Open a form to report problems or contribute information

1 Introduction 2 Message details 3 Upload file 4 Submitted
Page 1 of 4

Help and advice for Pyworthy - from Some Old Devon Churches (J. Stabb)

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it. We have a number of people each maintaining different sections of the web site, so it is important to submit information via a link on the relevant page otherwise it is likely to go to the wrong person and may not be acted upon.



Some Old Devon Churches

By J. Stabb

London: Simpkin et al (1908-16)

Page 191

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.

PYWORTHY. St. Swithin. The church [plate 191a] consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, separated from nave by four arches on each side, south porch, and west tower with six bells. The bells were re-hung in 1904, when a new bell was added; it bear the inscription"Te Deum Laudamus". This is one of the few old Devon churches having a clerestory, the others being North Molton, South Molton, Cullompton, Tiverton and Poltimore. On the south side of the chancel there is a piscina with drain, and a triple sedilia. The floor of the chancel has been raised several steps above the level of the nave so that the original seats of the sedilia are now level with the floor of the chancel. There is an old priest's door and by the side a window now boarded up; this should be examined from outside the church, part of the arch cuts into the side of a window over, the upper window appears to be of an earlier date than the lower. The rood staircase and doorways remain on the south side of the chancel, the last pillar of the nave having been cut away for its erection, a rather risky operation.

In the south aisle there is a piscina beneath the south-east window. The waggon roof has carved bosses, flat in design and not of much merit, the carved wall plate remains in the south aisle. There are four clerestory windows on each side, which are boarded two-thirds of the way up, if they were ever filled with glass it must have been before the erection of the present aisle roofs, which are higher than the lower parts of the windows.

In the west tower [plate 191b]is a curious feature, one which I have not come across in any other Devonshire church, the steps to the belfry instead of being in a turret are inside the tower, there is a modern doorway to give access to the stairs from the exterior of the tower. Over the south doorway there is a niche without image, inside the doorway is a holy water stoup, a hole has been bored in a bowl as if it were a piscina. The font has a massive octagonal bowl of granite resting on a thick central shaft with eight smaller shafts around it. A portion of the original base remains, the rest is modern, as are the pillars. The porch has a modern carved wall plate; there are two old bosses, one showing a pelican feeding its young, and the other, two faces side by side. On the south exterior wall of the chancel is a slate slab with skull and crossbones and the inscription: Memento mori; Near this place lyeth the body of Samuel Parsons, yeoman (of Derreton in this Parish) who was buried the 4th day of Sept Anno Dom 1791, aged 82 years and Ten Months. Also Margaret (his wife) was buried the 30th day of March Anno Dom 1798 aged 81.

1262 John le Gras 1537 John Colyns
1268 Henry de Montfort 1539 Richard Benese or Benys
1309 Master Henry occurs as Rector 1547 Nicholas Arscott
1310 Sir Henry occurs as Rector 1550 Sir Thomas Rogers
1326 Roger de Bokhurst 1565 William Moore
1347 William de Brauntone 1576 Roger Allye
1367 Sir John Flemynge 1590 Christopher Leche
1403 Richard Fraunce 1610 William Tucker
1405 Richard 1627 Thomas Blighe or Blight
1408 John Cowyk 1647 John Kelland
------- Sir James Francheyney 1661 Edward Boni
1432 Sir John Thomas 1683 Robert Beckley
1434 John Ranald 1712 John Bayley
1441 William Bontemps 1737 Thomas Morton
------- Sir John Theforde 1743 Oliver Rouse
1444 Sir John Stranglonde 1781 Thomas Kingdon
1449 William Lambstone 1808 Thomas Hockin Kingdon
1469 George Strangways 1853 George Thomas Kingdon
1474 Sir John Joce 1862 Samuel William Taggert
1479 John Dunmore 1904 Edward Andrew Donaldson
1526 Sir John Arscott  

The above list has been kindly given to me by the present rector, the Rev. E. A. Donaldson.

The registers date: baptisms, 1653; marriages, 1681; burials, 1682.