late January news & Events

ST MARY’S CHURCH, TOTNES main entrance doors

Cleaning and Conservation, December 2014
stjohnsdoors01 stjohnsdoors06 stjohnsdoors05 stjohnsdoors04 stjohnsdoors03 stjohnsdoors02
• click the images to enlarge, or view them all at once in a new gallery
The main entrance doors to St Mary’s Church, Totnes have now been cleaned and minor repairs carried out; they were then treated with a wax finish and polished.
The work was carried out by Cameron Stewart of Hugh Harrison Conservation (, based in North Devon. Hugh had surveyed the doors earlier in the year and declared them to be of major significance and most likely to be the original doors fitted to the church when it was built in around 1456, during the reign of King Henry the Sixth.
The upper half of the doors, although thought to be original, have been damaged by what looks like worm but in Hugh’s opinion is shot of some type. Further work would be needed to extract what appears to be bits of metal from these holes. A repair of one section has been carried out at some stage by inserting a new carved section and it was noted how well it had been stained.
The lower half of the doors had been repaired sometime around the 16th century. The reason for this repair is unknown.
Cameron, whilst carrying out cleaning, noted that on the edge of the right-hand side, as you enter the church, there was damage which in his opinion indicated that at some time there could have been an attempted break-in using a jemmy or crow bar.
The doors were cleaned as part of a major cleaning and refurbishment of the porch and entrance to the church by the Fabric Committee, with the intention of making it more pleasant and welcoming both to the congregation and to all of our many visitors.
The work on the doors was supported in part by a grant received from the Totnes Town Council, an anonymous contribution from a frequent worshipper and a donation from the Friends of St Mary’s. We are also hoping to receive some help from the Devon Churches Historic Trust.
Martin Harvey, churchwarden
• photographs by Martin Harvey
• more about Friends of St Mary’s here


stvalentineNEW: Saturday 14th February at 11am
St Mary’s Church, Totnes
Coffee Concert:
A musical celebration of love on Saint Valentine’s Day, by choristers of Exeter Cathedral past and present, preceded by coffee and cakes at 10.30 am.
• in aid of Friends of St Mary’s and the Matthew Locke Society
• painting: Saint Valentine baptizing Saint Lucilla by Jacopo Bassano (click to enlarge)

[See previous News post for several more recently-added events.]


childrenssocietyChristmas Collection for the Children’s Society
Thank you to everyone who attended the Christingle Service at St John’s on Christmas Eve and the Family Service at St Mary’s on Christmas Morning. The collections there raised £426.41, which has been sent to the Children’s Society.


1 thought on “late January news & Events

  1. Pingback: this weekend’s events | St Mary's & St John's Churches, Totnes

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