Edward Ashworth

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Edward Ashworth (1814 – 1896) was an English artist and architect from Devon, England, considered to be the West Country's leading ecclesiastical architect.[1] He was elected a member of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural Society in 1847.[2]


1892 signed drawing by Edward Ashworth (1815-1892) of his childhood home Colleton Barton, Chulmleigh, Devon

He was born in 1814 at Colleton Barton, in the parish of Chulmleigh in Devon.


He left Colleton in 1822 and later moved to London where he became a pupil of the architect Charles Fowler[2] (1792-1867), born in Collumpton, Devon. During 1842-46 Ashworth travelled in New Zealand, Australia, Timor, Macau and Hong Kong during which time he kept diaries and sketchbooks.[3] Following his return to England in 1846 he set up an architectural practice in Exeter, Devon.[2] In later life he lived at Dix's Field in Exeter.[2] He rebuilt or restored many churches in Devon, including:[2][4]

Rebuilding works[edit]

  • Cullompton, Devon (1849)
  • Dulverton, Somerset (1852-5)
  • Bideford, Devon (1859)
  • Lympstone, Devon (1862)
  • St Mary's, Bideford, Devon (1862-5)
  • Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth, Devon (1863-4)
  • St Mary Major, Exeter, Devon (1865), now demolished
  • Topsham (1874)
  • Milton Combe (1878)
  • St Nicholas Church, Exeter (opposite St Nicholas Priory) (design of)[1]

Restoration works[edit]

Literary works[edit]

  • Chinese Architecture (1851), with his illustrations

Paintings and drawings[edit]

Many of his drawings and paintings are held in the collection of the Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter,[5] at the Devon and Exeter Institution and Devon Record Office.[2]

Death and burial[edit]

He died on 8 March 1896 and left a substantial estate valued at £26,814, mainly invested in Railway stocks.[2] He was buried in the newly created Higher Cemetery, Exeter, for which he had designed two lodges and one chapel. His ornate stone cross, made of pink stone, survives and was restored circa 2010.[1]


  1. ^ a b c David Cornforth. "Cemeteries and Graves". Exeter Memories. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Bury
  3. ^ Guide to the papers of Edward Ashworth (as filmed by the AJCP)
  4. ^ See also: Pevsner, Nikolaus & Cherry, Bridget, The Buildings of England: Devon, London, 2004
  5. ^ "Edward Ashworth". Devon.gov.uk. 24 June 2011. Archived from the original on 1 September 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2015.


  • Bury, Richard M.B., History of Colleton Barton, 1993