Some Old Devon Churches
By J. Stabb
London: Simpkin et al (1908-16)
Transcribed and edited by Dr Roger Peters
Full text available at
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.
UPTON HELIONS. St. Mary. The church [plate 244a] consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, south porch, and west tower. The aisle which is shorter than the nave is separated from the chancel by two arches, in the easternmost of which is a parclose screen. There is one arch separating the aisle from the nave, resting on the support of the chancel arch.
On the north wall of the chancel is a monument [plate 244b] with a male and female figure kneeling at a prayer desk, on the front of which is carved a death's head and hour glass. The man, whose hands are clasped in prayer, kneels on a red cushion and is arrayed in long flowing black robe; he wears a ruff and the head is bare. The woman also kneels on a red cushion, the hands clasped in prayer, and wears a black gown with ruff and long veil falling over the back. A cherub's head and wings is in the splay of the arches dividing the figures; at each side are Corinthian pillars. This monument is believed to commemorate Richard Periam and Mary his wife, through whom he acquired the Upton Helion's estate; he died in 1631 and she in 1662. The roof of the aisle has bosses carved with the rose and knot. In the west wall of the aisle is an aperture which at one time opened into the south porch, but is now filled in on the west side. The nave roof has some bosses carved with human faces. The font is old with a square basin resting on a circular shaft with four smaller shafts, not separate but forming part of the main support.
There are two square-headed windows in the nave, one with three, the other with four lights. The east window of three lights is fitted with modern painted glass. At the west end of the nave there are some old carved bench-ends, one has a lion couchant on the top rail. There is a solid oak belfry screen with crenulated top.
The registers date: baptisms, 1678; marriages, 1679; burials, 1678.