Gittisham, St Michael's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Early 17th century Beaumont tomb
There are several interesting carvings; look for the Green Man on a pillar near the visitors book.
Henry Beaumont was a generous benefactor to the local poor; he left over £800 worth of property to be administered for the poor of the area, and the Beaumont Trust he founded is still operating.
On the south wall is another interesting memorial, to John Fiennes, a lawyer at Grey's Inn, London, who died in 1671.
There are some interesting fragments of medieval and 16th century glass. The oldest glass in in the north-east window and shows, among other things, the tale of the Prodigal Son. Most of the original glass was destroyed in 1644, when Cromwell's soldiers ransacked Combe House and seized Nicholas Putt, the squire. They intended to take Putt to London for imprisonment, but he died on the journey and was brought back to Gittisham for burial. Some large fragments of stained glass were discovered in the 19th century, languishing in an unmarked box in a timber yard on the Combe estate, and reinserted here.
Outside the west end of the tower is the grave of Henry Ince, a Sergeant-Major with the Royal Engineers, who constructed the first tunnels under the Rock of Gibraltar.
Immediately outside the churchyard is the old village school, founded in 1720 by Sir Thomas Putt. Subjects taught included navigation; a reminder of how important the art of seafaring was in this part of England.
St Michael's is a gem of a church; the combination of Georgian furnishings and historic monuments makes it an extremely rewarding church to visit. The village is typical of this area of East Devon, which is to say, its as pretty as a postcard, with thatched cottages standing along winding lanes, surrounded by steep-sided wooded hills.
Address: Gitiisham, Devon, England, EX14 3AH
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: In the centre of Gittisham. Parking along the road. The church was open when we visited. For satnavs use the postcode EX14 3AH
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Allhallows Museum of Lace and Local Antiquities - 2.4 miles (Museum)
Honiton, St Paul's Church - 2.4 miles (Historic Church)
Farway, St Michael & All Angels Church - 2.7 miles (Historic Church)
Ottery St Mary Church - 2.8 miles (Historic Church)
Escot Park & Gardens - 3 miles (Garden)
Cadhay - 3.1 miles (Historic House)
Sand - 3.2 miles (Historic House)
Offwell, St Mary's Church - 3.9 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Gittisham:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Ottery St Mary
Tourist Information Centre
10b Broad Street
Ottery St Mary
Tel: 01404 813 964
Fax: 01404 813 964