Littleham - Exmouth


Some Old Devon Churches

By J. Stabb

London: Simpkin et al (1908-16)

Page 146

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.

LITTLEHAM - EXMOUTH. St. Margaret and St. Andrew. The church consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, south chantry, south porch and tower.

The chancel is the earliest part of the church, and was built about 1251, the nave and chantry were erected about 1350, but there were alterations in the 15th century. A peculiar effect is given to the nave owing to the centre line not coinciding with the centre line of the chancel, but being several feet to the south of it. There must have been an altar at one time at the east end of the aisle, as there is a hagioscope in the short piece of wall between aisle and chancel; it is so directed that a side altar might be seen from the chancel. There are some fine samples of Mediæval stained glass in the aisle, which was probably built about 1460. The nave has a good roof of hammer-beam construction. It is difficult to assign a date to the font, but it is not apparently of very early date, it is possibly Jacobean [ca. 1603-1625].

The carved oak rood screen stretches right across the church [plate 146], its date seems rather uncertain. Mr. Bligh Bond and Rev. S. Baring-Gould both state that it is early, probably about 1400, the Vicar tells me that it is late, probably after 1500. The Rev. E. Vere Freeman, in a paper read before the Exeter Diocesan Society in July 1885, says, "As to its date nothing can be said with precision, though it is apparently 15th century work." The lower panels, instead of the usual paintings of saints and Prophets, are covered with good carving. The cornice bands are deeply undercut, which gives richness of effect. The chancel portion of the screen was restored in 1883. In 1903 a new bell was added, bringing the number up to six; in 1905 a new altar was placed in the chancel, and in 1902 a lychgate was placed in the churchyard.

The registers date: baptisms, 1612; marriages, 1603; burials, 1603.