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Description: Church of St John the Baptist
Date Listed: 9 February 1961
English Heritage Building ID: 100601
OS Grid Reference: SX8124562633
OS Grid Coordinates: 281245, 62633
Latitude/Longitude: 50.4515, -3.6741
Explore more of the area around Littlehempston, Devon at Explore Britain.
SX 86 SW LITTLEHEMPSTON
5/53 Church of St John the
Parish church. C14. Largely rebuilt in 1439 when aisles, west tower and south
porch were built. Ashlar with freestone dressings. Tiled roof. Nave and
chancel in one. Chancel has C14 north window and C19 four-light
curvelinear traceried east window. North and south aisles with embattled
parapets and thin buttresses with set-offs and C19 geometric traceried window.
The north aisle has polygonal stair turret to the rood loft. Four-centre arch
south doorway with quatrefoil spandrels and hood mould with head stops. Two-
storeyed south porch with embattled parapet, buttresses with set-offs, ovolo-
moulded two-centred arch doorway with two-light window above with narrow niches
in the jambs and carved lintel soffit. Tall west tower in three stages, with
weathered stringcourses, set-back buttresses with set-offs, embattled parapet
without pinnacles. Two-light bell-openings with four-centred heads. Three-
light Perpendicular traceried west window and moulded two-centred arch west
doorway. Polygonal stair turret on south side with battlements and later small
gabled porch at its base. Slate sundial dated 1721 on south side of south
aisle. Interior: five bays north and south arcades, the east bays narrower,
with moulded two-centred arches, the piers have four shafts with wavy moulding
between, only the shafts have capitals most of which are carved. The nave,
chancel and north and south aisles, have C15 moulded waggon roofs with carved
bosses at the intersections and on the moulded wall plate. Tall plain unmoulded
tower arch. Chamfered pointed arch piscina with shelf. Good rood and parclose
screens with traces of colour, Perpendicular tracery and tracerled wainscot,
carved cornice with vines and birds pecking the grapes. Cresting above but
coving is missing. Four-centred arch doorway to rood loft at north end. Norman
sandstone font with seven-sided bowl with ribs on the underside, round stem and
a cushion base. Late C19 furnishings in Perpendicular style including organ
under the tower arch. Monuments: Two C14 and one C13 recumbent effigies on
south and north window cills, two knights in armour, one 1243 Sir John Arundel
cross-legged and with shield, the other circa 1400, and a lady of C14. Gothick
monument to Charles Cornish of Gatcombe House 1818. Late C15 stained glass from
St John's Church Marldon, two complete figures of St Stephen and St Christopher.
References: John Stabb, Some Old Devon Churches, volume I, pages 83 and 84,
plate 70. B F Cresswell, Notes on Devon Churches, Deanery of Totness, pp.184 to
Listing NGR: SX8124462638
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.