Some Old Devon Churches

By J. Stabb

London: Simpkin et al (1908-16)

Page 26

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.

BRADFORD. All Saints. The church [plate 26a] consists of chancel, with priest's door, nave, and north aisle separated from nave by five arches on granite monoliths with carved capitals. On the south side of the chancel are sedilia, very low, owing to the raising of the chancel floor, there is also a piscina with drain. On the north side is a credence; the back part of the table is an old stone with two incised crosses, the front part is of modern marble. The altar has the old stone slab with the five "consecration crosses", the slab is in an oak frame. The reredos is of carved oak with a painting of the Last Supper. There is a south porch with good Norman doorway. The tower was struck by lightning in 1550 and then retored as shown by the date on one of the stones. A two-light south window was given by the parishioners and friends of the Rev. Robert Lewis Bampfield, M.A., in loving memory of his zealous work, liberality, sympathy and courtesy as Rector of Bradford 1885-1888. The subjects are the Good Shepherd and Christ Blessing the Children.

The glass in the east window of the north aisle was given in 1871 by Mary Ann Cohan, of Compton Hartly, and W. H. B. Cohan, the present inheritor (1871) of Dunsland, to beautify God's House and record the memory of their ancestors who possessed Dunsland in the following order; then follow the names of the owners dated 1400, 1487, 1558, 1634, and 1790. There is an old gravestone at the east end of the aisle dated 1559, but the name is covered by the organ pedals. Behind the organ is a tablet to the memory of the Bickford family of Arscott, and near it a tablet with following inscription:-

In Memory of William
Bickford of Dunsland, Esq
who departed this life
the 3rd of November
Anno Dom 1659
And also of Grace Bickford
his wife who was ye sole
Daughter and heiress of
Arthur Arscott of Dunsland
Esq: who Departed this
Life January ye 9th 1686.
Esq: departed this life
The 18 of October 1662.

At the east of the aisle there is a piscina.

The lectern is in memory of Clervaux Morley Saunders, of Bovacott in this parish, who died December 28th 1905.

The litany desk is in memory of Sidney Francis Bampfield Cogan, born February 13th 1847, died March 6th 1908, and was given by his wife. The pulpit is in memory of Joseph Thomas English, 1819-1892. At the west end of the aisle there are two modern tablets in memory of the Saunders' family, and some old gravestones against the wall with dates from 1687 to 1793. Near the belfry there is an old chest; the belfry screen is modern. The font [plate 26b] is worthy of notice, instead of being square or round in shape as is usually the case, the bowl is oval, this is the only instance I know of in Devonshire of a font with an oval bowl.

The registers date from 1558.