Some Old Devon Churches

By J. Stabb

London: Simpkin et al (1908-16)

Page 25

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.

BOW. St. Bartholomew. The church consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, and embattled western tower containing five bells, of which the 1st, 3rd and tenor date from 1754; the 2nd, 1764; and the 4th, 1765.

It is said to be one of three churches erected in Devonshire by Sir William de Tracey, in expiation of the murder of Thomas à Becket [1170].

The rood screen [plate 25] in the chancel differs in pattern from the north aisle screen, and both are of a type unusual in Devonshire. They have arcaded lights with pierced traceried spandrels in square framing. In the lower panels, instead of the usual paintings of the saints, there is linen-fold pattern, which is not very often met in this position. There is a good deal of ancient colouring, but the screen has suffered in its removal from its former position, and does not seem to fit its present place. It may have had a good rood loft of the same type as that at Willand, but was never groined.

The tower and nave, which are in the Decorated style, were probably built about 1370, and the north aisle, which is Perpendicular, was added about 150 years later. The chancel was rebuilt in 1862, and the windows filled with stained glass.

The registers date: baptisms, 1608; marriages, 1604; burials, 1604.