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.
SHEEPWASH. St. Lawrence. The church is modern, having being rebuilt; it consists of chancel and nave, south porch, and west tower with six bells. The chancel roof is ornamented in colours, and with carved figures of angels holding trumpets. There is an organ chamber and vestry on the north aide of the chancel, but at the time of my visit there was no organ. The centre panel of the altar front has a painting of St. Lawrence with his gridiron. The reredos is of carved oak with painted panels representing the Adoration of the Magi and the Shepherds. On the south side there is a double sedilia, and the three south chancel windows contain painted glass representing St. Alban, St. Petrock and St. Birinus. On the north side of the nave there is a two-light window with paintings of St. Brannock and St. Brendon, and a three-light window with St. Dunstan, St. Edward and St. Aldhelm.
The three single-light windows in the vestry and organ chambers have St. Benedict Biscop, the Venerable Bede and St. Aidan. Other windows have St. Cuthbert, St. Oswald, St. Chad, St. Swithin, St. Neot and St. Nectan as their subjects; the painting in the west window represents St. Ethelbert.
The bells were dedicated on the Feast of St. Lawrence [August 10th] 1889. There is the following inscription in the church:-
"Let Sheepwash bells right merrily be rung
The truth loud preached and Gods High praises sung."
Edward Trollope, Vicar.
John Pope Richard Brook Richard Finnamore } Churchwardens.
There is an old Norman font [plate 204]; and two marble tablets in memory of the Coham family dated 1787 and 1855.
The registers date: baptisms, 1674; marriages, 1675; burials, 1675.