One of three anglican parish churches in the town (the others are St Petrox and St Clement). Permission was granted for the construction of a chapel of ease in the town by King Edward I, however neither the Bishop of Exeter nor the Abbot of Torre would give theirs. However in 1335 a new building was constructed anyway, the two pillars on the south side may date from this beginning. The Bishop forbade the parishioners to use their new church so William Smale, the Mayor and William Bacon had it consecrated by a visiting priest who later proved to be an imposter. The bishop in the end relented and the building was finally consecrated to the Holy Trinity in 1372, but by 1430 was known as St Saviour's.
Here is a view of the interior of this church taken from the western gallery.
The beautiful Rood Screen was constructed from oak in 1480. It is luxuriously painted in glowing colours. The lower panels contain representations of the saints, who may be identified by what they are holding - for example St Matthew is holding a carpenter's square and St Bartholomew a knife.
The intricate canopy is truly astonishing work, and to the left hand side contains a 'Green Man'. Above the screen is a boarded walk way and a Rood, installed in 1905 as the original was removed during the reign of Henry VIII at the Reformation.
The stone pulpit is elaborately carved and painted and visitors often think it is constructed from timber. It was damaged during the Protectorate; several stone figures of saints were removed from the niches which now hold wooden details of the Coat of Arms of King Charles II.
The font is believed to date from the earliest building on the site.
Unfortunately for some reason the chancel doors were locked preventing access to view the north and south chancel windows. Sadly, despite this the Hawley Brass was covered by a carpet so could not even be viewed from afar. The brass is perhaps the largest and finest of all Devon brasses so this was a great pity, although there is a rubbing of the brass displayed in the nave and a nice photo in the church guide. John Hawley died in 1408 and is commemorated with his two wives Joanna (d. 1394) and Alicia (d. 1403).
Here is a view of the chancel obtained through the Rood screen. The altar is embellished with images of the four evangelists
At the west end of the nave is a large gallery, which once housed the organ.
On each side of the gallery are two large rose windows which are the only two windows still having their original stonework. The eastern window commemorates the Newman family, that on the left Arthur Howe Holdsworth (1780-1860), Governor of Dartmouth. Both windows contain rather nice images of angels, those in the south playing a variety of musical instruments.
The timber of the magnificent south door has been carbon tested which has proved the door could have been that of the original church consecrated in 1372. The medieval ironwork was refurbished and the door re-hung in 1631. The design shows two leopards of the Plantagenets, their rear legs forming the hinges and a tree of life.
A view of the east end of this wonderful building.
The final view is from the north west, showing the height of the aisles and the windows above and below the western gallery.
An excellent guide is available in the church, from where the factual information on this page has been gleaned.
Visitors to this album since June 2003
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