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.
BISHOP'S TAWTON. St. John the Baptist. The church is Perpendicular, and consists of a chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch, and on the north side a tower surmounted by a spire containing six bells, dating from 1803 to 1852. The spire is much disfigured by the flue of the heating apparatus. I suppose, for a modern congregation, some plan for heating the church is necessary, but it seems a pity some means cannot be found for getting rid of the smoke without spoiling the outward appearance of the building. The rood screen has been removed, but a portion has been used as a screen for the north chancel aisle [plate 19], which is now used as an organ chamber. It consists of three bays with arcaded heads and flat spandrels instead of groining, filled with carving of foliage. Between the cusping of the heads of the lower panels is carved the Rose in splendour.
Near the church are the remains of the episcopal residence of the Bishops of Exeter.
The registers date: baptisms, 1558; marriages, 1587; burials, 1587.