Tiverton, St Peter's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: The Greenway Chapel, 1517, a masterpiece of early Elizabethan architecture
This deliciously ornate Elizabethan chapel contains some of the finest carvings of any parish church in England; the detail just has to be seen to be believed. Sir John Greenway was the wealthiest merchant in Tiverton, an important member of the Draper's Company, with trading interests in King's Lynn and London. It is thought that he retired to Tiverton, where he founded almshouses on Gold Street. In 1517 he funded the exquisitely carved south porch and a new south chapel. Greenway was at pains to let the world know who paid for the new additions to St Peter, for over the inner doorway of the porch is a carving of the Assumption showing Greenway and his wife Joan in a suitably pious pose, with the inscription I.G. Within the porch is an incredibly detailed doorway directly into the chapel, adorned with Renaissance pilasters with arabesques and blind tracery patterns. In a word, it is stunning.
It astounds me that this wonderful church is not better known. Though Pevsner lavished praise on it, Betjeman omitted it from his 'Best British Churches' and there seems to be very little in the way of historical information online. And that's a real shame, for this is one of the most enjoyable historic churches to visit in the south west of England. Though the interior furnishings are interesting rather than overwhelming, the Greenway Chapel alone is worth a special trip to see. Especially if you enjoy Elizabethan architecture and art you really should not miss this church!
GREENWAY CHAPEL AND PORCH PHOTOS
Address: St Peter Stret, Tiverton, Devon, England, EX16 6RP
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: The official postcode is EX16 6RP but for satnav purposes, EX16 6NH is more helpful. Limited free parking at the top of St Peter Street, and paid parking at the Pannier Market of Newport Street. Usually open daily, 9:30-3:30.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Tiverton Castle - 0.1 miles (Castle)
Tiverton, St George's Church - 0.2 miles (Historic Church)
Knightshayes Court - 1.5 miles (Historic House)
Cadeleigh, St Bartholomew's Church - 3.9 miles (Historic Church)
Cruwys Morchard, Holy Cross Church - 5 miles (Historic Church)
Cadbury Castle Hillfort - 5.3 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Fursdon - 5.5 miles (Historic House)
Cadbury, St Michael's Church - 5.6 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Tiverton: