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Description: Church of St Lawrence
Date Listed: 30 June 1961
English Heritage Building ID: 86804
OS Grid Reference: SY0266499975
OS Grid Coordinates: 302664, 99975
Latitude/Longitude: 50.7911, -3.3823
There is also a scheduled monument, Churchyard Cross 8m North of Clyst St Lawrence Church, at the same location as this building or very close to it. This may be related in some way or possibly a different name for the same structure.
Explore more of the area around Clyst St Lawrence, Devon at Explore Britain.
CLYST ST LAWRENCE
SY 09 NW
5/44 Church of St Lawrence
Parish church. Probably Norman origins (the font is Norman), rebuilt in the C15.
Coursed blocks of purple-coloured volcanic ashlar, some of the blocks (particularly
at the base of the tower) are very large; Beerstone ashlar detail; slate roof.
Plan: small church. Nave with north porch, a narrower and lower chancel and tall
west tower. The tower dominates the church, an effect emphasized by the tower being
at the uphill end of the church.
Exterior: tall west tower of 3 stages with diagonal buttresses at the west end and
set back buttresses at the east end. It has an embattled parapet with moulding
coping and carved gargoyles. On the north side is a semi-hexagonal stair turret
which rises above the tower parapet and has its own embattled parapet and gargoyles
and is surmounted by a wrought iron weather vane. The stair turret is lit by small
quatrefoil lights and it includes a Beerstone image niche with a crocketted canopy
and carved base. It includes a statue of the Virgin and Child. It is very old and
maybe C15. The belfry windows are 2 lights with Perpendicular tracery. On the west
side is a 2-centred arch doorway with a moulded surround including a band of
fourleaf motifs and has a plain hoodmould. Above is a 3-light window with
Perpendicular tracery and plain hoodmould. On the south side a cinquefoil headed
lancet lights the ringing chamber. The south side of the nave has a 2-window front
of 3-light windows with Perpendicular tracery and plain hoods; there is another in
the-east end of the chancel and another on the north side (east end) of the nave.
The other window on the north side of the nave is a C16 or C17 2-light window of
volcanic stone; square-headed with a chamfered mullion. The C15 porch between the 2
windows is gabled and has a 2-centred (almost round-headed) outer arch with moulded
surround. The porch roof is original, a 2-bay ceiled wagon roof with chamfered
ribs. The church north doorway is a 2-centred arch with moulded surround. Above it
is a corbel, presumably for an image.
Interior: the nave has a good ceiled wagon roof with moulded ribs and purlins, good
carved oak bosses and carved openwork wall plate. The chancel roof is a plain
plaster vault of uncertain date. Tall tower arch with Beerstone panelled soffit
above imposts carved with foliage and featuring representations of the Green Man and
other men holding their mouths open with their tongues hanging out. The chancel
arch is a plain 2-centred arch and it is plastered over. The window embrasures have
moulded rear-arches and nook-shafts. The walls are plastered. The floor is tiled
and includes some C17 and C18 grave slabs.
The C19 altar table is flanked by probably C18 nowy-headed painted commandment
boards. The stalls are C19, oak and Gothic. There is remains of a good late C15
oak chancel screen. It is a 5-bay arcade missing its wainscotting and tracery.
However it has a good coved vault in Gothic style and 2 bands of the delicately-
carved frieze remain. It has C20 painted colour. C19 Gothic style lectern and
pulpit, the latter with fielded panels and crocketted pilasters on the corners. c19
plain pine benches. The Norman font is made from a single block of volcanic stone;
it is an unornamental girdled font of the simplest kind. The oak ogee font-cover is
C17. There is an C19 oil lamp in the nave and contemporary corona lucis in the
There are no memorials in the church apart from a probably C13 stone coffin cover
with a raised cross on it which is now fixed to the tower wall. Also in the tower
is a board painted with the arms of George II and a painting of the Doctrine of the
Blessed Trinity. There is some C19 coloured glass in the tracery.
Source: Devon SMR.
Listing NGR: SY0265799976
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.