Exeter St Petrock
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.
EXETER. St. Petrock. Originally the church [plate 104] consisted of chancel, nave, and tower, but it has been much altered at different times. In 1413 a south aisle was added, and a century later another aisle was built forming a double south aisle. The church was enlarged in 1587, and again in 1828. In 1881 the old chancel was converted into a baptistery and a new chancel built. The capitals of the pillars are carved with angels holding shields. There have been so many interments in the church, that there has not been room for tombstones for each, and in many cases several families' names are cut on the same stone. Close to the entrance door, in what was formerly the nave, is the monument of William Hooper and Maria his wife, with portrait busts, and long Latin inscriptions; she died September 25th 1658, and he on January 17th 1682. Another monument commemorates John and Faith Mayne, 1679, 1680. Over the north door is a mural tablet in memory of Jonathan and Elizabeth Ivie; this was brought from St. Kerrian's Church when it was taken down in 1873. Behind the south door is a fine piece of carving which also came from St. Kerrian's with the Ivie tablet. It represents the Resurrection of the Dead; above, there are angels blowing trumpets, and below, the dead rising from their graves; at the base are two skulls. The following story is on record of Mr. Jonathan Ivie, who was churchwarden during the years 1687, 1688. When the Prince of Orange arrived at Exeter in 1688, his chaplain, Mr. Whittle, applied to Mr. Ivie for permission to preach at St. Kerrian's, but was refused. The parish clerk, who had the keys, let the chaplain in, "for which insubordination Mr. Ivie very rudely broke the clerk's head in several places." For this he was brought before Colonel Cutts, and on submission and acknowledgement of his fault, was dismissed with a sharp reprimand. An entry in the register states that Mr. Whittle "preached here from viii Isaiah, v. 12-13, on the 18th November, 1688, ten days after the Prince arrived in this city."
In a glass case, in the baptistery, are preserved the old chained books which were purchased in the 16th century.
The name of the first rector, for whom I can find a date, is David Lawelyn, 1318, and before him Walter de Lewtrenchard, without any date.
The registers date: baptisms, 1539; marriages, 1538; burials, 1539.