This is probably the finest example of a smaller scale church by George
The postcard illustrated (posted in October 1907) shows the external view of
Horrabridge church from the south side. The walls are of local stone, and the
roof is of pitch pine. Notice how low the roof reaches over the south transepts,
and also how much of the wall area is occupied by windows. These two factors
combine to give the overall impression of balance, and help make the exterior
attractive, avoiding the starkness sometimes seen in Fellowes Prynne’s church
exteriors. The outside has changed a little since this postcard was published;
the fleche now has a clock set into its base, and the west end has a porch, as
designed by Fellowes Prynne, but built later.
Inside, the church contains many of his usual design features, but the most
noticeable thing is the feeling of intimacy. There are wide arches at the
chancel and along the nave. The width of these arches has the effect of
diverting attention from the loftiness of the building. The arches are faced in
Bath stone, which is also the stone from which the pillars are constructed.
Unusually, there is no chancel wall or screen, but instead a decorated rood beam
housing an elaborate painted cross. The roof is of the architect’s usual wooden
barrel roof construction, and it is decorated at the entrance to the chancel,
above the rood beam. Like all the arches, the roof traces a much flatter curve
in cross-section than Fellowes Prynne’s larger churches, making the roof
actually lower than would otherwise be expected.
The Furniture is to Fellowes Prynne’s design, with the exception of the
post-war reredos and riddels. The Exeter firm of Harry Hems was responsible for
carving the font and the rood beam, and Northcott’s of Ashwater carved the altar
rails, choir stalls and vestry screen. The seating is, perhaps surprisingly
given his views on the subject, pews rather than chairs, but it has to be said
that these are attractive and eminently suitable for a church of this scale.
The pulpit is of wrought iron with a brass and wood top. It is extremely
delicate in its style, with not only intricate ironwork top and bottom, but,
unusually, spaces where there is no ironwork. Most of Fellowes Prynne’s designs
in this field give the impression that unfilled space is an aberration;
Horrabridge church pulpit shows otherwise, and to great effect. The plinth is
simplicity itself, a round, thick, single pillar with notched edging at the top,
bevelling beneath that, and a hint of vaulting to provide support. The lack of
extravagance here again adds to the overall sense of a village church.
We are told in the Church Review (7 December 1893) that, at lunch
after the consecration
“…the architect…was deservedly praised for the beautiful building he had
designed, and in reply said his aim was always to do work to the Glory of God.”