About the Church
Characteristic Saxon chiselling on stones hidden in the turret staircase suggest the probability of an earlier, 10th century, Church on the site. Saint Winifred’s is among the oldest and most architecturally significant parish churches of Devon. The 12th century square central tower is one of only four completely Norman towers in Devon.
Parts of the nave walls to the west of the tower are also Norman. The transepts stand very unusually to the west of the tower and are perhaps mid 13th century. The chancel is early 14th century, though the east window was replaced in the time of Bishop Neville (1458–64).
Interesting features include the font which is 15th century and the 18th century pulpit which is a three-decker and almost unique in Devon.The lessons are read on the lowest level, while the middle is for prayers and the hexagonal third level for the sermon. Other woodwork includes the fine Elizabethan oak gallery, and the 17th century chancel-screen and altar rails.
The 115 kneelers for use in the pews were hand-embroidered between 1982 and 1995, mostly in the village, to designs by Pamela Tickell. Many are memorials to individuals, while some show heraldic designs related to the thirty-four crowned monarchs who have reigned during the life of the church.
A full guide to the Church building, written by Ronald Branscombe and illustrated by Angela Lambert, is available in the Church.
Floodlighting the Church
The Church is floodlit in memory of people whose families make a donation for a particular week. If you would like to take part in this scheme, please contact Revd Nigel Freathy.
The Friends of St Winifred’s
The Friends is an independent charity which has over 200 members. It has been raising significant sums for the church fabric for nearly 20 years. New members are always welcome. The Secretary is Miss Emma Cox, 01297 680392