Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Teignbridge (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SX 81303 89204


DUNSFORD REEDY HILL, (north side), Dunsford SX 88 NW 6/57 Church of St Mary



Parish church. C15 with restorations of 1822 and 1846; south wall and porch 1822, chancel largely 1846. Dressed granite brought to course, some granite ashlar; granite, freestone and volcanic stone dressings, north aisle granite and freestone rendered on the north side and west end, slate roofs. Nave, chancel, west tower, 4-bay north aisle, vestry on north side of chancel, south west porch. The church was dedicated in 1261 but the present structure appears to be Perpendicular of the C15 except for the 1822 south wall and the chancel, which is 1846 in the Decorated style. The arms of Bishop Lacy on a former font may indicate that building work was carried out during his episcopacy, 1420-1455. In 1822 the south wall and porch were 'rebuilt,'in 1846 the nave was extended east by 1 bay and the chancel largely reconstructed in a correct archaeological style. The 1846 chancel has diagonal buttresses, a coped east gable and a 3-light C12 Decorated east window with hoodmould and carved label stops. On the south side 2- light 1846 Decorated windows with hoodmoulds flank a chamfered 2-centred arched priest's doorway. On the north side the chancel has one 2-light C19 Decorated window with a hoodmould. The easternmost bay of the nave, also 1846, has granite ashlar buttresses with set-offs on either side and an 1846 Perpendicular 3-light window with a hoodmould and carved label stops. The other nave windows are presumably of 1822, 3-light Perpendicular with hoodmoulds and probably copies of the medieval windows they replaced. The south porch is also 1822 with diagonal buttresses and a reused shallow-moulded granite rounded outer doorway. The porch has a timber sundial in the gable and a pair of circa early C19 or earlier gates with fielded panels below a section of balustrade with bobbin turned balusters and ramped top rails crowned by iron spikes. The porch has a plain plastered vault and a plain narrow 2-centred inner doorway with a 2-centred door with 6 flush panels and strap hinges. The north aisle has diagonal buttresses and is rendered on the north side and west end. The 4- light Perpendicular cusped east window with Y tracery has replaced mullions and carved C19 1abel stops but the tracery and hoodmould are probably late C15. On the north side four 3-light Perpendicular late C15 cusped windows have fine original carved label stops. The west window of the aisle has been blocked, probably when the gallery was added. An 1846 vestry projects north on the north side of the chancel; the vestry has a stone chimney at the north gable end, a 2-light square-headed east window and a doorway on the west side. The 3-stage battlemented west tower has set-back buttresses and no pinnacles. A grand battlemented north east projecting stair turret rises above the height of the tower proper: the turret is rectangular at the bottom stage, polygonal above, with slit windows. The west door is chamfered with a 2- centred arch, the west window is 3-light and Perpendicular with replaced mullions but original tracery hoodmould and label stops in a local volcanic stone. All 4 faces of the tower have 2-light square-headed belfry openings in a local volcanic stone with hoodmoulds, label stops and slate louvres. Interior Plastered walls, all the stone work painted, including the arcade. The 4- bay arcade and the responds of the chancel arch are of unusual section: the usual arrangement of 4 hollows and 4 shafts is elaborated by subsidiary shafts and keel mouldings with an enriched effect in the moulded capitals (cf Doddiscombsleigh, Pevsner). The chancel arch is 4-centred, the arcade arches 2-centred, the tower arch is obscured by the west end gallery. The nave and chancel roofs are open wagons with moulded ribs and bosses, they appear to be largely medieval. The chancel bosses are fine and deeply-cut with a variety of symbolic carving. The north aisle has a ceiled wagon roof with moulded ribs and foliage bosses; the plaster between the ribs has been painted to imitate fan vaulting, possibly in 1822. The stone chancel screen and reredos are good examples of early Gothic Revival fittings: the crenellated 3-bay screen has a cusped central bay, the outer bays are sub-divided and have traceried heads. The reredos is also crenellated with bays of blind arcading; 2 outer bays rise as elaborately carved gables, the painted texts and altar piece no longer exist. The Decorated style east window by Beer was designed as an ensemble with the reredos. The chancel has a C19 trefoil-headed piscina on the south wall and a timber dado incorporating panels of early C16 decorative carving that may derive from a secular source. A fine early C17 Bishops chair in the chancel is said to have originated at Culver House in Holcombe Burnell parish (Stabb). The deep west end gallery and organ loft has a circa early C18 5-bay frontal of fielded panels divided by reeded pilasters, the frontal carried on timber Tuscan columns (1 column missing). To the rear the gallery is supported on an arrangement of stout plain C20 timbers. C18 timber drum pulpit with Gothic ogee-head panelling and an C18 carved panel of a cross and cherubs fixed to one side. Fine timber eagle lectern of 1846 on a triangular pedestal with nodding ogee arches and draper painting. The font is a circa 1846 copy of the original, an octagonal bowl carved with armorial bearings on a thick stem and moulded plinth. The 3-bay tower screen is probably early C16 with unusual square heads to the traceried lights. The central bay is a 2-leaf door, the outer bays have king mullions. The east end of the aisle is the Fulford family pew enclosed by a low late C17 panelled screen which originated from the chapel of Great Fulford (qv), wall monument to Thomas Fulford, died 1610 and his wife. 2 recumbent effigies on an elaborately carved chest, a tester above supported on 3 Corinthian columns. Seven Fulford children, kneel on a ledge fixed to the wall at the back of the tomb. The figures are in an unusually good state of preservation and some ancient colour survives. A wall monument of 1700 to Francis Fulford has an inscription panel flanked by Corinthian columns with armorial bearings above, below this monument a cartouche commemorates his wife, Margaret, died 1689. On the east wall a Gothic Revival wall monument commemorates Baldwin Fulford, died 1847; 2 inscription panels under Gothic arches on shafts. A brass wall plaque with a Latin inscription commemorates Baldwin Fulford, died 1871.A Tudor arched tomb recess on the north wall of the nave with foliage carving to the arch and shields in the spandrels is likely to be a Fulford tomb. Bench ends in the chancel are C19, those in the nave C20. The head tracery of windows in the north aisle and nave contain fragments of medieval glass including several figures of saints and seraphim, all executed by the Doddiscombsleigh school of glass painters. The east window of the north aisle is by Fouracre and Watson of Plymouth. The church has a fine medieval tower and arcade, tactful rebuilding work of 1822 and a fine early Gothic Revival chancel. The Fulford standing monument is of special interest. John Stabb, Devon Church Antiquities, Vol I (1909), p 59. Pevsner, South Devon, (1952). Beatrix Cresswell, Notes on the churches of the Deanery of Kenn, (1912). Devon Cl9 Churches Project. Dr C.L. Brooks and Dr D. Evans, MS notes on the Dunsford medieval stained glass.

Listing NGR: SX8130089198


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Cresswell, B F, Notes on Devon Churches in the Deanery of Kenn, (1912)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: South Devon, (1952)
Stabb, J, Devon Church Antiquities, (1909), 59


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 01 Jul 2001
Reference: IOE01/04604/13
Rights: Copyright IoE Mrs Jean M. King. Source Historic England Archive
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