THERE are plans to install a blue plaque at the entrance to Lewtrenchard Manor to mark the centenary of the death of the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould. 

The Rev Baring-Gould, who died aged 90 on January 2, 1924, is perhaps most famous for penning the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers.

That is just to scratch the surface of his story, though, for he was also a writer, an archaeologist and a prolific folk song collector, with songs collected from singers across Devon and Cornwall.

He was a prolific novelist too, as well as writing on travels, religous matters, historical figures and legends.

Marrying a mill girl many years yonnger than him, with whom he had many children, he remodelled his ancestral home Lewtrenchard Manor in the gothic style when he lived there as both squire and parson of St Peter’s Church next door in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The proposed aluminium blue plaque, for which listed building consent is requested from West Devon Borough Council, will be placed beside the entrance to the manor – which is now a hotel -“visible from the highway entrance, so that there is an awareness of the great man in this region without compromising the business of the property”. 

The inscription will read ‘The Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould 1834-1924. A polymath and Squareson at Lewtrenchard for over 40 years’.

The application is currently being considered by West Devon Borough Council, application number 4277/23/CLB.See page 20 for more on  Sabine Baring-Gould’s centenary year.