Ancient Monuments

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St Loye's Chapel and cross, Rifford Road

A Scheduled Monument in Priory, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7176 / 50°43'3"N

Longitude: -3.4945 / 3°29'40"W

OS Eastings: 294591.315688

OS Northings: 91945.806313

OS Grid: SX945919

Mapcode National: GBR P1.W9SW

Mapcode Global: FRA 37K5.Y4D

Entry Name: St Loye's Chapel and cross, Rifford Road

Scheduled Date: 10 November 1950

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003868

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 85

County: Devon

Electoral Ward/Division: Priory

Built-Up Area: Exeter

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Heavitree St Michael and All Angels

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Medieval chapel and standing cross called St Loye’s Chapel and Cross.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 22 October 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument which falls into two areas includes a medieval chapel and nearby standing cross situated between Lethbridge Road, Rifford Road and Hurst Avenue. The chapel survives as a rectangular building measuring approximately 15m long by 5m wide internally. The two gable ends and one long side survive to almost full original height, both gable walls have windows and there are three lancet windows on the long wall. The remaining wall survives as a buried feature. The chapel was built by Henry Twill in 1377 and was dedicated to St Loye the patron saint of metal workers. 22m east from the chapel is the standing cross, which measures up to 1.8m high and survives as a socket stone, square at the base and octagonal above into which a slightly tapering rectangular base cross shaft has been inserted. The shaft is chamfered so becomes octagonal. The arms are straight and the head tapers outwards slightly. On each face between the arms is a round headed niche. The cross originally stood at the east end of the chapel, was moved into the grounds of St Loye’s House, and was eventually returned to its present location near the chapel. Both structures are monumentalised and protected by a cobbled area defined by metal railings. The chapel is listed Grade II.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A medieval chapel is a building, usually rectangular, containing a range of furnishings and fittings appropriate for Christian worship in the pre- Reformation period. Chapels were designed for congregational worship and were generally divided into two main parts: the nave, which provided accommodation for the laity, and the chancel, which was the main domain of the priest and contained the principal altar. Around 4000 parochial chapels were built between the 12th and 17th centuries as subsidiary places of worship built for the convenience of parishioners who lived at a distance from the main parish church. The majority of chapels were abandoned as their communities and supporting finances declined or disappeared. Chapels have always been major features of the landscape. They provide important information about the nature and date of their use up to their abandonment.

A standing cross is a free standing upright structure, usually of stone, mostly erected during the medieval period (mid 10th to mid 16th centuries AD). Standing crosses were used within settlements as places for preaching, public proclamation and penance, as well as defining rights of sanctuary. Standing crosses were also employed to mark boundaries between parishes, property, or settlements. Some crosses were linked to particular saints, whose support and protection their presence would have helped to invoke. However, their survival since the Reformation has been variable, being much affected by local conditions, attitudes and religious sentiment. In particular, many cross-heads were destroyed by iconoclasts during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Despite St Loye’s Chapel having been situated in an area previously used as an allotment and the cross having been moved from its original location, these features survive comparatively well and attest to the changing fates of religious structures during times of intense upheaval and ideological turbulence.

Source: Historic England


Masson Phillips, E, The Ancient Stone Crosses of Devon, Part 2, Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 70, (1938), p 323
PastScape Monument Nos:-448365 and 448369

Source: Historic England

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