Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Statutory Address:

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

South Hams (District Authority)
Stoke Fleming
National Grid Reference:
SX 86201 48311


STOKE FLEMING CHURCH ROAD SX84NE STOKE FLEMING 6/152 Church of St. Peter 26.1.67 GV II* Parish church. Probably C13, remodelled and enlarged in circa early C14, altered in C15 and restored in 1871-2 by J.P. St. Aubyn. The whole church is roughcast rendered except for the tower which is local slate rubble with granite and red sandstone dressings. Slate roofs, the nave roof is carried down over the aisles, the chancel and transept roofs are lower, all with gabled ends and late C19 crested ridge tiles. Plan and development: The plan of the church comprises:- nave, chancel, Short north and south transepts, 4-bay north and south aisles, north porch, west tower and vestry and organ chamber on north side of chancel. The origin of the church is probably pre-Conquest since the former dedication was to St. Petrock, but the earliest surviving fabric is probably C13. William de Maccombe is mentioned as the rector in 1272. Creswell suggests that the church was reconstructed in circa 1312 when the aisles were added to the earlier C13 cruciform church partly absorbing the short transepts. But the arcade piers appear to be C13 with rather incongruous arches similar to the chancel arch and the transept crossing arches and piers seem to be C15 and therefore would have been rebuilt. The tower is probably of C13 origin. The north porch was probably built in the C17 and the vestry and organ chamber were added either in 1861 when the first organ was built or in 1871-2 when the church was restored, reroofed and reseated by J.B. St. Aubyn. Exterior: All the windows were replaced in 1971 in Bathstone except for those in the tower and the east corridor on the south side of the south aisle which is a 2-light window with cusped heads, the mullion having been removed and a 4-centred arch 2-light window dated 1810 on the south side of the chancel. The 1871 windows are all Gothic, the north side and east windows are of 3-lights with geometric tracery. The transepts have 3-light perpendicular style windows. The south aisle windows have straight heads and ogee cusped lights. The priest's doorway on the south side of the chancel is blocked. The north porch has a chamfered 2-centred arch of dressed slate, inner doorway is C14 with a moulded 2-centred arch with a hoodmould, the door is Cl9, the porch has a Cl9 common rafter roof. The tall west tower has 3 stages with weathered stringcourses, is tapered slightly and has set-back buttresses with set-offs and a moulded embattled parapet; polygonal star turret on north side with battlements rising above the main tower; small red sandstone window slits in the stair turret and 4- centred arch doorway at the bottom with a Cl9 door; 2-light bell-openings with slate louvres on all sides except the south; C15 granite 4-centred arch west window without cusping and with hoodmould; the granite 2-centred arch west doorway has a single roll-moulding and a label and is now blocked. Interior: All interior walls are plastered except for west tower which has exposed stone rubble. The tiled floors are circa 1871-2. 4-bay (plus crossing arches) north and south arcades, the arcade bays have massive squat grey limestone (like Purbeck marble) piers, set square, with large round shafts on the chamfered corners and 2 fillets in between; the bases and capitals are moulded. The double-chamfered 2-centred arches above are of pink sandstone and rather incongruous. The fifth east bay is the transept cross arch and has slender moulded piers with a shaft at each corner and 2 fillets and a recessed shaft between, moulded bases, Beerstone capitals finely carved with foliage and high moulded Beerstone 2-centred arches and a second capital above the pier capitals at the springing of the arch, the north one more richly carved, the south east respond capital is moulded and the north east one is carved with arms of the Carews. The chancel arch has no capitals and above the springing it appears to have been rebuilt with an asymmetrical 2-centred arch. The chancel has remains of a piscina and what might be an aumbry. The tall stone rubble 2-centred tower arch has chamfered imposts. The roofs were all replaced by St. Aubyn in 1871-2. The nave is arch braced on corbels with wind-braces, the transepts also have arch braces and wind bracing. The aisles have common rafter roofs with curved bracing. The chancel roof is the most elaborate, it is arch braced with trefoils between the queen struts and 2 tiers of wind bracing. All the benches in the nave, aisles and chair stalls are of 1871-2 and replace box-pews and galleries at the west end and in the south aisle. The carved polygonal pulpit of 1891 is by Miss Violet Pinwill. The 1916 lectern is a life size figure of an angel carved in wood and the 1984 lectern by Nigel Watson is a seagull on a rock. 1911 carved wooden Gothic altar rail and altar also 1911 has 3 carved panels on front with palm tree columns between. Early C20 Gothic style marble reredos with mosaic panels and marble-faced east wall of sanctuary inscribed with the Commandments. Norman font of pink sandstone with plain round bowl with roll moulding below and circular stem with a moulded base, below which there is a late base with spired corners set on a late C19 Devon limestone plinth; the lead lining has marks for the hinge and bolt. The 1861 organ by Bryceson Brothers of London was rebuilt in 1887 but the pipes were painted in 1874 with flowers. The clock in the north aisle is of circa early C19. Memorials: C13 recumbent effigy under tower arch, formerly in chancel, is probably Eleanor Mohun, wife of Sir John Carew and clad late C13 costume. Brass at east end of nave to John Carp and a lady (probably his grand daughter) 1361, said to be the oldest dated brass in the West Country. Brass to Elias Newcomen, 1614, reset under south side of chancel arch. In chancel memorial to George Goodridge 1781. There are many other C19 memorials to local families some signed by the masons. Stained glass: Most of the window tracery was replaced in 1871-2. Late C19 east window. South east window of chancel of 1877 to Alice wife of E. St. Aubyn rector. South west chancel window of 1866. South transept window circa 1860 and N transept window signed by Lavers Barraud and Westlake of London 1871. In north aisle a window to George Parker Bidder 1882, an infant prodigy, engineer and mathematician and president of the Devonshire Association and another of 1901. South aisle windows of 1888 signer by Cox, Sons, Buckley London and another of 1888 and one earlier C20 window. The other windows in the north and south aisles are of circa 1871 and the west tower window is of early C20. The west tower has 6 bells cast in 1777 and a clock of 1878. Sources: Beatrix Creswell, Notes on Devon Churches, Deanery of Ipplepen, 1903. Kelly's and Whites Directories. Church Guide.

Listing NGR: SX8620148311


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

Legacy System number:
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Books and journals
Church of St Peter Stoke Fleming Church Guide
Cresswell, B F, Notes on Devon Churches of the Deanery of Ipplepen, (1903)
White, , Devon, (1839)
'Kelly's Directory' in Kelly's Directory, (1883)


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: 30 Oct 2001
Reference: IOE01/05409/28
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Brian Head. Source Historic England Archive
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