Chagford, Devon  -  St Michael Church
15th century

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Notes in italics from Devon by Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner (1989)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London.

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All Dartmoor granite, ashlar built. Tall W tower with buttresses set back from the angles, originally with pinnacles. Two-storey embattled S porch ... According to the church guide the present building dates mainly from the early 15th century. Most of the windows have Perpendicular tracery. The west window in the tower, however, being intersecting tracery is probably late 13th century and was moved from elsewhere. The chancel beyond the screen was probably added later (records suggest around 1482), as evidenced for example on the north and south elevations by the dropping of stone relieving arches over the windows. The tower was completed in 1513.

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Long, low, dark interior, restored in 1865 (plaster removed). Two five-bay aisles: monolithic granite octagonal columns, two-centred double-chamfered arches, perhaps c.1400. ... Rood Screen, 1925, pulpit, 1928, and later pews, all by Herbert Read, are entirely traditional. ... Monument. Sir John Whidden, died 1575. Tomb-chest surmounted by two decorative arches framing armorial back panels. A remarkable document of its date, still entirely early renaissance, except for some odd strapwork cusping. Otherwise plenty of motifs such as mermen and mermaids in the cresting, baluster columns with Ionic capitals, etc. A suspicion of Perp lingers in the foliage.

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Memorial of 1641

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To the W, in a row facing the W tower of the church, an exceptionally fine group. First, two thatched granite houses. The Three Crowns, the former town house of the Whiddons, is built of very large, regularly laid granite ashlar. Details of early C16. Centrally placed two-storey porch with four-centred moulded arch, gable with finial; on each side two windows to each floor, and with chamfered mullions and square hoodmoulds. ... To the S the former Guild House of St Catherine, possibly built as a church house, less regular ashlar. Four-centred granite doorway with balls in the spandrels, later ovolo-moulded mullioned windows in two storeys. ...


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