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Cullumpton
St. Andrew's Church


The present church is a fine perpendicular building erected around 1430, with the Lane Aisle and imposing tower being added the following century. However, popular tradition has a place of worship founded in the town by St. Columb way back in the 6th century.

Cullumpton is famous for its rood-screen: without doubt the best to be seen anywhere in the country. A wonderful splash of colour, the red, green & blue fan vaulting supports a highly intricate cornice of golden vine-leaf carving. The screen has spanned eleven bays right the way across the nave and side aisles for more than five hundred years. The unique, and grotesque, 'Golgotha' which once stood on top, to support the rood cross, is displayed in the south aisle.

Look up at the 15th century wagon roof for still more colour. This beautiful bright blue ceiling consists of some one hundred and forty-four panels, each braced by the saltire of the church's patron saint. The detailed carving is quite breath taking. Also note the good stone carved column capitals. The King may represent Henry IV. There were once huge colourful wall paintings of St. Christopher and St. Michael to compliment screen and roof but, though uncovered in the 18th century, these have since been lost.

The southern 'Lane Aisle' is spectacularly fan-vaulted in stone. An interesting contrast to the wooden screen. It was erected in 1526 to house the remains of a wealthy cloth-merchant, John Lane, whose tomb slab lies at the east end. The delightful little figures on the aisle piers are well worth close examination.

The whole chapel is covered in symbols of Lane's trade - shears, ships and the like - though the external features are less well preserved than at nearby Tiverton. A later feature, not to be missed, is the large 17th century minstrels' gallery.

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