Devon Map Links

In searching for something else, we came across this really nice blog posting on your website at about the OS six-inch maps, so many thanks for this.

My real reason for writing was just to say that we have recently added all our holdings of the more detailed OS 25 inch to the mile maps of Devon (1855-1943) to our website too.

The home page for the OS 25 inch series is at: and you can search and view all the maps of Devon through a map interface at: 

There is also a list of the OS 25 inch sheets for Devon in sheet order at: 

We are in the process of georeferencing the sheets too – at present the georeferenced coverage is just for south-east England at: but we hope to cover Devon too in the next month or so.

Reasonably enough, people don’t think of visiting the National Library of Scotland website for maps of southern England, so we are always keen to alert those that might be interested in case they can help spread the word.

With kind regards,

Chris Fleet
National Library of Scotland
159 Causewayside

One Place Studies detailed report for Feniton

The full report is available here:

Society of One Place Studies Link

I want to thank the Group for all their notes and research that has made this possible.

Feniton History Group held the 59th Meeting

Another good natter over a pint. Good to see Bob after his health problems.

We looked at my notes from the talk given by Chris Wakefield, which led to us discussing the Hayridge Hundred and how it came about:

The hundred of Hayridge was the name of one of thirty two ancient administrative units of Devon, England. It was originally known as Sulfretona and this name was still used in the Geldroll of 1084 but two hundred years later it was called Harigg in the hundred Role of Edward I after the place where the hundred courts were held which is now Whorridge farm. The parishes in the hundred were: Bickleigh; Blackborough; Bradninch; Broadhembury; Cadbury; Cadeleigh; Cullompton; Feniton; Kentisbeare; Netherexe; Payhembury; Plymtree; Rewe (part); Sheldon; Silverton; Talaton; Thorverton. According to White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Devonshire, (1850) it "Is of an irregular figure, extending about 16 miles from east to west, and varying from 9 to 6 in breadth."

The Domesday tells us we had 5 pigs and 15 sheep, but it was suggested this meant Feniton had 5 pig keepers and 15 shepherds.

Alan raised the point about the name of the Roman road that passed along the Old A30 at Fenny Bridges, I had assumed it was the Fosse Way, but it seems I am wrong, can anyone help with the correct name?

David had brought along his laptop and was able to add to the discussion with his extensive notes.

The boundary stone is here and we look forward to erecting it after the crops are harvested and we will plan that event then.  Chris's talk raised £48, so £20 will be used to cover the VAT on the stone and I have asked David to accept the remaining £28 to cover the coat of the church for the evening.

Colin Harris has written a book on Papermaking in the Culm Valley and has offered to  do a talk on the subject. David, Colin and I will sort this out for a date in October.

I have a Timeline file, which was set up by David and extended to cover all manner of happenings in Feniton. I attach a copy for you all, please add anything you think relevant, or I have made a error, using a red font, so I can pick out the new entries and send it back to me. Thank you.

In writing up the time line I asked if we ever had a serving policeman in the parish, it seems Feniton was covered by the Broadhembury Police House at Colliton Cross. Mr. Tolman and Mr Gibbins were Special Constables. 

I also asked about the arrival of the telephone in the parish, Brenda has kindly sent me her notes from the council minutes:

May 1927: The Telephone Authorities were willing to install a Telephone Call office at Feniton P.O. if a guarantee of £19 for an open telephone & £25 for a closed cabinet could be found. The PC did not feel justified in guaranteeing that amount!!!! It must have been installed by September 1930: Mr. Chown reported that on 2 occasions when the Public Call Office was shut he had to wait some considerable time before the attendant answered him. He asked the Council if it were possible to get a night bell fixed outside the Office.

The parish clerk has raised the query that some of the Feniton Parish Council minute books are missing, Brenda confirmed this, I offered to check the books held by Devon Record Office, this is the reference to the holding:   4214A - Feniton Parish Council  dated 1930 - 1982.

Jo has asked about the cobbled pavement by Court Barton. It is shown in some of the old photos I have on file. We thought it would have been just that a pavement, the road would not have been cobbled. David and Brenda both confirmed that it is recorded and may not be covered.

 I went to Escot Church Open Weekend and History Display. It was fascinating.  The WW1 research caught my eye as, of course, two of the names have come up in our Feniton research, Arbery and Flay. So need to check those out. Also a name new to us from WW2 is EM Wood who has a War Grave in Escot Churchyard, but not recorded on the war memorial, Richard Powell who did the research for his book, "The Men on the Cross, the Great War in Escot and Talaton" suggests that EM Wood was a Feniton man killed in the second world war, I have no record of him, yet.

We chattered about WW2 memories, the bombing of Exeter, seeing the fires from Bitterly Cross, and Alan told us that a German plane shot up the railway station and the Railway Hotel. The bulldozing of many old buildings after the war was a great loss, but back then heritage was not in the mind of the planners who had it all demolished for the new.

VE Day, no one had any recall to a celebration in the village, but I have found a paper cutting to the contrary.

We next meet in September. I am still hoping for someone to take on the Group admin, please?

Don't forget the wedding dress event in the Church on the 16 / 17 May, Brenda has researched the History of the Wedding Dress for the event.

In July, date to be confirmed there is a talk on Stained Glass in Escot Church, which has some very high quality work.

Now I have thank Bill for the wonderful plaque to place on our displays to show who had produced the project. I am thrilled with it, wonderful craftsmanship. Bill is also carving names to place on the heraldic pews to identify the families. Fitting that we have a continuing craftsman adding to the history of the church today.


VE Day Feniton 8 May 1945

Feniton & Ottery St Mary Boundary Talk

Feniton History Group would like to thank Chris Wakefield for a very interesting and imformative evening.

Where there was water and shelter a community would perhaps make  base, as first they would have been hunter gatherers.

Some clearing by fire  for grazing animals some 5000 years  of arming in the Neolithic age followed by a
1000 years of governmental orders and the defining of  boundaries.

Arable era caused settlers, and to avoid crop damage by the grazing livestock so they had to fence to control  the animals.

Trade movement lead to the making of tracks.

 The A30 through Fenny Bridges is on the line of the Roman road.  The road was cut through a ancient bank topped with a hedge between Ash Farm and Higher Gosford. The bank runs down to the River Otter and back towards Sweethams. It is much older than the Roman road. Parts of ths bank are lost due to farmers re ordering their fields.

One of the earliest roads was the one from Woodbury to Hembury Fort.

The lords of the Manor at the time of the Domesday were absent land Lords, held in high favour by King William.

Ottery St Mary has its charter describing its settlement in 1061. Feniton borders Ottery so we too share this history from Campfield up Tower Hill and the down to the River Tale., and also at Fenny Bridges.

Devon had more pigs than anywhere else, I looked up pig breeds known to have originated in Devon and found the British Lop from Tavistock and possibly the Large Black.   

Taxation  was by hide a not very consistent measurement, so then One Hundred hides  became a judicial area called Hundreds. The Church used this framework to raise funds.

Parish boundaries developed during the C9th to  C12th.  

Sir John Kennaway was in correspondence with Talaton Parish as to the River Tale boundary being changed by the flow of the water in 1844.

Mrs Frances Rose-Troupe The Anglo-Saxon Charter of Ottery St Mary printed in the Devon Trans. 1939 Vol 71.

Maintaining roads was the responsibility of the parish, Ottery got off lightly as the two Fenny Bridges  were in the Feniton Parish!

George Herbert's (1593 - 1633) description of Rogation Sunday:

 “1. a blessing of God for the fruits of the field:
  2. Justice in the preservation of the bounds;
  3. Charitie, in living, walking and neighbourliy accompanying one another, with reconciling of differences at that time, if they be any;
 4. Mercie, in relieving the poor by a liberal distribution of largess which at that time is or oght be made. 

Long wands are shown in some photos and even they waded in the river seemly dressed in Sunday suits!!

Change of plan

The talk with Chris Wakefield in Feniton Church on Thurs 30th April at 7:30 goes ahead as planned,


sad to report that we have to postpone the stone unveiling and the boundary walk,   on 10th May, until September, two reasons,

One. The stone is on the high seas somewhere between China and India!!! Delivery date unknown.

Two. Farmer, Husband, Boss and Son have asked that we don't walk across the cropped fields at this time of year!!

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you all on the 30th.

Feniton History Group held the 58th Meeting

What an interesting evening, many thanks to Roger who dropped by to share with us his interest in Fenny Bridges Mill. He has a death certificate gleaned for his interest in postal history. The certificate relates to Edward Coombe, Miller who died in 1840 and buried at St Anne's Chapel, but the graves there where re interred at Feniton Church. This is the inscription on the grave:

Edward COOMBE  of Feniton Mills in this Parish who gave land for the building of this Chapel 
d. 10.3.1840 in 44TH year of age
Also in the same vault  Sarah COOMBE his wife  d. 9.1.1860
(re-interred from Fenny Bridges Chapel 1949) 

Roger explained the marks on the folded death certificate gave the date of receipt and  the recipient would have paid the postage, envelopes were not used to the cost down.

More can be read here:

Regarding the roads in the village Jo kindly sent this note:

My Dad used to tell me  that he remembered the remains of the 'old road' which come down through a cleft in the rock behind Nap Cottage.  A cross road went North to Rutts at the top of the rise where Rutts Lane is now. 
He said there was an old woman's  cottage built into the cliff at the back of Nap Cottage garden and he and his mates used to climb up above it and drop stones on the roof.  I think it was of corrugated iron so they were typical little horrors!!  [Alan said his father was one of the little horrors!]
He remembered the new road being built as the Council needed to buy some of the Glebe Lands belonging to the Rectory (then Feniton House) and they lowered Broad Road gradually as it rose towards the Station so that the slope to Rutts was passable too.  They built the wall along the length of the Glebe Lands so as to keep the field up instead of buying more land to make a slope.
When I was on the Parish Council, Devon County wrote to ask who owned that wall as it was in bad condition.  I was able to give them the above details and to assure them that they owned it themselves!  To my knowledge, no repair work has ever been carried out by them since that date!!    Jo Chown 

Thank you Jo.

 Our work on the display for the Patteson Event  was very well received, thank you, the credit goes to all who helped.  Jackie went on the walk  to Alfington and a wonderful spread was lovely put on by Alfington Church.
Geoff explained there are still van loads of documents, including letters to Santa!!,   to be indexed and sorted in the Devon Heritage Centre, a work in progress.
Brenda asked us for photos suitable for the Parish Magazine cover, must have good definition to reproduce in black and white.

Memories of the snow in 1963 were discussed.  

Our earlier discussions on the coach Bishop Patteson would have taken to the train at Cullompton led Brenda to spot a print in an auction sale at Ottery of Russell's Flying Wagons.
 This link is very interesting:

Brenda also found out that Russell bought farms along the route to rest the horses, one being at Redloft Farm Offwell, no longer there now.

The railways, of course changed all this.  Brenda's great grandfather worked on the construction and was killed in a fall while working on a tunnel at Fowey in 1874.

Bill reported he is working with David to carve oak name plaques to place on the pews with coats  of arms on so that the families are identified to visitors. He has also kindly offered to make one for the History Group to place by our displays, following Brenda saying we should have put our name up on the boards to say we had done the work on the boards. Thank you Bill.

Our next event is the talk with Chris Wakefield from Ottery Heritage on Boundaries in the Church on 30th April. To be followed by the Rogation and Beating the Bounds walk on 10th May.

The Friends of St. Andrew's are holding a Wedding Dress display in the Church weekend of the 16th May. Brenda is writing up the history of wedding dresses to accompany the dresses.  

Our next meeting will be on Thurs. 7th May in the Nog Inn.

To close we must pass on our Congratulations to David and Sheila on the celebration of their Golden Wedding Anniversary.