The Church of St. Mary, Berry Pomeroy, is an attractive building rebuilt on the site of an earlier church. It was constructed by Sir Richard de Pomeroy, who died in 1496 and whose tomb is in the N.E. corner of the chancel.
The most famous of its vicars was John Prince – 1681 to 1723. During his tenure, he wrote ‘The Worthies of Devon’, his celebrated book on the long established families of Devon. There is a tablet to his memory in the chancel. John Prince was succeeded by Joseph Fox, who was vicar from 1723 – 1781. Therefore, Berry Pomeroy had only two vicars in the 100 years 1681 – 1781.
The old altar rails and altar table, now in the North aisle, are 17th Century; as are the Royal Arms of William and Mary. King William III landed at Brixham from Holland in 1688, and is thought to have held his first Parliament in ‘Parliament Cottages’ at Longcombe, less than a mile from the Church.
The capitals of the South aisle of the Church bear the names of the donors to the rebuilding, and the scroll on the West Respond has the inscription ‘Et pro benefactoribus huius operis orate’, which commemorates the benefactors of the Church and their wives.
There is a fine monument to Sir Edward Seymour, son of the Lord Protector and of his Son, Edward, and of the latter’s wife, Elizabeth Champernowne with their sons and daughters in the kneeling posture below them. The Duke of Somerset was the Lord Protector of the Realm, governing England from 1547 to 1549 during the early years of King Edward VI, who was too young to rule.
The forty-two foot long mediaeval rood screen is one of the most perfect in Devon with panels depicting the Apostles, saints and Doctors of the Church. They are believed to have been defaced during the English Civil War, circa. 1640 by Oliver Cromwell’s Roundhead Troops.