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© Dr John Lindsay

IoE Number: 461123
Photographer: Dr John Lindsay
Date Photographed: 28 May 2004
Date listed: 30 June 1949
Date of last amendment: 30 June 2049
Grade II*

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TEIGNMOUTHSX9373EXETER STREET25-1/4/145(West side)

TEIGNMOUTH SX9373 EXETER STREET 25-1/4/145 (West side) 30/06/49 Church of St James (Parish Church of West Teignmouth) II* Parish Church. Mid C13, rebuilt 1821, restored 1890 by WH Lloyd of Birmingham, and 1953 after 2nd World War bombing of the east end. 1821 church designed in Picturesque Gothic style by WE Rolfe of London, built by Andrew Patey of Exeter. MATERIALS: red sandstone rubble C13 tower, strap-pointed squared grey Plymouth stone with cream limestone and rendered dressings to the rest. PLAN: square-plan tower, octagonal plan nave of 1821 connected to the tower by a short 2-storey passage. EXTERIOR: the 3-stage tower, restored 1929, approx 10m square at the base, has a moulded pointed arch to the planked west door, a high rendered plinth, 2 wide buttresses up to the 1st stage of the east front and one to the south corner, and the parapet all probably 1929. The 2nd-stage has one lancet window and a wider belfry opening above, the top of which is partly covered by an 1896 open wrought-iron clock face; the 2nd stage of the left return has a segmental arch to a blind window and a similar clockface; the right return has a C20 leaded lancet window to the base, a blocked window with limestone jambs to the 2nd stage and a similar clock face over a louvred lancet opening to the 3rd stage. The octagonal nave to the rear of the tower has a rendered castellated parapet and octagonal buttresses to each angle. Tall pointed-arched leaded windows of pale green glass have hollow-moulded mullions and some transoms to 2 and 3-light windows with intersecting tracery. The nave is crowned by a central octagonal slate-hung lantern with a castellated parapet and wide pointed-arched windows with lace-like tracery. The late C19 vestry to the south-east angle is more traditional in style. Plymouth stone with freestone parapet, heavy sill string course and architraves. 4 granite steps up to a central planked door in a chamfered architrave with roll-moulding and curved upper corners flanked by cinquefoil-headed 2-light windows, one to the left, paired to the right. The late C19 south porch in the style of the 1821 building, though smaller in scale, has a door in the left return of 2 rows of 3 trefoil-headed panels, INTERIOR: remodelled and re-pewed in 1890 when the gallery, except for that at the east end, was removed. The roof is exceptional; supported by a circle of 8 ribbed cast-iron columns approx 10m high, cast-iron rib vaults fan out from each to form an umbrella-like strucure. The central lantern has similar vaulting; 8 panels below the windows each have paired hemi-spherical-arched niches with trefoil heads flanked by moulded panels. The walls of the tower are approx 1.5m thick at the base. FITTINGS: include a massive medieval 6.7m high oak ladder to the north-west corner of the tower up to the belfry, with stiles of pit-sawn wych-elm 0.26m x 0.13m and oak rungs 0.11m x 0.05m; the central panels of the C14 Decorated-style Massy stone reredos are flanked by C19 panels dating from 1891 restoration. Font, pulpit, organ, bells, hatchments etc are C19 or C20. HISTORICAL NOTE: the C13 church was consecrated in 1268, and the unbuttressed tower was believed to be part of the town's defences. Patey's church, principally distinguished by an octagonal lantern supported on cast-iron columns with a remarkably elegant vault, is his most ambitious church design: the early use of structural cast iron is also significant, echoing the work in other early C19 churches such as Dudley. The church booklet claims William Bragg of Westbrook House as the patron and Andrew Patey as architect; Pevsner claims Rolfe as architect and Patey as builder. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N & Cherry B: Devon: London: 1989-: 796).

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