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.
MARLDON. St. John the Baptist. The church consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, separated from the nave by four fluted columns with carved capitals, south porch with groined roof, the bosses having shields of arms, holy water stoup, parvise (the door and staircase remaining), and west tower with five bells. In the south aisle are two piscinas, one to the west of the priest's door, and the other to the east, both having shelves. The floor level of the chancel must have been considerably raised, as the entrance through the priest's door is by a high step up into the chancel.
In the east window of the south aisle are some remains of old glass, bearing the arms of the Cary family. In the chancel are several old tombstones, one, with an inscription in memory of Edward Cary, bears the date 1654, another to [Humphrey] Gilbert [1539-1583], half-brother of Walter Ralegh [1552-1628], dated 1661; and a third has a partly obliterated inscription:- Hic jacet Abrahami Peter De Compto -- Septimo Die Septembris Ano Dom 1632.
The stone rood screen has been removed from the chancel, and the fragments are stored in the parvise, portions of screen work remain on the north and south sides of the chancel [plate 157]; on the south side this takes the form of a high tomb beneath a canopy; there are shields for arms, but the arms are missing. On the front and side are niches for statues, but these have been removed with the exception of two at the top, apparently figures of ecclesiastics.
Under the canopy, on the north side of the chancel is the recumbent figure of Otho Gilbert [died 1547], sadly mutilated, the arms are broken off, and the feet are damaged. The bare-headed figure, with long hair, is arrayed in armour, and there are spurs on the feet, the sword is gone but the belt round the waist remains.
The registers date: baptisms, 1602; marriages, 1598; burials, 1598.