The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History
CHURCH OF SAINT MARY THE BLESSED VIRGIN, PLYMPTON
The Ancient Parish Church of Saint Mary the Blessed Virgin is situated at the junction of the Ridgeway and Marker Road, Plympton, Plymouth.
The Ancient Parish Church of Saint Mary the Blessed
In the Beginning
Originally it was built as a chapel within the cemetery of Plympton Priory. It is claimed that the Church was dedicated on October 29th 1311. 
Built of granite in the Decorated and Perpendicular styles, it consists of a chancel, nave, aisles, transept and south porch. Roborough stone was used for the piers and arches.
The Church is 165 feet in length, 102 feet in width, and has an embattled, western tower 91 feet in height. When the pinnacles are added the total height is 111 feet. The tower contains eight bells of varying dates between 1614 and 1868, the oldest made by Mr George Purdue, a well-known bell founder of the 17th century. 
The clock was restored in 1889 with a new dial presented by Mr George Coaker of Plym Villa. In 1913 the tower was partially rebuilt. 
There is a memorial window to Edmund, the 2nd Earl of Morley, Lord of the Manor, who died on August 28th 1864. The Church also contains a tomb to Mr Richard Strode, of Newnham, who died in 1461, and a small chapel that was originally appropriated to the Guild of Saint Katherine. 
In the churchyard there is a large cross erected by public subscription to the memory of the Reverend Merton Smith MA, who was the vicar here between 1872 and 1884. 
Just over 1 acre of the lands formerly belonging to Plympton Priory was restored to the Church of Saint Mary the Blessed Virgin on Friday October 28th 1921 when the Bishop of Exeter, the Lord William Cecil, consecrated -- or perhaps re-consecrated -- its use as an addition to the churchyard. It's southern border was the old orchard belonging to the Priory. The vicar of Plympton Saint Mary at that time was the Reverend J Mercer Cox. 
The records of the parish are held at the Plymouth and West Devon Records Office, Clare Place, Coxside, Plymouth.
|© Brian Moseley, Plymouth, UK|
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