Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 30, 2021
Webpage updated: January 26, 2022




The Ancient Parish Church of Saint Maurice the Martyr is situated off Fore Street, Plympton, at the junction with George Lane.

The Ancient Parish Church of Saint Maurice the Martyr,
 at Plympton Earle, Plymouth.
From a postcard.

It was originally a chapel under the control of Plympton Priory.  Although it was at that time dedicated to Saint Maurice, this was altered to Saint Thomas of Canterbury until the time of King Henry VIII, when it reverted to its original dedication.

Built on the Perpendicular style, it consists of a chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing eight bells and a clock.  The fourth bell was re-cast in 1735, while the first three and the fifth date from 1768.  The remaining three bells were presented to the Church in about 1897 in memory of Colonel Redvers Buller.

The interior of Plympton Saint Maurice Church.
From a postcard.

The Church was restored in 1879 and the same applied to the tower in 1897.  At the same time the bells were re-cast and a new clock installed.

By 1922 the burial ground adjacent to the Church was full and a new site was required.  After much searching, a small area at Chaddlehayes, a half an acre in extent, was purchased from Admiral Buller.  It was within sight of Saint Maurice Church and close to the private Cherry Park Cemetery.  The first turf was cut by Commander S G Andrews RN, chairman of the organising committee, on Saturday September 2nd 1922.  Although the approach was by means of the narrow Cherry Tree Lane, the layout provided for a 16 feet sweep to allow for carriages to turn.   The work was to be carried out by a Mr Martin.

Two important events in the life of the Church took place on Sunday April 8th 1923.  First in the day came the consecration of a new burial ground.  A procession was formed at Saint Maurice Church, headed by the choir.  The Bishop of Plymouth was attended by the the Reverend C H Wreford, vicar of Plymstock and Rural Dean.  Also in attendance were the rector of St Maurice, the Reverend C E Seccombe, and the vicar of Saint Mary's, the Reverend J Mercer Cox.   They were followed by the mace-bearers and the Parish Council, while the parishioners brought  up the rear.  After certain formalities and the dedication, the whole procession returned to the church hall, where tea was served.

Advantage was taken of the Bishop's visit to get him to dedicate the church organ, which had just been renovated by Messrs Hele and Company at a cost of some 600.  The opportunity had been taken to remove the organ from its original position above the screen and place it further back on the eastern side of the Church, and four feet lower.

The rector conducted a short service, which was accompanied by the organist, Mr Clynick, and this was followed by the dedication.   The Church was crowded to the doors for this service.