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.
PANCRASWYKE. St. Pancras. The church [plate 178a] consists of chancel, nave, south aisle with priest's door, north chapel (now used as a vestry), south porch, and west tower containing five bells. There is a credence on the north side of the chancel, the altar and choir stalls are of modern oak. The roof of the chancel has bosses carved with the emblems of the Passion, and there are angels with musical instruments. On the north side is an opening in the wall of the chapel reaching to the ground, it is much too large to have been a squint, and was I believe made to give access to the rood staircase from the chancel, as in the side of this opening is the doorway of the staircase, the stairs are gone but both doorways remain. Near this opening is the half of an arch of much earlier date than that of the opening. There is a Jacobean pulpit [plate 178b]. The parclose and vestry screen are modern. On the north side of the chancel is a brass plate with the inscription:- To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Elizabeth Baker, Lay Rector of this Parish. By whose loving gift this chancel was restored and beautified. 1909-1910.
The south aisle roof has carved bosses, ribs and wall plates. In the north chapel are three ledger stones, one has the inscription:- Here lieth the bodie of Elizabeth
Bond who was buryed the 21st
of May in the year of our Lord God.
Another inscription is:- Heer lieth the Bodie of Sara
Sampson who was buried the
11th day of January in the year
of our Lord God 1664.
There is an old plain octagonal font of granite with deep bowl on short shaft. The porch roof has carved ribs and bosses, and over the doorway and empty image niche.
In the churchyard is the following epitaph:-
"Impartial death cut of this branch
That lies entombed here
Before his virtuous actions could
To us in full appear
His precious fruit no sooner was espyed
But unto us the sight of him by Heaven was denyed
His life our joy procured, his death our pain
His grave to him his everlasting gain."
The registers date: baptisms, 1655; marriages, 1655; burials, 1653.