Reg Haskell Photography

The Chapel of the Holy Evangelists, Killerton

Former private chapel of the Acland family, now a chapel of ease within Broadclyst parish. Plans of 1838; executed 1840-1. C R Cockrell for Sir Thomas Acland. Built by Hooper of Exeter. Stone carving by Samuel Stead of Ludlow. Volcanic trap ashlar (Killerton stone) with fishscale slate roof. A single-cell building with shallow east apsidal sanctuary. Nave of 4 bays each divided externally by pyramidally capped buttresses, with projecting angle turrets on all 4 corners, the arrises with chamfers and attached shafts with stiff-leaf capitals, the upper stages (above parapet level) with 3 narrow round-headed openings to each side, and slated pyramidal caps and crocketed finials. A substantial battered wall plinth surrounds the entire building. West front: 2 stages and gabled-end wall; a central round-headed doorway of 2 2 orders with cushion capitals all in white stone separately gabled, stands forward of the plane of the lower stage; first stage itself slightly recessed and dominated by a wheel window, its surround of 2 orders (zig-zag and cable moulding), with one round-headed niche to each side; small round-headed window in gable wall; apex crowned by stone cross. Side elevations: 2 stages, the upper stage recessed (as front) with 1 large, round- headed 1-light window to each bay, all of 2 orders with a variety of zig-zag, diamond and bead moulding to south side only (the north window surrounds being unembellished). Corbel table and parapet. East end: shallow apse with 2 tiers of round-headed openings, each under superordinate arches, with pilaster buttresses between. Interior: 7 bays to nave; timber barrel vault, the principals coming well down side walls, resting on stone cushion corbels to either side of windows and at the level of the capitals to the internal shafts of the window arches which are deeply recessed, and decorated with a variety of Transitional motifs. Internal hood moulds. Corbel table runs below wall plate. Corbels to roof principals themselves rest on shafts that are brought down to break the cornice of the dado which is an arcade of intersecting arches. Tall chancel arch of 2 orders. One tier of windows to apse, with shafts carried down to ground, and a frieze of zig-zag. The whole interior is of white stone. Stone flags, and geometric designs to sanctuary floor. Furnishings: a good and complete set, contemporary with chapel. Wood seating in 3 tiers; arranged in Collegiate fashion; stalls at rear, each under separate gable, the central one taller and wider with reading desk. Stalls returned at west end. Front benches open-backed. West gallery (now an organ gallery). Stone altar table with Romanesque detailing designed and made by Arthur Acland-Troyte. Some bright coloured glass in west window; side windows with patterned glass designed by Dean Liddell. East windows with Evangelists, 1905. An important church built when Cockrell was 'at the height of his powers as an architect'. The patron decided that it should be a copy of the chapel of St James at Glastonbury, a building Cockrell considered to be the best of its date in England. It turned out to be a fairly free, but archaeologically extremely careful, copy of the model, the major deviation being the west wheel window (based on Barfreystone), inserted after Cockrell's consultation with leading figures associated with the Rundbogenstil. The external detailing appears to be completely intact and the Chapel is sited in a landscape of mature trees.
(ref: NHLE)
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