Some Old Devon Churches

By J. Stabb

London: Simpkin et al (1908-16)

Page 256

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.

WITHERIDGE. St. John the Baptist. The church consists of chancel, nave, north and south aisles, south porch, and west tower. There is a priest's doorway in the chancel, and the rood doorway and staircase remain, but the screen is gone. There is a squint through the staircase as at Lydford. The roofs of the nave and north aisle are old, that of the south aisle is modern. One of the capitals near the south door has a grotesque carving of two animals fighting over a goose, one having hold of the neck and the other of a wing, and each trying to get possession of the bird. There is a good font of the same style and date as that at Chittlehampton. There is a very fine carved stone pulpit [plate 256] of pre-Reformation date [i.e., before ca. 1550], and said by Dr. Oliver to have been removed to Witheridge from Exeter Cathedral for safety when there was risk of damage by the Puritan iconoclasts [17th century]. The pulpit should be compared with that at Chittlehampton.

The register dates from 1586.