Morchard Bishop, St Mary's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Late 15th century oak screen and pair of effigies
The most interesting historic building in Morchard Bishop is the 15th-16th century church of St Mary's. There was an early medieval church here, but this was rebuilt beginning in the mid-15th century. Bishop Lacy of Exeter took a personal interest in the 15th century rebuilding, and in 1451 he granted an indulgence (a remission for sins) to anyone who gave money or labour to the rebuilding work or the church furnishings.
The screen has had a chequered history. It was taken from the church during Cromwell's Commonwealth and installed at nearby Beech House. It was returned to the church in 1840 and adapted to form a tower screen with multiple tiered sections. The screen was reassembled as a whole and carefully restored to its original position in 1930. You can still see traces of original medieval paintwork in places, as well as more colourful modern restoration painting.
One of the most peculiar incidents in the long history of St Mary's church came in 1952, when a meteorite struck the church tower. Thankfully, the damage was minimal, but I've never heard of another British church being hit by a meteorite.
St Mary's is a delightful church, in a very petty village. The screen is exceptional, and well worth a visit to see.
About Morchard Bishop, St Mary's Church
Address: Church Street, Morchard Bishop, Devon, England, EX17 6PJ
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: There is a public car park almost opposite St Mary's on the north side of Church Street. The church is usually open daylight hours.
Website: Morchard Bishop, St Mary's Church
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Puddington, St Thomas' Church - 4.2 miles (Historic Church)
Sandford, St Swithun's Church - 4.6 miles (Historic Church)
Coldridge, St Matthew's Church - 4.7 miles (Historic Church)
Witheridge, St John the Baptist Church - 4.7 miles (Historic Church)
Upton Hellions, St Mary's Church - 5 miles (Historic Church)
Crediton, Holy Cross Church - 6 miles (Historic Church)
Brushford, St Mary's Church - 6 miles (Historic Church)
Shobrooke Park - 6.3 miles (Garden)
Nearest Accommodation to Morchard Bishop, St Mary's Church:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts
Tourist Information Service
Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life
Tel: 01884 230 878