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.
BRADWORTHY. St. John the Baptist. The church [plate 28a] consists of chancel, with priest's door, nave, south chapel or transept, south porch with sundial, and west tower with six bells. On the south side of the chancel is a piscina [plate 28b] with drain and pointed arch, on each side there is a smaller recess probably used for the cruets. The communion rails are of the domestic baluster pattern, and the dwarf chancel screen is of the same style. In front of the communion rails are a large number of old encaustic tiles with designs of the rose, lion, pelican, etc., these tiles also extend down the chancel aisle, and are placed on the sides of the nave aisle. On the south side of the chancel is a tablet in memory of:-
Ann Daughter of Richard Nichols
Vicar of this p'sh and Susanna
his wife who Departed this
life ye 20th day of Jan 1697-6,
In the 9th yeare of her age.
"Lo reader this dumb figure doth present
A virgin young in years in age a saint
God's Book was her delight and in her hand
When living had it therefore doth so stand
And in his book of Life she hath tho dead
Her name and follows Christ with crown'd head
Stop then thy tears bedew no more her urn
the soule yts fled will gaine when Xt return
the body too (like a green herb in spring)
at that most welcome Voice Away and Sing."
Over the priest's door is a tablet in memory of Ezekiel Rose [Rouse] of Eastway, Morwenstowe, who died October 10th 1856, and of his wife. On the north wall of the chancel is a tablet in memory of members of the Langdon family. Fastened against a seat at the east end are two slate slabs in memory of members of the Walters and Cottle families. In the north wall is a deep recess with a two-light window, fitted up as a pew. Near this recess is a tablet with the inscription:-
In memory of Tho: Cholwill of Heath
in this Parish, Gent: who died ye
21st of July 1681, aged 64.
And also Mary, his wife who died
ye 13 of June 1714 aged 87.
being both interred in this church
leaving one Grandson named
Nicholas and having a tender re-
gard and dutiful respect to their
memory has caused this Monument
to be erected.
"They who lived long in Married state
lye here conjoyned by happier fate
This life is fraile and quickly spent
But Heaven's life's pure and permanent
Be sober, pious, bounteous, just
as they, with them to rise from the dust.'
Over the south door are the arms of one of the [King] Georges.
The font [plate 28c], which is probably Norman, has a square top resting on thick central shaft and four smaller shafts at the corners. The organ is at the west end of the church, rather blocking out the light from the west window. The pulpit [plate 28d] has some good carving round the base and top, the spaces are filled in with baluster rails.
The registers date: baptisms, 1596; marriages, 1558; burials, 1558.