Feniton History Group held the 57 th meeting

We had a jolly good natter covering a wide range of topics.

The detail of the Patteson Display was sorted. I hope you can come to the farm on  Thursday 19th at 2:30 pm. We put the display up  on the Mon 23rd 2:30 in the church.

There is a talk on the 25th and a walk from Feniton to Alfington with a bring & share picnic on the Sunday. Katie Drew of the Melanesian Mission is the organiser. .25th Mar  160 years ago Patteson left the village for Melanesia. I have to thank Chris Saunders for his wonderful Patteson file we can use to choose from to enhance the display. I have not used his original documents, but scanned in and printed them.

The other outstanding project is the boundary stone, since the meeting we have been offered  a grant of £50.00 from Feniton Parish Council and I understand that another £50.00 has been offered by Ottery Heritage. On Thursday we can discuss the actual site for the stone.

Chris Wakefield is kindly leading a talk on the Boundary in the church on Thursday 30th Apr. 7:30 pm. The Beating of the bounds is on 10th May.

Jo Chown and  Jill Walker have been advised on how to repair the Church Cope .It would seem to date from the late 19th century. Rev.  William Hart in post 1899 to 1918  or  George Barons Northcote 1869 to 1899,  could have left it in the Church.

.Alice Eveleigh was born 1881 in Ottery St. Mary, dau. of Richard and Elizabeth Eveleigh, I have not found her death.  Her memorial label remains a mystery.

 Sadly we have not had a good response on Old house names in the village. Val's house was Mylea, Myreen, 1926  or so. The other properties in the same road all ended in "lea". Appletrees  was once Bricklands,  Skinners Cottage. The field behind Nog Inn was also  called Bricklands, sadly the deeds for this property are lost.

Movement of families, work skills and Devon's step valleys!  Also William Morris fabrics.

Next meeting in the Nog Inn is booked for 2nd April at 8 pm.

Update: The placing of the boundary stone has been confirmed by the land owner, and the order has been placed with the stonemason. Many thanks to the organisations involved for making this possible.

Feniton History Group held the 56th Meeting

We had some good discussion until about 9.30pm 
We decided not to spend any time researching the Baker's monument as it is in Whimple parish and probably the Whimple Heritage Group have information on it. (I have contacted Whimple, awaiting a reply)
We are going to try and find out a bit about Alice Eveleigh - date of death etc as David still has had no feedback from anyone regarding the plaque in the Church.
No-one replied to a request for old house names but Bill suggested we try to find the oldest houses in Feniton through the magazine - does anyone know how old their house is? I have spoken to the owner of Apple Trees, sadly he has no idea about the age of the house, he does not have any deeds.
Brenda is going to write a piece for the magazine on 'Where did John Patteson catch the coach when he left for Melanesia? - based mainly on David's notes - as the Church will be marking the 160th anniversary in March.
David asked for help needed for the Patteson display. perhaps we could chat about this and involve Geoff.  It was confirmed and welcomed that the History Group can put on a Patteson display and Katie Drew will try and get some other items
We discussed the state of roads and transport at that time. Alan said the road from Ottery to Fairmile was poor and that a coach from Sidmouth to Cullompton would have used the Gosford route.
 Brenda and David.
Many thanks to the Group for carrying on in my absence.
I will arrange a meeting at the farm to sort out the Bishop Patterson display towards the end of the month.
Next meeting 5 March in the Nog Inn.

Feniton History Group held the 55th Meeting

"Rattle the trough the pigs appear" was the tongue in cheek comment from one of our group. It was in response to so many folk joining us for our Christmas Supper of nibbles, and not a mince pie in sight!! Thank you to everyone who brought such a wide selection of food.
Lovely to  see you all and welcome to Hugh and Sharon. As usual a lively discussion took place.   
Jo and David asked as to look out for an item in the archives that might shed some light on the wonderful cope kept in the church. Sadly it is in need of repair, we don't know how it came to be in the church or what age it is. It has no labels. It was suggested that Wippells of Exeter would be the best place to take it for an expert opinion.   We must check through old parish magazines to see if it noted. 

Miss Eveleigh ? Alice's plaque in the church, perhaps it was for the  Clock once on the tower?
John Clifford her nephew is still living  and he is a friend of a family in the village, so David will ask if they can help.
Roger has found a Quarter sessions record for  Joanna Crocker: We wonder who she was. 
Joanna Crocker of Viniton London Gazette - Issue 7731 published on the 26 August 1738
The undermentioned Person being a Fugitive for Debt, and beyond the Seas on the first Day of January 1736, and having surrendred herself to the Keeper of the Sheriff's Ward or Prison of and for the county of Devon, gives Notice, that she intends to take the Benefit of the late Act of Parliament for Relief of Insolvent Debtors, at the next General or Quarter Sessions of the Peace to be held in and for the said County of Devon, or at the Adjournment thereof, next after thirty days from the Publication hereof, viz.
Joanna Crocker, late of Viniton in the county of Devon, Shopkeeper. 
 The spelling of Feniton in the above article brought up a discussion on  spelling variations one being the village of Fenton  in South Devon, this was home to the Gibb family who made their fortune trading guano and built the house called  Tyntesfield
Venton or Fenton is a hamlet to Dartington, South Devon. 
George brought along the pages he has been constructing using the publishing site "Lulu", the results are ideal for our purpose.
The next subject was paper sizes, the one in question being quarto, i.e. a quarter of a page, regardless of it's size. 
On 7 June 1917 the British Second Army detonated 19 enormous mines under the Messines Ridge (in an explosion that was reputedly heard in London and Dublin), killing 10,000 German troops in the front line and destroying the village of Messines.  Over the years many explosions have occurred from unexploded munitions.  
In about 1956 the water board condemned wells  in the village in an attempt to get the village onto mains water. The well at Myrtle Cottage  was 15ft deep and found to have a Mills bomb in it!! 
Gas supply came in the 1980s, about75% of houses to have gas, but  at a cost of  £2,000 old village,  did not enough takers. Farmway has it and  Green Lane too, Brenda has it. The main comes in across Higher Gosford Farm with the connection housed in the green building by the  public footpath to the old A30. 
 Brenda will ask  about house names found in the villages in magazine. Jo suggested this project to see how the names have changed over the years, Moor Cottage, Myrtle Cottage, Kester Castle. The pub lost its name, The Railway Hotel when the brewery changed it to the Nog Inn, Mr and Mrs Spence wanted to give it a hunting style name.
Chequers  an old railway shed lived in by Sid Salter, Nobknocket was the Elms, Christow, Brooklyn, Rats Castle. Appletrees was Gould Cott, Pecks, Peeks, Tenement, Parr Cottage & The Parr Rooms. 
Sport history in Feniton, is a subject untouched by the Group, love to hear anyone with an interest in this. 
This just leaves me to Wish you all A very Happy Christmas and New Year. 
We meet in The Nog Inn on Thurs. 5th Feb at 8 pm.

Feniton History Group held the 54th Meeting

We pass on our best wishes to Bob and Geoff, who are not in the best of health at this time. Get well soon.

It was wonderful to see you all on such a stormy night. 

Sophie asked the Group to help with a badge for her Brownies called Local Culture where you live. The Group will be pleased to help, and Sophie will take our suggestions to the girls for them to choose a subject. 

Bill's wonderful carving a WW1 soldier, was very well received, I know I found it very poignant. It was a special moment when I places on the window ledge in the church.

David asked us about Miss Eveleigh, she ran a small shop in Westbourne Villas, here at Colesworthy. This was in living memory of Alan and I know my husband would have run errands there for his mum. Alice was daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Eveleigh. Born about 1881 in Ottery St. Mary. David had found a small plaque in the vestry, "in Memory of Alice Eveleigh", this must mean something was placed in the church in her memory, but no one knows what it was. We would love to find out was this would have been.

Book publishing, we spoke to various history societies and booksellers at the Devon AGMs attended by our Group. Due to our lack of capital and funding it has been suggested we use "Lulu". George has taken a look at this and is keen to get started, he needs some material to experiment with, so please drop him a file or two to see who the website works. We will also need proof readers and writers to put notes into a readable form, along with maps and photos, bearing in mind the copyright laws.


In October we had a very useful afternoon at the farm with various websites and genealogy programs. I have planned another at 2:30 pm on 27th November. 

It was very useful to visit the AGMs of Devon History Society and Devon Family History Society. It was a pleasure to meet old friends and shake the hands of folk I only know from the web and emails. Our WW1 display was well received. 

The boundary stone is still up for discussion. 

Four of our Group met in Exeter to hear Mark Stoyle's lecture on the Prayer Book Rebellion. He was an excellent speaker. I noticed Jenny was making many notes on the subject. George spoke up at question time to bring our local battle at Fenny Bridges to the attention of the audience! A lively discussion followed.

The WW1 coffee morning was wonderful, it was very well attended with some 50 people in the church at one point. Many thanks to Brenda, Pam and Roger White for making up wartime recipes, the cakes were very tasty considering the lack of ingredients at the time of the War. The donations on the day came to £146, so half of this to the Church and half to the Poppy Appeal. I also must thank you for all your help on the day. 

I feel we have had a very successful autumn and done the memory of our village and villagers in WW1 proud.
We will remember them.

 Next meeting in the Nog Inn 8pm Thurs 4th Dec.



Feniton History Group held the 53rd Meeting

To start off I must say how sorry we are to hear of all our members who are unwell at present and wish them a very speedy recovery.

The boundary stone, is in hand,  David will kindly get a firm quote and Susie Bond has emailed EDDC on the matter. 

Janet has kindly handed Brenda her mother's local history file. Mrs Peek lived at the Iron Gate Lodge, Escot. Brenda will extract notes that are relevant to the village.

One of the Rectors the Rev. Churchill was mentioned, here are the notes we have on him:
Charles CHURCHILL           1642-1656
He was the son of Thomas Churchill of Wolsen, Ottery St Mary. He graduated from Exeter College Oxford with a ~A in 1632 and an MA in 1635. At a Visitation to Feniton in 1638 he is described as a curate and was installed as rector on 23rd January 1642 on the presentation of Walter Trosse. The living was then worth £140. It was difficult undertaking the ministry at this time, with the country on the verge of a civil war. It has been recorded that he was a man of "ruddy countenance" with a jovial laugh. He suffered from a "Scorbutick Humour" (Vitamin C deficiency) "and had never other than a red face". During the Revolutionary period of 1649-1660 many beneficed clergy were deprived of their livings, their tithes and. rectories in favour of Presbyterian ministers. This was the fate of Charles Churchill. He is recorded as being ejected in 1654 or 1656 (but it was more likely 1657). He was brought before the "Commissioners for ejecting Scandalous and Ignorant Ministers" where he was charged with being "a person distempered with Liquor", the evidence being his red face. This charge he refuted, he nearly got himself into further trouble by laughing heartily at his own joke, made at the expense of one of the "tryers," "that Major Saunders drove furiously, there was no holding the plough after him". His final conviction was due, we are told, to the evidence that he "suffered his children to play cards for pins," and also that he was a notorious Cavalier. After treating the Commission with scant ceremony he was evicted. Following his ejection he lived in poverty in Somerset where his wife and four children, one probably being Alexander, shared the harshness of his exile until in 1660, when he was restored to the living at Feniton where he remained until his death.  

 We had a very lively discussion on the notion of producing a book of the Village History.

The enthusiasm was wonderful., I am sorry to be the only one who felt we are taking on too much with the costs and unknown market!!!

George, Brenda, Jenny, and Val will look at the project in more depth. Geoff who has done this in the past explained it is not an easy task and could be very costly.

The general consensus was a 40,000 word soft backed A5 or Quarto with text and photos.

Below are the ideas George and I gleaned from the folk we met at the DFHS AGM:

It was recommend that we look at a website called "Lulu", here you can set up your book and order as many copies as you require.

Another suggestion was the Short Run Press, based in Exeter

Or as was suggested at our last meeting we do it as a series of self printed books leading up to a complete series. George has kindly suggested that he would help with printing by purchasing a laser printer for the purpose.

The Branscombe Project use Creeds of Bridport
http://www.creedsuk.com/  Thank you to Sue Dymond for this suggestion.
My misgivings are: We don't do money, we don't have a structure in place to deal with applying for grants, we have no formal set up or constitution.

Dates for your diary.
Devon History Society on Saturday, 1st November, 2.15pm The Christopher Jago Memorial Lecture The Prayer Book Rebellion of 1549 and the siege of Exeter Professor Mark Stoyle in The Guildhall, Exeter. Members who are going have their tickets. This is a ticket only event.

Next meeting in the Nog Inn 8pm on 6 Nov 2014

The WW1 coffee morning in the Church to mark Remembrance  10:30 to 12:30 Sat 8 Nov. We will need cakes etc and if anyone has any WW1 recipes perhaps we can make them up for the day. I suggest we can put the boards and display up on the day, say 9:30 am.

Serjeant Walter HALLETT born 1886 killed 14 Sep 1914

Feniton WW1    Walter HALLETT

Walter  was born 29 Nov 1886, in the parish of Gittisham son of John James Hallett and his wife Elizabeth nee Newbury. Sometime between 1886 and 1891 the family left Gittisham, moving to Newton St Cyres where we found them on the 1891 census.

In the 1901 census they were living at Salmon Hutch Crediton. Walter was employed as a Gardener aged 14, his father was a Foreman Platelayer on the Railway.

The 1911 census finds him visiting with the  Steer family of 3 West View Fraddon Crediton. By now he is working on the railway as a Porter.

According to his Service Record he was 6 ft 1 in tall. He was employed on the railway from 27 February 1911 at Sampford Courtenay as a porter on 15/- per week.

It does not state this on his record but according to the Honiton Deanery Magazine he was in Feniton when he was called up. The record states he was called up on 4 August 1914 to the Army Reserve   to the Coldstream Guards

Sadly he was killed in action on 14 September 1914, aged 27 and single.
 He is commemorated on the Crediton War Memorial and the Common Wealth Graves Commission memorial at La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre. The date of death puts him in the action in the First Battle of the Aisne.

La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre


Feniton History Group 52nd Meeting

Another very interesting evening. I want to thank Chris from Ottery Heritage for joining us, his local knowledge is much appreciated.

The main topic being our joint effort with Ottery to place a stone to mark the historic boundary between the two parishes.

Looking at the drawings from Chris Wakefield and the quotes David kindly gleaned for us, the general consensus is to chose the triangle design. It would cost in the region of £170. Feniton Parish Council are keen and have asked to be kept informed of developments. I will do some more work on this in the coming weeks.

For  part of the fund raising needed for the stone,  Chris has kindly offered to do a talk in the Church for our April 2015 meeting, this then leads up nicely to unveiling the stone as part of our Rogation Walk, on Sunday 10th May 2015. Sadly we don't have any choir boys to "Beat the Bounds" with!! 

Roger has been sending on lovely snippets from the old newspapers, we have decided that the  Court social articles found  in the Times, would have been the  Twitter and Facebook of the day.

Next year will see the 160th anniversary of Bishop Patteson leaving Feniton Court on his  journey to Melanesia.  The writer ,Charlotte Yonge has put this in her book  titled" Life of John Coleridge Patteson"

He chose to walk to the coach that would take him to join the railway at Cullompton. The last kisses were exchanged at the door, and the sisters watched him out of sight.

I write one line to-night to tell you that I am, thank God, calm and even cheerful. I stayed a few minutes in the churchyard after I left you, picked a few primrose buds from dear mamma's grave, and then walked on.

The above has sparked a debate, as to how and where he would have picked up the coach? Was it a family carriage, or the stage coach, what route would it have taken. Perhaps at Fairmile to Cullompton via Clyst Hydon. Perhaps we will never know. It was suggested we look at the Turnpike records of the time, 1855 to see were the main roads went. Did he have luggage? There is a road marked on some maps called "Sidmouth Road" this was a road improved for travellers to from the railway at Culllompton to Sidmouth in the days before Sidmouth Junction Station at Feniton. It was deemed too expensive to do the whole route due to the Goyle at Tipton St John.

An article in the Exeter Flying Post suggests there was once a footbridge over the Otter at Fenny Bridges, dated October 16, 1856, again the Turnpike Records would be useful to find. In the article it states the County was found to be responsible for its repair.

The Group are looking to publish a book and a good discussion followed on how we might achieve this. Brenda brought along a selection of local books to show what form it could take. We also need to look at the software needed for the publisher, and pictures would be needed. This will be our topic for the next meeting on Thurs 2nd Oct in the Nog Inn.

I have asked Graeme if he can come to our November meeting, and he is very happy to come, just waiting for him to confirm the date. He tells me this: "I have some interesting news for you and the history group. A novel due to be published at the end of the year includes the main character visiting Sidmouth junction, The Railway Hotel, Escot Church and the Escot estate together with a visit to a fictitious farm called Fenwater Farm. " Intriguing. "You are the first person in Feniton to be told about this and feel free to share the news if you wish."