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HER Number:MDV9836
Name:Bishopsteignton, St John the Baptist's Parish Church

Summary

St John the Baptist's parish church in Bishopsteignton built in the 12th century with later additions and alterations.

Location

Grid Reference:SX 910 735
Map Sheet:SX97SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBishopsteignton
DistrictTeignbridge
Ecclesiastical ParishBISHOPSTEIGNTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 4980
  • National Monuments Record: 447786
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX97SW/5
  • Old Listed Building Ref (I)

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (VIII to XIX - 701 AD to 1900 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, SX97SW3 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV339300.


Ellis, A. C., The Church of St John the Baptist, Bishopsteignton (Leaflet). SDV339295.

Norman church of St John the Baptist dates from about 1130, probably replacing the Saxon edifice of the early 10th century. The north aisle was added in the 15th century when the nave was restored. The west window of the aisle was built up when the tower was added in 1815 and the inner tower doorway was cut. The Lady Chapel is now the organ chamber. Trefoid headed piscina in the east wall is hidden by the organ pipes. Original painting over the arch. Some of the church's stained glass windows are dedicated to the ancestors of the villagers and of the past vicars.


Swete, R. J. (Revd), 1792-1801, 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete, Vol 2, 45 (Record Office Collection). SDV337942.

Illustrations of parish church by Swete.


Hawker, T., 1874, A sketch of Bishopsteignton, 414 (Article in Serial). SDV339298.

Some tombstones of those who died of the plague are bound with iron.


Cresswell, B. F., 1912 - 1913, Notes on the Churches of the Deanery of Kenn, Devon, 32-9 (Article in Serial). SDV303683.

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


Thompson, A. H., 1913, Church Architecture in Devon, 482 (Article in Serial). SDV15387.


Johnston, P. M., 1921, Norman Features in Some South Devon Churches, 203-6 (Article in Serial). SDV124355.


Johnston, P. M., 1924, Romanesque ornament in England: its sources and evolution, 101-3 (Article in Serial). SDV338133.

Church has very fine late Norman west and south doorways. West door has remarkable carvings. Church badly damaged in 1815 by restoration. Norman axial tower pulled down. Norman window in south wall of nave, and stone porch to south doorway also destroyed. Arcade of five 14th century arches to north aisle. The capitals are carved. The destroyed features are shown in an early 19th century engraving by Samuel Prout. A new tower was built in 1815, and tricked out with "Norman" features in about 1851.


Johnston, P. M., 1927, Bishopsteignton Church, 99-122 (Article in Serial). SDV339296.

Author describes and illustrates the noteworthy architectural and ornamental features of Bishopsteignton Church, in particular the grand Norman west doorway, the arches of the north aisle with their carved capitals, the Norman font and the tympanum of the south doorway. Nearly all the church's external features are modern. Other details: Plates 1-7, Figs 1-3.


Cresswell, B. F., 1927, Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders, 153 (Article in Serial). SDV124362.


Johnston, P. M., 1927, Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter, 45-46 (Article in Serial). SDV124354.


Ordnance Survey, 1938, 110NW. Revision of 1933 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition (Cartographic). SDV337410.


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.


Fryer Cornelius, C., 1951, Mediaeval Effigies and other Sepulchral Memorials in the Parish Churches within a Ten-Mile Radius of Newton Abbot, 217-34 (Article in Serial). SDV339049.


Department of Environment, 1952, Newton Abbot RD, 798 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV304573.

Detailed descriptions of chancel, font, nave etc on worksheet. Largely altered in 19th century. Present tower built 1814-15. Other restorations in 1860. Exterior largely roughcast. Fine Norman doorway to west of nave with three richly carved arch rings. Tympanum now in south wall was originally over south door. Nave arcade has tall moulded piers with good carved caps, circular Norman font with cable and interlacing mouldings and honeysuckle design. Some 17th century monuments.


Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 53 (Monograph). SDV336217.


Hoskins, W. G., 1954, A New Survey of England: Devon, 339 (Monograph). SDV17562.

There are many tablets in the church, one in particular, "In memory of William Martyn of Lindridge (1640) and his younger brother Richard (1659)" erected by the widow of the former, hides a doorway at top of rood stairs which existed where there is now a heavy butress on the north. The church was practically rebuilt in 1815.


Dudley, E. R., 1982 - 1983, Untitled Source (Worksheet). SDV339302.


Department of Environment, 1988, Bishopsteignton, 15-16 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV319942.

Church of St John the Baptist in Bishopsteignton. 12th centruy origins; 15th century north aisle, substantial rebuilding of 1815, replacing the crosswing tower with a tower at the west end of the aisle, architect William Burgess of Exeter; chancel enlarged 1825, architect Andrew Patey of Teignmouth; restoration of 1854 with addition of north chancel aisle, 1863 alterations to tower; chancel restoration of 1912. Red sandstone rubble with white freestone dressings and slate roof with crested ridge tiles. The 12th century plan of nave, chancel and crossing tower was extended in the 15th century by a 5 bay north aisle (no extant evidence of transepts).


Reed, S. + Rance, C., 1994, Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Extension to St John the Baptist Church, Bishopsteignton (Report - Assessment). SDV339299.

There may have been a Saxon precursor to the present church. This is suggested by the form of the earlier church prior to its restoration. Cresswell (1912) suggests that this tower, demolished in 1815, was of Saxon or early Norman origin. The original plan almost certainly included the central tower, but it is possible that this was flanked by transepts. This type of cruciform plan is quite typical of important Saxon and early Norman churches. It often survived later rebuilding in former minster churches such as Crediton and Axminster. The original dedication is uncertain. It was referred to as "All Saints" in 1667 (see DRO 103M/T11). The oldest surviving fabric dates to circa 1130. Greatly added to over the centuries. Floor of church raised several feet circa 1851 (see Johnson, 1927).


Bell, J. S. + Gent, T. H., 2006, Archaeological Evaluation of Land off Cockhaven Road, Bishopsteignton, 1 (Report - Evaluation). SDV339303.


Department of Environment, 2007, Bishopsteignton (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV339304.

St John the Baptist parish church in Bishopsteignton. Evidence of the extensive alterations in the masonry. Chancel with east end buttress, Beerstone quoins, 3-light 19th century Perpendicular window, niche in gable, 3-light 19th century Perpendicular south window. Nave with 3 3-light 19th century Perpendicular windows with a remarkable 12th century tympanum, "the finest in the county" according to Cresswell, above a blocked doorway to the west. The 3 magi are shown in profile below an arcade with the Virgin at the right end, face on, in a pleated dress : the figures and detail highly stylized. 3-light 19th century Perpendicular west window above a 12th century west doorway, "one of the best in Devon" according to Pevsner with 2 orders of colonettes with carved capitals and zig-zag and scale patterns on the shafts. 3 orders of carved decoration to the doorway, the outer order with fleur de lis decoration, the inner order with beakheads and grotesque masks holding a roll moulding. There has been some 19th century re-cutting to the doorway. The north aisle has 4 3-light 19th century Perpendicular windows with a rectangular rood loft stair turret, a blocked 2-centred doorway and 3-light Perpendicular 19th century east window. 1912 lean-to vestry at east end with mullioned windows. 3-stage battlemented tower dated 1815, the upper parts Gothicized in 1863. The tower has big crocketted corner pinnacles with carved heads, pinnacles to each face and a string course carved with flowers and grotesques. 2-light 1863 Decorated belfry openings with stone lattice work on all 4 faces, the north face also has a round-headed bellringers' window. The south face has a 19th century Romanesque window inserted into an earlier arched opening. The west face has a 19th century Romanesque doorway with 3 orders of carved chevron decoration and 2 orders of colonnettes ; clock in stone frame ; datestone "This tower was built Anno Domini MDCCCXV Wm Rossiter and Jn Hammond Wardens". Interior: Plastered walls ; timber chancel arch of 1912 ; 5-bay north arcade with moulded piers, re-cut foliage capitals and rounded moulded arches. Nave and aisle roofs 19th century unceiled wagons, plastered behind the rafters, with carved foliage bosses; chancel roof a boarded wagon with painted decoration of 1912. The tower has a small doorway into the aisle in a Tudor arched recess, blocked recess (probably associated with a former gallery) above. Wall between the 1854 chancel aisle/organ chamber pierced by a high stone arch with brattished sill and angel corbels and a doorway with carved spandrels and a hoodmould, wall between aisle and chancel aisle/organ chamber pierced by an arch with carved foliage bosses and flowers. The organ has been moved into the easternmost bay of the aisle. The chancel has an early 19th century brattished stone reredos with blind tracery and a text; late 19th/early 20th century choir stalls. The nave has a timber drum pulpit with blind traceried panels, set of 19th century benches with panelled ends. 12th century font with 19th century re-cutting, with a round bowl with a decorated rim and palmettes carved on the bowl, cable and scallop mouldings to stem. Monuments include late 17th century wall monument on north wall of chancel, commemorating Sir Peter Lear, died 1682, inscription panel with a scrolled pediment and achievement. Large late 17th century classical mural tablet with broken pediment and achievement in the aisle commemorating members of the Martyn family of Lindridge. Several early 19th century white marble wall tablets, various ledger stones re-used as floor slabs. Glass South window in chancel, dated 1858 with the marker's mark of William Warrington. Two fine easternmost windows in the nave with 1850s and 1860s memorial dates, probably by Gibbs. The westernmost nave window probably by Lavers and Barraud, memorial date of 1873. The aisle has the remains of an 1850s quarry and medallion scheme, one window replaced with a memorial date of 1868, possibly by Drake of Exeter. West window by Andrew Johnston being put in at time of survey (1987). An important church for the quality of the 12th century work and unusual for the well documented alterations to the fabric in the early 19th century. Other details: LBS No 85682.


Pink, F., 2014-2015, South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment (Interpretation). SDV357736.


Fletcher, M. J., 30/10/2011, Archaeological Monitoring of the Project at The Church of St. John the Baptist, Bishopsteignton, Devon (Report - Watching Brief). SDV349851.

A crossing tower of Norman origin and a stair tower of Anglo-Saxon origin were demolished in 1814 during a major redevelopment of the building. Stonework from these structures was incorporated into the new west tower that was I constructed in 1815. Archaeological investigation noted that the south wall of the nave and also the chancel had been rebuilt, most probably at the same time that the
new tower was constructed.
When the nave floor was lifted in 2010 it was immediately evident that the rebuilding in 1815 and the refurbishment of 1845 had destroyed the archaeological remains below the ground surface level. A deep void which occupies the entire nave had effectively effaced all burials as well as evidence of masonry structures including vaults and tombs. No masonry outlines of early structures were identified. The two phases of extant stone sub-walls that I supported the present timber suspended floor indicated that the 19th century floor level had been raised not once but twice during separate refurbishments. A number of impressive ledger stones reused as floor slabs had been inserted into the two stone flagged aisles.
The chancel was not disturbed during the project. However the archaeological record indicates that the chancel floor had been excavated to accommodate a large family vault complete with an access passage circa 1773. The chancel floor has been lowered since the vault was constructed and is has been widened.
The north aisle with its impressive arcade was also re-floored as part of the project. The under floor detail was similar to that in the nave except that deep brick-lined channels had been inserted for heating pipes that extended from a large underground boiler room located at the west end. The fabric of the north wall appears to have been largely untouched except that the window tracery has been replaced.
Excavations within an early 20th century lean-to building exposed an unmarked stone-linedIgrave under the floor. This burial which was probably originally in the churchyard under a grave marker clearly pre-dated the vestry and it was apparently incorporated within it.
Excavations of trenches for the service cables and water pipes revealed that the ground had been extensively dug over and disturbed partly when the building was constructed and partly when graves were dug. No stratigraphy was noted in the sides of these trenches.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV124354Article in Serial: Johnston, P. M.. 1927. Proceedings of the Congress of the British Archaeological Association at Exeter. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 45-46.
SDV124355Article in Serial: Johnston, P. M.. 1921. Norman Features in Some South Devon Churches. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 27. Unknown. 203-6.
SDV124362Article in Serial: Cresswell, B. F.. 1927. Devonshire Churches: The Buildings and Builders. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 153.
SDV15387Article in Serial: Thompson, A. H.. 1913. Church Architecture in Devon. Archaeological Journal. 70. Unknown. 482.
SDV17562Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. A New Survey of England: Devon. A5 Hardback. 339.
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. 32-9.
SDV304573List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1952. Newton Abbot RD. Historic Houses Register. A4 Single Sheet. 798.
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.
SDV319942List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1988. Bishopsteignton. Historic Houses Register. Website. 15-16.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 53.
SDV337410Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1938. 110NW. Revision of 1933 with additions in 1938. Provisional Edition. Second Edition Ordnance Survey Six inch Map. Map (Paper).
SDV337942Record Office Collection: Swete, R. J. (Revd). 1792-1801. 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete. Devon Record Office Collection. Unknown + Digital. Vol 2, 45.
SDV338133Article in Serial: Johnston, P. M.. 1924. Romanesque ornament in England: its sources and evolution. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 30. Unknown. 101-3.
SDV339049Article in Serial: Fryer Cornelius, C.. 1951. Mediaeval Effigies and other Sepulchral Memorials in the Parish Churches within a Ten-Mile Radius of Newton Abbot. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 83. A5 Hardback. 217-34.
SDV339295Leaflet: Ellis, A. C.. The Church of St John the Baptist, Bishopsteignton. Leaflet.
SDV339296Article in Serial: Johnston, P. M.. 1927. Bishopsteignton Church. Journal of the British Archaeological Association. 33. Unknown. 99-122.
SDV339298Article in Serial: Hawker, T.. 1874. A sketch of Bishopsteignton. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 6 Part 2. A5 Hardback. 414.
SDV339299Report - Assessment: Reed, S. + Rance, C.. 1994. Archaeological Assessment of a Proposed Extension to St John the Baptist Church, Bishopsteignton. Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit Report. 94.14. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV339300Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. SX97SW3. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV339302Worksheet: Dudley, E. R.. 1982 - 1983. Worksheet.
SDV339303Report - Evaluation: Bell, J. S. + Gent, T. H.. 2006. Archaeological Evaluation of Land off Cockhaven Road, Bishopsteignton. Exeter Archaeology Report. 06.38. A4 stapled + Digital. 1.
SDV339304List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 2007. Bishopsteignton. Historic Houses Register. Website.
SDV349851Report - Watching Brief: Fletcher, M. J.. 30/10/2011. Archaeological Monitoring of the Project at The Church of St. John the Baptist, Bishopsteignton, Devon. Martin Fletcher Report. A4 Comb Bound + Digital.
SDV357736Interpretation: Pink, F.. 2014-2015. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1

Associated Monuments

MDV6937Parent of: Rectangular cropmark of possible enclosure (Monument)
MDV9837Parent of: St John the Baptist Parish Church, Font (Building)
MDV9840Parent of: St John the Baptist Parish Church, Norman Arch (Building)
MDV9839Parent of: St John the Baptist Parish Church, Tower (Building)
MDV9838Parent of: St John the Baptist Parish Church, Tympanum (Find Spot)
MDV84768Parent of: War Memorial Board, St John's Church (Monument)
MDV22182Related to: Bishopsteignton, Vicarage (Monument)
MDV73916Related to: St John the Baptist Parish Church, 10 Chest Tombs (Building)
MDV73914Related to: St John the Baptist Parish Church, 2 Chest Tombs (Building)
MDV73917Related to: St John the Baptist Parish Church, 2 Chest Tombs (Building)
MDV73915Related to: St John the Baptist Parish Church, 3 Chest Tombs (Building)
MDV73920Related to: St John the Baptist Parish Church, Chest Tomb & Headstone (Building)
MDV73919Related to: St John the Baptist Parish Church, Chest Tomb & Ledger Stone (Building)
MDV73922Related to: St John the Baptist Parish Church, Chest Tomb (Building)
MDV73923Related to: St John the Baptist Parish Church, Gordon Chest Tomb (Building)
MDV73918Related to: St John the Baptist Parish Church, Palmer Headstone (Building)
MDV73924Related to: St John the Baptist Parish Church, Walls, Gates & Railings (Building)
MDV73921Related to: St John the Baptist Parish Church, Williams Tomb (Building)
MDV9841Related to: St John the Baptist's Chapel, Bishopsteignton (Building)
MDV73925Related to: St Johns House, Garden Walls (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV4286 - Land of Cockhaven Road, Bishopsteignton

Date Last Edited:Nov 24 2017 12:31PM