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.
ILFRACOMBE. Holy Trinity. The church [plate 131] consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, north and south porches, and tower, rising from the middle of the north aisle. Most of the walls of the church have been partly rebuilt during the past 60 or 70 years; in 1864 the eastern part of the south wall was rebuilt. In 1861 the new chancel roof was erected, when it was found that the east wall was not square with the other walls, so the greater part was taken down and rebuilt. The tower is in three stages, 581/2 feet high, with modern battlement. The old pews were removed in 1857. In 1899 the carved work in the roof was restored, and dormer windows inserted in the roof. In 1905 the chancel roof was panelled with carved oak. The rood screen is gone, and the staircase was removed in 1864, when the south wall was rebuilt. The font is one of the few remaining relics of the old Norman building. When the church was restored in 1861, the font having been injured by frequent removals to different positions, was cut down to its present size, and the bowl was filled in, leaving only a shallow round basin. The carving was re-cut from the old design. The nave roof springs from curious corbels; carved wooden figures of ecclesiastics resting on stone brackets supported by grotesque animals.
The registers date from 1567.