Buckland in the Moor
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.
BUCKLAND-IN-THE-MOOR. St. Peter. The church is built on high ground, north of the village, is Early English in style, and is situated in a pretty churchyard adjoining the grounds of Buckland Court, the seat of the Bastard family.
The building consists of chancel, nave (divided from the north aisle by three arches), north transept, and embattled western tower, with five bells cast in 1760. The east window and west door are Perpendicular. In 1907 the church was restored, and the old box pews removed. The screen has also been restored [plate 42a]. Many guide books mention a carved wooden staircase to the rood loft; how this mistake arose I do not know, as there is the usual staircase built in the north wall, and I was told there never had been a staircase in the church. The screen was in great need of restoration; it is elaborately carved, the upper portion filled with Perpendicular tracery, and the lower, divided into twenty compartments, contains figures of saints. Four panels behind the reading desk containing a representation of the Adoration of the Magi. Three panels contain the Annunciation. On the door of the screen are St. Bartholomew, St. Philip, St. Andrew, and St. James the Less. On the remaining panels only two paintings were clear enough to give any idea of the subjects, these were probably St. Matthew and St. Thomas. There are also paintings on the east side of the screen which, with those of the west side, are superior in execution to most of the paintings to be found on the Devonshire screens.
In front of the altar is buried Ralph Woodley, Lord of the Manor, in 1593. The font is Norman, having a circular basin with a narrow plain band at the top, then a band of carving, with cable moulding underneath. It stands on a large circular block of stone, that looks something like another font turned upside down [plate 42b]. The church was probably erected in the 13th century, the earliest mention is in Bishop Lacey's Register (1420).
The registers date: baptisms, 1692; marriages, 1694; and burials, 1728.