Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

St Olave's Church, Exeter, Devon

Another surprising delight hidden in plain view, this little church is one of several that are situated in the heart of Exeter city. Originally erected as a chapel in the 11th century, it is thought to have been built for King Harold's mother, Gytha, and is dedicated to Saint Olaf, an 11th century King of Norway who was martyred in battle.

Constructed in Heavitree stone, most of the existing building is late mediaeval, when it was rebuilt in the late 14th century. A new door was made in the 15th century but was later blocked in. The carving of the crucificion was added as a memorial to those who fell during WW1.

The delightful windows in the inner door remind me of the ones in Colyford's Chapel of Ease, consisting of small squares of glass. The church was restored in 1815 and again in 1874, which is consistent with the time that Colyford's chapel was built. Services were held in the French language for the Hugenot refuges during the 17th and 18th century.

The church consists of a three bay nave with octagonal piers and a castellated tower. The north aisle was added in the 15th century.

The pulpit is situated inside the tower base, below.

A view of  the sanctuary and north aisle, below, taken from the pulpit.

A lovely little church, I really enjoyed spending some time there exploring and taking photos.

More photos can be seen in the Photo Gallery album.

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