Cabell Chest Tomb And Structure Over Tomb To South Of Church Of Holy Trinity / Tomb Of Richard Cabell In Churchyard To South Of Holy Trinity Church / The Sepulchre

5 Dec 2004
Cabell Chest Tomb And Structure Over Tomb To South Of Church Of Holy Trinity, Church Hill, Buckfastleigh, Teignbridge, Devon
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Tomb Of Richard Cabell In Churchyard To South Of Holy Trinity Church, Church Hill, Buckfastleigh, Teignbridge, Devon
The Sepulchre, Church Hill, Buckfastleigh, Teignbridge, Devon
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This information is taken from the statutory List as it was in 2001 and may not be up to date.

SX 76 NW BUCKFASTLEIGH CHURCH HILL (North side) 1011-1/7/5 Cabell chest tomb and structure over Tomb to south 10-01-1951 of Church of Holy Trinity (Formerly Listed as: CHURCH HILL (North side) Tomb of Richard Cabell in churchyard to south of Holy Trinity Church)


Alternatively known as: THE SEPULCHRE, CHURCH HILL Chest tomb in small rectangular building. c1656, commemorating Richard and Susanna Cabell (d.1612 & 1597) and Richard, son of the above, d.1655 (Djabri). Mythology has it that the tomb is that of wicked Richard Cabell, d.1677 (Baring-Gould). Building appears to be partly Edwardian, or at least re-roofed in that period, although it is mentioned in 1879 (White). Freestone chest tomb; enclosed building cement-rendered and blocked out with a hipped slate roof. Plan: sited just S of the church porch. The building has a doorway on the S side. EXTERIOR: the building has a projecting stone plinth which functions as a seat. Chamfered granite corner posts rise from the plinth; roof with very deep coved eaves with plastered coving. Locked plank door on the S side; north side has a Victorian or Edwardian cast-iron grille with ornamental standards allowing a view of the chest tomb inside. Tomb rather damaged with a rubble chest with an oversailing chamfered freestone lid. An inscription (not legible through the grille) is carved in good Roman lettering on the chamfer with the word RICU on the edge of the lid on the S side. Historical note: local mythology, according to Baring-Gould, folklorist and novelist, reports that Cabell, of Brook Manor (West Buckfastleigh CP) died "with such an evil reputation that he was placed under a heavy stone and a sort of pent-house was built over that with iron gratings to it to prevent his coming up and haunting the neighbourhood. When he died....fiends and black dogs breathing fire raced over Dartmoor and surrounded Brooke, howling" . The story is supposed to have been one which inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write The Hound of the Baskervilles. By 1932 the building was known locally as 'The Sepulchre' and Cabell was reputed to gnaw the fingers of anyone who ventured to insert them in the keyhole (Nesbitt). Susan Cabell Djabri has written a monograph debunking the myth and suggesting ways in which it might have developed. She argues that the 3rd Richard Cabell, who erected Brook Manor, erected this tomb for his father and grandparents. There used to be a weathervane, dated 1656, on top of the building over the tomb. This mausoleum is one of the two earliest mausolea in England, the other being at Maulden in Bedfordshire.

SOURCES: [1] (Djabri S: The Story of the Sepulchre: London (private):1960-; [2] Methuen's Little Guides: Baring-Gould S: Devonshire: London: 1907-). [3] Colvin, H. Architecture in the After Life, pp.312-3.

Listing NGR: SX7423266554


This is part of the Series: IOE01/0746 IOE Records taken by Christopher Fransella; within the Collection: IOE01 Images Of England


© Mr Christopher Fransella. Source: Historic England Archive

This photograph was taken for the Images of England project

People & Organisations

Photographer: Fransella, Christopher

Rights Holder: Fransella, Christopher


Cast Iron, Cement, Granite, Render, Slate, Stone, Stuart Chest Tomb, Religious Ritual And Funerary, Tomb, Funerary Site, Building, Unassigned