St John the Baptist, Meshaw


The Church of St John the Baptist is a member of the Little Dart Mission Community, a group of twelve local churches. The vicar is The Reverend Adrian Wells, who can be contacted via -


01884 861383


Details of service times, and the names of the churchwardens, can be found here

 Church History


The Church of St John the Baptist is a Grade-II listed building. For those that understand the jargon, the Listing for the church can be found here. Essentially then, some old bits but mostly knocked about by the Victorians. A not-untypical North Devon church.


Some interior shots of the church, dressed for Christmas, can be found here. Note the fine lancet (slender & pointed) window. Pevsner, in acerbic mood, described the church as "a lancet box with ruggedly Gothic masonry".


Another description of the church


The Church of St. John the Baptist, rebuilt in 1838, is an edifice of stone in the Early English style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch and an embattled western tower containing 4 bells: in the church is a monument to James Courtenay esq. (dated 1683), in memory of whom the tower was rebuilt in 1691: the chancel has been enlarged and a stained east window inserted as a memorial to the Rev. William Heberden Karslake, rector from 1832, and prebendary of Exeter: the west window is a memorial to Mrs. W. H Karslake: the porch was built and the bells rehung at the expense of the late Miss Preston, lady of the manor, in 1879, and the church was restored during the period 1878-84, at a cost of £742; in 1906 it was further restored and new windows placed in the nave at a cost of £200: in 1909 a new organ was added at a cost of £200: there are 150 sittings.

Courtenay monument (courtesy Wikipedia)

In the church is a mural monument with the following wording: To the memory of James Courtnay (sic) Esq.r. 2d son of John Courtnay of Molland in this county, Esq.r. who died at Meshaw House the 27th of March 1683 & was buried among his ancestors in Molland Church in ye grave of his first wife Susanna ye daughter of Henry Sandford of Ninehead Flory in ye county of Somers.t, Esq.r. His 2d wife & relict (being also relict of Lewis Rosier of Swymbridge in this county, Gent.) was Elizabeth daughter of Will. Lynn Esq.r of Southwicke in who to ye lasting memory of her Lord did this too slender monument afford, for in her judgement she could scarce approve so mean an offering for so great a love. Were it as great and lasting too as she could wish ye me(m)ory of his love should be, this marble would out live eternity.