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.
WHIMPLE. St. Mary. The church, which consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and west tower with six bells, does not call for much remark, as, with the exception of the tower, it was rebuilt in 1845.
Though the building is not of much interest, it contains, preserved in the tower, a small portion of the ancient rood screen, consisting of 8 of the painted panels on which are the following saints:- (1) a king crowned, with orb and sceptre, with a white hart chained at his feet, Henry VI [r. 1422-61 & 1470-71]; (2) female saint with scythe in right hand, head in left, St. Sidwell; (3) pilgrim with staff and wallet attended by a dog, sword on thigh, St. Roch; (4) saint holding tower in right hand and crucifix in left, St. Barbara; (5) saint bound and pierced by 17 arrows, St. Sebastian; (6) saint in bishop's dress holding an anchor, St. Clement; (7) saint carrying a lamb, St. John the Baptist; (8) female saint with pincers in her hand grasping a tooth, St. Apollonia. In the description, hung up in the church, No. 4 is given as St. Philip, and No. 7 as St. Agnes, but the tower is the emblem of St. Barbara, and No. 7 is certainly a male figure, as traces can be seen of a beard.
The registers date from 1653.