About Baldhu Church
Although the old Baldhu Church has now been converted into luxury homes the churchyard adjacent to it is still open for burials and interments. Here is a brief history and description of the Baldhu Church.
The Church of St. Michael the Archangel, Baldhu. The foundation stone was laid on July 20th 1847 and Consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Exeter (Bishop Philpott) on July 20th 1848 and dedicated in honour of St. Michael the Archangel.
It consists of Chancel, Nave, South Aisle and North Transept, the whole being in the Decorated Gothic style. The arches are of Portland stone, the tracery of the windows being of the same material.
Entering at the South Porch the first object to be observed is the Font, which is Caen stone, and is raised on steps. Its shape is octagonal, and the Basin, the panels of which are ornamented by sunk quatrefoils, rests an a moulded shaft and plinth. The lofty arches dividing the Nave and Aisle. spring from moulded and filleted pillars, each shaft being a single block of nine feet high. The Capitals are richly carved in various floriated designs, in the following order from East to the Chancel pillar is decorated with the vine-leaf; the next bear severally the ivy. the oak, and the convolvulus while on that nearest the font the foliage is the lily. The open roof supported by curve-pieces rests on stone corbels, the latter being ornamented alternately with the letter F and the Rose, surmounted by an Earl's coronet: - designs borrowed from the arms of the of Earl of Falmouth. Together with the letter B, these symbols are found throughout the building. The wall plate is carved with oak leaves and acorns, in the chancel with vine leaves and grapes. The Chancel rises by five steps to the Altar. In the wall on the South side of the Chancel are two Sedilia while on the North side is a massive Bishop's chair, The corbels in the Chancel bear emblems of the Passion.
The East Window has three lights. On a diaper ground are roses and fleur-de-lis. and a trefoil border; and in the centre light is a Cross of ruby colour, and bearing the sacred letters I.H.S. At the base of the window are the words 'We praise Thee, We bless Thee, We worship Thee".
The tracery lights bear emblems of the Passion of our Lord, and the words ‘Deo Gloria in Excelsis". On the smaller panes, in subordinate designs, are vine-loaves, grapes, and ears of wheat. The other windows of the Church are of green "cathedral" glass. The corbels which support the arch of the tower transept bear sculptured heads of the Queen (Victoria) and the then Bishop of the Diocese. The pews are of Memel deal, 2½ inches thick ornamented at the ends. The pavement is tessellated, of three colours.
The Communion Plate (designed and executed by Cottingham London) is of silver gilt. The Paten has the Paschal Lamb in its centre, and around its rim the inscription “Benedicamus patrem et filium, cum spiritu sancto”. On the Chalice is the text “Calicem salutaris accipiam et Nomen Domini invocabo”. The Flagon, of ruby glass, is mounted on silver gilt. The Alms dish, presented by the Reverend H.M. White, is a very ancient piece of plate, bearing on its face the inscription (in abbreviated German) "Let the disciple abide in the peace of Jesus Christ". On the reverse is another inscription with the arms of the donor.
The exterior of the Church is of pleasing design. The kabels of the windows are terminated with ornamented devices of differing designs, no two being alike. The gables are surmounted with crosses, that on the Chancel gable being floriated; the others plain and standing on a ball. The tower terminates in a broched spire, rising to 90 feet. Attached to the North East angle of the tower is a stair-turret which is capped and loads to the belfry which is lighted by four two-light windows with geometric tracery. The Spire also has four lights which are surmounted by gables. The top most stone of the spire has in English capitals the words "God save this work”. The whole is surmounted by a Cross, The basement story of the tower forms the north transept, and opens into the Church with an arch of Portland stone resting on sculptured corbels.
Billy Bray's grave