The information below is taken from Devon County Council Website. UPTON PYNE
is a small unspoilt village of thatched and whitewashed cottages, on the N. slope of the wooded clump of Pynes Hill. The churchyard looks N. to the hills of Raddon, Cadbury, and Christ Cross, over a placid countryside of the fertile Red Sandstones. At any time of the year this is one of the most satisfying views in all Devon. This piece of country between Pynes Hill and Raddon must have been open in the Bronze Age, as four bar- rows of that period are found in it, three near Stevens tone farm and one at No Man's Cross.
The manor came to the Pynes in the time of Henry I. They held it for ten generations, followed by the Larders for five. Early in the 18th century the heiress of Stafford of Pynes married her neighbour Sir Henry Northcote, 5th bart., and took the manor to him. The Northcotes still live here. Sir Henry probably built the present Pynes, a typical Queen Anne house, enlarged in 1851 without spoiling its formal beauty.
Cowley is a hamlet of Upton Pyne, chiefly notable for a fine bridge of classical design, built over the Creedy in 1813-14 by James Green, pupil of Rennie and surveyor to the county of Devon. Although so recent in date, the bridge has been scheduled as an ancient monument. Cowley church was built in 1866, and is decent.Upton Pyne church (St. Mary)
is singularly attractive externally. It is built of the local volcanic stone, and has a particularly beautiful tower, with figures of the four evangelists at its corners and that of Christ in Benediction on its W. face. The chancel has some early 14th century work; the W. tower and S. aisle were probably added about 1400, the N. aisle in 1833. The altar-piece is a painting of the Last Supper by an unknown hand, brought from Italy by one of the Northcotes about 1710. There is an altar-tomb to Humphrey Larder (d. 1588), another with a recumbent effigy of Edmund Larder (d. 1521), and several monuments to the Northcotes of Pynes, later Earls of Iddesleigh.
Dr. John Walker, author of The Sufferings of the Clergy, was rector here 1720-47, and is buried on the N. side of the churchyard.