St James church is a gem set in the heart of the delightful village of Swimbridge. It appears in the book England’s Thousand Best Churches by Simon Jenkins. Our famous Victorian rector, Parson Jack Russell, bred and gave his name to the much-loved terrier dog. The church is open every day for quiet prayer and meditation from approximately 10.00am until 4.00pm and attracts visitors world-wide due to its wealth of interesting historical items.
The church tower probably dates from the 13th century and the spire from c. 1310, while the church itself was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries. The interior contains exceptional features such as a carved Gothic rood screen described by Sir Nikolaus Pevsner as ‘glorious’. There is also an extraordinary carved wood font of the Renaissance period.
There are regular services every week. The church is also popular for weddings and baptisms. The bells are rung on special occasions such as weddings.
Swimbridge is situated between Barnstaple to the North West and South Molton to the South East. In terms of touring the county, the village is between Dartmoor to the South and Exmoor to the North