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.
CALVERLEIGH. St. Mary. The church, erected in the Perpendicular style, consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, south porch, and west tower with four bells, the first and fourth dated 1672 and 1790. The chancel, as we learn by an inscription (see Oliver's Ecclestiastical Antiquities, Vol. 1, p. 99), was "scaled, plastered, painted, and paved by Edward Serridge, Parson of Calverleigh, 1662."
There are screens to the chancel and south aisle of square-headed type and Perpendicular character with no carving. The lights are long and the transom rail low. The tracery is very plain [plate 50]. For many years over the chancel screen there was suspended a beam with two rows of vine leaf enrichment and cresting, from its character possibly the remains of an earlier screen, as it seemed quite out of keeping with the screen beneath. The beam has now been removed to the lower arch.
The south or Southcott aisle contains monuments of the Southcott family, and was built between 1337 and 1349, according to some authorities, but early in the 16th century according to others. At the east end of this aisle is a monument surmounted by one female and two female busts, and a kneeling female effigy with inscription to George Southcott, died 1589, Thomas Southcott, 1621, and Mary his wife, 1603, and Mary (Southcott) wife of George Colman, of Tiverton, died March 13th 1636. In a window in the aisle is some stained glass of the 14th century, which came from the Church of St. Tremen in Brittany.
The first vicar mentioned is Richard Snape, August 12th 1338.
The registers date from 1679.