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.
PAYHEMBURY. St. Mary. The church consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch, and west tower with six bells. The nave is divided from the aisle by four arches, the capitals of the piers being carved with fruit, leaves, and coats of arms. The screen [plate 180] of ten bays, extends across the chancel and aisle, and retains its groining, cornice, cresting and doors; the whole screen has been restored. The rood doorway and staircase are in the north wall, and the chancel arch is pierced. There are some good bosses in the chancel carved with emblems of the Passion, the thistle, rose, etc. The pulpit is old and retains its sounding board. There is a piscina in the north chapel, and a holy water stoup at the south door. Near the rood staircase doorway, in the north wall, is the statue of the Blessed Virgin and Child under a carved stone canopy; the canopy is old but the image is modern. Over the south door are the arms of George II [r. 1727-1760]. The font is old with a modern cover. The chancel roof is very fine, the corbels are adorned with figures of angels holding instruments of music and censers. The church well repays the care bestowed upon it; it has been restored at a cost of £7,000.
The registers date: baptisms, 1559; marriages, 1593; burials, 1678.