«SOME OLD DEVON CHURCHES» BY JOHN STABB; PREFACES AND NOTES
[AND EDITORIAL NOTES, INDEX, BIOBLIOGRAPHY, GLOSSARY & MAP]
SOME OLD DEVON CHURCHES,
THEIR ROOD SCREENS
PULPITS, FONTS, ETC.
When I began making a collection of photographs of the Old Devonshire rood screens, pulpits, fonts, etc., I searched in vain in libraries and at booksellers for any book dealing, to any large extent, solely with Devonshire churches and their content. The only book of the kind I could find was Oliver's Ecclesiastical Antiquities, but this is too ancient to be of very much use at the present time, as during recent years so many churches have been restored and altered. As far as I know there has been no work of the same description published since until now. I have made extensive research for information concerning these churches, and have myself visited all those mentioned to take photographs.
It occurred to me that there might be many others in the same position as myself who would be glad of the information I had been at some pains to obtain. If this book is found to meet a want, I hope at some future time to publish a second volume with another hundred churches.
My thanks are due to the vicars of the various churches for their permission to photograph, and to many of them for information about their churches. In only one case did I meet with a refusal, that of Mary Tavy, which accounts for its omission, as I decided only to include those I had personally visited and photographed.
All the churches mentioned have been visited from five centres, viz: Torquay, Kingsbridge, Barnstaple, Tavistock, and Exeter.
I have obtained much valuable information from the following works:
The Transactions of the Exeter Diocesan Architectural Society.
The Transactions of the Devonshire Association.
Worthy's Devonshire Parishes.
Baring-Gould's Book of the West.
Oliver's Ecclesiastical Antiquities.
Bligh Bond's Devonshire Screens and Rood Lofts.
Dom Bede Camm's Some Devonshire Screens.
Hems' Rood and other Screens.
Pugin's Chancel Screens and Rood Lofts.
Much additional information has been gathered from various articles and pamphlets, many of which are now out of print.
CLANMARINA, TORQUAY, 1908.
Exeter Cathedral: Rood Screen
[VOL. I: Frontispiece]
From early times in the Christian Church there has always been a division of some kind made between the chancel and nave of the church. The very name chancel comes to us from the cancelli or screens shutting off the sanctuary from the congregation. The idea may have been taken from the Jewish Church, where the «veil» divided the «Holy of Holies» from the «Holy Place». At first this division or barrier was simply a curtain hung between priest and people, later the curtains were replaced by screens of lattices, and later still, as the arts progressed, the screens were made of stone and wood richly carved and coloured.
The gallery over the screen was a comparatively late introduction, probably not before the 14th century. This loft was used for several purposes: altars were erected in them; "the Epistle and Gospel, certain lections, letters of communion were read from them, penitents were absolved, episcopal benedictions pronounced, and elect Abbots presented to the people from them [Rev. Mackenzie E. C. Walcott, article on «Rood-loft» in Sacred Archæology, London, 1868]." Both before and after the Reformation they were used as musicians' galleries.
The lofts were generally fitted up in the following manner: first the great Crucifix or Rood stood in the centre, sometimes there were figures of the four Evangelists, there were almost invariably statues of the Blessed Virgin and St. John on either side of the rood. The rood was generally supported by chains attached to the chancel arch; besides the crucifix there were lecterns for the Epistle and Gospel, sometimes movable, but in the case of stone screens, often forming part of the design; thirdly, there were coronels of metal, which on solemn feasts were filled with lighted tapers.
The exposition of the Blessed Sacraments was generally on the rood lofts or the altars attached to them.
The gallery front was divided into panels, sometimes filled with carving and sometimes with paintings of saints, and Scriptural subjects. The common people being unable to read, these paintings and carvings on the screens and bench-ends were used as object lessons to instruct them in the faith.
The gallery or loft was reached by means of a narrow stone staircase constructed in the thickness of the wall of the church, or in a projecting turret. The position of these staircases varied, and there seems no fixed rule where they should be placed; we find them sometimes on the north, sometimes on the south side of the building, and in a few cases on both sides; at Totnes the staircase is entered from the chancel.
There is no doubt that almost every church in Devonshire at one time possessed its rood screen and loft. In the large number of old churches that are now without a vestige of a screen, the doorway of the rood staircase remains, and where this is not visible, it will be found that the staircases are still there, though the doorways have been walled up.
The majority of the Devonshire screens were constructed of wood, and were the work of local carvers, but some of the later screens show detail of Italian character; this may be because Italian models were copied, or they may have been the work of Italians staying in England. The screens were generally coloured with a thin colour that left the grain of the wood visible.
In the Catholic Church everything is done decently and in order, even in the construction of the building every part has a symbolical meaning attached to it. In this connection Fuller's description of the meaning of the rood loft is interesting: "The rood was an image of Christ on the Cross made generally of wood, and erected in a loft for that purpose just over the passage out of the Church into the chancel, and to what spiritual mysterie was couched in this position thereof? The Church (forsooth) typified the Church militant, the chancel represents the Church triumphant, and all who would pass out of the former into the latter must go under the rood loft, that is, carry the cross and be acquainted with affliction [Thomas Fuller, History of Waltham Abbey, 1655]."
That the division between the nave and chancel might be more marked it was often the custom to carry the screen upwards, so as to fill the whole chancel arch. This tympanum was made of wood or plaster, and generally had painted on the front a representation of the Crucifixion or Last Judgment. The practice of filling the chancel arch continued after the Reformation; where rood lofts had been removed a tympanum was often constructed, and on its face were painted or hung the Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and sometimes the Royal Arms. There are only two examples of Post-Reformation tympanum remaining in Devonshire, and both are situated in the north of the county¾one at Molland, on the line between Barnstaple and Taunton, and the other at Parracombe, on the Barnstaple and Lynton line; a modern example is to be found at Littleham, near Bideford.
The Devonshire screens can be divided into three classes, viz.:¾
The earlier Pre-Reformation, the late Pre-Reformation, and the Post-Reformation. There are only a few examples remaining of the first division. They consisted of a series of lights set in a rectangular frame under a horizontal beam, and were never intended to carry groining, and would probably have had a rood beam at some little distance over or in advance of them, some of the later screens in this division were furnished with a flat coving to the westward, as at Stoke-in-Teignhead and Willand. Later Pre-Reformation: under this head come the groined screens of the usual Devonshire type, dating from early in the 15th century up to the time of the Post-Reformation: these are limited in number; as most of the old churches retained their screens we cannot expect to find many examples erected at this period. There are examples at Washfield, Cruwys Morchard, and Ermington.
As in recent years, there has been a great revival in screen erection, we might perhaps say that there is a fourth division, and call it «Modern». Two of the best examples of this division are at Paignton and Littleham (Bideford).
DEVON CHURCH ANTIQUITIES
BEING A DESCRIPTION OF MANY
OBJECTS OF INTEREST IN THE OLD
PARISH CHURCHES OF DEVONSHIRE.
When visiting the old parish churches of Devonshire in search of material for the first volume of Some Old Devon Churches, I found much of interest that was mentioned, but not illustrated, in that book.
The success which has attended its publication has encouraged me to bring out the present volume, which is intended to be complementary to the first volume of Some Old Devon Churches, giving fuller accounts of many of the subjects mentioned, and illustrations which the cost of that book rendered it impossible to include there.
A wish has been expressed for more photographs of the detail of the carving on the rood screens there illustrated; they will be found here together with illustrations of the panels and panel paintings. I have taken all the photographs myself, and I think it will be found that a very large of subjects are illustrated for the first time.
The second volume of Some Old Devon Churches, dealing with a further hundred churches, is in preparation, but necessarily it will take some time to obtain the photographs. I hope when that has been published to produce a complementary volume to that work in the form of a second volume of Devon Church Antiquities.
My thanks are due to the vicars of Cockington, Cornworthy, Cullompton, Dunsford, and Heanton Punchardon for information they have kindly supplied.
CLANMARINA, TORQUAY, May 1909.
Throwleigh: Priest's Door
[VOL. I: Frontispiece]
DEVON CHURCH ANTIQUITIES.
The old parish churches of Devon are noted for their carved oak rood screens, and a great deal of literature has been published on the subject, but as far as I know, little has been written on many other objects of interest they possess.
Various reviews have appeared in magazines and Transactions of different Societies, but this is first attempt to gather together in one volume a record of the many valuable relics of the past which we have in the old churches of Devonshire.
Scattered about up and down the county, enshrined within the wall of the ancient parish church, will be found many a valuable object of art which the piety of our forefathers led them to make, as an offering to Almighty God. Here a font, there an elaborately carved altar; in one church a beautiful pulpit, in another some wonderfully executed bench-ends, and at one time, in most of our churches, that which was their chief glory, the rood screen, which was a continual reminder of the fact that we can only enter the kingdom of heaven through the way opened to us through the Sacrifice on the Cross.
Many magnificent monuments in memory of the illustrious dead, who now lie in close proximity to the altar at which in their life they had worshipped, awaiting the resurrection from the dead.
Though the Devonshire fonts are not perhaps so elaborately carved as those of other counties, excellent examples will be met of the styles peculiar to the different periods of their production.
[VOL. I: Supplemental]
SOME OLD DEVON CHURCHES,
THEIR ROOD SCREENS
PULPITS, FONTS, ETC.
The great success which has attended the publication of Some Old Devon Churches, and the numerous requests I have received for another volume, have encouraged me to produce Vol. II., dealing with a further one hundred and seven churches in various parts of Devonshire.
In 1909 I published Vol. I of Devon Church Antiquities which contained 138 illustrations, and descriptions of the many churches mentioned in Vol. I of Some Old Devon Churches, but which the prohibitive cost prevented being illustrated in that work. I do not think it is quite understood that Devon Church Antiquities is a supplementary volume to Some Old Devon Churches, and that for a complete description, and illustration, of each church the possession of both volumes is necessary.
There is still sufficient material remaining for the production of a third volume of Some Old Devon Churches, and should the demand for the second volume be equal to that of the first, I hope at some future time to publish it, but it must necessarily be after a considerable interval; visiting and photographing over one hundred churches, and compiling information concerning them means a considerable expenditure of time and work.
My thanks are due to my sister (Mrs. Charles Martin) for her assistance and the interest she has taken in my work, and as before to the various rectors and vicars who have kindly given me permission to photograph their churches, and especially to the vicars of Buckfastleigh, Cadeleigh, Colebrooke, Doddiscombsleigh, Drewsteignton, Loxbeare, Luppit, Powderham, Shaldon, and Spreyton, for information which they have kindly supplied.
CLANMARINA, TORQUAY, 1911.
Colebrook: Parclose Screen
[VOL. II: Frontispiece]
SOME OLD DEVON CHURCHES,
THEIR ROOD SCREENS
PULPITS, FONTS, ETC.
The continued success which has attended the publication of Some Old Devon Churches justified the production of a third and final volume.
Volume I. was published in 1908 and dealt with one hundred and five churches, Volume II. was published in 1911 and described one hundred and eight buildings, the present volume deals with fifty-one churches, making an aggregate of two hundred and sixty-four churches described, and a total in the three volumes of four hundred illustrations, so I think I may claim that this is the most extensive work on the Ecclesiastical Buildings of Devonshire that has been, or is ever likely to be published.
My thanks, as before, are due to the various rectors and vicars for permission to photograph the churches, and in many cases for the information they have kindly given.
CLANMARINA, TORQUAY, 1916.
Plympton St. Mary: Representation of the Holy Trinity
[VOL. III: Frontispiece]
This «impression» is a complete transcription of the three printed volumes of John Stabb's Some Old Devon Churches (ODC), with interpolations from his one printed volume of Devon Church Antiquities (DCA); the source(s) for the description(s) of each of the 261 churches uniquely described are given in the table immediately below. These interpolations were achieved: firstly, without omitting any unique text or photographs; and secondly, without adding text, apart from a few necessary conjunctions and the occasional restructuring of sentences or paragraphs.
This transcription is described as an «impression», rather than a «new edition», for three reasons. Firstly, the absence of a discernable pattern in Stabb's structuring of paragraphs, together with his sometimes awkward grammar and punctuation, effectively precludes the straightforward preparation of a new edition. Secondly, no attempt had been made to verify the accuracy of his cited inscriptions and quotations. Accordingly, these have been transcribed verbatim, «to the last dot and comma», with just two exceptions: the abbreviation "Pish" has been changed to "P'ish" (since the latter was the accepted one for "Parish"), and each "v" in the inscription in French at Newton St. Cyres has been changed to a "u", where appropriate (e.g., from "Et qvi lovez en vn corps feminin" to "Et qui louez en un corps feminin"). And thirdly, no attempt has been to verify exhaustively the accuracy of all the proper names and dates in the body of the text. Nevertheless, where errors have been determined, these have not been flagged with sic but merely corrected discreetly (e.g., from the sculptor "Chantry" to [Sir Francis Leggatt] "Chantrey" [1781-1841]).
Aside from the inclusion here of more detailed bibliographic sources, a glossary, and a sketch map of Devon (see below), there are four additional differences between this transcription and the printed volumes. First, because almost all the railway stations and branch lines have sadly disappeared in the intervening years, I have omitted Stabb's formerly useful travel indications [e.g., "Sheepwash. St. Lawrence. (Six miles N.E. of Halwill station, L. and S.W.R.)"]. Second, Stabb used inverted commas for inscriptions, quotations, titles of books and journals, and words or phrases employed in an unusual sense: here, by contrast, inverted commas are reserved for inscriptions and quotations, italics are used for Latin or French words and for titles of books and journals, and guillemets are used for words or phrases employed in an unusual sense. Third, Stabb occasionally omitted the name of the saint to whom the church was dedicated or the date(s) from which the church registers are available; these omissions have been rectified. And fourth, because square brackets are rarely employed in Stabb's volumes, advantage has been taken to use this device as a vehicle to insert snippets of information (e.g., from "the reign of Henry III." to "the reign of Henry III [1216-1272].").
[INDEX OF CHURCHES AND PHOTOGRAPHS]
(I) Stabb, J., Some Old Devon Churches, Their Rood Screens, Pulpits, Fonts, Etc., Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent, & Co., London, Vol. I, 1908; (II) ibid., Vol. II, 1911; (III) ibid., Vol. III, 1916; and (A) Devon Church Antiquities, being a Description of Many Objects of Interest in the Old Parish Churches of Devonshire, Simpkin et al., London, Vol. I, 1909.
1-12: Abbots Bickington (III); Abbotskerswell (I); Alphington (I, A); Ashburton (I); Ashcombe (II); Ashton (I, A); Ashwater (III); Atherington (I, A); Aveton Gifford (I); Awliscombe (II); Axminster (II); Axmouth (II).
13-24: Bampton (I); Beer Ferrers (II); Berry Pomeroy (I, A); Bickington, High (II); Bickleigh (II); Bideford (I, A); Bishop's Tawton (I); Bishopsteignton (II); Blackawton (I, A); Black Torrington (III); Bondleigh (III); Bovey Tracey (I, A).
25-36: Bow (I); Bradford (III); Bradninch (1, A); Bradworthy (III); Bramford Speke (III); Branscombe (II); Bratton Colvelly (II); Braunton (I, A); Bridford (I, A); Bridgerule (III); Brixham (II); Broad Clyst (II).
37-48: Broadhembury (II); Broad Hempston (I); Brushford (I); Buckerell (II); Buckfastleigh (II); Buckland-in-the-Moor (I, II, A); Buckland Monachorum (II); Budleigh, East (I, A); Bulkworthy (III); Burlescombe (II); Burrington (I); Butterleigh (II).
49-60: Cadeleigh (II); Calverleigh (I); Chawleigh (I); Cheriton Bishop (II); Cheriton Fitzpaine (III); Chittlehampton (II); Chivelstone (I, A); Christow (II); Chudleigh (I); Chulmleigh (I, A); Churston Ferrers (II); Clawton (III)
61-72: Clyst St. Lawrence (II); Cockington (1, A); Coffinswell (II); Cofton (II); Colebrook (II); Coleridge (II); Colyton (II); Combe-in-Teignhead (I, A); Combe Martin (I, A); Cookbury (III); Cornworthy (I, A); Cotleigh (II).
73-84: Crediton (II); Cruwys Morchard (I, A); Cullompton (I, A); Culmstock (II); Dartington (I, A); Dartmouth, St. Petrock (III); Dartmouth, St. Saviour (I, A); Dean Prior (II, A); Denbury (II); Diptford (III); Dittisham (I, A); Dodbrooke (I).
85-96: Doddiscombsleigh (II); Dolton (II); Dowland (III); Down St. Mary (I, A); Drewsteignton (II); Dunchideock (I, A); Dunkeswell (II); Dunsford (II, A); East Allington (I, A); Ermington (I); Exbourne (II); Exeter, Heavitree (II).
97-108: Exeter, St. Lawrence (II); Exeter, St. Martin (II, A); Exeter, St. Mary Arches (II); Exeter, St. Mary Major (II); Exeter, St. Mary Steps (I, A); Exeter, St. Olave (II); Exeter, St. Pancras (II); Exeter, St. Petrock (II); Exminster (III); Farway (II); Feniton (II); Gidleigh (II).
109-120: Gittisham (II); Haccombe (II, A); Halberton (I, A); Harberton (I, A); Harford (III); Hartland (I, A); Heanton Punchardon (I, A); Hemyock (II); Hennock (I, A); High Hampton (III); Hittesleigh 2); Holbeton (I, A).
121-132: Holcombe Burnell (II); Holcombe Rogus (II); Hollacombe (III); Holne (I, A); Holsworthy (III); Honeychurch (III); Honiton (I); Huish, North (II); Huxham (II); Iddesleigh (III); Ilfracombe (II); Ilsington (II).
133-144: Inwardleigh (III); Ipplepen (I, A); Ivybridge (III); Kenn (I); Kentisbeare (I); Kenton (I, A); Kingsbridge (I); Kingskerswell (III); Kings Nympton (I, A); Kingsteignton (II); Lapford (I, A); Lew Trenchard (I, A).
145-156: Littleham - Bideford (I, A); Littleham - Exmouth (I); Little Hempston (I); Loddiswell (II); Loxbeare (II); Luffincott (III); Luppit (II); Lustleigh (I, A); Lydford (I, A); Malborough (I, A); Manaton (I); Mariansleigh (II).
157-168: Marldon (II); Marwood (I, A); Membury (II); Milton Damerel (III); Molland (I, A); Monkleigh (I, A); Morchard Bishop (II); Moretonhampstead (I); Mortehoe (II); Musbury (II); Netherexe (II); Newton St. Cyres (II).
169-180: Newton St. Petrock (III); North Bovey (I); Northleigh (II); North Tawton (III); Ogwell, East (I); Ogwell, West (II); Okehampton (III); Ottery St. Mary (II); Paignton (I, A); Pancraswyke (III); Parracombe (I); Payhembury (II).
181-192: Pilton (I, A); Pinhoe (I, A); Plymouth, St. Andrew (III); Plympton, St. Mary (III); Plympton, St. Maurice (I); Plymstock (I, A); Plymtree (I, A); Poltimore (II); Portlemouth (I); Powderham (II); Pyworthy (III); Rattery (I, A).
193-204: Rewe (II); Rockbeare (II); Rose Ash (II); Sampford Courtenay (II, A); Sampford Peverell (II); Sandford (II); Satterleigh (II); Shaldon, St. Nicholas (II); Shaldon, St. Peter (II); Shaugh Prior (I, A); Shebbear (III); Sheepwash (III).
205-216: Sherford (I); Shillingford (III); Slapton (I); South Brent (I, A); Southleigh (II); South Milton (I); South Pool (I, A); South Tawton (II, A); Spreyton (II, A); Staverton (I, A); St. Budeaux (III); St. John-in-the-Wilderness (II).
217-228: St. Mary Church (I, A); Stockleigh English (III); Stockleigh Pomeroy (III); Stoke Canon (II); Stoke Fleming (III); Stoke Gabriel (I); Stoke-in-Teignhead (I, A); Stokenham (I); Sutcombe (III); Swymbridge (I, A); Talaton (II); Tawstock (I, A).
229-240: Tetcott (III); Thornbury (III); Thorverton (II); Throwleigh (II, A); Thurlestone (I); Tiverton (II); Topsham (II); Torbryan (I, A); Torre, Torquay (III); Totnes (I, A); Townstall, Dartmouth (II); Trusham (II).
241-252: Uffculme (I); Ugborough (I, A); Upexe (II); Upton Helions (III); Upton Pyne (III); Warkleigh (II); Washfield (I, A); Welcombe (III); Wembworthy (III); West Alvington (I); Whimple (II); Whitchurch (I).
253-261: Widecombe-in-the-Moor (I, A); Widworthy (II); Willand (I, A); Witheridge (II); Wolborough (I, A); Woodbury (II); Woodleigh (II); Worlington East (III); Worlington West (III).
[ADDITIONAL BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION FOR STABB'S SOURCES]
Baring-Gould, S., A Book of the West - Volume 1: Devon, Methuen, London, 1899.
Baring-Gould, S., Devon (A Methuen’s Little Guide), Methuen, London, 1907.
Bishop, E., «History of Christian Altars» in Downside Review, 1889.
Bond, F. B., «Devonshire screens and rood lofts» in Trans. Devonshire Assoc., Exeter, 1902.
Bond, F. B., Devonshire screens and rood lofts, Pitman, London, 1902.
Carter, J., The Ancient Architecture of England, London, 1795 & 1807.
Camm, Bede (Dom), Some Devonshire screens and the saints represented on their panels, Ampleforth Abbey, York, 1906.
Cox, J. M., Plympton St. Mary, the priory, the church and the parish, Roughton, Plympton, 1909.
Didron, M. and Didron, A. N., Christian Iconography, or the History of Christian Art in the Middle Ages, Bell and Sons, London, 1886.
Evans, E. P., Animal Symbolism in Ecclesiastical Architecture, Henry Holt and Co., New York, 1896.
Hems, H., Rood and other screens in Devonshire churches: past and present, Society of Architects, London, 1896.
Hingeston-Randolph, F. C., The Register of John de Grandisson, Bishop of Exeter, London, 1894–1899.
Hone, W., Ancient Mysteries Described, Especially the English Mystery Plays, founded on Apocryphal New Testament Story, Extant among the Unpublished Manuscripts in the British Museum, W. Hone, London, 1823.
Jameson, A. B. M. and Eastlake, E., The History of Our Lord as exemplified in Works of Art, London, 1864-65.
King, E., Munimenta Antiqua or Observations on Antient Castles with Remarks of the Whole Progress of Architecture, 1799-1806.
Lysons, D. and Lysons, S., Magna Britannia, being a concise topographical account of the several counties of Great Britain, Volume 6: Devonshire, Caddell & Davies, London, 1822.
Mozley, T., Henry VII, Prince Arthur and Cardinal Morton. From a Group representing the Adoration of the Three Kings on the Chancel Screen of Plymtree Church, Mozley, Plymtree, 1878.
Oliver, G., Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Devon, Featherstone, Exeter, 1828.
Oliver, G., Monasticon Dioecesis Exoniensis, Handford, Exeter, 1846.
Paris, M., Matthaei Parisiensis Monachi Sancti Albini. Chronica Majora., Edited by H. R. Luard, Rolls Series, London, 1884-1889.
Paley, F. A., Baptismal Fonts, London, 1844.
Pearson, C., The Ringer's Guide to the Church Bells of Devon, Bell & Sons, London, 1888.
Polwhele, R., History of Devonshire, Volumes 1, 2, & 3, Caddell & Davies, London, 1791, 1797, & 1805.
Prince, J., Danmonii orientales illustres: or, the worthies of Devon, Farley, Exeter, 1701.
Pugin, A. W. N., A Treatise on Chancel Screens and Rood Lofts, their Antiquity, Use, and Symbolic Signification, Charles Dolman, London, 1851.
Rhys, J., «Notes on some of the early inscribed stones of Wales, Devon and Cornwall» in Archaeologia Cambrensis, 1918, pp. 181-218.
Risdon, T., The Chorographical Description or Survey of the County of Devon, Rees & Curtis, Plymouth, 1811.
Rogers, W. H. H., «The Sepulchral Effigies in the Parish Churches of South Devon» in Trans. Exeter Dioc. Architect. Soc. 2, Exeter, 1872.
Rowe, S., A Perambulation of the Antient and Royal Forest of Dartmoor, Cummin, Exeter, 1848.
Stubbs, P., Anatomie of Abuses, London, 1583.
Various authors, Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries, Volumes 10 & 11, n.d.
Walker, J., An Attempt towards Recovering an Account of the Numbers and Sufferings of the Clergy of the Church of England in the late Grand Rebellion, London, 1714.
Westcote, T., A View of Devonshire in MDCXXX: with a Pedigree of most of its Gentry, Edited by Rev. G. Oliver and P. Jones, Roberts, Exeter, 1845.
Wheatley, C., A Rational Illustration of the Book of Common Prayer, 1710.
White, J. T., The History of Torquay, Directory Office, Torquay, 1878.
Worthy, C., Devonshire Parishes or the Antiquities, Heraldry and Family History of Twenty-Eight Parishes in the Archdeaconry of Totnes, Pollard, Exeter, 1889.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advowson. — The right of nominating or presenting a clergyman to a vacant living.
Aisles. — Spaces along the sides of the nave or chancel, and separated from it by an arcade; they differ from transepts in being longer east-west than north-south.
Altar. — The holiest part of a church.
Ambulatory. — Aisle around the east end of the choir joining the choir side aisles to make a continuous passage.
Amice. — Sacerdotal vestment, in the form of a square or oblong shaped short linen cloth, used by the priest to cover the shoulders.
Apse. — Semicircular end of a choir, chancel, or chapel.
Arcade. — Series of arches supported by piers or columns.
Aumbry or Ambry. — Niche in the wall in a large church; generally used for storing various articles that are used in worship.
Baptistery. — Portion of the church where the font was stored and baptisms were performed, generally near the west door; sometimes a screen or grill separates the baptistery from the nave.
Bay. — Vertical division, usually marked by vertical shafts or supporting columns.
Bell tower. — Tower where the church bells were installed; sometimes called a campanile.
Boss. — Decorative sculpture at the intersection of two vault ribs.
Braces. — Curved or angled pieces of wood used to strengthen a roof or other timber structure.
Buttress. — Structure built against a building to strengthen it by resisting the thrust of arches, roofs and vaults; a flying buttress uses arches or half-arches to transmit the thrust to a buttress standing clear of the wall.
Capital. — Carved block separating a column or pier from the arch or lintel that it supports.
Chancel or Sanctuary. — Eastern end of a church, containing the choir and main altar; in churches with a historic floor plan, the chancel is the front part of the church from which the service is conducted, as distinct from the nave, where the congregation sits.
Chancel arch. — That separating the chancel from the nave or crossing.
Chantry. — Endowment to provide for the singing of masses for the souls of the founders or of persons named by them; and also the chapel in which these masses were performed.
Chantry chapel. — Special chapel where prayers for the dead are said.
Chapel. — A separate building, or an alcove or room with an altar in a church, set aside for worship; chapels have are usually dedicated to special use.
Chasuble. — Sacerdotal vestment, used by the priest to cover the body.
Chrisom child. — Infant that dies before reaching the age of one month.
Clerestory. — Term formerly applied to any window or traceried opening in a church (e.g., in an aisle, tower, cloister, or screen), but now restricted to uppermost story of a church where it rises above the aisle roof.
Corbel. — Projecting bracket often carved with grotesque monster heads.
Crocket. — Small decorative leafy sculpture mainly used on the outer curve of arches in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Crossing. — Central space in a church where the nave, chancel, and transepts meet.
Cruciform. — Church plan in the shape of a cross.
D, E, F, G
Decorated. — ca. 1250-1250; middle phase of Gothic architecture, characterized by elaborate window tracery and naturalistic carving.
Early English. — ca. 1185-1250; first phase of Gothic architecture dominant after Norman, characterized by the earliest pointed arches and simple lancet windows.
Font. — Receptacle which contains the holy water for baptism.
Groining. — The angular edges formed by the intersection of vaults in a ceiling.
H, I, J, K
Hagioscopes or Squints. — Openings in the walls of different parts of the church to enable worshippers, who would otherwise not be able to see the altar, to have a view of the priest at Mass.
High altar. — The main altar, usually positioned towards the east end of the choir.
Historic floor plan. — As viewed by a worshipper seated among the congregation, there are two speaker's stands on either side of the front of the church: the one on the left or gospel side is called the pulpit, and is used by clergy to read the gospel lesson and to preach the sermon; and the one on the right or epistle side generally holds a large Bible, and is used by lay readers for the Old Testament and epistle lessons. The wall that the congregation faces during worship is called the «east wall», regardless of the actual compass direction, because of the ancient practice, inherited from Judaism, of facing Jerusalem during prayers.
Jacobean period. — ca. 1603-1625.
Jamb. — A vertical element of a doorway or window frame.
Lady Chapel. — Chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Lancet. — Narrow pointed window of the Early English period
Lectern. — Reading stand on the right or epistle side of the church, used by lay persons to read scripture lessons, to lead the congregation in prayer, and to make announcements.
Leper's window. — Small window located in the chancel that would be opened during Mass to give the sacrament to sick people outside in the ambulatory.
Linhay. — A double-storeyed open-sided structure comprising a cattle or cart shelter on the ground floor with a hayloft above.
Lych gate or Lynch gate. — A covered gateway, at the entrance to a churchyard, where during a funeral a coffin could be set down until the priest arrived
Maniple. — Ornamental vestment in the form of a band, which is placed on the left arm; it is worn only during Mass.
Misericord. — Folding seat in the choir stalls, which provide relief for clergy who had to stand during long church services.
Mullions. — Vertical divisions of stone or wood between the lights of windows.
Nave. — Main body of the church west of the chancel, where the congregation gathers for worship.
Norman period. — 1066-1154.
O, P, Q
Ogee. — Recumbent S-shaped curve forming arches and gables; a hallmark of the late Decorated period
Parclose screen. — Wooden screen partitioning a section of an aisle as a chapel.
Parvise. — Room built over a church porch.
Pew. — Wooden seats or benches in the church; these only appeared at the end of the Mediæval period.
Perpendicular. — ca. 1350-1540; last phase of Gothic architecture, characterized by tracery with patterns of intersecting horizontal and vertical lines.
Pier. — Support for an arch; generally larger and heavier than a column.
Piscina. — Recess with a shallow basin or drain usually found in the south wall of the chancel; used for rinsing the sacred vessels and cloths used at Mass or Communion, on which there remain traces of consecrated wine.
Prie-Dieu — Prayer desk; a kneeler with a small shelf for books.
Pulpit. — Reading stand on the left or gospel side of the church, used by clergy to read the gospel and preach the sermon.
Quarter Days. — Church days fixed for rent payments; in the south of England these were Lady Day (March 25th, Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin), Midsummer's Day (June 24th, Feast of St John the Baptist), Michaelmas Day (September 29th, Feast of St. Michael the Archangel), and Christmas Day (December 25th, Feast of the Birth of Jesus).
Reredos. — Decorative screen behind the altar, usually highly carved.
Rib. — Projecting feature of a vault which may be either ornamental or structural, or both.
Rood. — Cross or crucifix erected at the entry to the chancel, usually flanked by the Virgin Mary and St. John; almost all medieval roods were destroyed at the Reformation.
Rood loft. — Gallery upon which the rood is supported.
Rood screen. — Screen built beneath the rood loft, separating the chancel and the nave.
Royal arms. — Arms of the monarch, usually painted on wood or canvas, which became compulsory in churches after the Reformation [ca. 1550].
Sanctuary. — Most sacred part of the church, where the high altar is placed.
Saxon period. — 802-1066.
Sedilia. — Recessed stone seats in the south wall of the chancel, used for the priest, deacon and sub-deacon at Mass.
Soffit. — The exposed underside of any overhead component of a building, such as an arch, balcony, beam, cornice, or lintel.
Spandrel. — Wedge-shaped area of wall next to the curved «shoulder» of an arch.
Splay. — Slope or bevel, especially of the sides of a door or window, by which the opening is made larger at one face of the wall than at the other, or larger at each of the faces than it is between them.
Stalls. — Divisions within the choir, where clergy sat or stood) during service.
Stoup. — Container for holy water near the west door.
Sybils. — Ancient Greek prophetesses.
Tracery. — Ornamental stone ribs in windows.
Tympanum. — Space between the lintel and arch of a doorway or opening.
Transept. — Cross-ways compartment of a church, generally used as a pair leading off the crossing at the junction of the nave and choir; usually aligned north-south.
Transom rail. - Horizontal bar across the lights of a window.
Tudor period. — 1485-1603.
U, V, W, X, Y, Z
Vault. — Stone ceiling formed like arches: a barrel vault is an arched stone tunnel; a groin vault is formed from intersecting barrel vaults (the edges or groins where the vaults meet do not have ribs or other strengthening); a rib vault is similar to a groin vault but the vault surface is supported by diagonal ribs at the intersections of the compartments; a fan vault was constructed of intersecting conical shapes, usually covered with blind tracery motifs.
Waggon. — Roof consisting of a series of rafters and arch braces set closely together to give the appearance of a wagon or vaulted roof.
Vestry. — Room where the clergy and choir dress and the vestments are kept.
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