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St Helen, Abbotsham, Devon

(51°0′55″N, 4°14′53″W)
SS 424 264
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Devon
now Devon
medieval Exeter
now Exeter
medieval St Helen
now St Helen
  • Hazel Gardiner
6 June 2001

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Feature Sets

The church is 13thc. cruciform, comprising nave, chancel, S transept and N transeptal tower of c. 1300. The church was restored in 1848 and 1870-72. The font is the only 12thc. feature.


At the time of DS (and prior to the Conquest) the manor of Abbotsham belonged to Tavistock Abbey 'The Church at Tavistock'. The church was appropriated to the abbey in 1198 (Lysons, 5).





The church guide states that the font was 'thought to have been brought from the church at Pusehill', a nearby village, and that 'there was an older church at the top of Pusehill' but no ruins are left today.

The font is one of five similar fonts in this area with fluted bowls. The others are at Beaford, Bradford, Clayhanger and Parkham. The font at Beaford also has a cable-moulded rim. Beaford and Parkham have a thick band of nested chevron around the base of the bowl.


Anon. St Helen's Abbotsham, church guide (n.d.).

F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications: or, England's patron saints, London, 1899, 27.

N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, The Buildings of England: Devon, 1952, 2nd edition, London, 1989, 123.

K. M. Clarke, 'The Baptismal Fonts of Devon', part 4, Transactions of the Devonshire Association, XLVIII, 1916, 307-10.

C. and F. Thorn (eds) Domesday Book: Devon, Chichester, 1985, I, 5, 6.

S. and D. Lysons, Magna Britannia, 6, 1822, 5.