MDE20404 - St Mary's Church, Lynton (Building)


A parish church reconstructed in 1891 to 1905 by Sedding and Wilson but with a 13th Century tower and the remains of rebuilding works undertaken in 1741 in the south aisle.

Please read the Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record .

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status

Full Description

Parish church of St. Mary, Lynton. 13th Century tower, otherwise Victorian. [1] Pevsner describes post-medieval and modern restorations and alterations. He also mentions church fittings, font, window glass ornamented in art nouveau style, church plate and monument. [2] Plan of 5-bay nave, extended to the West, with wide North and South aisles, chancel with chapel to North and organ chamber to South, plus vestry, South porch, South-West tower and North porch. the tower is 13th century, the remainder rebuilt in 1873-92, except for the nave South wall which is of 1741, and the chancel in Early English style, by E Dolby in 1868-9. The chancel was replaced in 1905. Norman font. [3] Respondent to Dean Milles questionnaire mentions rebuilding of the church during the first half of the 18th Century but no specific details are provided. [4] The parish church, although much altered, has thirteenth century origins. This is mainly evidenced by the tower, which retains two medieval bells. The church registers date from 1569, and the nave was rebuilt in 1741, suggesting a growing settlement at that time. The Parish Church as Pevsner states is “perched on the cliffs overlooking the sea,” a site it has occupied since at least the 13th Century. Apart from the tower, it was largely rebuilt in 1741, with a new chancel in Early English style added in 1869. A three-gabled east end was completed in 1905 with some unusual detail which combines a traditional Norman style with Art Nouveau, including stained glass, and uses stone from Ham Hill. The reredos and font are of Caen stone, the latter is said to be a replacement of a Norman one, and with a carved Jacobean cover. The listing details describe the mainly 19th Century fittings as “unusually fine,” and are thought to be the work of local craftsmen. They include the pulpit, stalls and altar rail. There are several monuments and panels, the earliest, of 1653, is to Hughe Wichehalse, and more recently to the victims of the 1952 flood disaster. [8] The building was visited in April 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 6. [9] This is visible on the 1840 Lynton Tithe map. [10] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [11] The building is labelled "Virgin's Church" on the 2021 MasterMap data. [12] The building is mentioned in the 2019 Conservation Area Appraisal for Lynton. [13] The development of the church with plans and photographs is provided in an historic building appraisal undertaken to inform re-use of the south porch. The south porch is believed to date to the 1741 phase of remodelling has an 18th century sundial on its south elevation and later internal side benches. [14]

Sources/Archives (14)

  • <1> Monograph: Hoskins, W. G.. 1954. A New Survey of England: Devon. Collins. 430.
  • <2> Monograph: Cherry, B. + Pevsner, N.. 1999. The Buildings of England: Devon. Penguin Books. 2nd Edition. 554.
  • <3> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . HHR: Lynton (3 Sept 1973) 1.
  • <4> Archive: Devon County Council. Various. Devon SMR / HER records / parish files - Exmoor records. Dean Milles Parochial Survey; questionnaire (1747-62) summary (M Dodd, 2003).
  • <5> Article in serial: Chanter, J.F.. 1906. The Parishes of Lynton and Countisbury. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 38. 114-224. 201-209.
  • <6> Report: Weddell, P.J.. 1992. Preliminary Archaeological Assessment of Lynton Sewage Treatment Works. 3.
  • <7> Report: Turton, S.D. + Weddell, P.J.. 1993. Preliminary Archaeological Assessment of Lynton/Lynmouth Sewage Treatment Works (Electricity Sub Station). 3.
  • <8> Report: Fisher, J.. 2002. Lynton: Conservation Area Character Appraisal. Exmoor National Park Authority. 4, 7, 9, 10, 14, 18.
  • <9> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <10> Map: 1840. Lynton and Lynmouth Parish Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <11> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1431250, Extant 16 December 2021.
  • <12>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2021. MasterMap data. 1:2,500. [Mapped feature: #47760 ]
  • <13> Report: Pratt, N. and Thurlow, T.. 2019. Lynton Conservation Area: appraisal document. Exmoor National Park Authority. p 1, 5, 16, 34, 82, Figures 6, 13, 15, 37.
  • <14> Report: Balmond, F., and Wapshott, E.. South Porch, Church of St Mary the Virgin, Lynton, Devon, Historic Building Appraisal.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 858/1/4/12
  • Church Heritage Record ID: 615480
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 15000
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/41
  • Local Heritage List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 74 NW94
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1431250



Grid reference Centred SS 2721 1494 (35m by 26m)
Map sheet SS21SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Dec 20 2023 4:28PM


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