The churches in the benefice

St. Edmund's - Dolton

Click to enlargeThis c13 church, which is nestled in the heart of Dolton village in North Devon, is open every day for quiet prayer and meditation from approximately 10.00am until 4.00pm and attracts visitors world-wide due to its wealth of interesting historical items.

The church boasts a wealth of excellent stained glass, which is shown in great detail in 'pictures' above, along with other pictures of the church.

There are regular services every week, check here for times and additional services.

The church also plays host to many musical and other special events, which are detailed here. It is also popular for weddings and baptisms.

The peal of 6 bells, restored in the 1990s, is rung on a regular basis by our bell ringing team, which are now a feature of local weddings.

The Saxon stone font is said to date between 800 and 1000 A.D. It is unique in not having been designed as a conventional font of its period, but made up of two blocks from two different Saxon crosses, likely to have been carved when St. Edmund was alive.

Dolton is situated between Dartmoor to the South and Exmoor to the North and you can find us using the map page.

Please enjoy your visit to our website and we hope to welcome you one day to our church. If you wish to leave a comment, please do.

Traditional Prayer of Saint Edmund

O God, of unspeakable mercy, who didst give grace to the most blessed King Edmund to overcome the enemy by dying for thy name: mercifully grant until this thy family, by his example they may be found worthy to vanquish and destroy in themselves the temptations of their ancient foe, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

St. Peter's - Dowland

Dowland, Devon, St Peter's ChurchFounded by Walter de Clavil in 1132 the church has a very fine diagonally buttressed west tower with obelisk pinnacles.
The 5 bells originally hung in 1886 were re-hung in 1997.
There are 3 bays with timber arcades which were restored in the 1960s.
One of the Church`s finest features are the carved bench ends.
There are no stained glass windows, so on entering the Church one is impressed by the light and peaceful atmosphere.
Services of Holy Communion and Morning Prayer are held on the 1st and 3rd Sundays, joining with Iddesleigh alternately on the 3rd Sundays.
The Church Wardens are Ralph Gent, Newlands Farm, Dowland. Tel 01805 804112 and Sally Berkley-Sage, Chapel Cottage, Dolton. Tel. 01805 804468.
Unfortunately the Church is kept locked but visitors can obtain a key from Palm Springs or The Beeches, both of which are only a few steps from the Church gate.

St. James’, Iddesleigh

St. James’s, IddesleighSt James’ is a 15th Century Church in the Gothic Style, restored in 1848. It consists of chancel, nave, aisles, South porch and an embattled Western tower with pinnacles. This contains the 6 bells, of which two are dated 1620, a third 1629; new bells were added in the early 20th century.

There are excellent wagon roofs with large, plainly carved bosses:
One, above the South aisle, is believed to be the “Green Man” a fertility symbol and nearby is the boss of the 3 Hares symbol.
The bosses over the chancel are in the form of ten “Angels” holding shields each depicting the Passion, nails, scourge, cup and so on.

The stained glass memorial windows were all erected in the early 1900s in memory of local families, the Mallets, the Smyth Osbourne family of nearby Ash House, the Arnolds of Nethercott and Stafford Henry Northcote, first Earl of Iddesleigh, who died in 1887.

There is an unusual credence shelf built into the South wall of the chancel and one in the North wall, behind the organ. Here too, under an obtuse arch, lies the cross legged effigy of a Knight, c1250, clad in chain mail and bearing a shield. He is believed to be a 13th century squire of Iddesleigh and ancestor of the redoubtable Sir John Sully a distinguished warrior in the reigns of Edwards I and II who had a “Fair House with two Parks” in Iddesleigh and died in 1387 aged 105.

The headstone of one of the sons of the Reverend Jack Russell (of terrier fame, who was curate here for a while) is behind the organ.

The beautiful altar and pulpit frontals and falls were worked by Mrs Gisela Banbury. As were the kneeler designs taken from the roof bosses. Completed in 2002.

The above is taken from the outline compiled by Mrs Dorothy Ellis of the Old Northcote Arms near the church.

The 3 hares - Photo © Chris Chapman. The Three Hares Project

The three hares is a circular motif which appears in sacred sites from the Middle and Far East to the churches of south west England (where it is often referred to as the Tinners’ Rabbits),[1] and many historical synagogues in Europe. St. James’s, Iddesleigh - The three hares motifIt has been used as an architectural icon, a religious symbol, and modernly as a work of art or a logo for adornment.

The symbol features three hares chasing each other in a circle. Each of the ears is shared by two animals so that only three ears are shown. It has a number of mystical associations and is often associated with fertility and the lunar cycle. However, its precise origins and significance are uncertain, as are the reasons why it appears in such diverse locations.

All Saints, Monkokehampton

All Saints - MonkokehamptonAll Saints’ is a Victorian church being substantially rebuilt in 1855 following a fire in which only the 14th century tower escaped. The original church must have been quite early as the first rector to be recorded was Roberto in 1265.

Despite the apparent monastic association in the name of the small village served by the church, the patronage has never been connected with a monastery and was in lay hands at the time of the Doomsday Book. However, the Abbey of Tavistock has held a small estate on the manor since early times on which there was a chapel, described in 1755 as being a quarter of a mile West of the church in the field still known as Chapel Marsh.

The church consists of a single aisle chancel and nave with an open timbered roof. It is quite small seating less than 100.

The tower is embattled perpendicular of three stages with crocheted pinnacles, some of which are badly weathered. It contains 4 bells, 3 of which are medieval, whilst the fourth, which weighs 8 cwt, was added in 1687. All have Latin inscriptions and names or initials of rectors or church wardens of the time.

The chancel arch has over it “I will wash my hands in innocency O Lord and so will go to thine altar”. Over the sanctuary the text reads “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord”.

On the north side of the sanctuary there is a credence table within a trefoil headed recess whilst on the south side are a piscena for washing communion vessels and a sedilia, a canopied seat for clergy.

The oak reredos was presented by the first Earl of Iddesleigh, Stafford Henry Northcote, in memory of his brother, the Reverend Mowbray Northcote, who was rector 1853-1872. The lych-gate by which one enters the churchyard was presented by the same Reverend Northcote in memory of his children.

The colourful east window, which was exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851, was also presented by the first Earl of Iddesleigh. There are also stained glass windows in the north and south walls.

On the east wall of the nave is a bronze plaque commemorating the men of the parish who lost their lives in the 1914-1918 Great War.

Unfortunately the church remains locked other than during services but a key can be obtained from the Church Wardens, Mr W Pearce at Beechcroft, (100 yards on the right on the Hatherleigh Road).

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