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.
8.Bere Ferrers (four bench ends from Bere Ferrers are also preserved at the RAMM, Exeter)
26.Clyst St. George (one bench end from Clyst St. George preserved at RAMM, Exeter)
39.Down St. Mary
68.Newton St. Petrock
74.Ottery St. Mary
79.Plympton (17th century)
88.Shillingford St. George
90.South Huish (now ruined church, the bench ends were moved to #81. Powderham.)
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
95.Stoke Canon (album includes historic and Victorian ends)
103.Tedburn St. Mary
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
123. Colaton Raleigh (listed by J.C.D. Smith, but not by Gray. Statutory List suggests seating Victorian.)
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
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.