Some Old Devon Churches
By J. Stabb
London: Simpkin et al (1908-16)
Transcribed and edited by Dr Roger Peters
Full text available at
Between 1908 and 1916, John Stabb, an ecclesiologist and photographer who lived in Torquay, published three volumes of Some Old Devon Churches and one of Devon Church Antiquities. A projected second volume of the latter, regarded by Stabb himself as a complement to the former, did not materialize because of his untimely death on August 2nd 1917, aged 52. Collectively, Stabb's four volumes present descriptions of 261 Devon churches and their antiquities.
AWLISCOMBE. St. Michael and All Angels. The church consists of chancel, nave, north aisle divided from the nave by four arches, the piers having carved capitals, south transept, west tower with five bells, and south porch with two entrances. This porch has a groined stone roof, and there is a holy water stoup partly filled up. It was erected by Thomas Chard [ca. 1470-1550], the last Abbot of Ford. In the churchyard are preserved the old parish stocks. The wooden chancel is enriched with gilt bosses. The pulpit and lectern are modern. The font is old, octagonal in shape, with cover. There is a fine stone screen of five bays across the chancel arch [plate 10], with angels holding scrolls at the springing of the arches. The jambs of the doorway are enriched with carving. The south transept window is remarkably fine, the splay is decorated and has niches for images, which have been filled with modern figures of angels. The tracery is filled with modern glass, the subjects representing the Adoration of the Magi, and the Last Supper; it is in memory of Richard Marsden, of Halton Bank, Manchester, 1863.
The arch of the transept has an image niche on the east side, but there is no figure. Over the south door is an old fresco of the Royal arms, and on a plate is the following inscription:- This Royal Coat of Arms of the Stuart Period, believed to be the work of about the year 1660, was discovered at the restoration of this Church in 1887.
In the tower arch are the painted arms of George III [r. 1760-1820], with the names of the churchwardens of the time: Josh Pring and Edward Baker, and the date 1810.
In the east window are some remains of old glass, and in the aisle are monuments of the Pring family of Ivedon in the parish.
The floor of the church slopes upwards from the west to the east, it is actually a case of "walking up the aisle". The registers date from 1559.