Devon

There are probably more churches with surviving sixteenth-century bench ends in Devon than in any other county – 130 in my list below. Like the neighbouring counties the number of bench ends in Devon churches varies from several dozen down to a single survivor, and the designs vary from many which are carved with an elegant but plain Gothic tracery design, to others depicting religious iconography, elaborate foliage, monstrous creatures, and fascinating secular themes. Below is what I believe to be a complete list of Devon churches with surviving historic bench ends. Click on the links to view galleries where they are available.

1.Abbotsham
2.Alwington
3.Ashcombe
4.Ashford
5.Ashton
6.Ashwater
7.Atherington
8.Bere Ferrers (four bench ends from Bere Ferrers are also preserved at the RAMM, Exeter)
9.Bickleigh
10.Bideford
11.Bondleigh
12.Braunton
13.Bridford
14.Bridgerule
15.Broadhempston
16.Broadwoodwidger
17.Buckland Filleigh
18.Buckland Monachorum
19.Cadbury
20.Cheldon
21.Cheriton Bishop
22.Christow
23.Chudleigh
24.Churston Ferrers
25.Clayhanger
26.Clyst St. George (one bench end from Clyst St. George preserved at RAMM, Exeter)
27.Clovelly
28.Cockington
29.Coldridge
30.Colebrooke
31.Combe Martin
32.Combeinteignhead
33.Countisbury
34.Crediton
35.Dartington
36.Doddiscombsleigh
37.Dolton
38.Dowland
39.Down St. Mary
40.Drewsteignton
41.Dunchideock
42.East Budleigh
43.East Ogwell
44.Feniton
45.Frithelstock
46.George Nympton
47.Hartland
48.Hatherleigh
49.High Bickington
50. Honeychurch
51.Horwood
52.Huntsham
53.Ilsington
54.Inwardleigh
55.Kenn
56.Kenton
57.Kingsbridge
58.Kingston
59.Landcross
60.Lapford
61.Lewtrenchard
62.Lifton
63.Littleham
64.Marwood
65.Modbury
66.Monkleigh
67.Mortehoe
68.Newton St. Petrock
69.North Bovey
70.North Tawton
71.Northleigh
72.Northlew
73.Nymet Rowland
74.Ottery St. Mary
75.Pancrasweek
76.Parracombe
77.Payhembury
78.Pinhoe
79.Plympton (17th century)
80.Plymtree
81.Powderham
82.Puddington
83.Rewe
84.Roborough
85.Sandford
86.Satterleigh
87.Seaton
88.Shillingford St. George
89.Shobrooke
90.South Huish (now ruined church, the bench ends were moved to #81. Powderham.)
91.South Tawton
92.Staverton (some Staverton bench ends are preserved in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, and at 61.Lewtrenchard)
93.St. Giles in the Heath
94.Stockleigh Pomeroy
95.Stoke Canon (album includes historic and Victorian ends)
96.Stoke Gabriel
97.Stoke Rivers
98.Sutcombe
99.Swimbridge
100.Talaton
101.Tavistock
102.Tawstock
103.Tedburn St. Mary
104.Tetcott
105.Thornbury
106.Thorverton
107.Throwleigh
108.Torbryan
109.Upton Hellions
110.Venn Ottery
111.Warkleigh (Seating is Victorian. Possible confusion over carved screen.)
112.Weare Giffard
113.Welcombe
114.West Anstey
115.West Worlington
116.Westleigh
117.Whimple
118.Woodbury
119.Woolfardisworthy
120.Yarcombe
121.Yarnscombe (all seating modern)

Additional churches added since the map was drawn and numbered:
There is some confusion over whether the churches listed below contain historic bench ends. Churches which I have personally visited have a link to the relevant album if they do contain historic bench ends, or are marked in red if they do not.

122. Buckland Brewer (listed by J.C.D. Smith. Cox says the pulpit is constructed of former bench ends. Seating is modern, pulpit is not made of bench ends.)
123. Colaton Raleigh (listed by J.C.D. Smith, and Cox. Statutory List suggests seating Victorian.) 
124. Cookbury
125. Great Torrington (listed by J.C.D. Smith, but all seating is Victorian.)
126. Harpford (St. Gregory)
127. Holcombe Rogus (17th century)
128. Virginstow  (listed by J.C.D. Smith, but all seating is Victorian.) 
129. West Putford
130. Branscombe
131. Molland (possible bench ends reused in a screen)

Devon.jpg

For a larger version of the map CLICK HERE

In compiling this list, Dr. Todd Gray’s excellent book Devon’s Ancient Bench Ends was of invaluable assistance.

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