Lew Trenchard


Some Old Devon Churches

By J. Stabb

London: Simpkin et al (1908-16)

Page 144

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.

LEW TRENCHARD. St. Peter. The church was originally dedicated to St. Petrock, but, on 2nd August 1261, it was re-consecrated to St. Peter, the old early Saxon church having been rebuilt. This second church was almost wholly rebuilt in the 15th or beginning of the 16th century, but was not re-consecrated as a portion of the older church was left at the west end of the north aisle, and according to Canon law, such being the case, no new consecration was necessary. The church consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch, and embattled west tower containing five bells, of which the first and fourth date from 1812, the rest are dated respectively 1769, 1758, and 1804.

The ancient rood screen and bench-ends, dating from 1525, were removed and the church re-pewed in 1833 by the grandfather of the present vicar, the Rev. S. Baring-Gould. Enough of the carving and framework of the old screen was saved from destruction to make reconstruction possible, and the present screen [plate 144a] was erected in 1899. It is complete with groining and cornices on both sides and rood loft gallery, the panels of which are painted with scenes from the New Testament and figures of saints. There is not much doubt that when the majority of the poor could not read, not only the paintings on the rood lofts, but also the carvings on the bench-ends, of the emblems of the Passion, etc., were used for the purpose of instruction; one in the north aisle represents St. Michael weighing souls - the heads peeping out of the tops of the scales are curious [plate 144b].

The church contains numerous monuments relating to the Gould family.

The pulpit was erected in 1900, and is a fine piece of carving.

The registers date: baptisms, 1706; marriages, 1713; burials, 1713.