The Churchyard

A decorated churchyard slate headstone, in memory of some of the Doleman family, 1760, is to be found against the wall of the north chancel chapel.  Next to it is a memorial to Mr. William Collins, the Puritan Minister of the Commonwealth period.   Located elsewhere in the churchyard are monuments to clothiers, bankers, land agents, lawyers and physicians, all members of eminent Modbury families.

Together with other westcountry parish churchyards, Modbury has its fair share of eighteenth and nineteenth century slate headstones.  Slate of this quality provides an ideal medium for incised carving and these stones demonstrate well the history of lettering.  The stone beside the path to the west of the tower uses an italic script which is unusual at the early date of 1716.  The layout is typical with split words and the ‘y’ of Humphery added above.  With the advent of the copper plate in the middle of the eighteenth century more and more elaborated initial letters formed the decoration at the head of the stone.

When ‘Whacky’ Davis, the wheelwright, tried to hang the gate he had made, he found it would not fit because of the granite ball on the gatepost.  Instead of altering the gate he took his hatchet and hacked a slice from the offending right-hand ball.

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