Coldridge, St Matthew's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 15th century rood and parclose screens
The church is almost entirely a product of the early 15th and 16th centuries, but if you look closely you will find traces of an earlier Norman church in the stonework. The church seems to have been dedicated to St Mary until the 19th century. The Diocesan Directory of 1782 confirms the dedication to St Mary, as does White's County Directory of 1850. However, directories published after 1857 show the dedication as St Matthew.
You enter through the south porch, where you will find a slate memorial to John Ridd, curate (d. 1810) and a very worn grave marker inscribed 'IE 1755'.
The most interesting interior features include a finely carved 15th century rood screen. Unlike many Devon screens the Coldridge example is uncoloured.
Some 15th century glass remains, though it is much fragmented. In the Evans Chapel is a 16th century glass panel showing Edward VI holding a book and sceptre. Late medieval floor tiles remain near the font and in the chancel. The tiles were made in Barnstaple and are beautifully decorated with figures of swans, lions, and roses.
A finely carved 15th century parclose screen separates the chancel from the Evans family chapel, now the vestry. The screen features linenfold panelling along the base and Flamboyant tracery in the windows. It truly is a beautifully crafted piece of late medieval craftsmanship.
The north and south aisles have beautiful wagon roofs with carved bosses, dating to the late 15th or early 16th century. In the nave is a blocked late 12th century arch and there is a blocked Norman window in the chancel. Set into the floor is a late 13th century grave slab.
The oldest historic object in the church is the early 13th century font, topped with a 17th century wooden cover.
I really enjoyed visiting St Matthew's church. The screens are well worth seeing, and the church itself is in a wonderful setting, surrounded by pretty period houses.
About Coldridge, St Matthew
Address: Coldridge, Devon, England, EX17 6AX
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: On one side of a village square. Easy parking outside the churchyard. Usually open daylight hours.
Website: Coldridge, St Matthew
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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Puddington, St Thomas' Church - 8.6 miles (Historic Church)
Sandford, St Swithun's Church - 8.7 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Coldridge, St Matthew:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Tourist Information Centre
1 East Street
Tel: 01769 574 122
Fax: 01769 574 718