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By Beatrix F. Cresswell - 1812.

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' Cheriton Bishop.


There does not seem to be any record of the first acquisition of the manor of South Chiriton, as it was sometimes called, by the Bishops of Exeter, who held the property from very ancient times. The manor was alienated by Bishop Vesey to Henry VIII. in 1542, when a great part of it was purchased by the Fulfords, but the Bishops of Exeter retain the patronage of the living to the present day.

Before reaching the church we pass through the hamlet of Cheriton Cross, where the ancient wayside cross remains under a tree at the turning to the village; the head has been broken off short, and affixed to the base, and it stands so modestly at one side, almost in the ditch, that many passers by fail to observe it.

The church and churchyard stand elevated above the village street, the tower deserving all the admiration Polwhele has bestowed upon it. It is of three stages, embattled, with Devonshire pinnacles at the corners, and buttresses at the angles, the building wrought with such massive granite blocks that it is wonderful to think of their being brought from the moor, when we consider the pathless tracks that served for read; :n the :;:h century. The body of the church is built of red sandstones, the south wall and porch having reen rebuilt in 1884 by Edward Hugh Pennel, Esqr.

Within, the building consists of nave, north aisle and chancel, a north chancel aisle being formed by the screen. There are five bays down the nave, with clustered columns that are granite monoliths. having simple capitals; a sixth bay is in the chancel. The tower arch rests on brackets.

Evidences of an earlier church than the present building are afforded by the Norman circular, curiously crqoked> ornamented with foliage and plait moulding. This was the font of the church of 1265. the earliest mention that we have of it being in Bishop Bronescombe's register,where it is recorded that Gilbert de Tytinge, clerk, was collated to the Rectory on October the 2ist of that year. The roofs are wagon shaped, with plaster and purling beams; new bosses have been placed in the nave. The chancel is lower than the nave, the beams and bosses old, but a new arch of carved wood is now placed between nave and chancel over the modern part of the screen. '

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