The Church St Nicholas and St Cyriac

Parish church. C15 rebuild of early C14 church with some C16 remodelling slatestone rubble walls. Gable ended slate roofs.

Plan: nave, chancel, north and south aisles and transepts, west tower and south porch. The earliest fabric appears to be the south porch and adjoining section of nave wall. There was a general rebuild in the C15 when the tower, aisles and transepts were built although those on the north side may pre-date the south aisle and transept which have windows of the C16. This aisle is smaller than the north one because it stops short of the porch that obviously pre-dates it. C19 or early C20 vestry added to north of chancel.

 

Exterior: 3 stage crenellated west tower with crocketted pinnacles and set-back buttresses. 5-sided stair turret on south side. 2-light cinquefoiled belfry openings. C15 south doorway of South Hams type with 4-centred arch and roll moulding. Granite 3-light Perpendicular window above. North aisle and transept have similar windows. Lean to vestry against north chancel wall. East chancel
window is a complete restoration in the Decorated style. On the south side of the chancel is a C15 2-light mullion window with cinque foiled heads. The windows to south aisle and transept are of the late debased Perpendicular style. Segmental headed granite priest's door, shallow rectangular stair projection adjoining it. At the west end of the nave, beyond the porch is a tall narrow light with cinque foiled head. Large gabled porch has plain rubble doorway with 4-centred head and projecting imposts.


Interior: blocked square granite-framed light in side wall of porch, new overlapped by south aisle. Holy water stoup with pointed arch. Possibly original south doorway of chamfered dressed stones with 2-centred arch. Probably C17 studded plank door with moulded cover strips and fleur-de-lys strap hinges. Internal walls of the church are plastered apart from the tower wall. 4-bay north arcade and 3-bay south arcade, both of granite with Pevsner A-type piers, moulded cup capitals and depressed 4-centred arches. Similar arches to both transepts on moulded stone corbels. The tall tower arch has a double chamfered arch and 5-sided jamb to either side with projecting imposts.

 

Late medieval wagon roofs to aisles and north transept with moulded ribs and carved wall-plate and bosses. The wagon roof over the nave has been renewed and the south transept and chancel have a plain plastered roof. Good C15 rood screen restored in 1952 when coving was renewed to the outer sections although missing at the centre. The original colour survives on the central part but the painted renaissance arabesque decoration to the panels was probably done in the C16. The parclose screens, although restored, are well preserved. Good recessed C16 tomb on north wall of chancel with carved canopy above and panel of resurrection behind the tomb chest. Latin inscription to Thomas Bryant, Rector of South Pool and East Portlemouth, who died circa 1540. In the south chapel is a large alabaster memorial to Leonard Darre and his wife Joan, who died in 1615 and 1608, and are depicted kneeling with their 2 sons and 3 daughters behind them. Either side of them is a Corinthian pillar supporting a flat canopy. C12 tub font on short stem has crude carved decoration.