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St Mary, Molland, Devon

(51°2′33″N, 3°42′11″W)
SS 807 284
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Devon
now Devon
medieval Exeter
now Exeter
medieval St Mary
now St Mary
  • Hazel Gardiner
22 September 2001

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The church comprises nave with S porch, chancel, a four-bay N aisle, and W tower. 12thc. masonry may exist in the nave but the church is substantially mid 15thc. The N aisle was rebuilt in the 16thc. and the porch is 17thc. (Historic England listing: 1288998). The chancel was partially rebuilt in the 19thc. The font and two reset fragments in the porch survive from the 12thc.


There are three records for Molland in the Domesday Book. The first notes that before the Conquest land in Molland was held by 'Alward; Earl Harold; and brothers, two'. In 1086 it was held directly by the Crown. The second record notes that Wulfwynn (of Molland) held land in Molland in 1066 while in 1086 the same land was held by Drogo (son of Mauger) and the tenant-in-chief was Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances. The third record for Molland in the Domesday Book notes that land was held by Northmann before the Conquest. In 1086 he had been replaced by Bernard and the tenant-in-chief was Theobald son of Berner.


Exterior Features

Exterior Decoration





Fonts of similar type are found at Merton, Horwood, and, although drastically recut, at Ilfracombe. All are within a c. 30 mile radius of each other.

Other fonts in Devon churches which take the form of a triple or multi-scallop capital are found in Ashford, Berrrynarbor, Burrington, Christow, Halberton, Molland, Netherexe, Stoke St Nectan, Weare Giffard and West Down (Clarke 1920, 327–35).

K. M. Clarke The Baptismal Fonts of Devon. Part VII, Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 52 (1920), 327–35.

The church guide records that the font was restored in 1996, when it was moved to its present position.


The Parish Church of St Mary's Molland, Church Guide, South Molton, 1997.

F. Arnold-Forster, Studies in Church Dedications: or, England's patron saints, London, 1899, 203.

K. M. Clarke The Baptismal Fonts of Devon. Part VII, Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 52 (1920), 327-35.

C. and F. Thorn (eds) Domesday Book: Devon, Chichester, 1985, 1,41; 3,61; 36,17.

N. Pevsner and B. Cherry, The Buildings of England: Devon, 2nd ed., London, 1989, 572–3.