English Churches - South West

St Peter's Church, Westleigh, Devon


One of the oldest churches in the area with carved pew ends, medieval floor tiles and Clevland memorials


St Peterís Church is at the top of the village and surrounded by a large graveyard. The church dates from the early C14th and the tower is C15th.
 
St Peter's Church, Westleigh

Entry is through the south porch with its carved bosses. There is a massive wood door leading into the church. The latch is unusual as you have to turn it to open.

St Peter's Church, Westleigh

The church was originally cruciform with south and north transepts but the north transept was extended at the start of the C15th to form the north aisle. 

Inside it is a large church with a barrel plaster ceiling with wood ribs with carved gilded bosses. At the base of the ribs are carved angels holding shields. The windows contain C19th stained glass. Oil lamps hang from the ceiling although these have been adapted to take electric light bulbs. There is a wood screen across the end of the north aisle, which encloses a vestry. The organ is between the chancel and the vestry. 

St Peter's Church, Westleigh

St Peter's Church, Westleigh

There is another wood screen across the base of the tower with bell ropes hanging down.

St Peter's Church, Westleigh

The chancel has a simple table altar with a wooden reredos. On either side are boards with the Creed, Ten Commandments and the Lordís Prayer. The C19th east window depicts the Crucifixion.

St Peter's Church, Westleigh

The old wooden pews in the nave have wonderful carved end, each one different.

St Peter's Church, Westleigh St Peter's Church, Westleigh St Peter's Church, Westleigh

The C15th floor tiles were probably made by the Barnstaple Pottery.

St Peter's Church, Westleigh

St Peter's Church, Westleigh

The font at the back of the nave is early English and has a splendid wood cover.

St Peter's Church, Westleigh

The old parish chest is in the south transept.

St Peter's Church, Westleigh

On the wall is a splendid monument to Thomas Challacombe who died in 1681.

St Peter's Church, Westleigh

Also on hanging on the wall is a hatchment.

St Peter's Church, Westleigh

Monuments in the north aisle commemorate members of the Clevland family of nearbyTapeley Park.

St Peter's Church, Westleigh  St Peter's Church, Westleigh

This is a very attractive church and, along with Instow Church, is one of the oldest in the area. The church is open daily from 10-5. The road to the church is narrow and parking is restricted. The nearest post code is EX39 4NN and the grid reference is SS 472286.

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