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HER Number:MDV9921
Name:St. Nicholas, Shaldon


Small medieval church which was formerly the parish church for Ringmore and Shaldon but became firstly a mortuary chapel and then a chapel of ease when a new parish church was built in Shaldon in the early 20th century. The church appears to have retained its simple medieval form until the late 18th century; there is no evidence, as has been suggested, that it was rebuilt in the 17th century


Grid Reference:SX 923 723
Map Sheet:SX97SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishShaldon

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Church of England HER: 5098
  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX97SW/68
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II)
  • Pastscape: 447787

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • PARISH CHURCH (Built, XII to Edwardian - 1101 AD? to 1905 AD (Between))

Full description

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV293668.

Hoskins, w. G. /devon/(1954)470.

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV293669.

R. B. M. /dcnq/15(1928-1929)356/a low side window.
A circular window in the east wall is thought to be of interest, it is now filled with stained glass. There is a discussion of its possible significance

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV293670.


Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV293671.

Dro=564 m/10/83(illustration by swete).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV293672.

Chery, b. + pevsner, n. /the buildings of england; devon.2nd edn/(1989)797.

Department of Environment, Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV326698.

Originally a small rectangular 13th century church rebuilt in 1622 and thoroughly restored in 1896 retaining early english style. Sandstone rubble with slate roof. Three bays with nave and chancel in one. Lancet windows, including 5 light east windows. Bellcote at west end. South porch. North vestry. Interior features entirely 19th century (doe).

Untitled Source (Migrated Record). SDV335.

St. Nicholas, church of st. Nicholas with shaldon. Thoroughly restored 1896. Little of note.(hoskins).

Clarke, K. M., 1913, The Baptismal Fonts of Devon. Part 1 (Article in Serial). SDV21185.

Tub-font, possibly pre-Norman in date on a modern pedestal. Plain, of barrel shape, hewn from coarse red conglomerate. It is very small and was possibly was a holy-water stoup. It stood for a long time in the churchyard near the porch but was put back in the church in 1881, at which time it was placed on a fine red sandstone base.

Searley, A. W., 1925, Haccombe, Part VII, 319, pl.12 (Article in Serial). SDV363286.

Chanter, J. F., 1927, Sixteenth Report on Church Plate, 100-101 (Article in Serial). SDV239594.

Church plate includes two chalices, one in Georgian style with the inscription 'St Nicholas Devon 1823 reconstructed 1915', the other described as 'rather curious', of renaissance type and said to be Slavonic. It is ornamented with seraphs and cherubs in leaves and acorns. There are also two patens and two alms dishes.
See article for full details.

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

Parker, R., 2018, St Nicholas Church, Ringmore, Shaldon: Archaeological Watching Brief and Documentary Research (Report - Watching Brief). SDV361618.

St Nicholas is a small medieval church built of local rubble masonry and now comprising a nave and chancel under one roof, with a porch on the south side and a small vestry on the north. The five graduated lancets forming the east window date to the 13th century, which is considered to be one of the best surviving examples of its type in Devon. The stone barrel vault of the south porch may also be 13th century. The unusual tall goblet-shaped font probably of 12th century date was recovered from the churchyard and re-erected in the church in the 19th century.
The church was formerly the parish church for both Ringmore and Shaldon but due to the rapid growth of Shaldon as a resort town it was replaced by a new parish church in Shaldon, dedicated to St Peter. The cemetery, however, continued to serve as the parish churchyard and was extended. St Nicholas functioned as a mortuary chapel for a time but was recommissioned in the 20th century to serve as a Chapel of Ease.
A church is mentioned here in 12th century documents; the font is also probably 12th century. However, the present building is probably 13th century in date.
The fact that the building remained largely unaltered, retaining its simple rectangular form, until the late 18th century is unusual. It is suggested much of its income may have been diverted to support another foundation not long after its 13th century reconstruction such as the 14th century Collegiate Church at Haccombe. It may, therefore, have subsequently functioned as a chapelry for Haccombe or as a wayside chapel for a ferry crossing over the River Teign.
There is no evidence for any form of rebuilding in the 17th century. It is described by Dean Milles in the 18th century as 'a small edifice with a gallery at the west end and 5 small windows at ye east end which have the appearance of some antiquity'.
The church was extended in the 18th century by the addition of an aisle on the north side and in the earlier 19th century a gallery to seat about 50 people was added against the south wall. It is described in Kelly's directory of 1883 as comprising a 'nave…and an addition on the north side; there is a west gallery, ancient font, south porch and low square tower containing 1 bell'.
The galleries are considered to have been removed by the end of the 19th century and with the building of the new parish church in Shaldon in the early 20th century the old parish church was reduced to its medieval size by the demolition of all the 18th century additions apart from the vestries, and refurbished, in preparation for its use as a mortuary chapel.
A watching brief was undertaken during groundworks for the installation of a new heating system in 2016. It was expected that the trench, which passed through the line of the 18th century aisle, would reveal the footings or robber trenches of the aisle walls and possibly also footings for the gallery posts and burial vaults. In the event no features, deposits or dating evidence were found. The excavated deposits comprised a layer of reddish brown silty clay interpreted as the backfill for an earlier water pipe seen at the bottom of the trench. The trench for the water pipe, on the same line as the new trench had cut through and removed any earlier deposits to a depth below the present excavations.
The fact that there was also no charnel material in the topsoil suggests that the churchyard was levelled up in the late 19th century with imported topsoil. This in turn may suggest that the archaeological potential for the site remains undisturbed by either trench.
See report for full history and description.

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

St Nicholas's Church marked.

Historic England, 2019, National Heritage List for England, 1269163 (National Heritage List for England). SDV362730.

Parish church. C13 origin, largely rebuilt 1622; recorded as being remodelled by 1790 when north wall rebuilt and church extended 9m towards the river; some C19 alteration, but substantially renovated in 1903 when it was designated as a chapel of ease and St Peter's Church was built in Shaldon.
Fittings include the bowl of a Saxon or early Norman font reclaimed from the churchyard when the font of 1620 was disposed of in 1881.
See listing description for full details.
Date first listed: 30th June 1949

Sources / Further Reading

SDV21185Article in Serial: Clarke, K. M.. 1913. The Baptismal Fonts of Devon. Part 1. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 45. A5 Hardback.
SDV239594Article in Serial: Chanter, J. F.. 1927. Sixteenth Report on Church Plate. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 59. A5 Hardback. 100-101.
SDV293668Migrated Record:
SDV293669Migrated Record:
SDV293670Migrated Record:
SDV293671Migrated Record:
SDV293672Migrated Record:
SDV326698Migrated Record: Department of Environment.
SDV335Migrated Record:
SDV357736Interpretation: Pink, F.. 2014-2015. South Devon Coast Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Desk-Based Assessment. AC Archaeology Report. Digital.
Linked documents:1
SDV361618Report - Watching Brief: Parker, R.. 2018. St Nicholas Church, Ringmore, Shaldon: Archaeological Watching Brief and Documentary Research. Richard Parker. 2018.02. Digital.
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. 1269163.
SDV363286Article in Serial: Searley, A. W.. 1925. Haccombe, Part VII. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 56. Hardback Volume. 319, pl.12.

Associated Monuments

MDV44129Parent of: Sundial on St Nicholas' Church, Ringmore (Monument)

Associated Finds

  • FDV3422 - CHURCH PLATE (XVIII to Unknown - 1751 AD)

Associated Events

  • EDV8169 - Historic Building Recording and Watching Brief at St Nicholas' Church, Ringmore

Date Last Edited:Oct 30 2019 11:40AM