Feniton History Group held the 89th meeting in the Nog Inn.


At the meeting in June Jenny began by updating us on progress on the work being done for the forth-coming film about the Battle of Fenny Bridges. She has a group of enthusiastic workers making a banner, hats and costumes.

 Peter told about the problems he encounters in researching his German ancestors, such as reading Old German on documents.

David had been reading about old parsonages and wondering where they were as we only see and know about Georgian and Victorian residences for clergy. Where did the priests live?

Hugh is continuing to enjoy perusing old newspapers for items about Plymouth Argyle!

 Brenda, also reading old newspapers, is piecing together the story behind a bigamist marriage that took place in Feniton Church in 1862 between two strangers to the village, the bride, a Sidmouth girl, and she found in a 1855 newspaper the tale of a cook in the household of the Rector of Thorverton who was taken ill, thought to have cholera but by the time the doctor arrived had given birth to a baby.

We heard that the boundary stone in Ottery Road, so carefully planned and ceremoniously installed had been demolished by the Council worker cutting the grass.

The next meeting will be on July 5th in the Nog Inn at 8.00pm


Remembering Frederick Stiling a WW1 fallen soldier killed 6 Jun 1918

His father William, was Landlord of the Greyhound and also served during the war.

Born : Plymtree c1894
Baptised :
Parents : William and Anna Stiling
Died : 6th June 1918
Buried : Aulnoye Communal Cemetery – Grave I.A.38.
1871 Census :
1881 Census :
1891 Census :
1901 Census : Motts Lane, Plymtree – aged 7
1911 Census : Lower Tale – aged 17
Occupations : Farm Worker
Address on enlisting : Fenny Bridges. Enlisted in Exeter
Regiment : D Battery, 83rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Rank : Gunner
Service Number : 130441
Service Dates :
CWGC listing :
Soldiers Died Listing : Yes
Devon Roll of Honour :
National Roll of the Great War :
Medal Card (NA WO372) : WO372/19/60568
Service Record (NA WO363) :
War Memorial : Ottery St Mary
Newspaper Listings :
Notes : Posted as missing.




Feniton History Group held the 88th Meeting in the Nog Inn


It is lovely to see so many attending this month’s meeting.

David introduced Peter, a speaker we have booked for an evening in the Church, date to be confirmed. Peter has a wonderful sense of humour!

Alan gave us a very interesting talk on the railway life of the Powell family and incidents that took place. A lost suit case, and cleaning out the livestock pens. His worse day on the railway was when the late train from Salisbury failed at the station, it was not meant to stop! The signals were clear for it to pass through, there was a long wait for the phone! The train was stopped for some three hours, this was 1966. He also remembers helping guide Colesworthy sheep along so they did not on the line.

Rosemarie remembers traveling through on the train, not knowing she would live here one day!

Bob also worked on  the railway for the North Eastern at Leeds in the signal box. Being the “Youth” he was not allowed to do certain tasks, but when his boss sneaked off to play cards he was left in “charge”

Jenny told us about her progress with the filming of the Fenny Bridges Battle, the ladies of Rosemarie’s sewing group are helping with the making of a banner, this will be a wonderful heirloom to keep in the village.

Another interesting point made by Jenny is that the site of the Fenny Bridges may well be on or near the Old Fenny Bridges Hotel, or Bloomfield House as it was once known, this would have been on Skinner’s Ash Farm. It has always been a mystery as  to why no  battle left overs have been found in Fenny Mead.

Hugh told us he was gutted as Plymouth Argyle were not doing very well!!

Thank you all for a lively evening,

Next meeting on Thurs. 7th Jun 8:00 in the Nog. Many thanks to Mike and Rosemarie for hosting us.


The 87th Meeting of The Feniton History Group was held in the Nog Inn


Thrilled to see so many here, and I must record that the March meeting was cancelled due to Snow! What a strange Spring this is.

I have extracted the relevant pages of the 1939 Registration for the village, available on the Find My Past website, subscription required.  This was recorded to issue ration books for WW2.

Geoff, a volunteer at South West Heritage  Trust, formerly the Devon Record Office,  has been collating Theatre records and the Papers of Lord Sidmouth more detail here from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viscount_Sidmouth

Geoff also mentioned the wonderful archive of the photographer  James Ravilious, amounting to some 78 thousand photos of Devon, its landscape and the working people on their farms and in the villages.

David shared with us his research into the Transi Tomb:

Fenton’s Transi is likely to have been carved from an emaciated live model, possibly a male prostitute and not a cadaver

If we are right in the assumption that our transi is that of the last William Malherbe (b1446- d1493) what influence could a Bishop of Winchester have had on the choice of a Malherbe tomb? Up to the time shortly before William Malherbe’s death the Bishop of Winchester was Peter Courtenay (1486-1492/3) who, prior to that was Bishop of Exeter from 1478 to1486/7.  If the Malherbe’s moved in high circles there could have been a chance they were known to each other and that Peter Courtenay, the Bishop of Exeter and subsequently the Bishop of Winchester had that influence and recommended a Southwark sculptor. Both the Malherbe and the Courtenay families stemmed from Brittany, France being the country where transi tombs were the vogue. 

I have been told that monuments such as ours would have been carved before the death on the person commemorated, in which case it would have been in the period that Peter Courtenay was Bishop of Winchester.

This can only be conjecture but despite that, an interesting twist on who our transi may commemorate.

Where does Southwark fit into the story?
The stews, (or brothels), of Southwark’s Bankside were infamous in the Middle Ages and though banned by Henry VIII in 1546, their notoriety lived on.

 Nevertheless, the women who worked in The Stews became known as “Winchester Geese” but the “Winchester Goose” was also used to describe a swelling in the groin caused by venereal disease.  

The regulations which controlled brothels, though they were regularly flaunted, it fell to the Bishops of Winchester, as Lord of the Manor, through his bailiff, steward or constables to administer and enforce the 1161 regulations at his Court Leet (a manorial court).  Most offences were punishable by a fine, another source of revenue for the Bishops.

Jenny  is working  with a film director on a production relating to the events of the Battle of Fenny Bridges, 1549.  This was followed by a discussion on what happened to the bodies after the battle. There is thought to be a  plague pit  under thr north vestry of Ottery St Marcy Church, perhaps they were burnt? Interesting discussion. The victims of the Woodbury  squirmish were buried on site, so  what happened to the Fenny bodies?

Rosemary’s Sewing group are to make five wounds battle banner for the film. 

Brenda has been looking at the 1918 Flu epidemics, a  ww1 military encampment brought it to Europe, then Scotland and down through the country. East Devon may have eased it congested lungs. The high mortality did not seem to have raised the burial numbers in Feniton 1918. The virus killed more than 50 million people, three times the number that fell in the Great War. Bovril was in short supply for the patients due to shortage of jars, it was advertised as something to make you influenza proof!

Alan has been reading a book written by Asa Briggs, a Social  History of England detailing  crops and husbandry. A very strong history of social, economic and political life in the British Isles.

George and his family, with Jenny’s skills in producing booklets, has set out his biography, also he told us about a plane crash in Poole Harbour, a note from this website: http://dorset.hampshireairfields.co.uk/dorcrash.html

Val told us about the postcards  from her relative while in France during WW1

Hugh has been researching the heat wave suffered on 30 Sept 1892, the Ref. was suffering from the heat.

It was so good to see you all after the winter hiatus. Thank you all for a lovely evening.

Remembering Tom Marshall


MARSHALL, Tom
Rank: Private
Service No: M2/133381
Date of Death: 12/04/1918
Regiment/Service: Army Service Corps
593rd M.T. Coy. attd. VIII Corps Heavy Artillery.
Grave Reference III. E. 23.
Cemetery YPRES RESERVOIR CEMETERY

In Feniton on the 1911 census, brother of William and Lillian Marshall  born about 1871, farm worker at Long Park

Friends of St. Andrew's Church


Valerie, who is the Chair of the Friends of St Andrews, has asked me to forward on to you the Agenda for their AGM 

Although you may not be a registered Friend of St Andrews, but as member of the congregation you give your support to the church in another way, it would be appreciated if you could find time to attend their AGM and hear about their plans, finance and the past contribution they make to the church.

 I have to say without them the church would be a poorer place and not in such a good structural state of repair and we would not have the village plant sale which is an enormous social event.

You will not be "pressed ganged" into anything but your presence at the AGM would give encouragement and thanks to them, so please, if possible, diary today Monday 26th March at 7.30 in church.
Kind regards, David


2018  ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

To be held on
Monday 26th MARCH  2018 at 7.30 in the Church

AGENDA
1.   Apologies
2.   Minutes of 2017 AGM
3.   Matters arising
4.   Chairman’s Report
5.   Treasurer’s Report   
6.   Election of Committee
7.   Matters arising from 2017/18 season
8.   AOB  

Followed by general meeting:
1.       Minutes of last meeting
2.       Matters arising
3.       Treasurers Report -  as above
4.       Data Protection
5.       Update of church maintenance
6.       Fundraising event
7.        AOB
8.        Date of next meeting   



HERRIDGE, Reginald

The Feniton History Group are commerating Reginald Herridge who died in WW1


Born : Feniton 1889
Baptised : 25th December 1889
Parents : William and Mary Herridge, Sidmouth Junction.
Married : Ivy Blanch Best – Honiton Q3/1915
Died : 22nd March 1918
Buried : Sery-les-Mezieres Communal Cemetery, France. Grave 8.
1891 Census : 62 Railway Cottages, Feniton – aged 1
1901 Census : Sidmouth Junction – aged 11
1911 Census : Parkholm, West Hill, Budleigh Salterton – boarder aged 21.
Occupations : Railway Porter
Address on enlisting : Budleigh Salterton. He enlisted in Exeter.
Regiment : 7th Battalion, Queens Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment
Rank : Private
Service Number : TF/241343
Notes : The 7th Battalion landed at Le Havre on 27th July 1915. He is buried in Sery-les-Mezieres Communal Cemetery, France, along with four other British soldiers. This is behind German lines in an area that was never occupied by the British until almost the end of the war. The most likely explanation is that he was taken prisoner of war during the German offensive in early 1918, was probably wounded during his capture and subsequently died of the wounds in captivity – possibly at a German field hospital. At the time of his death his wife was living at 8 Holland Road, St Thomas, Exeter. Although he has a Territorial Force reference, he may have been a volunteer as the 7th was a volunteer battalion.