Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
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Statutory Address:

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

Teignbridge (District Authority)
Newton Abbot
National Grid Reference:
SX 85492 70375



SX8570 OLD TOTNES ROAD 1012-1/10/100 (East side) 16/07/49 Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin (Formerly Listed as: OLD TOTNES ROAD Parish Church of St Mary)


Parish church. C15, with earlier west tower; south aisle and porch c1516. MATERIALS: squared Devon limestone rubble, slate roofs with terracotta ridges. PLAN: rectangular aisled plan, 5-bay nave extending to the chancel and sanctuary; transeptal chapels to east end of nave; projecting west tower with a low C20 block attached to the north, and projecting south porch. EXTERIOR: the coped parapets to the gables at each end of the aisles and to the sanctuary have moulded kneelers and pierced crosses to the apexes. Some of the windows to the aisles have granite mullions below white freestone tracery. The fenestration is mostly C15 Perpendicular, except the windows to transeptal chapels of c1710 which have tall 4-light flat-arched windows. The C15 Perpendicular five-light east window has cusped ogee heads to the main lights, the shallow-pointed 4-light east windows to the parcloses have C15 panel tracery. North side of the sanctuary is plain with blocked window, the aisles have mainly 4-light panel-traceried windows with traces of mask stops. 2-stage west tower has moulded string courses over each stage, a battlemented parapet, paired belfry louvres to each side which share a rubblestone relieving arch and a 3-light west window with mask stops to the hoodmould over a red gritstone pointed arch to C20 double doors. The gabled south porch (restored 1885 in memory of Thomas Mackrell) to the centre of the south side has a low, almost round arch of gritstone with moulded stops at plinth level and granite steps. Above the porch is a C16 flat-arched window with ogee heads to 4 lights below paired quatrefoils. To the east end is a label mould over a restored Tudor-arched door, above is a C16 tall flat-arched 4-light window with sunk spandrels and head stops to the label mould. Against the south side of the sanctuary is a C19 single-storey block with a 3-light leaded window. INTERIOR: 6 pointed arches springing from slender Pevsner B columns with polygonal concave main shafts, have intricate carved capitals characteristic of C15 Devon depicting vine, oak and other foliage with various creatures such as a boar eating acorns, birds pecking berries, an owl, slugs and snails. Traces of a former roof-line in the unplastered rubblestone west wall indicate that the ceiling has been raised. The present planked barrel-vaulted ceiling, substantially restored late C19, continuing to the chancel, has mask, flower and leaf bosses to 15 rows of panelling. The wall plate to the chancel is brattished with similar bosses. To the west end of the nave is a high rubblestone arch to the tower which has a stone newel stair to the south-west corner. To the west end of the nave is a high rubblestone arch to the tower which has a stone newel stair to the south-west corner. C19 polychromatic tiles to the chancel floor. FITTINGS: c1518 ornate and elaborately-painted wooden screen (formerly with a rood screen above) spans the east end, and extends forward to enclose the parcloses, with painted figures to wainscotting and Perpendicular panel tracery above: coving missing, some "especially fine" (Pevsner) carving to the cornice. Norman font of red gritstone with cable and chevron moulding, a rare and notable example of a medieval Gothic brass eagle lectern said to have been hidden in Lang's Copse near Bradley Manor, Old Totnes Road (qv) during the Commonwealth, reredos of 1902 depicting the Annunciation, a late C14 bell probably by John Bird of London and a 1914-1918 war memorial pulpit carved by Herbert Read. Beneath the pulpit is a large fragment of a bomb dropped on the churchyard on 4th May 1941. MONUMENTS: include canopied table tomb to William Balcall, c1516. Monument to Sir Richard Reynell (of Forde House, Torquay Road (qv)), 1634, with 2 alabaster supine figures, to the front of the tomb is a smaller female figure lying sideways, and to the base is supine baby. The semicircular marble overthrow, supported by marble columns with gilded Corinthian capitals, has cherubs and a crest high above an inscription panel in cartouche. Memorial slabs in the floors of the aisles, of stone and slate, are C17 and C18. STAINED GLASS: some fragments of mediaeval glass have been repositioned in the south-west corner, some C19 glass is by Kempe (with a wheatsheaf signature) including a fine Evangelists scene of 1890. (BoE: Pevsner N & Cherry B: Devon: London: 1989-: 586; Gill, Mr and Mrs M: A History of The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, Wolborough: Newton Abbot).

Listing NGR: SX8549270375


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Gill, M, A History of the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin Wolborough
Pevsner, N, Cherry, B, The Buildings of England: Devon, (1989), 586


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 2002
Reference: IOE01/07185/14
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Peter Funnell. Source Historic England Archive
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