The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Poltimore,
stands on the western side of the main road, opposite the Hatchland
Road junction. The church is mainly a late fifteenth century
construction by the - by then - somewhat elderly William Bampfylde
of Poltimore House. The base of the tower may be earlier but no
other details seem to remain to describe an earlier church building.
It is built of coursed volcanic trap rubble with some Ham Hill and
Beer stone dressing and a slate roof.
The church underwent a good deal of repair and
replacement work in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries
(the north porch would appear to date to this latter phase). The
upper stage of the two-stage tower is late, possibly of 1723 (the
date of the bells). Further restoration was undertaken in 1840, and
1868-1869. A major restoration and the addition of the south aisle
and clerestory windows took place in 1883-1884, under the direction
of R M Fulford.
The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Huxham,
is on the northern side of the Huxham Barton westbound lane, perhaps
a hundred-and-fifty metres south of the Stoke Canon lane junction at
its nearest point. The parish did not have a church at the time of
Domesday Book in 1086, but one was erected in the fourteenth
century. That was entirely rebuilt during the nineteenth century.
The chancel was first on the list, being dealt with in 1864 by John
Next came the nave in 1871, the work being
handled by Benjamin Ferrey. The building is constructed from local
volcanic stone which was quarried at Thorverton but it is difficult
to determine whether or not medieval stonework was reused anywhere
in the rebuilt church. In the chancel's north and south windows
there are some fragments of medieval glass from the original church.
The sandstone font dates from the Norman era. The screen is of late
fifteenth century origin.
The Church of St Mary Magdalene, Stoke
Canon, stands at the south-east corner of the High Street and
Huxham lane junction, in the centre of the village. Prior to the
Norman conquest there may have been a small rural oratory of cob,
thatched with osiers, served by a priest from St Peter's monastery
in Exeter. When the monastery became the cathedral the endowment
of Stoke manor remained with it. In 1148 Stoke was assigned for
use of the cathedral canons.
There appear to have been several buildings
consisting of a nave and chancel on the site of the present church,
with the addition of the tower in the 1400s. In 1835 the church,
apart from the tower, was rebuilt and enlarged. Between 1874 and
1884 the pews were rearranged, probably to accommodate a choir and
an organ which was installed in 1879. It also contains a celebrated
Norman font, one of the oldest in Devon and certainly the oldest item
in the church.
Photos on this page kindly contributed by Alison
Day, Jon Combe, Robert Slack, Rex Harris, and Robert Cutts, all via
the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group.