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Cabell Chest Tomb and Structure over Tomb to South of Church of Holy Trinity

A Grade II* Listed Building in Buckfastleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 50.4853 / 50°29'6"N

Longitude: -3.7742 / 3°46'27"W

OS Eastings: 274230

OS Northings: 66552

OS Grid: SX742665

Mapcode National: GBR QG.XVHZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27ZS.3GT

Entry Name: Cabell Chest Tomb and Structure over Tomb to South of Church of Holy Trinity

Listing Date: 10 January 1951

Last Amended: 30 December 1993

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1292829

English Heritage Legacy ID: 392239

Location: Buckfastleigh, Teignbridge, Devon, TQ11

County: Devon

District: Teignbridge

Civil Parish: Buckfastleigh

Built-Up Area: Buckfastleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Buckfastleigh

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text

(North side)
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


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: SX7423066552

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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