MDE20944 - St John the Baptist Church, Lynmouth (Building)


The parish church dates from 1869-70 and is by E Dolby of Abingdon.

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Type and Period (1)

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Full Description

Lynmouth church has been illustrated by John Swete. [1] Anglican parish church. Foundation stone laid 1869, finished 1870 at cost of »1700. By E Dolby (of Abingdon); N aisle enlarged 1908, cost »600, and tower added 1921, cost »600. Rubble, later sections squared and snecked, ashlar dressings and detail, slate roofs. PLAN: nave with bellcote over W gable, S porch, apsidal chancel, wide gabled N aisle with low tower at E end. In Early English style with some plate tracery lights. EXTERIOR: the nave has a thin saddle-backed bellcote with 2 openings under a blind oculus. This is flush with the main gable which has a quatrefoiled plate rose window set flush above an arcade of 5 arches with pointed arches in voussoirs in 3 coloured stones, on slender red sandstone shafts to a full-width weathered cill, and covering 3 lancets. To each side a deep square buttress with broad offsets. To right is the aisle gable of almost equal height and width, with a 2-light plate tracery window under a drip course; low left is a plank door on strap hinges. Both gables are coped. The S front has 3 paired lancets with plate tracery containing 3:4:3-foil oculi, under a drip-course continued as a string course at springing level. Set back at the right-hand end is the square tower, with a large 2-light casement with drip-course immediately below the crenellated parapet, and a smaller casement below. To the right is a square buttress with offsets. The tower, with similar fenestration to the E, but a door to an escape stair at the mid level, partly covers the E gable to the aisle, with a quatrefoil oculus. The N front has a high gabled entrance porch over a chamfered pointed opening, and with coping. The inner plank door is on decorative strap hinges in a broad chamfered pointed arch and shafts with crude capitals. There are 2 windows as to the S, and 3 deep square buttresses with offsets and plinth. On this side are the original square hopper-heads and downpipes. To the left, slightly set in, is the apse, with 1:1:2 lancets, with head stops to the drip course, above a cill band, and with a high plinth. At a lower level is the vestry, following the apse curve, and abutting an external iron staircase to the E side of the tower; small double lancet window to N, with chamfered edges and incised cross above. INTERIOR: the nave has a trussed rafter roof, on unplastered walls, with chamfered rere-arches and flat cills, all on a floor in small square tiles. A 3-bay arcade has circular columns to square bases and broad square abaci on stylised scrolled leaf capitals. The arches are chamfered to a broad flat intrados, with continuous hoodmould. The chancel, with plain arch to flat intrados and roll-mould edges, is on a total of 5 steps, and has coursed and banded stone to a pointed barrel vault, and apse with chamfered ribs on simple corbels, with a moulded string. The cill-mould is continued as a string course. To the right are 3 sedilia and a piscina in stone, and the organ in an arch. The N aisle, which is as wide as the nave, was enlarged in 1908, and this is reflected in the floor, which is part tile and part wood. It has a roof and rere arches as the nave, and a door at each end. Above the arcade are 6 corbels, possibly remaining from the original roof structure. FITTINGS: hexagonal stone pulpit with cusped panels containing fine carved detail; brass eagle lectern of 1895; low embellished font bowl on free-standing Purbeck shafts. The carved oak choir stalls have a hint of Art Nouveau, and there is a carved wood altar behind a simple brass rail. There is stained glass in the apse only; one of the original lancets is now blocked by the later tower. (Allen NV: Churches and Chapels of Exmoor: Dulverton: 1974-: 62). [2] In Watersmeet Road, the Church of St. John the Baptist is by E Dolby of Abingdon and was built 1869-70 with a 1908 addition. It is French Gothic in style with an apse in the manner of G E Street. The low embattled tower was added in 1921. It is built of stone rubble, with ashlar dressings, although the later sections are squared and snecked. There are some good interior fittings, including stone pulpit and font, the latter with Purbeck stone shafts, and the altar and choir stalls are carved oak, the latter, according to the listing details, with a hint of Art Nouveau. [3] 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. [4]

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <1> Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Devon Record Office 564M/1/163.
  • <2> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest .
  • <3> Report: Fisher, J.. 2003. Lynmouth: Conservation Area Character Appraisal. 17.
  • <4> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.



Grid reference Centred SS 7245 4937 (25m by 25m)
Map sheet SS74NW

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Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (6): 858/1/4/95
  • Church Heritage Record ID: 615474
  • Devon SMR Monument ID: 21689
  • Devon SMR: SS74NW/93

Record last edited

Jun 16 2021 11:34AM


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