A jewel inspired by the chapel of French kings.
This beautiful church is of architectural significance in that it is one of the first made of concrete and faced with flint and limestone externally and limestone dressing to the interior. Built in 1884-89 to a design by Sir Thomas G Jackson and mentioned by Pevsner, it is large for such a small village but has significant attributes that mean it is a centre for weddings, concerts as well as a place of regular worship. It replaced the original church which stood in what is now the car park.
The attributes include, great acoustics, large car park, good heating system, disabled access (one of very few in the area) and most practically a toilet. Perhaps one of the most stunning features that lends to every occasion is that the original candle lighting remains, consisting of a series of counter weight pulley candelabras, including a large circular 18 candle arrangement in the choir. The stone carved font is also capped by a counter leaved cover. The tower contains a separate bell ringer’s room with a bell chamber above containing 7 bells, one (the calling bell) dating back to 1602. Memorials from the previous church have been placed under the tower. There are memorials to the Henley and Baring families under the tower, together with busts of the 4th Lord Ashburton and his wife.
The church is open 365 days a year as the visitor books attest. The church contains magnificent stone and wooden carvings, busts and freezes; the vestry is perhaps unique in rural churches as it includes a doomed ornate ceiling. The exterior has numerous limestone carved gargoyles, decorations and pinnacles. The church is surrounded by a (separately graded) grade II listed wall to the graveyard. In the car park is the memorial to 2nd Lord Ashburton, which is also the Parish War Memorial, again grade II listed.