Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

St Michael's Church, Shute, Devon

Situated just along the lane next to the imposing Gatehouse of Shute Barton Manor, this delightful 13th century church still serves the small village in which it sits.

On the possible site of an earlier Saxon church, St Michael's was originally built as a chapel, and was recorded in 1205 as ecclesia de Colinton et Cappella de Schieta. It was in that year that the men of Devon paid King John 5000 marks to have the county deforested. The Manor of Shute was created, and a manor house and the church subsequently built by Lucas de la Shute. A cruciform building with an Early English centre tower was built, using dressed flint, with mainly exterior features of the perpendicular style. The South Transept was widened during the 15th century, with the addition of a Lady Chapel on the north side of the chancel with an arcade replacing the wall.


The heraldic window in the North Chapel (above) is 17th century. The decoration on the 15th century stone capitals (below) consists of 'Devonshire' foliage.

In the North Chapel (previously the Lady Chapel), below, is this rather imposing statue of Sir William Pole in his role of Master of the Queens Arms. The Pole family was given the lease to Shute Barton Manor after the erstwhile owners, the Grey family, fell from favour due to their failed attempt to install Lady Jane Grey on the English throne. The Poles later bought the property, made changes to the Manor House, built Shute House, and still had the right to live at Shute Barton until recent years when it was sold to the National Trust.

The font (above) is the original 15th century, although it may have been redressed.

This was one of those amazing days when I had a great time exploring several places. I don't drive so I caught a bus to Shute, where I was dropped off outside the Tudor Gatehouse to Shute Manor and walked the estate taking photos of the Manor, Shute House, the stables and East Lodge as well as the Gatehouse. Then here at the church, after which I sat in the porch and had some of a flask of coffee and a few biccies, then walked into Seaton Junction where I took photos of the old station house. After that, down into the village of Whitford, where I discovered that I was too early for the next bus so I walked to the next village, Musbury, taking photos of the Toll House and Musbury Chapel on the way. Fantastic day!

Many more photos can be seen in the Photo Gallery album.

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