The Church of St Martin, Exeter, Devon

It’s been a while since I’ve done a church, so here’s a rather nice little one while I build up to Exeter cathedral proper. St Martin’s is a small church structurally of the 15th century, but built on the site of a series of churches going back to AD 1065. Managed by the Churches Conservation Trust, it faces Exeter cathedral across the green and occasionally still functions as a church. It was being used as a stall for selling Christmas cards to raise funds for upkeep on the day we were there. The ladies were lovely and I didn’t feel compelled to kick over the tables or reach for a whip or anything.

For such a small church, there’s an awful lot written about it, so perhaps it’s best that I stick to photos and point you at those other sites at the end. There may be an exam later on.

St Martin's, facing the altarFacing the altar. The spacing of the balusters on the communion rail where allegedly set to prevent parishioner’s dogs from reaching the altar. The chancel arch may be from an earlier church on the site dating back to 1065.
Yes, the end wall isn’t square.

St Martin's, looking westThe paneled gallery has the obligatory supporting angels, arms of the city and of Bishop Trelawny (bishop 1689-1708), a local hero in adjacent Cornwall. The centre arms are George III which dates the work to 1801-16. It’s probably an update of earlier decoration as the gallery itself dates about 100 years earlier.
The window contains some pieces of medieval glass. The cardboard Santas (Santii?) are a much later addition.

EscutcheonEscutcheon, left at tourist height to show the quality of the original stone- and paint-work.
The arms of two gold crossed keys and a sword those of the Bishopric of Exeter.

Early 17th century funerary monumentEarly 17th century funerary monument tucked away in a corner.

Monument to the Wakeman family, 1643-4Monument to the Wakeman family, 1643-4, set in an alcove on the south wall

Royal Arms, Charles IThe royal arms of Charles I on the north wall.

Reading for Homework

St Martin’s Website

Churches Conservation Trust page for St Martin’s

English Heritage page for St Martin’s

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