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Visitor information

location

South Huish
Devon
TQ7 3EH

OS Reference

SX 694 413

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Open access to ruins

info
  • Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Parking is limited on the roadside

St Andrew's is a romantic roadside ruin. In the summer, hot pink Valerian flowers burst through the cracks in the stonework.

History

St Andrew’s was built between the 13th and 15th centuries. Its tall tower, aisles, nave and chancel were built from local Devonian slatestone rubble, while the windows and tracery were carved from granite.

The church was in used until 1866. The story goes that during divine service a pane of glass was blown in and narrowly missed the officiating vicar, Rev’d F. R. Hole. Hole decided that the old church was unsafe, and that it would be cheaper to build a new church at Galmpton, rather than repair the old one.

And that is exactly what happened. The replacement for St Andrew’s was built at Galmpton in 1869, and within two decades St Andrew’s had been deliberately unroofed and its fittings dispersed to other local churches or sold.

Holy Trinity, Galmpton houses the simple granite font with waterleaf base, a memorial to the Lydstone family, the four bells, and most importantly of all a remarkable assemblage of shattered remains from two 15th-century alabaster reredoses, representing sculptural scenes from the life of Christ.  These were found in the spring of 1857 within St Andrew’s when the mid-16th-century blocking of the lower part of the west window was dismantled.

The old holy water stoup was given to Holy Trinity, Salcombe, where it is still to be seen in the porch.

We took ownership of the church in 1976, after it had been left to decay for almost a century. Recovering the church from vegetation and making it safe for public access has been the work of many decades.

St Andrew's, South Huish, Devon (2)
St Andrew's, South Huish, Devon (2)

Highlights

  • The varying levels of the churchyard allow visitors to see the wall-heads and window tracery up close
  • South porch with dressed rubble round-headed doorway of South Hams type; remnants of what is believed to be a medieval fireplace on the west wall
  • Fragments of masonry in the base of the tower
  • Erosion patterns on the shalestone to the tower

Further reading

Please use these links if you would like to know more about the church and the surrounding area

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