Some Old Devon Churches

By J. Stabb

London: Simpkin et al (1908-16)

Page 13

Transcribed and edited by Dr Roger Peters

Full text available at


Prepared by Michael Steer

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.

BAMPTON. St. Michael and All Angels. The church consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch, and embattled western tower containing six bells. The chancel is of the Decorated period and the nave of five bays of the Perpendicular. The rood screen [plate 13] dates from about 1450, it is well carved, and on the fan tracery may be seen the Bourchier badge. It retains its groining on both sides, but the paintings on the lower panels have been obliterated. The whole screen is sadly in need of restoration. In the tower is a screen which at one time formed part of the screen in St. Mary's Church, Taunton [Somerset].

Affixed to the north and south walls of the chancel are the sides and ends of two or more tombs of grey marble, they are richly ornamented with traceried panels, with shields in the centre, but the brasses are gone. Dr. Oliver has the following account of these tombs:- "How such elaborate work came to be placed there not a little perplexed me, but the Venerable Bartholomew Davey, the vicar, resolved my perplexity by informing me that it belonged to two monuments of considerable antiquity which stood in the chancel, and that on their removal about forty years ago the sides were placed to line the walls. That they covered the remains of Sir John Bourchier, Knt., Lord Fitzwarren, created Earl of Bath, July 9th 1536, and of his father, is certain. The will of the former bearing date 20th October 1535, and proved 11th June 1541, expressly directs his body to be buried in the parish church of Bampton, Devon, in the church where his father was buried, with his picture, arms, and cognizance, and the day and year engraven and fixed on the same tomb within a year after his decease. One of the skeletons was described to me as being of gigantic proportions." The father of Sir John Bourchier was Fulk Bourchier, Lord Fitzwarren, he was the son of William Bourchier and Thomasine Hankford. Dugdale, quoting the will of Fulk Bourchier, shows that his father, William Bourchier, and his mother, Thomasine Hankford, are also buried at Bampton, as he bequeathed his body to be buried at Bampton near the grave of his mother, Lady Thomasine, and he willed that marble stones with inscriptions should be placed on his own grave and that of his father, Lord William, and his mother, Lady Thomasine.

The registers date from 1653, but are very imperfect.