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.
CULMSTOCK. All Saints. The church consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, baptistery built out from the north aisle, and west tower with six bells. There was at one time a very fine stone screen across the chancel, but it was removed early in the 19th century, and in now used as a reredos. The finely carved arch of the doorway of the screen is now behind the altar, and it shows what good work there must have been in the original screen [plate 76]. On the north side of the chancel is preserved a pre-Reformation altar cloth, with figures illustrating the Benedicite [the canticle "Bless ye the Lord"] worked round the border. In the wall of the south aisle is a tomb which was opened on April 17th 1903, after being built up for over 100 years. It may be that of John Prestcott, of Prestcott, founder of the church, who was buried in 1412.
The registers date: baptisms, 1645; marriages, 1646; burials, 1646.