Devon Historic Churches

Sampford Spiney, St Mary

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The church here began life as the chapel to the manor house. The present church of Roborough stone and local granite is Perpendicular in style. It was enlarged in the sixteenth century when the south aisle, tower and porch were added. The interior has a fine raised wagon roof of open timberwork. The north transept has two Early English lancet lights, medieval encaustic tiles, a carved head, piscina and canopied niche of a 14th century tomb belonging to the de Spineto family. Behind the altar is the only piece of stained glass.

Restoration work took place in 1867 by the Plymouth architect Alfred Norman when the church was completely re-roofed. Some of the old, carved bench-ends have been used as a screen to the right of the organ. There is a finely carved modern reredos. The 16th century font was probably made by the same hand that made the one in Walkhampton Church as they are so similar. The pulpit and lectern are plain and simple. The present organ was purchased from a North Devon church in 1999. Of interest are two hatchments dated 1801 and 1817. The bells have been recast at different times. The two early ones are by Pennington; two dated 1890 are by Llewellins & James of Bristol and the latest two by the Whitechapel foundry.