7UuQgt82.jpgI’ve been a lover of churches my whole life – I love their history and architecture and cherish the role these buildings have played and meant within the lives of our ancestors and for us today.

This blog will look at a variety of churches that generally have a special meaning to me. I’ll aim to fill the gap in providing history on these buildings that isnt readily available elsewhere online…

The primary focus here will be on Devon churches – the title for the blog being taken from the wondrous series of books by John Stabb published in the early C20. Stabb’s photographs included as part of his series are the historians dream and I’ve spent many hours lost in his volumes. However, there are many magnificent churches outside of Devon and I’ll be including some of those as well…

Some churches here have multiple pages of information, i.e. Buckfastleigh and Yealmpton. Make sure you click on link to access the parish main page for the church history before looking at the other sub-history pages!

From time to time I’ll also be dabbling in matters of Family History in the hope some lost ‘cousins’ will come forward to connect and share information!

I’ll also be adding elements of local history covering the former Three Towns of Plymouth, Devonport and [East] Stonehouse.

Please do contact me if you’re interested in any of the churches, or in anything else on this site – or have photographs/information you can share – of if you’d like to make any other comments!

You’ll find me on Twitter @goragray and this is the best way to make contact with me.

I look forward to hearing from you 🙂


  1. I found your information about the Batter Street Presbyterian Chapel very interesting. Thank you! One of my husband’s ancestors was baptised there in 1772 and a younger sibling at Ford Independent Chapel at Stokenham and Chivelstone in 1783. Their Father (Rev. William Evans) was a Minister but so far I have not been able to find any details of his ministry.


    1. Hello Eileen – thanks so much for your message about the Batter Street Presbyterian Church. I’m glad you have found it interesting. The Rev. William Evans sounds interesting. I presume he was a Presbyterian/Independent/Non-Conformist Minister? Do let me know as I’ll see if I can locate any information for you.


  2. Hello:
    My sister and I will be visiting Cornwall and Devon in April of this year.
    We are researching our family history. We are interested in Efford and Egg Buckland.
    The name we are researching is Whitleigh or Whiteley as it is now spelled.
    Do you know of any churches that might have records pertaining to these names.


    1. Hello Beverley – thanks so much for your message.
      Eggbuckland is the old Parish Church for the area which includes the “modern” Plymouth suburb of Efford. The old Parish boundaries for Eggbuckland also included much of the modern Crownhill as well as places like Crabtree (near the Marsh Mills Roundabout)…
      Do you have a particular time period of interest? I note from the FindmyPast website (which has baptism, marriage and burial records for the Plymouth area available) that there are a number of entries for Whitley/Whiteley and associated names from the 1600s to modern times in many local churches including St Andrew’s, Plymouth and the bombed Charles Church, Plymouth – but other instances of the name occur at Stoke Damerel… Does this help?


  3. Hi Graham,
    I work for the Devon Remembers Heritage Project and I’d like to get in touch with you as we’d like your permission to use one of your images as part of our research. If you could possibly email me at laura.fox@swheritage.org.uk I’d be very grateful. Thanks and best wishes, Laura Fox


  4. Hi Graham, I have recently found that my great great grandmother’s maiden name was Sarah Fouracre – I believe that she was born in Cullompton in Devon in 1844. This discovery lead me to your book on the stained glass of Fouracre and Watson – I’m not sure if there is any blood connection between Sarah and John Thomas Fouracre but having seen some of the beautiful images on line I would really like to buy a copy of your book anyway.
    I can see that it is available through the Old Plymouth Society, however I live in Ballarat in Australia and I can’t find an email address for them.
    Is there a way that I can get a copy mailed to me? Do you know if they have a contact that I could try, I can only see a mobile phone number on their website.


    1. Hello Jenny, thank you for your message regarding my Fouracre book. I do not have any remaining copies to hand, however I shall contact my friend at the Old Plymouth Society to ascertain how best it would be to get a copy to you. I hope that sounds okay? Do you have an email address I can use to get back in touch with you?

      With regards to the Fouracre family, I found it hard to ascertain exactly where the Plymouth branch of the family originates. My notes record:

      “It is not entirely clear where the family originated from but records of the name are largely clustered around east Devon and Somerset. In December 1813 one finds the first reference to this branch of the Fouracre family in Plymouth. The reference is a marriage of John Fouracre to Susanna Northy at St Andrew’s Church. The marriage banns do not hint at an occupation for John Fouracre but there is evidence that he was educated sufficiently enough to sign the marriage register and do this clearly.”

      I trust this information helps for the moment. In the meantime I shall speak to my Old Plymouth Society contact to get hold of a copy to send to you. I’m not sure of a price, etc., I think copies were selling for £10 which is, I think about $20.

      Best wishes



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