Dawlish - St Agatha

Exeter Road, Dawlish, Devon

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Early 20th century church in lancet Gothic style by Scoles and Raymond, who built widely in the Diocese. The church and presbytery form a good townscape group in the Dawlish conservation area, but the primary interest of the church lies in the quality and completeness of its early fittings. 

The site was purchased in November 1906 and the foundation stone laid on June 5 1907. The church was built as a memorial to John Henry Benbow from designs Scoles & Raymond, who built widely in the Diocese.  It was opened in July 1909. The parish is now served from Teignmouth.

The church is generally in the 13th century Gothic manner favoured by Scoles, with windows either lancets or plate tracery. The building is faced with red rubble stone, with window tracery and detailing ofBath stone and roof coverings of modern red concrete tiles.  The plan is complex and the external appearance of the building varied and restless: tall nave with apsidal sanctuary and steep ridged, roof; lower north aisle under separate ridged roof with shallow transept and projecting northwest porch; tall south chapel with tall thin octagonal tower and spirelet with shallow transept south of tower. A single storey link joins the south aisle with the presbytery.

 

Interior has four-bay north aisle of tall pointed arches on purple marble columns with moulded capitals and bases; parquet floor and five-sided painted wooden ceiling.  Three lancets in tall west end wall with canopied figure of Our Lord under central window; image niche at east end of north aisle with canopied figure of Our Lady; double-arched opening to intended organ chamber above sacristy door in south aisle. Tall arch to sanctuary, which retains its original altar rails, altar and reredos, as does the north aisle chapel.  Fittings include original octagonal stone font. Stone pulpit at east end of south aisle and carved Stations of the Cross, probably also original and linked by a painted text round the walls of the nave.  Altogether a little-altered interior, with most of its early or original fittings

Diocese: Plymouth

Architect: Scoles & Raymond

Original Date: 1909

Conservation Area: No

Listed Grade: Not listed