St Peter & St Paul’s Church, War Memorial Clock Restoration

Ermington, Devon

Heritage Statement and grant funding applications by Grant Elliott for the war memorial clock on the Grade 1 listed church of St Peter and St Paul, Ermington on behalf of the Parish of Ermington. The project involves the restoration of the clock face, including regilding of the Roman numerals, minute marks, outer rings and hands with English gold leaf. Additionally, the clock will be converted to an autowinding system with a pendulum regulator, to remove the need for regular manual winding and manual adjustment.







The church dates from the C13, C14 and C15 and includes some of the fabric from the earlier Norman church that stood on the site. The tower is C14 and has thin angle buttresses, with only one set off, small windows, small bell openings and battlements on a corbel table. The crooked spire, which was rebuilt in the late C19, rises from the top of the tower. The porch, nave and chancel is C14 and the north and south aisles C15. The Lady Chapel on the south transept is C15 and the north transept, now the choir vestry, is C16.

The walls of the church are made of stone rubble with freestone dressings and slate roofs. The walls all have round buttresses with set-offs. The priest’s door on the south side has a multi-cusped ogee arch. There are Perpendicular windows, including a C14 Perpendicular five light east window and a much later C19 Perpendicular west window in the tower. The rood screen is mid C17 and there are monuments to William Strashleigh and other notable Tudor characters.

There are extensive C19 fittings due to the restoration work of JD Sedding, including unceilinged wagon roofs and the initialled rainwater heads dated 1889. Much of the interior woodwork was designed and made by Voilet Pinwell and her sisters, including the remarkable huge reredos panel.

The accounts of the clockmaker’s Smith of Derby show that the war memorial clock was purchased in 1918 for the sum of £150. It takes the form of a flatbed hour striking movement with a quarter Westminster chime driving the single dial. The external dial is a backed cast iron skeleton design, 5’6” in diameter. A memorial plaque in the church shows that the clock was to given to the village by the family of Captain Rodney Gransmore, who fell at the Battle of Loos in 1915. The project aims to complete the restoration work in time to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the end of the Great War in 2018.

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