A slideshow of photographs taken at Holy Trinity Church, Torbryan, in 2015 –


[Best viewed using the 720p/1080p HD setting]

The Church:

Holy Trinity in Torbryan is a 15th century church in the Perpendicular Gothic style and is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. It was designated as a world heritage site in 1955 and is now a redundant church in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. Holy Trinity was built in 1470 AD on the site of an earlier church.

The Inn:

The Church House Inn, opposite the church, dates from the 13th century although a fireplace in the oldest part of the building is 8th or 9th century. The building predates the 15th century church but has evidently been used as a ‘church house’ and possibly for the earlier church.

Medieval churches brewed ale for consumption at church festivals thereby providing additional funds for the parish. Originally, this took place in the nave which served as a church hall. The introduction of pews in the later medieval period together with a need to dissociate revelrous behaviour from the solemnity of church practice, led to the use of outbuildings for such festivities. Often small or temporary structures, these later developed into “church houses”. In puritan times, churches were no longer able to be involved in such revelry or derive income thereof and the church houses were converted for other purposes or rented out as alehouses.


The photographs were taken in February 2015 during a walk around Torbryan and neighbouring Ipplepen. The two villages are situated about halfway between the towns of Newton Abbot and Totnes (South Devon) and a short distance from the road that connects those towns. They are also only 5 miles from my house as the crow flies. During my visit, an area of the north aisle in front of the rood screen was protected by sensors that triggered an alarm if visitors crossed a taped line on the floor. Later, when researching the church, I learned from a BBC South West news story that two of the medieval, painted panels had been hacked out of the screen by thieves in 2013. I was therefore relieved, several months after my visit, to see a BBC TV news item explaining that the Metropolitan Police had recovered the panels from an online sale and arrested the dealer. The panels, depicting St Victor of Marseilles and St Margaret of Antioch, were fully restored and re-installed in the screen in 2016.

More photos, including those taken at St Andrew’s in Ipplepen, can be seen in the complete, original set and viewed in higher resolution as a Flickr Album.

All photographs are by W. Conway. All rights are reserved.
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The music is a piece taken from a live demonstration of the MIDI-enabled guitar that I built from scratch in 1999. The excerpt from Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor was arranged for guitar and performed by my good friend, David Spector. I provided only some minimal technical support. Dave played it as a solo piece, sustaining each chord while playing the melody over it.

The hex output from the guitar was processed by a Yamaha G50 guitar interface and the resultant MIDI signal sent to a Roland JP-8080 synthesizer.


1. Holy Trinity Church
2. Church House Inn
3. Theft of panels, Guardian report