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.
CHUDLEIGH. St. Martin and St. Mary. The church consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, north transept or Hunt's aisle, and tower with six bells, all recast with additional metal in 1781 from a previous peal of five bells. The base of the tower is possibly Saxon, it is of very early date.
The church was dedicated by Bishop Bronescombe, on November 6th 1259, but there is little of the original work remaining. The south aisle was added in 1582, and the porch built at the same time. In 1843 the church was restored at a cost of £2,000, and in 1868 the advowson was sold and the roof restored from the proceeds. In earlier times the church had four side chapels - St. Martin's, Jesus, The Blessed Virgin's, and St. Christopher's.
There is a plain Perpendicular rood screen with very wide arcades [plate 57]. The groining is missing, and the spandrels are filled with carved foliage. There is a modern vine leaf cornice. The panels of the screen, of which there are 41, are filled with paintings of Apostles and Prophets, the former having inscriptions from the Apostles' Creed, and the latter texts from their respective books; all the inscriptions are in Latin. On the north side of the chancel is a monument with kneeling figures in memory of Sir Piers Courtenay, Knt., died May 20th 1522, and Elizabeth his wife. There are other memorials of the Courtenay and Clifford families.
There is a fine circular granite font on a pedestal of Ogwen limestone.
The registers date from 1558.