Alain Tolhurst , Reporter
Sunday, November 13, 2011
A history buff has included St Winifred’s in Branscombe on a list of the best churches in Devon.
Todd Gray, Honorary Research Fellow at Exeter University, has compiled the list after travelling more than 8,000 miles around the county visiting its 475 churches.
He includes Branscombe’s ancient St Winifred’s in the results of his two-year study, and says its three tier pulpit is a remarkable survivor for Devon.
Dr Gray is also giving a lecture there on Devon’s most remarkable religious buildings to raise funds for Branscombe’s church at 7pm on Monday, 21 November.
He hopes the book, ‘Devon’s Fifty Best Churches’, will incite a wave of cultural tourism to the county’s places of worship, which he says are its greatest storehouses of ancient art.
Dr Gray, who is also Chairman of Friends of Devon’s Archives, President of the Devon Family History Society and former Chairman of the Devonshire Association itemises the outstanding ancient stained glass, pulpits, fonts, monuments and seating which can be found locally.
He said. “It will hopefully encourage local people and visitors to embark on cultural tourism at a time of economic restraint.
“Many of these buildings are supported by small congregations who often themselves do not appreciate how rare their holdings are.”