The decision to erect a lych gate to the Parish Church as a War Memorial was taken by Feniton Parish Council in July 1919, to commemorate peace at the end of the First World War. The gate was made and erected by Harry Hems & Sons at a cost of £267, of which £65 was spent on local labour. A special service of benediction was held at the lych gate by the Rector — Rev. R. W. Pearse, in the absence of the Archdeacon of Exeter — in April 1920. As a war memorial the lych gate is owned by the Parish, but the Parish Council is responsible for its upkeep. While the gate does not name those of the parish who fell in the Great War, this was rectified in 2011 when Bill Knollman carved a plaque that is now housed inside the church.
The lych gate itself is showing signs of deterioration, and records show that repairs have been ongoing since 1950. Concerns about the state of the lych gate led to the Parish Council applying to the War Memorials Trust for a grant to fund a complete restoration. The application was successful, and a further grant from Devon Remembers, and an anonymous donation, means that Feniton Parish Council does not anticipate that it will be called upon to make a financial contribution to this project.
The approved contractor has already removed the gates so that the ironwork can be repaired in the workshops, and it is anticipated that restoration of the entire structure should be completed by the end of April.
Cllr John Withrington