If you log in, you can comment on buildings, submit new photos or update photos that you've already submitted.
Description: Church of St Mary
Date Listed: 9 February 1961
English Heritage Building ID: 101391
OS Grid Reference: SX7113056548
OS Grid Coordinates: 271130, 56548
Latitude/Longitude: 50.3947, -3.8144
Explore more of the area around North Huish, Devon at Explore Britain.
4/480 NORTH HUISH
9.2.61 Church of St Mary
Parish church, the dedication to St Mary may not be authentic. Largely early
C14, probably with earlier fabric, C15 south aisle and south porch, circa 1840
vestry, restored in 1871 and 1884-5.
Local stone rubble of mainly slate rubble with granite dressings. The west
lower, north side of the nave and the chancel have remains of old render and
the south side of the top stages of the tower are slate hung. In the C20 the
south side of the lower stages of the tower and the west end of the south
aisle were rendered. Slate roofs with lead rolls to the ridges.
Plan and development: The earliest record of a rectar is in 1308 and the
reconstruction of the church was dedicated in 1336 by Bishop Grandisson. The
dedication may have been for the rebuilding of the chancel only but it appears
that the west tower wiuth its integral spire and the north transept
(Butterford aisle) are also early C14 church comprised a nave, chancel, north
transept and a west tower with a spire. The south doorway is also C14 but is
reused and was probably moved from the nave when the south aisle was added in
the C15. Also in the C15 the nave was reroofed. The south porch, may be
coeval with the aisle or possibly a later C15 addition. In circa 1840 a
vestry was built on the north side of the chancel and in 1846 the east window
was renewed. The church was restored in 1871 (Whites) and again in 1884-5.
In the late C20 partitions were inserted into the arcade to convert the south
aisle into a parish room.
Exterior: The north side of the nave has 2 late C19 decorated style 2-light
windows. The north transept has a circa C16 2-light window on the east side
with uncusped 3-centred lights and a hoodmould to the straight head and a late
C19 Perpendicular style 3-light north window.
Slightly battered west tower in 2 stages has diagonal buttresses on the west
corners and angle buttresses on the east corners, all rising only to the
belfry floor level. A polygonal stair turret on the north side of the tower
rises to the ringing stage only and has a slate weathered roof and small
window slits. The tower has an embattled parapet on granite corbels; the
octagonal recessed spire is integral and built of dressed slate rubble with
a stone finial. Uncusped lancets on each side of the belfry and a cusped
lancet on the south side of the ringing stage below, a 3-light granite C15 or
early C16 Perpendicular west window with a hoodmould over a small unmoulded
2-centred arch west doorway.
The chancel has a slightly lower roof than the nave; the east window of 1846
in decorated style and of 3-lights; a small blocked priest's doorway on the
south side with a 3-centred granite arch; this doorway is in a blocked
original window opening. The north wall of the chancel is concealed by a
circa 1840 vestry which has a brick stack at its north gable end and a C19
sash window on its east side with intersecting glazing bars and a brick 4-
centred arch; a doorway to the left is blocked.
The south aisle has a moulded slate wall plate and plinth; the plinth
continues around the 4 granite buttresses which have moulded weathering to
their set-offs, the east is a diagonal buttress on the corner. Between the
buttresses are 4 large late C19 (1884-5?) 4-light Perpendicular style windows
with almost round arches; their tracery is interesting especially the tracery
of the easternmost window on the south side and the east end window which have
panel tracery with transoms suggesting a circa 1900 date. The east gable end
of the aisle has late C19 moulded stone coping and a cross at the apex.
The porch is at the west end of the south side of the aisle, and at a lower
level than the aisle; they may be contemporary or the porch could be later
C15; it has a similarly moulded plinth and wall plate and a large moulded 3-
centred arch granite doorway with carved spandrels and a label with carved
stops; on the bases of the doorway jambs there is a quatrefoil panel to the
right and a pair of round-headed lancet-like recesses to the left; in the
gable above the doorway an elaborately shaped slate sundial dated 1686. The
porch has its original ceiled wagon roof with roll moulded ribs, carved wall
plate and later bosses. The inner south doorway has a C14 2-centred arch
frame with a double convex moulding and a lancet niche above; the door is
circa mid C19 with a 2-centred arch and flush panels.
Interior: The walls have old plaster but the south aisle walls have been
cement rendered. The floors are slate. There are C16 ceiled wagon roofs over
the nave, transept and the south aisle but most of the moulded ribs and
plaster panels were removed from the south aisle roof in the late C20 when a
suspended ceiling was inserted underneath. The nave and north transept roofs
have moulded ribs, carved bosses at the intersections and carved wall plates.
The ceiled wagon roof over the narrower and slightly lower chancel has
chamfered wall plates and then moulded ribs which seem to be C19 but which may
conceal an earlier roof structure above.
The east arch of the 5-bay south arcade is lower to fit under the stone wall
plate of the lower chancel. The granite arcade has 4-centred, almost round,
moulded arches; the moulded granite monolithic piers of standard A-type
(Pevsner) have 4 shafts which rise into the capitals which have horizontal
bands and similar bases without the bands.
Only the south aisle windows appear to have their original . The
transept has an unmoulded 2-centred arch and the tall tower arch is also 2-
centred but with imposts. There is no chancel arch.
On the south wall of the chancel a tall blocked lancet with deep splays, later
used as a doorway and now a sedilia; to its east a plain 2-centred arch
piscina with a crude drain, its slat shelf removed. On the north side of the
chancel a blocked chamfered 2-centred arch doorway with diagonal stops or
mitres for the cill. The pointed arch doorway to its left to the vestry is
The doorways at the top and bottom of the tower stair turret have chamfered
2-centred arches. The bell-ringer's floor has large unchamfered beams.
Furnishings: The stone reredos is supposed to be C19 ("modern" cresswell) or
is it a reused C16 tomb? The C15 rood screen has been removed for repair and
is now in storage in the transept; it has 3-light panels and thick canopy-work
in the spandrels but no coving or cresting; the cornice has strips of
decoration and the wainscoting is pierced (Pevsner). The similar south
parclose screen is in situ in the east bay of the arcade; both are painted and
may have early colour underneath. The tower arch has an early C20 boarded and
glazed partition. The nave benches and choir stalls with poppyheads are all
late C19 and complete, but the aisle benches have been removed. The late C19
polygonal wooden pulpit is probably contemporary; it has pierced gothic panels
and has been moved to the transept. The wrought iron altar rail and wrought
iron and brass lecturn are late C19. The crudely moulded octagonal granite
font is dated 1662 and has initials R.O; it has an octagonal ogee domed wooden
cover with a fircone finial. In the vestry the stairs to its higher floor
level have a turned balustrade and there is a circa 1840 chimneypiece and
Stained alass: Late C19 patterned coloured glass in all the windows; the
central light of the east window has a stained glass crucifixion.
Bells: bells; 4 are dated 1804, 1 is dated 1899.
Monuments: Marble gothick wall monuments in chancel to Peter Perrin died 1851
and John Allen died 1853; a Neo-classical monument to another John Allen died
1846 also in the chancel. The best monument is on the north wall of the nave
to Richard Strode of Newnham Park died 1790; marble with a large draped urn
at the top and fluted pilasters flanking the inscription which invites the
reader to look at Butterford (qv). "The stately mansion that adorns the brow
of yonder summit". On the west wall on either side of the tower arch are
various monuments to members of the Cornish family of Black Hall (qv).
Sources: B F Cresswell, Notes on Devon Churches, Deanery of Totnes.
Listing NGR: SX7113056546
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.