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HER Number:MDV9878
Name:St Michael's Church, Teignmouth


Early 19th century parish church built on ancient foundations, and mentioned in a charter of Edward the Confessor in AD 1044. It was entirely rebuilt in 1821-3, and further altered in the late 19th century.


Grid Reference:SX 943 730
Map Sheet:SX97SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishTeignmouth
Ecclesiastical ParishEAST TEIGNMOUTH

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5004
  • National Monuments Record: 447770
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX97SW/31
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 461114

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (XI to XX - 1001 AD to 2000 AD (Between))

Full description

Swete, R. J. (Revd), 1792-1801, 564M 'Picturesque Sketches of Devon' by Reverend John Swete, Vol. 2, 45, 46, 94 (Record Office Collection). SDV337942.

Davidson, J. B., 1881, The Early History of Dawlish, 114-5 (Article in Serial). SDV298750.

The original church of St Michael formed part of the boundary of the seven manses of land at Dawlish granted to Leofric, later Bishop of Exeter, by Edward the Confessor in a charter of 1044. Still in the hands of his successor, Osbern, at the time of Domesday.

Reichel, O. J., 1898, The Domesday Churches of Devon, 307 (Article in Serial). SDV863.

It is thought that this church was a rural oratory of the Bishop and Canons of Exeter at the time of the Domesday survey.

Gibbs, R., 1904-1905, The Memorials of Bishop Lacy, 115 (Article in Serial). SDV338000.

John Kendall, a statuary of Exeter, was an expert imitator, proved by his Norman doorway at East Teignmouth, which Carrington in his guide to that town (1830) pronounced to be "equal to any remains of Saxon architecture in the kingdom".

Fryer Cornelius, C., 1946, Ancient Devon Parish Churches within a Ten Mile Radius of Newton Abbot, 150 (Article in Serial). SDV312246.

Pevsner, N., 1952, The Buildings of England: South Devon, 280 (Monograph). SDV336217.

Church built 1823 by Patey of Exeter, 'an almost unbelievable effort in neo-Norman'. Chancel 1875, tower 1887.

Bulley, J.A., 1956, Teignmouth as a Seaside Resort, 152 (Article in Serial). SDV350516.

Devon County Council, 1975, Teignmouth Town Walk, 63 (Article in Serial). SDV352463.

The church is a Saxon foundation. A sketch of the church dated 1763 shows that before it was rebuilt in the Victorian period it was thatched.

Timms, S. C., 1976, The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft, 180, 181, 185 (Report - Survey). SDV341346.

St. Michael's Church served as the chapel in the borough of East Teignmouth during the medieval period.

Masson Phillips, E. N., 1977, Archaeological notes, 179-180, Pl. 1c (Article in Serial). SDV154831.

A Norman tympanum, originally from over the north door of the church is now over a garden door leading from the road into a shrubbery at Clevelands, on the seaward side of the old Dawlish to Teignmouth road.

Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division, 1980, SX97SW35 (Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card). SDV350530.

The church of St Michael at East Teignmouth is of ancient foundation, being mentioned by name in a charter of Edward the Confessor in AD 1044. It was entirely rebuilt, however, in 1821-3 and further altered in the late 19th century.

Department of Environment, 1983, Teignmouth, 18 (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV338952.

1821 onwards rebuilding of a Saxo-Norman church, which had become unsafe. Neo-norman style, very whimsical. Nave and aisles built in 1823 by Andrew Patey of Exeter. Chancel added in 1875. North-west tower of 1887 by Fulford and Lady Chapel of 1927, built of coursed rubble, the nave pebbledashed. Nave has tall polygonal piers with block capitals. Perpendicular tracery to windows. South porch with zig-zag moulding. Tower of four stages with crockets and angle buttresses. The interior has a wooden organ gallery, tall columns, wooden traceried rood screen and polished granite font. Coat of Arms of William III. Sedilla and Squint to North Chapel. Mosaic reredos.

Pearson, A., 1985, Visitor's Guide to Teignmouth, South Devon, 102 (Monograph). SDV300876.

Wilson, V., 1994, Teignmouth Historic Walkabout (Pamphlet). SDV354751.

Devon County Council + Teignbridge District Council, 1994, Teignmouth Townscape Assessment, 7, 8 (Report - Assessment). SDV351926.

English Heritage, 2011, Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West, 108 (Report - non-specific). SDV355280.

Multi–phase Norman style church. Current Repair Grant for Places of Worship for repairs to valley gutters which have been leaking for several years. Roof covering replaced in recent past with concrete tiles and there is concern as to increased load this has applied to the roof structure.This will be assessed as part of the grant. Stonework tracery of windows is deteriorating. Cracking of ceilings internally is extensive and may indicate expansion of structural timbers as a result of water ingress and decay. Poor condition. Priority B (Immediate risk of further rapid deterioration or loss of fabric; solution agreed but not yet implemented).

Shapland, M. G., 2012, Buildings of Secular and Religious Lordship: Anglo-Saxon Tower-nave Churches, 436-449 (Post-Graduate Thesis). SDV351779.

St Michael’s church was a tower-nave constructed in the late 11th century on the site of an earlier church with the same dedication. Its builder was Leofric, Edward the Confessor’s chaplain and later Bishop of Exeter, on land granted to him by the king. Leofric retained this private estate after he rose to episcopal office: St Michael’s towernave appears to have stood within an enclosure, and presumably acted as Leofric’s private chapel. The tower may also have had a role as a watchtower over the seaward approach to the vulnerable Teign estuary, and potentially over adjacent links in a regional beacon-system, although it had little visibility inland. By the 13th century the bishops of Exeter had their residence in nearby Bishopsteignton, and East Teignmouth became a conventional parish church before it was ignominiously demolished in 1820.

Ordnance Survey, 2012, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV348725.

English Heritage, 2012, National Heritage List for England (National Heritage List for England). SDV348729.

Church of St Michael the Archangel (Parish Church of East Teignmouth)
Parish church. 1821, by Andrew Patey in Norman style (dedicated 1823). Vestry 1885, west tower 1887-9 by RM Fulford in Early English style; chancel 1875 by FC Deshon; fenestration elsewhere is all late 19th century; South Lady Chapel 1923 by Sir Charles Nicholson; all on ancient foundations.
Materials: rock-faced squared grey Plymouth stone with cream limestone dressings and some red sandstone to the facade and rear, brown rock-faced stone to the returns. Concrete tile roof.
Plan: five-bay cruciform with various additions.
Exterior: the west porch is in a tower of five stages. The lower courses are of red sandstone, the moulded plinth is approximately two metres high. The pointed-arched entrance is flanked by buttresses with crocketed gables and finials. The deep intrados is panelled red and cream, the Norman-style tympanum carved with a figure of St Michael overcoming the devil. To the left-hand corner is an octagonal stair turret with loop-holes to the front of each stage. Above the porch a freestone parapet of five pierced quatrefoil panels spans the second stage. A circular window above it is set under a pointed-arched hoodmould and red sandstone voussoirs. The third stage, blank to the front, has trefoil-headed lancet windows with red sandstone voussoirs to the returns. The fourth, shallow, stage has a clock. The fifth stage has a tall louvred belfry of paired two-light openings each under a crocketed gable. The tall castellated parapet of pierced panels has octagonal towers in three stages to each corner with spirelets crocketed to the angles. The spirelet of the stair turret is slightly larger. Flanking the tower, to the front of the aisles, are canted flat-roofed single-storey ranges, that to the left with an arched entrance. The set-back west ends of the aisles are rock-faced Plymouth stone with moulded coping and fretted stone crosses to the gables, loop-holes to the apexes, paired two-light windows with red voussoirs over hoodmoulds and a moulded string course at impost level. The north side, of brown stone, has a shaped fascia articulated by headmasks to the eaves, and hoodmoulds to large semicircular-arched windows with circular lights to the tops. The gabled north transept to the centre is flanked by slender cylindrical towers with headmasks to the conical tops, a device reflecting the style of the former Saxo-Norman building. The east end with three gables has a hopperhead dated 1927 when the Lady Chapel to the south-east corner was added. The outer gables have three-light pointed-arched windows flanking a large plain pointed-arched cream limestone panel with grey voussoirs and five lancet windows set wide apart with a trefoil to the apex. The south side has similar windows and transept to the north side except for a large central semicircular window with circular lights over a large restored Norman arch with dogtooth, chevron and cable mouldings supported by two responds with vertical and horizonal chevron moulding, possibly from the former church. Double planked doors. Interior: the aisles are the same height as the nave, all with plastered barrel-vaulted roofs; the moulded arcade is of segmental arches supported by slender octagonal columns approximately ten metres high. They are of cast-iron clad in brick with cushion capitals. Aisles and nave are shallow barrel-vaulted with diagonal ribs and circular openings to the crossings. The chancel has a late 19th century polychromatic tile floor, a painted roof and rich cornice with two cylindrical ornamental tiebeams. Fittings: include 1887 marble font by Fulford, 1875 reredos by Deshon, painted wooden panel dated 1700 bearing the arms of William III presented to the church after the sacking by the French in 1690 and a fine organ with ornamented pipes by Hawkins of Newton Abbot, much restored and moved to the north-east corner. Late 19th century pine pews and pulpit. Roodscreen installed in 1924. Late 19th century stained glass by the Drake family.

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

Sources / Further Reading

SDV154831Article in Serial: Masson Phillips, E. N.. 1977. Archaeological notes. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 109. A5 Paperback. 179-180, Pl. 1c.
SDV298750Article in Serial: Davidson, J. B.. 1881. The Early History of Dawlish. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 13. 114-5.
SDV300876Monograph: Pearson, A.. 1985. Visitor's Guide to Teignmouth, South Devon. Visitor's Guide to Teignmouth, South Devon. A5 Paperback. 102.
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. 150.
SDV336217Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1952. The Buildings of England: South Devon. The Buildings of England: South Devon. Paperback Volume. 280.
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, 46, 94.
SDV338000Article in Serial: Gibbs, R.. 1904-1905. The Memorials of Bishop Lacy. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries. 3. Unknown. 115.
SDV338952List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department of Environment. 1983. Teignmouth. Historic Houses Register. A4 Comb Bound. 18.
SDV341346Report - Survey: Timms, S. C.. 1976. The Devon Urban Survey, 1976. First Draft. Devon Committee for Rescue Archaeology Report. A4 Unbound + Digital. 180, 181, 185.
SDV348725Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2012. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey. Map (Digital). [Mapped feature: #110282 ]
SDV348729National Heritage List for England: English Heritage. 2012. National Heritage List for England. Website.
SDV350516Article in Serial: Bulley, J.A.. 1956. Teignmouth as a Seaside Resort. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 88. A5 Hardback. 152.
SDV350530Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card: Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division. 1980. SX97SW35. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Division Card. Card Index.
SDV351779Post-Graduate Thesis: Shapland, M. G.. 2012. Buildings of Secular and Religious Lordship: Anglo-Saxon Tower-nave Churches. University College London. Digital. 436-449.
SDV351926Report - Assessment: Devon County Council + Teignbridge District Council. 1994. Teignmouth Townscape Assessment. Devon County Council + Teignbridge District Council. A4 Unbound + Digital. 7, 8.
SDV352463Article in Serial: Devon County Council. 1975. Teignmouth Town Walk. Devon Town Trails: European Architectural Heritage Year. Paperback Volume. 63.
SDV354751Pamphlet: Wilson, V.. 1994. Teignmouth Historic Walkabout. Leaflet.
SDV355280Report - non-specific: English Heritage. 2011. Heritage at Risk Register 2011: South West. english Heritage. Digital. 108.
SDV357736Interpretation: Pink, F.. 2014-2015. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV863Article in Serial: Reichel, O. J.. 1898. The Domesday Churches of Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 30. A5 Paperback. 307.

Associated Monuments

MDV21827Related to: Borough of East Teignmouth (Monument)
MDV107201Related to: East Teignmouth (Monument)
MDV9827Related to: Norman Tympanum at Clevelands (Find Spot)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Nov 24 2017 1:44PM