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The development of the Heathcoat factory around 1808 led to a substantial population growth on the West Exe side of Tiverton. In addition to a large number of houses that the factory built for its workers, by the 1850s there was an Anglican Church that began meeting. Eventually a new purpose-built building was erected, paid for, in the main by John Heathcoat’s daughter Caroline and her husband, Ambrose Brewin, the manager of the factory at the time.
Like St George’s, the church was made into a parish with its own vicar following the Act of Parliament of 1884.
You might be interested to know....
- St Paul’s doesn’t have a graveyard like many churches but a garden that surrounds the church
- The organ used to be at the back of the church but was moved to make way for a chapel to commemorate those who died in the Great War 1914-18
- The bells in the tower are named after the children of a previous vicar of St Paul’s, (Revd Eric Arnold) and installed July 20 1976
- The road, Baker’s Hill, is named after a previous vicar of St Paul’s (Revd. Edward Baker: vicar 1870-1895). Both the Old and New Vicarage are up this hill.
- The Church has been struck by lightning.... twice! 1864 and again in June 1899.
- A yew tree that once stood at the East end of St Paul’s churchyard was carved into a depiction of Adam and Eve being driven from the garden by the angel (Genesis 3: 24) entitled 'The Expulsion Group' by Mr Estcourt Clack, a former master at Blundells. It was on display in the Royal Academy in 1948, Northern Galleries in 1949 and in 1963 presented to the Bishop of Bath & Wells and is now displayed in a 'tower' in the garden of the Bishop’s Palace at Wells.
Secret Windows! There is a pair of windows in the side chapel depicting St Peter & St Paul; there are a matching pair on the other side, hidden by the organ - they were donated by the Carew family - a longstanding and distinguished Tiverton family.View Location
The present building dates back to 1097 when William de Mohun endowed the foundation of a Benedictine Priory, a daughter cell of Bath Abbey. Although there must have been a Saxon church in Dunster, no trace of this remains as the monks set about building a completely new church with a cruciform, apsoidal design. The building had a squat tower at the intersection of the transepts, nave and chancel. The 12th/13th centuries saw the replacement of the apse with an angular chancel and the addition of a chapel to the east of the south transept. Further major changes occurred in the 15th century when the height of the tower was raised to its present level and north and south aisles were constructed. And so the structure of the building remained until the major re-ordering of the interior in the 1867.
Although founded as a Priory Church, as the town of Dunster grew in size and prosperity, as a result of the wool trade, so pressure increased for the townsfolk to have their own church. This led to a dispute between town and priory which was resolved after arbitration at Glastonbury in 1499. The tribunal ruled that the area to the east of the transepts should become the Priory Church with the remaining area to be the Parish Church. The old screen between the piers of the tower was removed to span the arch between the South Transept and the St Lawrence Chapel to the east. The parish then commissioned a new screen, which is still a notable feature of the church, so generating the Choir and Chancel areas that exist today.
Thus, St George’s Church is a stone palimpsest recording changes in attitudes and approaches to the Christian religion and its liturgy through the centuries. However, one thing has remained constant throughout, namely that the church and all those associated with it have been here to serve God and the community. The church, over the centuries, has provided an environment for communal prayer and worship, an oasis of peace for individual prayer and contemplation, a source of spiritual renewal for the world-weary as well as providing sanctuary for the oppressed. In addition, the homeless and destitute would have received food and shelter at the Priory. Today, St George’s remains, physically, at the centre of Dunster and it still ministers to the spiritual needs of all who live or visit the village (as it has now become).View Location
Dunster Tithe Barn has been in existence since at least the 15th century and is owned by the Crown Estate Commissioners. It has recently undergone a five year long restoration and is now a magnificent centre which may be hired for dinner/dances, parties and other celebrations, weddings, or, for instance, corporate meetings, antiques fairs, craft sales, horticultural shows and art exhibitions.
The barn has a separate carpeted meeting room with surround sound which is available for hire for any type of meeting, children's parties, table tennis and even a film club.View Location
The Parish Church of Ashburton, dedicated to St. Andrew, is situated in West Street, just a short walk from the centre of the town. The earliest known records of the Church date back to the 12th Century when John the Chanter, Bishop of Exeter (1186-91) gave it to the Chapter of Exeter Cathedral
In the 14th century, Walter de Stapeldon, Bishop of Exeter (1307-26), Lord Treasurer of the Realm, a trusted servant of King Edward II, hearing of its dilapidated condition, formally visited the Church on April 3rd, 1314 and finding amongst other defects the North Aisle in ruins, ordered these to be remedied on pain of a heavy fine.
Rebuilt in the 15th century the Church has traces of 13th and 14th century remains incorporated in the building. A product of the 15th century mason, impressive in its stately dignity, grandly proportioned and possessing a strong individuality, the tower rises 92 feet to its embattled parapet. The tower contains one of the finest peals of eight bells in the district.
The transept fronts are especially worthy of attention. The beauty of line and proportion which so characterises this Church is apparent throughout.
The 18th century entrance gates are wrought-iron of exceptionally fine workmanship and design. They are surmounted by the arms of the Borough of Ashburton.
The interior has much of interest with a long wagon roof running the entire length of the church. The shaft of one of the dignified piers of the nave is made from a single piece of granite. There are some fine 15th century wooden roof bosses in the side aisles. In the 15th century the prosperity of Ashburton led to the chapel of St. Thomas a Becket, in the north transept, becoming the Guild Chapel of the wool workers and the chapel of St. Catherine, in the south transept, becoming that of the tinners.
Many changes took place in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries but these were largely swept away in the Victorian era when a massive restoration programme, carried out by the architect W. G. Street, gave the Church it's present neo-Gothic character.
The Michelmore family, and others of late Victorian time, put in the stained glass windows. With their rich colours and strong Biblical themes they are a means of Christian teaching. Half an hour can easily be spent studying the message of these beautiful stained glass pictures.
The early 20th century saw the addition of some beautiful woodwork with elaborate carving by Herbert Read and Harry Hems of Exeter. The reredos, carved by Herbert Read and placed in the church in 1928, is a fine example of craftsmanship with it's symbols of the Annunciation. This also depicts stories of the apostles, Peter and Andrew.
But the Parish Church is more than a historic building - St. Andrew's is very much a live centre of Christian worship and teaching in the town and within the Diocese of Exeter. It is a very active partner both locally in "Churches Together in Ashburton" and also with other Devon churches.View Location
The historic Chapel is a unique and important Grade ll* Listed building, situated in St. Lawrence Lane in the heart of Ashburton. Originally a Chantry Chapel and subsequently for over 600 years a Grammar School, St. Lawrence Chapel is now an important Heritage, Cultural and Community Centre, managed by the Guild of St. Lawrence.
The Chapel is open to visitors from the beginning of May until the end of September on certain days, or by arrangement, and is used throughout the year for a great variety of activities under the headings of:
Maintaining and conserving the historic heritage of the Building and its unique Archives, which cover many aspects of the building’s years as a Grammar School, is our main purpose. The unique Listed Grade ll* building is a focus for Ashburton town heritage. The historic Portreeve Ceremony and Ancient Court Meetings take place here. Ashburton History and Preservation Society also meets here. The annual ancient Medieval Fair, ale tasting and bread weighing ceremonies are focused on the Chapel and St. Lawrence Lane and take place in mid-July each year.
The building is used for a great variety of music, drama, poetry and arts and crafts events and groups. It is the Centre for the Associated Board Royal School of Music Examinations for the whole of the South West Region and is one of the venues for the annual Two Moors Festival.
The Chapel is used by local and regional groups and organisations for a very wide range of community activities and exhibitions.
Please note that the Chapel is now fully accessible for everyone now that access works (including ramps and a fully accessible toilet) have been installed. Toilets have also recently been upgraded to a high standard.View Location
The greatest treasure of Moretonhampstead’s parish church is its position. When you first see it from the Exeter road it makes a striking impression – standing atop its hill majestically, as if it is particularly proud of itself. From the opposite direction it looks humbler, against the backdrop of the higher hills to the north and east; but the tower is still easily visible from the high moor and the road from Dartmoor. Indeed, it is such a landmark that one suspects that this purpose was in the minds of its builders in 1418: to guide the tinners and other moorland travellers. Like Widecombe, ‘the cathedral of the moor’, it dominates its locality with an expression of prestige that is rare in this humble, far-flung corner of England.
The present church is not the first to stand on the site. Not only do we have references to a church here that predated the existing fifteenth century building, there is visible proof that an earlier structure stood here. The most significant evidence is the mark of the earlier roof against the internal wall of the tower, which was built in 1418. This earlier church is often said to have been of thirteenth-century date, itself a replacement of an older, Saxon or Norman church. However, while this is not impossible, it is more likely that the roofline is the shadowy remnant of the first church to be built in Moreton, and that was probably built around the year 1100.
Extract taken from “A guide to the history and fabric of St Andrew’s Church Moretonhampstead” by Bill Hardiman and Ian Mortimer (available from the church, price £2.00).View Location
A Church has stood on this hill since Saxon times when the little hilltop village of Ocmundtune was closely grouped around its (probably wooden) Church and surrounded on all sides by dense forests. With the building of Okehampton Castle soon after 1066, present day Okehampton began to develop in the river valley and the little Saxon village was progressively abandoned.
It is certainly known that a Church existed here prior to the first recorded consecration by Bishop Bronescombe of Exeter in 1261. The lovely medieval building, which resulted from a further re-building in 1447, was destroyed by fire in 1842. It was rebuilt again to this plan, by Hayward. The 80 foot granite ashlar tower alone survived the blaze and was incorporated into the rebuilt Church which, although somewhat larger, was designed, more or less on the lines of the previous one. There are remains of the old stone reredos against the west wall of the south aisle. The organ is reputed to be one of the finest in Devon.
The reredos is of stone and was built in 1891 by Hems and the choir stalls and altar rails date from 1892. The pulpit is a little older, buing installed in 1872. There are several fine stained glass windows in the church, notably one south window by Morris and Co. depicting St Cecilia and the Angels. The North Window is by the Kemp studios and others are by Ward and Hughes. In the Lady Chapel there is a small section of medieval glass displayed in a cabinet beside the altar.
Although the church is on the edge of the town we seek to be at the heart of the community and to serve it in the best way we can. We are a growing church, with a good range of ages and backgrounds. We have an active social programme and are trying to expand the range of our activities. On the first Sunday of the month, we have a family service in the morning at 11.00. This is designed to be a shorter service and although primarily is for the younger ages, there is something for everyone. In the evening of the first Sunday, there is Holy Communion at 6.30pm. Our Sunday School, or "Jam" meets on other Sundays during the 11:00 service. We try to offer a range of worship to suit all tastes from informal to formal, from modern to traditional.
All Saints, apart from being a lovely place to spend a quiet, reflective time, also has the distinction of having it's own resident Church Mouse together with a dedication to someone with "a deep love of God's animal world" who was "killed whilst out hunting.
If you wish to visit inside the Church at any time, you are most welcome to do so, but please contact the Rector or Churchwarden prior to your visit in order to request access.View Location
Built about 1428, but with some remains of Early English and Norman features, the building contains many notable features. These include a stone font and pulpit, a squint, many stained glass windows, a peal of eight bells and a statue of the patron saint. Historically it was the centre of the Anglo-Saxon hundred. In the year 2000 we had an area at the back of the church refurbished and made into a kitchen area which includes a toilet and hand-washing facilities, a facility much appreciated by our parishioners and where new and old blend well together.
The entrance porch, although much restored, dates from the end of the 15th century, whilst the outer arch and the inner doorway are of depressed Tudor style. Inside you will discover some particularly fine arcading, with lively carving at the tops of the pillars. On your left is the exceptional 14/15th century font. Octagonal in shape, each face having a square containing a quatrefoil, with three smaller ones above it. Foliage is carved above and below, and the whole stands on a carved octagonal column. The nearby window shows Israel safely crossing the Red Sea, the baptism of Jesus, and Naaman told by Elisha's messenger to wash in Jordan. Looking East down the church one can appreciate the nave roof, a good example of plastered cradle work dating from the 15th century with fine bosses and the delicately carved wooden cornice of a West Country church of the period. Some consider the chancel roof to be a later imitation of cradle work, as the transverse ribs are in short straight lengths, instead of continuous curves.
The stone pulpit is a remarkable treasure, being one of only 70 in the whole country. Dating from 1450 - 1500, it bears five octagonal faces, each being a panel within a carved frame containing a figure beneath an ogee headed canopy of rich design. The central panel shows, in rough relief, a Crucifix with St Mary and St John. The remaining faces bear statues of St Peter, St Paul, a Bishop, and a female saint, probably St Mary Magdalena. The original heads of these statues are missing, believed knocked off in the 1650s at the time of the Puritan domination. Finally restored in the 19th century, the restorer, for some reason chose to ignore the female figure, and provided four male heads only.View Location
Situated in the beautiful rural town of Dulverton, the southern gateway to Exmoor, the parish Church of All Saints in Bank Square has a tower from the 15th century which was extensively restored between 1853 and 1855 when the rest of church was rebuilt by Edward Ashworth. It has been designated as Grade II* listed building.View Location
Exeter Cathedral is a testament to the creativity, skill and devotion of those who built it. Dating back 900 years, it is one of England's most beautiful medieval cathedrals and one of the finest examples of decorated Gothic architecture in this country. It is most famous for its two Norman towers, impressive west front carvings and the longest unbroken stretch of Gothic vaulting in the world. Of note are the Minstrels' Gallery, the 15 Century Astronomical Clock, a complete set of Misercords and the highly decorated tombs, bosses and corbels. The library contains the famous 'Exeter Book' of Anglo-Saxon verse, the Exon Domesday and many other historical documents.
The Cathedral prides itself on its choral tradition which dates back nearly 900 years. At 17.30 on most weekdays the Cathedral Choir sing Evensong. The service is free to attend, lasts 45 minutes, and everyone is welcome to attend.
Visitor facilities include a well-stocked shop and onsite café, serving a range of light lunches, afternoon teas and light snacks.
The Cathedral receives no funding from the government or the Diocese of Exeter. An admission fee is payable by visitors, which contributes to the £1.3million annual operating cost.
PLEASE NOTE: There is never a charge to pray or attend a service in the Cathedral and all are welcome.View Location