St Nectan's Church, Hartland
|St Nectan's Church, Hartland|
|Parish Church of St Nectan|
Church of St Nectan
|Denomination||Church of England|
|Founder(s)||Gytha, Countess of Wessex|
|Other dimensions||tower height: 128 ft|
|Materials||stone and rubble|
|Parish||Hartland (Hartland Coast Team)|
|Rector||The Revd Brenda Jacobs
|Curate(s)||The Revd Kevin Beer|
The Church of St Nectan is the parish church of Hartland, Devon, England. Sometimes referred to as the "Cathedral of North Devon", it is located in the hamlet of Stoke, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of the town of Hartland. It is dedicated to Saint Nectan.
Saint Nectan was one of many Celtic hermits and missionaries associated with early Christian sites in south-west Britain, South Wales and Ireland in the fifth and sixth centuries. A well 100 metres from the church is the reputed site of his hermitage.
The history of the area is obscure, however, the first recorded building here was a collegiate church served by twelve secular canons founded ca. 1050 by Gytha, Countess of Wessex (mother of King Harold). Traditionally the church was founded in thanksgiving for the preservation of her husband's life in a storm at sea; a better tradition associates her husband Godwin, Earl of Wessex and holder of the royal manor of Harton, with the foundation.
Nothing is known of the earliest building nor whether it was rebuilt or enlarged when the collegiate church was replaced by a house of Augustinian regulars at Hartland Abbey in the twelfth century.
The current building, believed to date from 1360, replaced the earlier church on the site, of which only the font still remains and is thought to date from 1170. The 128 ft tower, rising in four stages, claimed to be the highest in Devon, has for centuries been a landmark to sailors at sea. It was built about sixty years after the rest of the church and it contains a peal of six bells, last rehung in 1952, weighing practically 3 tons. The arch of the tower, open today, once housed a musicians' gallery where the 'church orchestra' of fiddles, double bass, flute and clarinet played for services.
The magnificent rood screen (the finest in North Devon), dating from 1450, is a massive structure of eleven bays, 45 ft 6 in long, 12 ft 6 in high and 5 ft 10 in wide at the top. Earlier times saw both the organ and seating on top of the screen. Other features of great interest include the fine Norman font and the old wagon roofs. The monuments include an elaborate medieval tomb-chest, a small brass of 1610 and a metal-inlaid lid of a churchyard tomb of 1618. The church contains a set of five windows by the glass painters Caroline Townshend and Joan Howson these depict the history of the parish. A further window by Townshend & Howson is installed at St John's Chapel of Ease in Hartland Square. The main east window and the tower window are by Christopher Webb. there are at least two windows by Alfred Beer - south sanctuary and east chancel chapel - It is possible that the removed but retained glass from the south chancel chapel window is also by Beer. The whole building is fitted out with a fine if plain set of pews most dating from the 16th century. The graveyard of St. Nectan's is the burial place of Mary Norton, a children's writer, whose most famous work is The Borrowers.
List of clergy
|1543-1547||The Reverend John Husband|
|1598-1627||The Reverend Thomas Dove|
|1627-1646||The Reverend William Churton MA|
|1646-1676||The Reverend George Mountjoy BA|
|1677-1705||The Reverend William Orchard|
|1708-1726||The Reverend Robert Forster|
|1726-1739||The Reverend Canon James Harcourt DD|
|1739-1752||The Reverend Kenrick Prescot DD|
|1752-1755||The Reverend William Morris|
|1755-1796||The Reverend Francis Tutte MA|
|1796-1859||The Reverend William Chanter BA|
|1859-1865||The Reverend Thomas How Chope BA|
|Period||Vicar of Hartland|
|1865-1906||The Reverend Thomas How Chope BA|
|1907-1917||The Reverend Edgar Albert Luff MA|
|1917-1953||The Reverend Prebendary Ivon Lancelot Gregory BD |
|1953-1966||The Reverend Andrew T. H. Jones MA|
|1966-1977||The Reverend F. Harold Lockyear|
|1978-1993||The Reverend Louis M. Coulson|
|Period||Hartland Coast Team Ministry
(Minister with special responsibility for Hartland)
|1994-2001||The Reverend David J. Ford BD, Team Vicar|
|2003-2006||The Reverend Colin Hodgetts BA, Associate Minister|
|2006-2007||The Reverend Colin Hodgetts BA, Hon. Ass. Minister|
|2007-2012||The Reverend Shirley Henderson BA, Team Vicar|
|2012-2015||The Reverend Shirley Henderson BA, Team Rector|
|2016-||The Reverend Brenda Jacobs BA, Team Rector|
- 1st: 11:00 United Service alternately at St Nectan's Church and Hartland Methodist Chapel
- 2nd: 11:00 Sung Eucharist
- 3rd: 11:00 Hart Service - all-age worship
- 4th: 11:00 Sung Eucharist
- 5th: 11:00 Team Service at varying locations
Weekdays (in the Church Rooms):
- 08:00 Morning Prayer
- 10:00 Holy Communion (Wednesday)
- Warmington, B. H. (1996) Guide to the Church of St. Nectan
- Manley, T. (ed.), Hartland Times
- Pevsner, N. (1952) North Devon. Penguin Books
- Hobbs, S. J. (2004), St Nectan's: The Question of a Seat
- (2011) The Ecclesiologist
- Also a Canon of Bristol
- Assistant curate 1908–1913. Made a prebendary of Exeter in the 1940s.
- Assistant curate 1950–1954. Later made a Prebendary of Exeter in 1982.
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