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St Peter, Ashwater, Devon

(50°44′2″N, 4°17′18″W)
SX 386 952
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Devon
now Devon
medieval Exeter
now Exeter
medieval St Peter
now St Peter
  • Hazel Gardiner
12 September 2005

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The church comprises chancel, nave with N chapel and N porch, S aisle, S arcade of six bays which extends to the chancel, and W tower. The tower, nave and chancel are mid-13thc. When the S aisle was rebuilt in the mid-15thc. the three octagonal 13thc. columns from the original S arcade were alternated with granite pillars. The font is the only Romanesque feature.


At the time of Domesday Survey Ashwater was held by Geoffrey of Mowbray, Bishop of Coutances from 1148/9 to 1193. Before the Conquest it was held by Alwin.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration





Clarke (212) compares the Ashwater font to those at Bratton Clovelly, Clawton and Tetcott, noting the EE character of the decoration on the E and S faces. The lion on the W face is compared a similar example carved on a font at St Kea in Cornwall.

Clark describes the stone as 'grey cliff stone' (213), Pevsner suggests '?polyphant' (138).

Magna Britannia groups Ashwater, Holbeton, and Luppit as having 'square fonts with rude figures of animals'.


K. M. Clarke, 'The Baptismal Fonts of Devon', part 6, Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 51, 1916, 211-221.

F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications: or, England's patron saints, London, 1899, 36.

Domesday Book: Devon, Eds. C. and F. Thorn, Chichester, 1985, 3,4.

D. and S. Lysons, Magna Britannia: Devonshire, 1822, 323-345.

URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50562&strquery=magna britannia ashwater, holbeton Date accessed: 25 November 2014.

N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, The Buildings of England: Devon, 1952, 2nd edition 1999, pp.139-9.