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Church of St George, Dittisham

Description: Church of St George

Grade: I
Date Listed: 9 February 1961
English Heritage Building ID: 101226

OS Grid Reference: SX8611755073
OS Grid Coordinates: 286117, 55073
Latitude/Longitude: 50.3845, -3.6032

Location: Riverside Road, Dittisham, Devon TQ6 0HY

Locality: Dittisham
Local Authority: South Hams District Council
County: Devon
Country: England
Postcode: TQ6 0HY

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Listing Text


9.2.61 Church of St George


Parish church. Circa early C14, enlarged in C15, restored in 1846, 1883
and 1924-5. Slate rubble with dressed slate and some red sandstone
dressings. The C19 windows are of Bathstone. Slate roofs and lead flats.
Plan: Nave and chancel in one, 4-bay north and south aisles, 2-storey
south porch. Vestry on the north side of the chancel in the angle with
the north aisle.
The first church (Norman font and first rector 1050) was probably simply a
nave and chancel which became ruinous and was rebuilt in circa 1333
(dedicated by Bishop Stapledon). All that remains of the early C14 church
is the chancel and the bottom stage of the west tower. The church was
enlarged in the C15 by the addition of the 4-bay north and south aisles
and the south porch. The top stage of the west tower was also rebuilt
about this time. What is now the vestry on the north side of the chancel
in the angle with the north aisle appears to be later than the chancel but
possibly earlier than the north aisle. In 1830 it was noted that remains
of the rood loft had been destroyed in 1810 when the church was repaired.
Also in the early C19 there was said to be a gallery under the tower arch.
In 1828 the pinnacles of the tower were removed and replaced with new
pinnacles in about 1846 when the church was restored and the aisle windows
were replaced under the direction of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. The church was restored again in 1883 and again in 1924-5.
Exterior: The north and south aisles have C19 4-light perpendicular
windows with segmental arches alternating with shallow buttresses with set-
offs. Both the north and south aisles have battlements with moulded
coping and cornice, the cornice continuing around the polygonal stair
turret on the north side which rises above the battlements. The stair
turret has a small quatrefoil light and a corbelled squint in the east
angle. The west and east windows of the aisles are C19 perpendicular style
3-light windows with panel tracery.
The tall 2-storey south porch has diagonal buttresses with set-off
battlements, C19 pinnacles and a polygonal stair turret in the west angle
with quatrefoil lights. C19 2-light first floor south window and C15
moulded 2-centred arch Beerstone south doorway with quatrefoils and
mouchettes in the spandrels. Similar but smaller inner doorway with the
old doors creased in C19 studded planks. The porch has a 2-bay Beerstone
vault and inner walls with blind arcades, the shafts with low relief carved
capitals. Over the inner doorway a corbel supporting a late C19 figure of
St George and the Dragon. The chancel is probably all that survives of the
1333 church. It has squat angle buttresses at the corners with weathered
set-offs. The priests doorway on the south side has a single chamfered 2-
centred arch and a C20 door. The south window is similar to the east and
west end windows of the aisles, but the east window of the chancel is a
large C19 restoration of a 3-light windows with reticulated tracery in a 2-
centred arch head.
The gable ended vestry is later than the chancel but seems to be earlier
than the north aisle?
Tall west tower in 2 stages, the bottom stage is earlier, probably 1333,
the-tall top stage is probably a C15 rebuild. It has set-back buttresses
with set-offs, embattled parapet corbelled out and mid C19 crocheted
pinnacles. Large polygonal stair turret on the north side with battlements
and trefoil-headed single lights with hoodmoulds. The 4-light west window
is a C19 replacement with a perpendicular panel tracery in a 2-centred
arch. The west doorway below has a chamfered 2-centred arch, only the stone
jambs are circa 1333, the arch is C19.
Interior: The internal walls have been stripped of plaster but some
plaster with paint survives around the south doorway. The windows have
cavetto moulded Beerstone rear arches.
The fine 4-bay north and south arcades are also Beerstone with moulded 2-
centred arches and Pevsner A-type piers, only the shafts have capitals
which have low relief leaf carving and mounded bases. The tower arch is an
unmoulded 2-centred arch with chamfered imports. The doorway to the tower
stair turret has a chamfered 2-centred arch and broach stops. The doorways
to the porch chamber stair turret and roof stair turret have 2-centred
arches with double cyma moulding and cushion stops. The doorway from the
chancel to the vestry has a hallow moulded 2-centred arch.
The south wall of the chancel has a deeply moulded trefoil-headed piscina
(1333?) with quatrefoil sink. Immediately to the west of the piscina a
rather mutilated sedilia with a cavetto moulding to one side and remains of
plaster at the back with finely painted head and shoulders only of a
figure. On the north side of the chancel there is what appears to be a
large blocked window.
There are hagioscopes at the east ends of the north and south aisles to the
chancel. At the east end of the north aisle there is an ogee-headed niche
high up in the wall and from the porch chamber to the south aisle there is
a 2-light window with cusped arches.
The ceiled wagon roof of the nave and chancel is late C10? The ribbed flat
roofs of the aisles are also late C19.
Early C15 rood screen across nave and aisles, with Pevsner A-type tracery
replaced in the C19 in the nave and with C15 painted figures in the
wainscotting. The later parclose screens have flamboyant tracery with
large circles. The tower screen is mid?C19. The stone pulpit has a
slender stem and figures in niches with nodding ogee canopies alternating
with running vine decoration on columns, it is all rather rudely carved
like folk art; the stone flight of steps is late C19 or C20 and has a
wrought iron balustrade. The carved wooden lectern is circa mid C19. The
Holy Water stoup by the south doorway is late C19. The red sandstone font
is C12; it has a round bowl with spade-shape design (possibly the heads of
arches Pevsner) and roll moulding around the top, moulded base and a
circular Beerstone stem; the font cover is C20. The benches are late C19,
in soft wood, but rather Arts and Crofts. The choir stalls are C20 except
for those at the back which are circa late C19. The carved wooden altar
rail is also C20. The carved wood reredos with figures of saints is early
C20 but the stone altar with quatrefoils is mentioned by Davidson in 1847.
The organ of 1879 by H Halmshaw. Royal Arms of Charles II over south
doorway painted on board in moulded frame with segmental head. Hatchment
in tower restored in 1972. The tower clock was presented in 1879. The
five bells were cast in 1802 by Thomas Mears of London (bells were reported
in 1553).
The nave and aisle floors are tiled. The floor of the chancel is paved in
slate and there are many slate limestone ledger stones, one medieval,
rebated for a brass figure.
Monuments: Good C17 monument on south side of chancel, 1636, a laurel
wreath around a circular inscription flanked by Corinthian columns
supporting a semi-circular pediment, below are console brackets and an
angel head on gadrooned corbel. Also on south wall of chancel a monument
to Margaret Fownes died 1803.
Stained glass: by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, 1846, in north aisle and chancel with decorated borders.
Sources: Cresswell, B Notes on Decon Churches, Deanery of Totnes,

Listing NGR: SX8611655072

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.