St Petrock's Church, Parracombe, Devon

Address: Church Lane, Parracombe, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4RJ
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Legendary hilltop church with a perfect interior

Set in glorious countryside on the edge of Exmoor this hilltop church seems to be a modest Medieval building, but it is the lovely light Georgian interior with painted texts and wonderful furnishings that have hardly changed for 200 years that make it very special.

The undulating slate floors and leaning arcade only add to the unforgettable charm of this church. There are rails round three sides of the altar, the Ten Commandments painted on a board above a pretty 15th-century screen, a three-tier pulpit with reading desk, box pews, and musicians’ seats raised on steps at the west end.

St Petrock’s is believed to be the last church in Devon to use musicians to accompany the hymns – there is a hole in one of the pews to allow room for the bow of a bass viol. In 1879 there was a proposal to pull the church down because of fears for its stability, and to build a new one on the same site.

The poet John Ruskin led the protests and sent a £10 cheque to support the preservation of the church. The objections were successful and the church was saved.

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How to find us

To locate this church on a map, click on the 'View on map' link that appears below the address information at the top of the page.

Road directions

11 miles north east of Barnstaple, off A39 and 4 miles south west of Lynton

Public transport information

Nearest railway station: Barnstaple (10.6 miles)

OS Reference No.

SS 675 449

What’s on & news

News

16/07/14 Wendy Leaney impressed the judges with her skillfully sculpted creation made out of homemade lime and elderflower cordial

See more events and news

Nearby attractions

St Peter's Church,  Satterleigh, Devon

St Peter's Church, Satterleigh, Devon
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Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

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What’s on at this church

The list below provides brief summaries of events coming up at this church. You can find out more about each event by clicking on individual event titles in the summary list.

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Image gallery

Click on images to view larger

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Useful information

Why not make your visit more enjoyable and informed by finding out more about this church and the CCT before you visit?

You can download a range of publications below including the relevant county guide, and any walk round guides we have for this church.

 

 

 

 

PDF iconCornwall, Devon & Dorset County Guide (PDF, 4.5mb)

This free of charge short guide contains details of all the churches CCT cares for in Cornwall, Devon & Dorset. Printed copies of the county guide are also available at the church.

Nearby CCT churches

St Peter's Church,  Satterleigh, Devon

St Peter's Church, Satterleigh, Devon A tiny rural gem Satterleigh, Umberleigh, Devon, EX37 9DJ
See church page

St James' Tower,  Upton, Somerset

St James' Tower, Upton, Somerset Just a tower remaining Eastmoor Lane, Upton, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 2JG
See church page

Church of St Martin of Tours,  Elworthy, Somerset

Church of St Martin of Tours, Elworthy, Somerset A church with an unusual outdoor staircase Silverdown Hill, Elworthy, Taunton, Somerset, TA4 3PY
See church page

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Have you visited this church?

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Comments

  1. Steve Oggiano (19 May 2013, 11:32)

    I was interested in this church as it was one of the last Anglo Saxon churches left in the county, Quite honestly once you manage to drag yourself away from the church setting and finally open the door to get in it is quite literally one of the most beautiful churches i have ever visited, The history within such a small building is beyond belief and i found myself in awe. I spent 4 and a half hours at this site and found myself reading everything i could their including the grave stones. Please visit this church it is wonderful and well worth the journey and if you catch the light right the photographic experience is second to none.

  2. Andrew (15 Sep 2013, 13:02)

    One of the most beautiful churches ive been too, ,and the Georgian unspoilt interior is superb.

  3. liz gilbey (12 Oct 2013, 01:35)

    This is a magnificent church in a wonderful setting. The best way to visit is to walk from Parracombe, taking in the new church of Chris Church on the way (which has an interesting memorial to the three Parracombe victims of the 1953 Lynmouth Flood) and passing Holwell Castle, the motte and bailey best seen from the elevated Christ Church doorway. St Petroc's is at Churchtown, a cluster of houses around it, including the former alehouse to the church, which is partially in the churchyard and is now a private house.
    This is one of the finest churches and churchyards you will visit. Even the coat hooks are magnificent! The visitors book shows that people visit here from all over the world, and rightly so.

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Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

Community information for St Petrock's Church, Parracombe

 

All our Devon churches are in CCT’s West region.

Useful local links

Visit Devon tourism website 

Devon tourism website 

Devon Family History Society 

Devon History Society 

Devon Historic Churches Trust 

List of churches in Devon 

Devon is in the Diocese of Exeter

Donate by text

Last year, we welcomed over two million visitors to our churches. If each person donated just £2, this would enable us to keep our churches open, safe and watertight for you and future generations to enjoy.

Close up of a mosaic at St Peter, Northampton

Text code 'OCCT05' to 70070 to donate now (free from all networks).

Or use the button below to donate online.

Donate online

St Petrock's Church, Parracombe, Devon

Keyholder

If the access information for this church is listed as 'Keyholder nearby', this means that the key is kept by one of our invaluable volunteer 'keyholders', who usually live just a short walk from the church and can give visitors the key; sometimes this is a nearby hotel, pub, library, art gallery or other venue. You will find instructions explaining how to get the key when you arrive at the church.

Disabled access

Access is possible, although the path is uneven.

Facilities

Due to the historic nature of our buildings, only a very small number of them have heating or running water meaning that they can be cold, and very rarely have toilet facilities. The lighting is usually operated via a 'push button' timer or a motion sensor. We do apologise for any inconvenience the lack of facilities may cause.