Lynmouth Bay from St. Mary's Church

St. Mary the Virgin Lynton

with St. Bartholomew Barbrook

The view from Lynton churchyard .

The church is situated in the centre of the North Devon coastal town of Lynton, in an area of outstanding natural beauty and in the confines of Exmoor National Park conservation area. It is located to the South East of the churchyard overlooking the sea and can be clearly seen when travelling east or west along Church Hill road and Lee Road, the main road through the town.  The tower is C13, the nave was rebuilt in 1741 and there were a series of Victorian and Edwardian restorations and re-building between 1868 and 1905.  Construction: Rubble with ashlar dressings, including some Ham stone and slate roofs. The church consists of a 5-bay nave extended to the west with wide north and south aisles, chancel with chapel to the north, organ chamber to the south plus vestry, south west tower and north porch.  Although the late C19 rebuilding is broadly medieval in form there is much good Art Nouveau detailing including some combined with neo-Norman features.

The church interior is interesting with barrel roofs with celure over the chancel. The windows to the north and south aisles have generally plain glass with Art Nouveau figures glazed in pale tints.  The fittings are unusually fine and said to be have been carved mainly by local craftsmen. The oak pulpit has fine carved panels including Mother and Child, the Lamb, children with a crab a ram and a donkey.  The octagonal stone font is in part C12, but with re-carving and a Jacobean carved cover.  The Lady Chapel altar has a polished copper front with plant and Tree of Life embellishment based on timber panels.  In the chancel are fine carved stalls and altar rail with a stone chancel rail.  Although mainly a rebuilding the church has considerable interest provided firstly by the eclectic and sometimes eccentric detailing, but secondly from the rich assembly of fittings which are described by one authority as ‘one of the best collections of their date in Devon’ (Cherry).

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