The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin,
Rewe, stands at the south-east corner of the A396 main road and a
lane that leads to the nearby River Culm. The first mention of a
church on this site dates to January 1280 when Nicholas of Totnes
was instituted as rector. The present church building dates from
about 1450 (the nave and north isle), but the porch is older,
probably part of an earlier building. The north transept (the
Wadham chantry) and chancel were added in 1495.
On Christmas night in 1810 the tower and church
were hit by lightning, causing extensive damage to the windows. The
weather vane from the tower was found on the marshes of the River
Culm, almost half a kilometre away. Substantial rebuilding took
place on the tower as a result. The church was extensively restored
and redecorated in 1867, probably re-using original materials, which
work involved the nave's south wall, south porch, and much of the
Columbjohn Chapel, Broad Cylst, is on the
northern flank of the former mansion site and is reached via a
footpath from the western flank of New House farm. It was built as
the private chapel for the formerly adjacent Columbjohn Mansion of
the Acland family. It was built about 1844 in ashlar volcanic trap
with a roof of red clay fish scale plain tiles. Unfortunately it was
inconveniently distant for the people of Killerton House, so that
house gained its own chapel (see below).
Killerton House Chapel sits in the grounds
to the west of the main house, within the vicinity of Broad Clyst.
In 1841, Sir Thomas Dyke Acland commissioned the architect C R
Cockrell to design it because Columbjohn Chapel (above) was
inconveniently distant. Cockrell was renowned for his Classical
style, and only reluctantly agreed to copy the Norman chapel of St
Joseph of Arimathea at Glastonbury. Cockrell and Sir Acland bickered
about the design and construction.
The interior of the chapel is unusual for an
English place of worship, as serried ranks of seating face each
other across the aisle rather than facing the altar. The
congregation could all see each other; the Aclands, their guests,
their senior servants, their lower servants, their estate workers
and tenants. Even in the 1960s, the chapel bell still rung out to
call the men to work every morning. Today it is the Chapel of
the Holy Evangelists, a chapel-of-ease for Broad Clyst.
Budlake Old Chapel is now Chapel Court
Cottages, at the eastern end of a short lane that leads off the
B3181 around a hundred-and-seventy metres north of the Budlake bus
stop. The present cottages possibly incorporate remains of one of
the Broadclyst parish's medieval chapels-of-ease - one which was
closed rather early. The cottage dates to the 1400s with later
alterations and additions. It is of well-coursed volcanic trap
rubble under a gabled-end thatched roof.
Photos on this page kindly contributed by Alison
Day, Robert Slack, and Keith Bowden, all via the 'History Files:
Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group, plus one photo
originally published on Lynne's 'Echoes of the Past' blog and
reproduced here with permission, and one photo by Zoopla. Additional
information from 'Echoes of the Past' and Keith Bowden.