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.
DIPTFORD. St. Mary. The church [plate 82] consists of chancel and nave with continuous roof, north and south aisles, divided from nave by four arches on each side resting on granite pillars, the alternate pillars on the south side have carved capitals. There is a west tower with spire containing six bells, and south porch with sundial with the inscription:- P.W. 1694. T.K.U.
"As time and hours passeth away
So doth the life of man decay."
On the north chancel wall is a marble monument with the inscription:- Underneath lie interred the remains of Ann Taylor only daughter of Charles Taylor of Maridge Esq: and Ann his wife, whose amiable disposition and excellent endowments rendered her as much beloved and esteemed when living as she is now lamented. She exchanged this life for a better the 18th day of August 1763 aged 16 years. Underneath also lies the body of the above Charles Taylor, Esq: Deputy Remembrancer of the Court of Exchequer and one of the Benchers of the Middle Temple. He was pious and devout Christian friendly and affectionate in private life and in his public dealings of approved integrity and honour. Born Jan 15th 1692, died July 7, 1762. Also the remains of the above named Ann the religious and affectionate wife of the said Charles Taylor. She was daughter of Thomas Best of Chatham in Kent Esq: and died the 23rd of March 1784 Aged 81 years.
In front of the altar steps is the gravestone of Charles Taylor, eldest son of Charles Taylor of Maridge, and Ann his wife who died August 11th 1770, aged 44 years. The present chancel screen encloses the eastern bays of the nave and contains remains of the old screen. On the east wall of the north aisle are three brasses, two modern and one old. The ancient one bears the inscription:- Hic jacet Honor Vowell uxor
Willihelmi Vowell qui obiit
Decimo Septimo Die Julii Ao Dni
1594 & Anno Regni Reginæ
The roofs are waggon shape. The west window of the south aisle is now a single light, the old window having been blocked up. There is an old granite octagonal font, the sides of the bowl having carved arches on each face.
The registers date from 1653.