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.

TRUSHAM. St. Michael. The church [plate 240a] consists of chancel, nave, north aisle, south porch, and west tower with six bells. In the porch is preserved an old Norman font; at first sight this might lead one to suppose that the porch has been used as a baptistery, but this is not the case, the font was placed in its present position at a restoration of the church.

The church was erected in 1259, and considerably added to in 1430. The nave is separated from the aisle by three arches supported on granite monoliths. Across the chancel is a rood screen, originally erected in 1431, but restored in 1890. It consists of three bays with plain groining, cornice of grapes and leaves, and cresting, it at one time was enriched with painting on the lower panels of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Andrew, St. James, St. Simon, St. George, and St. Helen, but these have been removed.

On the south wall are tablets in memory of the Stooke family, and on the east wall of the aisle is a monument in memory of John Stooke and Mary his wife, with portraits, dated 1697. On the north side of the chancel, beneath an arch, is a painting on boards representing members of the Staplehill family of Bremell, in the Parish of Ashton. On shields are painted the arms and alliances of the family, in the middle is a desk with an open book, and the female members of the family kneel on the right side of the desk, the males on the left. The painting commemorates, amongst others, Hugh Staplehill, who died in 1583, and Thomas, his son and heir.

The registers date: baptisms, 1559; marriages, 1559; burials, 1560.