HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Devon & Dartmoor HER Result
Devon & Dartmoor HERPrintable version | About Devon & Dartmoor HER | Visit Devon & Dartmoor HER online...

See important guidance on the use of this record.

If you have any comments or new information about this record, please email us.

HER Number:MDV9599
Name:Church of St Mary the Virgin, Churston Ferrers


The church was originally built as a manorial chapel for Churston Court. It became a chapel of ease for the parish of Brixham in the late 15th century. The tower is 14th-15th century in date, the rest 15th century, although the building was heavily restored in 1864-6 when the tracery was removed and the roofs replaced.


Grid Reference:SX 904 564
Map Sheet:SX95NW
Admin AreaTorbay
Civil ParishTorbay
Ecclesiastical ParishCHURSTON FERRERS

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX95NW/10
  • Old Listed Building Ref (B)
  • Torbay HER: MTO9599

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Built, Early Medieval to XV - 1066 AD to 1500 AD (Between))

Full description

Bligh Bond, F., 1903, Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts. Part II, 451 (Article in Serial). SDV6113.

The rood screen, which is described as being of late design, was taken down when the church was restored iin 1866. A portion was subsequently fixed to the tower arch.

Adams, M., 1904, Some notes on the church and parish of Churston Ferrers, 506-516 (Article in Serial). SDV362510.

The church is a 15th century building located close to Churston Court. It was originally the private chapel of the Court but became a chapel of east 1480-1490 for the parish of Brixham. To the right of the entrance are the remains of a holy water stoup. The windows are perpendicular in style, except for three in the north wall and one in the south wall, which are of earlier character. Most of tracery has been renewed. Some windows retain 14th or 15th century glass. Some arches have carved capitals. The only remaining part of the rood screen is a single bay now placed across the tower arch. There is an octagonal font of beerstone, made in 1763. The chancel has a hagioscope and a piscina under an ogee arch. There are also several old carved benchends. The church is also particularly rich in heraldry. See article for full details.

Thompson, A. H., 1913, Church Architecture in Devon, 464, 471 (Article in Serial). SDV15387.

Chanter, J. F., 1927, Sixteenth Report on Church Plate, 91-92 (Article in Serial). SDV239594.

Churston Ferrers Parish Church.
Chalice. Elizabethan Exeter type, good example of John Jones' work, with cover complete. Bowl conical with usual Exeter lip and band of interlacing strapwork and arabesques with three upright and three pendant fleur-de-lis. Usual stem and knop with reeded fillets and tongue-work at junction with bowl and base. Marks: 1) i; 2) ions; 3) Exeter old town mark.
Paten a. Cover to chalice, with narrow band of interlacing strap- work and tudor rose on button. Marks: as on chalice.
Paten b. Plain plate. Arms quarterly: 1 and 3, arg. A chevron gules between three water bougets sable (Bussell used by Yarde); 2 and 4, or on a band sable, three horseshoes argent (Ferrers) with crest in mantling. Marks: 1) JA (John Jackson); 2) London hallmarks for 1710.
Flagon. A domed lid tankard. Arms of Yarde and Ferrers quarterly as on paten b. Marks as on paten b.
Height 25.0 centimetres, diameter 10.0 centimetres at lid, 15.5 centimetres at base. Weight 936 grams.
Alms dish. Plain plate. Marks: 1) E, at interlinked, probably John Elston, Anthony Tripe; 2) an Exeter mark, c.1698. 23.1 centimetres diameter. Weight 347 grams.

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, 81-9 (Article in Serial). SDV312247.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 80 (Monograph). SDV336217.

Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 369 (Monograph). SDV17562.

The plain west tower is dated circa 1300. The rest is 15th century although restored 186304.

Department of Environment, 1975, Borough of Torbay, 13 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV362418.

Parish church. Stone rubble with dressed stone ground and dressings - the exterior restored 1865. Low small west tower with diagonal buttresses. C14/C15. Nave and aisles, 5 bay arcade with b type piers and capitals decorated with the arms of the yarde family and animals. Two storey south porch. Portions of original rood screen incorporated in victorian screen across tower arch. Early C16 bench ends. Pulpit with inlay probably C18. Front and cover C15.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX95NW33 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV317898.

Christ Church was originally the private chapel for Churston Court. Now the parish church for Churston Ferrers. A 14th-15th century building with a small west tower of about 1300. The exterior was restored in 1865 (information from Hoskins, Pevsner and DoE 1975).

Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N., 1989, The Buildings of England: Devon, 833-834 (Monograph). SDV325629.

Extensively restored in 1864-6 at which time all the tracery was renewed and the roofs replaced. Comprises a nave and aisles of five bays with a two-storeyed south porch at the west end of the south aisle. There is a squint from the upper room through an opening in the reveal of a window in the south aisle. It has a low west tower with buttresses. Fragments of the rood screen are now incorporated into the tower arch. Some medieval stained glass survives. There is a monument to W. Farquharsen, died 1813.

Ordnance Survey, 2019, MasterMap 2019 (Cartographic). SDV362729.

Church marked.

Historic England, 2019, National Heritage List for England, 1293060 (National Heritage List for England). SDV362730.

Church of St Mary the Virgin. Parish church. Probably C15. Restored 1864-6 by E Ashworth of Exeter. Squared Devonian limestone rubble with red sandstone quoins; west wall and tower rendered. Windows mostly in Bath stone; doorways in red sandstone. Slated roof; red ridge-tiles crested with fleurs-de-lys. Stone chimney on north-east corner of north chancel chapel. Nave, north and south aisles, chancel, north and south chancel chapels, west tower, south porch. Vestry, added in 1864-6, at east end of north chancel chapel. 5 Perpendicular 4-light windows in each of north and south walls; different designs, some with pointed and some with 4-centred arches. 5-light east window to chancel and 4-light windows to aisles, all Perpendicular with pointed arches. All windows are C19 restorations. South porch gabled with parvise chamber above. Both inner and outer doorways chamfered and stopped, with rounded arches. To right of outer door a round-arched holy water stoup. Parvise chamber has a single-light window with pointed arch; jambs probably of old Beer stone, head restored. Above it is medieval carving of the Crucifixion flanked by the Two Marys; cinquefoiled canopy over the whole group. Low stone seats inside porch. Priest's door in S wall of aisle/chancel chapel; restoration with pointed arch and hoodmould. 5-sided stair turret to former rood screen; in N wall with slit window and battlements. 3-stage tower with diagonal buttresses. Lowest stage has restored 3-light window with traceried pointed arch. The 2 upper stages each have a single-light pointed window in the N, S and W sides; mostly restored although the north and west windows in the lower stage appear to be of old Beer stone. The tower has never had a west door, probably because of its close proximity to the manor house (Churston Court (qv)). But there is a blocked doorway (visible only on the interior wall) with a round arch at the west end of the south aisle. INTERIOR: aisles and chancel chapels, which run into one another, have 5 pointed arches each side; one carved with arms of the Yarde family, another with mythical beasts. Stone staircase to former rood loft in north wall; C19 carved Gothic piscina in south wall of chancel. Quatrefoiled squint from parvise chamber into south aisle. Waggon-roofs throughout; all renewed in red deal 1864-6. Fittings: remains of medieval rood-screen, reset under tower arch. Stone font with octagonal medieval base decorated with trefoil-headed panels; bowl of c1763 in Gothic style; early C17 ogee font cover. Late C17 six-sided pulpit with raised bolection-moulded panels. Late medieval bench ends with arms of Ferrers, reset in chancel. Above the south door a wooden panel with arms of Queen Anne; original paint; dated 1713. Glass: east window of south chancel chapel contains reset medieval glass. Bells: 3 dating from before 1553; oldest c1440 by Richard Norton of Exeter, with arms of Ferrers. A fourth by Mordecai Cockey of Totnes, 1681. Monuments: south aisle; William Farquharson (d.1813), a retired civil servant of East India Company; white marble; mourning female figure and urn under a Gothic arch. From the Middle Ages until 1951 Churston church was a chapel of St Mary's Higher Brixham; White's directory of 1850 describes it as a perpetual curacy. It had its own churchwardens in C17 however, and in 1953 was described by the Archdeacon of Totnes as a 'parish by tradition'.
Date first listed: 9th February 1961
Date of most recent amendment: 18th October 1993

Sources / Further Reading

SDV15387Article in Serial: Thompson, A. H.. 1913. Church Architecture in Devon. Archaeological Journal. 70. Unknown. 464, 471.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 369.
SDV239594Article in Serial: Chanter, J. F.. 1927. Sixteenth Report on Church Plate. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 59. A5 Hardback. 91-92.
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. 81-9.
SDV317898Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX95NW33. OSAD Card. Card Index + Digital.
SDV325629Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1989. The Buildings of England: Devon. The Buildings of England: Devon. Hardback Volume. 833-834.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 80.
SDV362418List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1975. Borough of Torbay. 13.
SDV362510Article in Serial: Adams, M.. 1904. Some notes on the church and parish of Churston Ferrers. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 36. Hardback Volume. 506-516.
SDV362729Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2019. MasterMap 2019. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV362730National Heritage List for England: Historic England. 2019. National Heritage List for England. Historic Houses Register. Digital. 1293060.
SDV6113Article in Serial: Bligh Bond, F.. 1903. Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts. Part II. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 35. Digital. 451.

Associated Monuments

MDV9601Parent of: Cross at Churston Ferrers Parish Church (Monument)
MDV9603Related to: Cairn near Churston Ferrers Church (Monument)
MDV9612Related to: Cross in Churston Ferrers Churchyard (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV3386 - CHURCH PLATE (XI to Unknown - 1066 AD)

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Aug 21 2019 1:24PM