Some Old Devon Churches
By J. Stabb
London: Simpkin et al (1908-16)
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.
BICKLEIGH - TIVERTON. St. Mary. The church consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, separated from the nave by four arches, the capitals being carved with different designs, south porch, and west tower with six bells. The church is noted for its monuments of the Carew family, and churchyard as being the burial place of Bampfylde Moore Carew.
Against the east end of the wall of the south aisle is the monument [plate 17a] of Elizabeth Eriseyes with the following inscription:-
"Carew's daughter Eriseyes wife
Elizabeth that hight
Exchanged life for death to give
A sonne this world's light
To God she lived to God she died
Young yeered in virtues old
And left until it rise again
This tombe her corps to hold. Ano. Do. 1618."
On the north side of the chancel is an altar tomb of John Carew, Esq., of Bickleigh, died 1588, who married a daughter of Gilbert St. Clare of East Budleigh. Above this tomb is a mural monument with a kneeling figure of a man in half armour and trunk hose, and also the figure of a child. There is no inscription, but over the monument are the Carew arms. At the east end of the aisle is the monument [plate 17b] of Sir Henry Carew who died in 1681. He is arrayed in full plate armour, the head with long hair resting on a cushion. Above him reclines his wife arrayed in frilled headdress, tight bodice with full sleeves, and full skirt. Her head rests on her right hand and her left hand holds a book. The two daughters kneel, the one at the head and the other at the feet of their father. On the wall near the south door is the monument, with busts, of Peter Carew, died 1634, and Elizabeth (Chudley) his wife, died 1619.
There are some old bench-ends and an old font of unusual shape.
The registers date: baptisms, 1570; marriages, 1571; burials, 1569.