BUDLEIGH SALTERTON, Devon – St Peter.
The Church in the West of 29 April 1893 gave the following description of the new church:
Mr. George H. Fellowes Prynne, F.R.I.B.A., has designed a stately and beautiful building, worthy to rank among the finest modern churches in the country, and his plans have been satisfactorily carried out by the builders, Messrs. Luscombe & Son, Exeter. The design is of Early English type, and the plan of the church is in the main cruciform, having a nave of five bays, ninety feet long by twenty-seven feet broad, north and south aisles, and transepts… The tower and spire, which will reach a height of 140 feet are not yet erected. The interior aspect of the church is extremely dignified, the fine chancel – forty feet long – and the width of the nave, being especially so. An apsidal-ended chapel is placed on the south side of the chancel, and an organ chamber, gallery, and capacious vestries on the north side. The base of the tower forms a baptistry at the west end of the north aisle… Externally, with its red tiled roofs, Devon limestone and marble facings, and the dressings of Doulting stone, the appearance of the building, as it stands out from a back-ground of green trees, is extremely picturesque. It will look even better when the lofty tower and spire are erected…
As with so many of Fellowes Prynne’s planned towers and spires, Budleigh Salterton church’s was never built.
The article goes on to describe the lavish magnificence of the
…richly vested altar, backed by the dossal hangings and side wings of embroidered cloth, contributing to the impressive appearance of this fine interior… This result is largely assisted by the costly and handsome fittings with which the new church has been supplied.
The building itself was the gift of Mark Rolle. Various generous gifts were bestowed, including
…the beautiful chancel screen of Beer stone and marble…the pulpit with its base of sandstone surmounted by exquisite wrought iron and polished brass work…
There are one or two unusual features to be seen here. One is the use of clustered pillars, in stone and dark marble; another is the use of red pointing in the grey stone. Both features give additional colour to the building. Further colour is given by the mosaic panels around the sanctuary, one of which is illustrated.
On 9 September 1893 The Builder reported that a new altar had been placed in the morning chapel at St Peter’s, designed by Fellowes Prynne, and made by the Exeter-based firm of Harry Hems. The altar is of solid English oak, panelled at the front and sides. It has a slab with five consecration crosses, plus a super-altar and tabernacle. The choir stalls were also the work of Messrs Harry Hems and Sons.
In 1906 a new three-light stained glass window was installed, made by Percy Bacon Brothers, under the supervision of the architect. It was described in The Builder of 20 October, 1906, thus:
The upper tier contains the standing figure of the Virgin and Child in centre light, St. Elizabeth in the left, and St. Simeon in the right light; the lower tier contains the Nativity, with the Adoration of the Magi and Shepherds on either side. The tracery openings have angels with scrolls containing texts.
There was also a series of memorial windows, designed by Fellowes Prynne, but regrettably most of these have been lost.
The postcard to the right, used in 1951, shows the interior with the reredos completed to the architect’s design.