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.
INWARDLEIGH. St. Petrock. The church [plate 133] consists of chancel with priest's door (on the exterior it has the inscription "R.N. 1718"), nave, north aisle, divided from nave by four arches resting on granite pillars, south porch, and west tower with five bells. There is a restored piscina on the south side of the chancel. In the east window of the aisle there are some small remains of old glass, apparently two angels, but the position of the organ prevents a near view. The font is Norman, a square top on thick circular shaft. The sides of the top are carved with representations of a lily, the Tree of Life, and a large and two small circles with suns.
In front of the chancel is a tombstone with the inscription:- Here lyeth ye Body
of Elizabeth wife
of Edward Fortescue
Gent. and Daughter
of Richard Rolle
(of Cookbeare) Gent
Who departed this life
Anno Dom 16-6.
There are some encaustic tiles on each side of the stone. There are two stones with incised crosses in the church, one at the west door and the other near the organ. In the south aisle is a stone with the inscription:- Here under neith lyeth the Body of
John Newconbe Ivner of this Parish who
Departed this life the 8th Day of February Anno Dom 17 . .
"Reader look here but with a searis eye
Reflect on death and timely learn to die
What tho in blooming years such strength we have
So ons I had tho now I am layd in grave
No art of man nor his devis could stand
To rescue me from deaths impartial hand
In full assurance I my life laid down
To reep by faith an everlasting crown
Beyond the world and now my state is blest
For I with Christ enjoy eternal rest."
Other inscriptions are as follow:-
|Here lyeth Remond Northleygh Gentleman buryed |
the fyrst day of June in the year of our Lord God
Here lyeth the body of John Newcombe of this
Parish who was buried ye 27th Day of Feberyary
Anno Dom 1719. As I am now so must you be,
prepare for death and follow me.
On the wall behind the organ is a marble tablet with the inscription:- To the Memory of the Rev. John Denis Rector of this Parish who died Aug 26 1774.
There is another tablet on the wall but the organ prevents it being seen, it is in memory of Joseph and Abraham Denis and is dated 1745.
At the west end of the aisle are the Royal arms of one of the [King] Georges painted on wood. At the west end of the nave will be found the inscription:- Here lyeth ye body of Cecilia wife of Abraham Denis of Northleigh in ye Parish of Inwardleigh Gent: and daughter of John Northleigh Gent: who departed this life ye 14 day of February Ano Dom 1692. Aetatis suæ 28. In Spe Beatæ Resurectionis.
Another inscription runs:- Here lyeth the Body of Jane Austin the wife of George Austin of the Parish of Inwardleigh who departed this life the 25th Day of August Anno Domi 1693. Aetatis suæ 76.
The roofs of the church which have been restored have carved bosses in nave and chancel. There is a modern oak altar, reredos and pulpit. The south door has a very massive dripstone and above is an empty image niche. On the left side of the churchyard path is a very old stone with incised cross, and on the right hand side of the path, the base of the old cross.
The registers date from 1699.