Five: The organ and nave

The Organ

This superb instrument, built by Harrison and Harrison in County Durham, was installed in 1921 in memory of parishioners who died in the war of 1914-1918. It was substantially refurbished in the 1990’s. 4 the new organ console

Walk into the nave.

The Norman capitals (from about 1150) at the top of the heavy piers supporting the tower arch are carved with serpents, birds and other devices.6 Norman snake capital from tower pier

 

 

Move 20 feet into the nave and look back

 

 

Dominating the nave and occupying the whole of the west face of the tower is the massive memorial to the first British Commander-in-Chief in the Boer War, General Sir Redvers Buller VC (d 1908).  A church Governor and Lord of the Manor of Crediton (he was the owner of Downes, the late 17thC manor house and estate just outside the town), he is buried in the family vault in the church-yard. He won his VC in the Zulu War in 1879. He is best remembered for what he achieved in the earlier years of his army career – particularly in his War Office years by setting-up the army reforms that made the mounting of the British Expeditionary Force in 1914 a possibility; his service in Ireland; his remarkable bravery and leadership in the First Boer War, the Zulu War and the Kaffir War; and his very significant contribution to many smaller campaigns. He was someone whose bravery, great powers of leadership and judgement, and qualities of humanity and straightforwardness shine out from so many of the current accounts of his life.

1 photograph of Buller funeral
Sir Redvers Buller’s funeral

The nave itself was completely rebuilt in Perpendicular Gothic style and considerably extended in the early C15th. The clerestory, the upper windows on each side of both nave and choir that give a great deal of light to the building, is rare in a parish church (it’s likely that the windows contained stained glass before the Reformation), below this are lines of corbels in Beer stone (these include heads, vegetation and on the south-eastern side of the nave, a green man). The capitals at the top of the columns are also in Beer stone.

A few feet from the exit (where you came into the church) can be seen

A Norman table-top font of about 1100 (with its elaborate early 20thC cover) is probably the oldest thing in the church.14 the Norman font

On the west wall of the nave

Here are boards that give a history of Christianity in Crediton and a full list of incumbents.

Upkeep of the church

As with so many mediaeval churches, the cost of upkeep of the building is enormous. The latest in a series of major projects over the past 15 years to renovate the church and its fittings, is the very essential one of renewing the lead on its roof – which is getting very thin. The cost of this will be in excess of £1.5 million. We will have to find this sum through the efforts of parishioners, gifts from visitors and grants from various charities and official bodies. We would greatly appreciate any help that you could give to the scheme.

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