St Petrock's Church, Parracombe, Devon

Church Lane, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4RJ
How to find us | Access information
Opening times:
Open daily
  • Overview
  • Map
  • What's nearby

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 fifteenth-century screen, a three-tier pulpit with reading desk, box pews, and musician seats raised on steps at the west end.

St Petrock's is believed to be the last church in Devon to have had musicians 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.

  • Access information
    Up a grassy slope, through the churchyard gate, and up a gentle grass path to the south porch. There is a level entrance to the south lobby with a slate floor. Fairly steep sloping access up across grass in the churchyard to a level, wide entrance through the south porch. Uneven floors but passable in a wheelchair with care.
  • Facilities & Hire
    Parracombe St Petrock's church is available to hire for events and is a unique and beautiful venue. Due to its historic nature the church has no heating, electricity, running water or toilet facilities so thought needs to be given for events longer than a couple of hours (e.g. portaloo hire). St Petrock's can seat up to 150 people. If you would like to hire this church please contact us here.
  • Directions
    11 miles north east of Barnstaple, off A39 and 4 miles south west of Lynton
  • Transport
    Nearest railway station: Barnstaple (10.6 miles)
  • History & Further 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.

    Cornwall, Devon & Dorset County Guide

    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.

    St Petrock's Parracombe Guidebook 'Exmoor Loop' Guided Walk from Parracombe


  • Volunteering Opportunities
    We are currently looking for volunteers at St Petrock's to help with research, interpretation and talks, fundraising and events organising. If you are interested in helping please email the Local Community Officer on [email protected].
  • Community information
    Parracombe Church Plan

    Click the link above to download a copy of the Church Plan which sets out the shared vision for the future of the church. This is a working document that will be updated on a regular basis. If you have any feedback or if you want to contact us about the church plan please drop us a line. When you write, please do give the name of the church, thank you!

    St Petrock's Church, Parracombe is in our west region.

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