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.
SOUTH BRENT. St. Petrock. The church [plate 208a] consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, north and south transepts, south porch, and west tower with six bells; in some ancient documents the dedication is assigned to St. Patrick.
It is mostly Decorated and Perpendicular, but the western end and tower are Norman and Early English. The present tower was originally the central tower of a cruciform church on the same site; on the south side, next to the porch, there still remains what was the transept of the cross church; this is now used as a vestry.
The rood screen was removed about 40 years since [ca. 1870]. The following description of it is given in the Exeter Diocesan Society's Transanctions, Vol. 3, p. 154:- "It is of five bays in the nave and three in each aisle, there is a peculiarity in its tracery which contains within it crockets, and a finial. The screen has been patched with portions of the old carving inserted without any attempt at arrangement."
At the restoration of the church the screen was removed, the framework was stored for some years in the vicarage, then in a stable loft, where possibly it still remains; all that is left of the carving consists of a short length over the altar. The rood staircase, carried up in a turret on the south side of the church, remains. There is a priest's door in the south chancel aisle.
The font [plate 208b], made of red sandstone, is Transitional Norman in design, with a circular bowl with cable moulding, supported on a shaft with a base of two rolls, standing on a plinth.
The building was reconciled by Bishop Lacy after the murder of the vicar in the church about 1436; at the same time he dedicated three altars.
The registers date from 1677.