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© Mr Hedley R. Hooper

IoE Number: 433176
Location: CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL,
  POUGHILL, MID DEVON, DEVON
Photographer: Mr Hedley R. Hooper
Date Photographed: 12 March 2005
Date listed: 26 August 1965
Date of last amendment: 26 August 1965
Grade I

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POUGHILLPOUGHILLSS 80 NE7/206-26.8.65Church of Saint Michael

POUGHILL POUGHILL SS 80 NE 7/206 - 26.8.65 Church of Saint Michael GV I Small parish church. C13 origins, rebuilt in C15 with contemporary or slightly later north aisle, thoroughly restored 1855-6 and minor renovation work 1960-7. Walls of purple mudstone and volcanic trap employed in various styles at different times; volcanic ashlar, Beerstone and Bathstone details; slate roofs. Nave with narrower and lower chancel, north aisle, overlapping the chancel but not full length, west tower and south porch. Perpendicular. West tower built of crudely- squared stone blocks laid to rough courses. 2 stages with chamfered plinth and embattled parapet. Stair turret projecting square from north side rises a little above tower with its own embattled parapet. Restored Beerstone belfry windows; square-headed, 2 lights with cinquefoil heads. Some of volcanic hoodmoulds may be original. West side of tower has a restored plain arched doorway with a restored 2-light Perpendicular window above which retains the original mullion, right jamb and labels to hoodmould. Restored narrow single light windows to ringing floor on west and south sides, both immediately above moulded dripcourse. South side of nave is built of similar roughly coursed masonry but also includes a portion of volcanic and limestone ashlar towards centre. 2 windows, both replacement 3-light Beerstone windows with Perpendicular tracery and hoodmoulds. South porch, between the 2 windows, rebuilt in C19. It is gable-ended with chamfered 2-centred outer arch, and includes a white marble World War I memorial under gable. Towards right end and close to the ground is the top of a nowy-headed slate headstone in memory of John Trude, d.1789, fixed to wall with iron clamps. At right end of nave is C19 angle buttress of rusticated purple mudstone ashlar. Chancel of C19 snecked and rockfaced mudstone with contemporary Beerstone detail. South side includes a cinquefoil headed lancet to left and central arch-headed priests door, and east end has a 3-light window with Perpendicular-style tracery and hoodmould. Both ends of north aisle have similar 3-light windows. Gable ends of nave, chancel and aisle have C19 shaped Beerstone kneelers with coping and originally had Fleuree crosses on apex but only nave cross now remains. North aisle built of apparently original mudstone rubble. 4-window north front of C19 replacement 3-light windows with Perpendicular tracery. Disused rood stair turret left of centre and right of centre is a reused Beerstone block with blocked quatrefoil light. Interior: porch has ceiled wagon roof with moulded ribs and carved bosses, some of which may be C15. On right side are set 2 painted benefaction boards dated 1829 and 1853. South doorway is a C19 volcanic 2-centred arch with simple chamfered surround and contains a C19 studded plank door with ornate wrought iron strap hinges with side scrolls and fleur-de-lys finials. Nave and north aisle have similar restored late C15 ceiled wagon roofs; moulded ribs, carved oak bosses (relatively plain and several featuring roses), carved foliage wall plate interrupted by small carved bosses under main trusses. Chancel has rebuilt open wagon roof with moulded ribs, carved bosses and moulded wall plate. It is stained and painted making it difficult to assess survival of late C15 timberwork. C15 volcanic ashlar tower arch has jambs moulded like the piers of the arcade but with plain soffit chamfered capitals. It was scraped in C19. 4-bay arcade of painted ashlar with moulded piers (Pevsner's B-type) and carved capitals. The western respond features a green man motif. The eastern fourth arch overlaps the chancel. Wall here is thick and 2-centred arch has chamfered surrounds, enriched with 4-leaf enrichment to present vestry (presumably a former chapel) in north aisle. Soffit and sides lined with Beerstone panels cinquefoil heads. Chancel arch has moulded surround. Inner arches of windows have hollow-chamfered surrounds except east window of chancel which has shafts and capitals. Tower has probably C19 ringing loft floor of large intersecting beams and massive carved boss. Tower floor is mostly made up of medieval encaustic tiles from Barnstaple. Floor of nave of volcanic flags and large quarry tiles (possibly C17 or C18) and a number of C17 and C18 grave slabs including a white marble memorial to the former minister, William Frank the Elder, d.1675, and notable for the crudeness of the lettering. Chancel floor includes good quality 1856 encaustic tiles. Much of the church retains the 1856 scheme of painted decoration, much of it stencilwork. On the tower arch and arcade the capitals are highlighted and outer moulding of arcade is decorated. Text over chancel arch now painted over. On the chancel roof the bosses and ribs are painted, the rest is stained with painted fleur-de-lys on soffits of minor ribs and gold stars on the painted boards behind. In arch from chancel to aisle upper panels have fleur-de-lys and sacred monograms on blue ground, lower panels have roses in circles on fleuree crosses on pink ground, and outer arch is painted. Reveals of south chancel window similarly painted. Texts around shafts of east window now painted over. 1856 gothic-style carved Beerstone reredos is similarly painted and flanked by high commandment panels with crocketed pinnacled ogee arches. To right of altar an orange marble credence on carved Beerstone bracket. Most furnishing are circa 1856, including: oak altar rail on wrought iron twisted stems with ivy leaft brackets; gothic-style oak choir stalls, and a semi-octagonal oak pulpit with open panels under trefoil heads and the stiles and top rail carved with acorns and foliage and including original brass desk and candelabra. Oak lectern and nave pews are probably contemporary. North aisle includes series of C18 oak box pews with fielded panel doors and sides and includes original hinges. Contemporary wainscotting at east end. Beerstone cushion font with tops of semi- circular faces meeting on the corners and circular stem with attached shafts, moulded capitals and bases may be restored Norman work. East chancel window by Drake of Exeter in memory of Thomas Melhuish, d.1875. Good marble mural monument erected in 1809 in memory of Gertrude Pyncombe of Welsbeare Barton, d.1730, comprising white marble bas relief drum with dedication and obituary, vase with drapery above and cherubs below, all set on shaped black marble base. Tower contains highly regarded ring of 6 bells, 5 of 1814 and 1 of 1949.

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