8. Unknown. 73-76.
SDV296485Leaflet: Howell, D. + Couttie, G. + Southgate, D.. Visitors Guide to the Parish Church of St. Thomas a Becket. Unknown.
SDV296585Article in Serial: Tate, A. L.. 1900-1901. The Screen in the Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury, Bridford. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1. Digital. 137-9.
SDV296587Article in Serial: W. F.. 1900-1901. Bridford Screen. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1. Digital. 176.
SDV303683Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1912 - 1913. Notes on the Churches of the Deanery of Kenn, Devon. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 7 Part 2. Unknown. 40-43.
SDV304235Aerial Photograph: Griffith, F. M.. 1986. DAP/HP. Devon Aerial Photograph. Photograph (Paper). 10,11.
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. 123-152.
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. 81-89.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 211-2.
SDV350058Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1963-1996. 1963-1996 National Grid OS Metric. Digital Mapping. Digital. (1979).
SDV350338List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Bridford. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 36.
SDV357256Article in Serial: Gibbs, R.. 1900-1901. Bridford and Lustleigh Screens. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 1. Digital. 139-142.
SDV357601Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2015. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #109755 ]
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. 445-446.

Associated Monuments

MDV77576Related to: Bridford Barton farmstead, Bridford (Building)
MDV88557Related to: Granite steps, gate piers and gates at south entrance to churchyard, Bridford (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded


Date Last Edited:Jun 4 2021 1:27PM