Cruwys Morchard, Holy Cross Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 1700 carved screen
Unfortunately the recorded age of the church rather puts the lie to a delightful old rhyme which suggets that the local manor houses predate the Norman Conquest,
"Crocker, Cruwys, and Copplestone,
When the Conqueror came, were at home."
The fire also destroyed medieval glass depicting the arms of the local lords of the manor, the Cruwys family. The Cruwys family also had a private chapel with family tombs, but this was destroyed by Cromwell's troops in the Civil War.
VisitingYou enter the churchyard through an unusual revolving lych gate, not dissimilar to a modern revolving door. The lych gate was installed after the fire of 1689. In the churchyard are some interesting older gravestones including one to the Maunder family dated 1643. In the south wet corner of the churchyard is a yew tree planted in 1792, and to the left of the porch is the old village stocks.
Armed with the key, I opened the church, hoping for something wonderful.
I found it. The pride of Holy Cross is the superb screen, carved in beautiful detail with floral emblems and exquisitely detailed Gothic tracery. It is without question the best 18th century screen in Devon, and one of the best in England.
The screen is supported on Corinthian pillars with capitals made of lime wood, topped by a classical pediment. It was probably carved in 1700, and the carving is by far the best of any woodwork in the church. Atop the pediment is a gilded crown set on a carved cushion. Taken as a whole the screen is a simply superb piece of 18th century woodwork.
Holy Cross is a delightful church, a mix of medieval and 18th century architecture, with a deliciously untouched 18th century interior. It is well worth a visit.
About Cruwys Morchard, Holy Cross
Address: Cruwys Morchard, Devon, England, EX16 8LD
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Signposted off the B3137, 4 miles west of Tiverton. Key at the nearby manor house.
Website: Cruwys Morchard, Holy Cross
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Puddington, St Thomas' Church - 2.7 miles (Historic Church)
Cadeleigh, St Bartholomew's Church - 3.6 miles (Historic Church)
Witheridge, St John the Baptist Church - 4.7 miles (Historic Church)
Cadbury Castle Hillfort - 4.9 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Tiverton, St George's Church - 5 miles (Historic Church)
Tiverton, St Peter's Church - 5 miles (Historic Church)
Tiverton Castle - 5 miles (Castle)
Cadbury, St Michael's Church - 5 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Cruwys Morchard, Holy Cross:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Tourist Information Service
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life
Tel: 01884 230 878