History of Heanton Church

Entrance by the South Porch:

The south doorway is the first feature that one sees and possibly the oldest, being part of an earlier building of late Norman date. 


The Font:

At the foot of the pillar opposite the south door stands the font, which also came from an earlier building, but bears no indication of its date. Its unsymmetrical external shape suggests it once stood against a wall either of this church or in the earlier building. 


Music in the church:

Before the introduction of an harmonium in 1868, worship was lead by a choir of about twelve boys and girls with an adult leader, accompanied by a small band of a fiddle, clarinet and trombone. The band sat in the gallery at the west end of the church, concealed by curtains until the hymn was announced. 

In 1954 the harmonium was replaced by the present organ, installed in memory of rector Rev. Arthur Desmond Shaw. 
Additional to the organ now, a group of instruments are used including a keyboard, guitars, cello, flute, recorders and percussion. 

The Tower:

Heanton has six bells, cast in 1829 in bideford. The treble was recast in 1891. 
A chair now at the reading desk was made from old beams when the bells were rehung in 1908. 
All the bells were retuned and rehung in 1971. 
At the time that the screen was moved in 2000, a floor was built in the tower to enable the bellringers to ring from a platform, as they had done up to the end of the 19th century. 

Jacobean panel:

Probably one of the oldest pieces of wood in the church. Until the recent alterations it was on the south wall and formed part of the pulpit. Now the pulpit has been made smaller, the panel was too big to be part of it and so has been mounted on the wall of the tower.