George Fellowes Prynne


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St. Peter

Mr George H. Fellowes Prynne, F.R.I.B.A., has designed a stately and beautiful building, worthy to rank among the finest modern churches in the country, and his plans have been satisfactorily carried out by the builders, Messrs. Luscombe & Son, Exeter. The design is of Early English type, and the plan of the church is in the main cruciform, having a nave of five bays, ninety feet long by twenty-seven feet broad, north and south aisles, and transepts… The tower and spire, which will reach a height of 140 feet are not yet erected. The interior aspect of the church is extremely dignified, the fine chancel - forty feet long - and the width of the nave, being especially so. An apsidal-ended chapel is placed on the south side of the chancel, and an organ chamber, gallery, and capacious vestries on the north side. The base of the tower forms a baptistry at the west end of the north aisle… Externally, with its red tiled roofs, Devon limestone and marble facings, and the dressings of Doulting stone, the appearance of the building, as it stands out from a back-ground of green trees, is extremely picturesque. It will look even better when the lofty tower and spire are erected…

(Church in the West 29 April 1893)

As with so many of Fellowes Prynne’s planned towers and spires, Budleigh Salterton’s was never built. The article goes on to describe the lavish magnificence of the

richly vested altar, backed by the dossal hangings and side wings of embroidered cloth, contributing to the impressive appearance of this fine interior… This result is largely assisted by the costly and handsome fittings with which the new church has been supplied.

The building itself was the gift of Mark Rolle.  Various generous gifts were bestowed, including

…the beautiful chancel screen of Beer stone and marble…the pulpit with its base of sandstone surmounted by exquisite wrought iron and polished brass work…

There are one or two unusual features to be seen here. One is the use of clustered pillars, in stone and dark marble; another is the use of red pointing in the grey stone. Both features give additional colour to the building. Further colour is given by the series of pictures portraying the Stations of the Cross. These are to be seen in panels around the sanctuary. There was also a series of memorial windows, designed by Prynne, but regrettably most of these have been destroyed.

The first postcard (franked in 1908) shows the exterior of the church.

Another vintage postcard, sent 3 December 1908, shows the interior of the church not long after it was built.

An example of one of the “handsome fittings” is the pulpit, illustrated.