Devon Record Office Open Day

Saturday, 17 March 2012
The Feniton History Group will be in attendance at this event.
The Open Day at the Devon Record Office at Great Moor House in Sowton, Exeter.  This is being held on Saturday, 17 March 2012, and will run from 10 am until 4 pm.   There will be lectures, tours of the strong-rooms, a family history advisory service and tables are being provided to local groups to display their activities.  The Open Day will be open to the public.  There will be no admission charge to the public nor to groups for their tables.  We expect that many hundreds of local people will attend the day.  There will be hot drinks, cakes and sandwiches available for sale.  Free parking is immediately outside the building.

Feniton History Group 25th Meeting

Feniton History Group held the 25th meeting at the Nog Inn on the 10th Nov. 2011

 Brenda  kindly took these notes due to my absence.

We had a lot of chatter on all sorts of topics, including some history of the Nog Inn. Frances said the name changed about 1953, when she & John were licensees The brewery decided on the name.

I reminded everyone to look at the WW1 WW2 display in Church. Bill showed us a lovely carved depiction of the Church & Lych gate he has made from lime wood, which he will be offering to the Church.
Some memories exchanged about Feniton in war time, such as when the Nog was hit, and the Spitfire in the Powell's garden.

Looking ahead to next year's Diamond Jubilee we tried to get Alan & Frances to recall what took events if any took place here in Coronation year. They remembered the 1937 Coronation better!

Next meeting booked for January 12th 8.00pm

We are at the Museum on the Tue. 22nd November 10:00 to 1:00pm and again on Tue. 6th December

Brenda attended this meeting: 14th Nov 2011

 Just been to the East Devon Local History Workshop in Honiton & my head is buzzing! It was very interesting and everyone friendly.
There were 25 people from 12 History societies/ organisations. Some were from towns like Beer and Colyton. We all gave an account of what we do etc, and It was fascinating to hear how many members they have and what they do. How I envy Whimple who have 150 members (population about 400 less than Feniton!).
First we had a talk from Chris Woodfuff of AONB about a new project to create a Historic Environment Action Plan. This is to record all areas of historic interest in parishes such as ancient fields, sites etc. The information could be used by Parish Councils and in Parish Plans in respect of planning applications etc.
Next we heard about the on-going work  'In the Footsteps of Peter Orlando Hutchinson', a Victorian man who sketched and wrote about his geological and other finds in East Devon. The project has been recording the scenes he described as they are now and also looking for 'silcrete' standing stones that he had found, which occur in places like Salcombe Regis and on the commons around Farway and Northleigh. (Read all about it on AONB web site)
The Group will meet again next year. It is hoped to have a joint project, to give a purpose to the Group. One suggestion is the recording of orchards throughout our area.

Feniton History Group 24th Meeting

Lady Dionne Palmer addressed the Group to ask for help in staging an Art Fund Event in the village on the 13/14 June 2012. She has asked us to put up a display of the history of Court Barton Farmhouse, the village and a short presentation on the Prayer Book Rebellion. David is also involved doing a talk on the church.

The Group have accepted the challenge! Money raised by the Art Fund enables art work to be purchased so that it can stay in the UK. The fund has purchased Honiton Lace for the Honiton Museum and this will be on display. Over the coming months we will need to put our thinking caps on, George has kindly offered to help with an oral talk, should we need someone used to public speaking. Brenda suggested a guided tour around the old village.

The work of Cotswold Archaeology  on Camp Field was discussed. We have been given custody of a box of horse bones, some flint tools and a metal shoe, some think it could be from an Oxen. Our appreciation of this goes to Val Stringer for arranging the donation of this to the Group.  This link gives details of shoes found by metal detectorists;

The one on the left in from Camp Field, the other being from my own bits and bobs.

Cliff has also found a flint tool on his walks and that is also in our collection. Thank you Cliff.

David has found a reference to there being a Church House in Feniton, and the Yates papers also confirm this. This website gives more on the subject and some illustrations of  this type of building.

David has also been able to confirm that the cadaver tomb was moved around the church. It was in its current position. by 1877.

Remembrance Sunday on 13th Nov. will see the dedication of the WW1 roll of honour, carved by Bill. To mark the occasion we will put up a display of what we know of the men who lost their lives and incorporate this with the RBL Poppy Appeal. 

I will set this up on Monday the 31st Oct. at 2:30 pm.

I did offer my resignation should anyone else want the coordinator’s post, but there were no takers!!!!

Alan closed the meeting with more of his lovely Devon Dialect says, “well us all be preddy vitty”. Thank you  Alan.

Then a general rant about the failing of modern day politics rounded the evening off!!

Remembrance Sunday

Feniton History Group 23rd meeting

On Thursday 15th Sept. 14 members, plus 2 visitors from Talaton met in the Nog Inn to hear Graeme tell us about his metal detector finds in East Devon. Apologies from Geoff, who is not so well, get well soon m’dear.

Graeme, aided by Ruth, set up a display of his collection on the pool table for us to handle and ask him about.

The talk started with the earliest finds, flint tools, Neolithic, some 4,500 years old. This gives you a picture of folk going about their daily tasks and working hides and taking meat from a kill.

Bronze age finds from around the hut circles found by the A30 when the new road was put through, 3,500 years old.

A gouge or chisel, it would have had a wooden handle.

Fenny Bridges, where the Battle took place in 1549 a sword scabbard chape.

Lead shot. Lead oil ampulas sold at fairs to take as an offering to a sacred site or relic.

This is fascinating and something to research further, the possibility of a site of a trading fair at Fairmile. Graeme has unearthed trading weights and coins covering the period c.1200 to 1500. The name of the hamlet may be a clue? But the local thought of the origin of the name is “A fair mile to Ottery”

Love tokens, bent coins that match, under a tree, where the owner took rest, lost his purse, which had rotted and left the coins, shillings, Charles II, William III, and Queen Anne 1711.

Beautiful Victorian silver thimbles, some damaged, perhaps thrown onto the midden. Buttons, buckles, and many brass fittings from horse harness. A stem from a clay pipe. Pottery shards. Coins.

To bring it up to date, a tray of bangles and rings found on the site at Escot after the “Beautiful Days” music event. Difficult site to work on, lots of can pull rings!!

Graeme explained that it is a back breaking hobby, cold in winter!! You need to know your detector well and learn it’s responses, you don’t want to spend all day digging up nails and horse shoes. As you walk the fields, with the land owner’s permission please, you can attune your eye to the flint tools and pottery. After rain you will find the soil washed off bringing the items to light.  The soil conditions and modern farming, ploughing and fertilizers will all affect old metals laying in the soil, some may rot away, others are preserved.   Like the bearded axe found the other side of Honiton.

Some of the items found are often eight or more inches down, this being due to the build up of soil through decay, erosion and build up through the centuries.

If you would like to see photos please look on YouTube

Items over 300 years old made of precious metals are recognised as Treasure Trove and need to be passed to a Museum who will direct the find to the Coroner. There is a Portable Antiquities Scheme.

The Group would like to take this opportunity to thank Graeme and Ruth most sincerely for  giving this insight in to the soil under our feet.

Detecting Talk on the 15th Sept

This is not to be missed!!!


A journey through time with artefacts from Feniton & surrounding area.
You will be able to handle, examine & make comments on mainly metal detecting finds starting with worked flints from
Colesworthy Farm, Larkbeare & Escot.
Other items include:-
Escot in the Bronze Age
A very unusual find from Roman Britain
Evidence of a Mediaeval Fayre site at Fairmile
A sword chape from the Battle of Fenny Bridges 1549
A rare Blacksmith's palm guard
A Silver Penny of Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) 1189-1199 found at Honiton
Silver coins from Edward I 1272-1307, Elizabeth I 1558-1603, Charles I 1625-1649
Many other miscellaneous items e.g. musket balls, buckles, buttons etc.

Kind regards

The 22nd meeting at the Nog Inn on the 14th July 2011

An evening of fascinating and wide ranging discussions.

The will of  Thomas BRYNSSEMEDE of Fenyton, Dated 5 Feb. 1546 is a mystery, who was this man and where did he fit into the village?

Jenny is interested in the history of vaccination and Benjamin Jesty, a Dorset farmer.

Brenda is intrigued by the Murray family of Thorn Cottage, and we all look forward to reading her results of this search. Bankruptcy and a duel held in Paris!

Pam is working on her family tree, as is Maggie.

David and Pam are looking into the history of Chancel Repairs, this is where some land owners are responsible of the cost of repairs. This website gives more detail:

David is also working on the Northcote family from Buckerell. They lived in and re-built Feniton Court and the son, Rev. George Barons Northcote, he was the Rector (1860-1899) and lived in the Rectory, now Feniton House.

I am very keen to find out more about the 52,000 bricks made in “The Great Court”, where did the bricks get used? I found the agreement Sir George Cary made with the brick maker in 1598, the size “to be 12 inches in length and fyve and a half the least in breadth”. All the bricks in the yard and house at Colesworthy are 9 inches. Jonathan at Feniton Court tells me the bricks in the cellar there are about 9 inches also.

So if you live in an old property would love to hear from you if you have 12 inch bricks.

The tithe map was out for all to look at, you can see how the roads around the old village have been realigned. The changes in the field sizes as hedges and banks were removed in more recent years was noted. The names of the fields also have changed over the years. 

No meeting in August.

The talk on Metal Detecting is on 15th September 2011.

The next museum visit is on Tues. 26th July and fortnightly thereafter. 

The 21st meeting at the Nog Inn on 23rd June 2011

The Nog Inn hosted us for a very good chin wag over a pint! That pint was the undoing of me, I think!!!! Losing my notes and being rather muddled.

Bill informed us he is ready to carve the names of the WW1 soldiers, the lych gate is their memorial but does not carry any names, thanks to Bill this omission will be put right. David and Geoff have researched the names and, I hope Bill now has the list to enable him to start.

Graeme Smith has confirmed he will join us in The Nog for a talk on his metal detecting finds, he has chosen the 15th Sept 2011 at 8:00pm.

We had discussions on local brick making, Miller and Lilley closed the Talewater yard in 1919, and the Ottery Brickworks tried to purchase it. M & L had depots at Feniton, Whimple and Ottery. There are some 20 fields in  the Ottery area known as Brickfields. Thanks to Chris for theses snippets.

Brenda told us about the duel between Murry and Stares in 1814, then illegal in this country. We wait to hear more as Brenda’s research progresses. The Murry family were school teachers in Thorn Cottage.

The history of Feniton House was a query in an email from John Lewis of New Zealand. I am working on this, along with Feniton Court. Will have more to tell when we next meet.

The origins of the name of Spence Cross, this was the name used before the cross road was named after Bishop Patteson and the monument erected. The land owner in area of the cross roads on the tithe map was W. Warren. So we have a task here to see if more can be gleaned. I had an email asking about the Spence and Patteson family, David is looking into this.

Jenny has written a book on the Prayer Book Rebellion, copies are on sale in the Church.
Pam has asked to see the tithe maps to look at the land owned by the parish. I will bring these along to the next meeting.

Alan had us all laughing with his dialect sayings, “dashels”, meaning thistles. A general discussion on dialects then followed.  It seems we may loose many of our regional accents as schools encourage proper pronunciation.

Talk given by Rohan Brown and Dr. Christina Welch 2nd Jun 2011

We were told that the name of our tomb should be a “Transi Tomb” and not a Memento Mori Tomb. This is because a depiction of a rotting cadaver in art is called a transias opposed to a skeleton tomb.
 Memento mori can be freely translated as “Remember you are Mortal” or “Remember your Death”

Rohan Brown, who has shown great interest in our figure has found, what she believes to be the complete list of these tombs and there are only approximately 37 known in the UK and not 150 as other authors describe, the others being shroud tombs, which is a very different style.

A large number were destroyed during the reformation and again in the Victorian times when tombs were moved as part of a “restoration” project.

The one in our church is amongst those recorded in the UK and also one of the finest.

The fashion for this type of memorial came from France and was popular from the middle of the C14 and into the C15, but mainly 1420 to 1480. Rohan believes ours could perhaps date from the 1480s to 90s, the time of the last two William Malherbes.

It was in circa 1493 that  "John Babingtone & William Malherbe / hathe a warraunt to the Custumers of the Custumes & subsides in the poorte of Excestre & Dertmouth to pay unto theim xi marc / which the king (Richard III) hath geven unto them towardes theire Ramison / late taken upone the see by brytaygnes". Somewhere else I have seen "fell into the hands of his countries foes and was taken on the sea by Brytagnes". Another report suggests the ransom was for 40 marks.

There is a difference of opinion as to whom this memorial is dedicated too, some say either Sir William Fry or Sir John Fry, whilst others say William Malherbe (d 1493) but I favour the last William Malherbe.

In Watson’s book “A Devonshire Village in the Olden Days” he suggests it to be William Malherbe and if you look closely above the tomb and above the window, in the centre is a crest which bears a strong relationship to that of the Malherbes. Ms Brown suggests that 90% of these tombs had coats of arms and identification, commonly lost in the Victorian restoration of medieval churches.

Who ever it was would have been a person of high position, firstly to be able to afford the memorial , which Dr. Welch considers it may have cost, even in those days £500, and secondly to be influential enough to warrant an allotted place inside the Altar rails. Again Dr. Welch believes it would have not been inside the altar rails at all but facing north / south in the main body of the church where it was looked at by those attending the services.

This casts in doubt that originally this memorial was on the south side of the sanctuary and was moved in 1877 when there was a major refurbishment of the Church. Previously it may have stood on an altar tomb.

Things to note about the emaciated figure in his winding sheet, are the tonsure haircut and if you feel his left shoulder you will find a large piece missing. It has been suggested that this was the result of a sword injury from a right-handed swordsman but on closer examination there is a round object inside this injury and of a different colour stone which could be a missile of some sort. The left leg also appears to be swollen and the left foot differs from the right.

Rohan informs us that that these effigies can bear the marks of injuries and ailments from life. Arundel Castle apparently has a figure of John Fitzalan with one leg missing after he was shot in the foot and had it amputated. 

The absence of the nose could be a result of syphilis or leprosy but it is also likely that damage was done the monument by a latter lord of the manor who also removed the name which could have been where the damage is to the plinth and also the removal of an orb like object which indicated a rank under the right hand. This was to indicate that the previous lord was no more and that times had moved on.

In the question time after the talk it was noted that the church was well funded by priests being paid to pray for the dead to ease them from purgatory to heaven, rather than hell. The church services were read out in Latin and the congregation were unable to understand this, so it is thought that these tombs were a source of learning about the body in death.      David Lanning.

The 20th meeting on 26th May 2011 at the Nog Inn

Yet another lively meeting!

We discussed our plans for the Cadaver Talk. There will be a room raffle, prizes please, proceeds to the Church. Tea, Coffee, and biscuits to be severed after the talk. I will put up the Malherbe display again as it relates to the era of cadaver tombs.

I asked for ideas for where we go next and metal detecting was discussed, and even asking Time Team to come was suggested!! I will ask the local detectors’ to see what they can come up with. The conversation moved on to the  Civil War and various sites though to have links with this time, Skinners Ash Farm was one. Clyst William Farm another.

Then Brenda told us all about her research into the school located in Thorne Cottage in the old village. The mistresses were the Murry sisters, and their pupils went on to be well known in various fields. Homeopathy being one. Look out for the full story in the Parish Magazine.  This was followed by a bit of social history and how it was though unnecessary to educate the working classes and women!

The old school in Feniton was also mentioned, This link tells you more:

Reading the second page of this mentions the Murrys and the school ask for more information!! Brenda you may want to help with this?

To access the “Times Newspaper” on line:
You need your Devon Library card and use this link:

Alan came back from a meeting in Honiton where the Saxon period after the Romans left was discussed, this may be something we could look at as regards Feniton.

Next meetings, Honiton Museum Tues. 7th Jun 2011.

Nog Inn 8pm Thur. 23rd June 2011 

"Arise Noble Weed"

Malherbe Talk 6th May 2011

The Feniton History Group and Feniton Church hosted a talk on the Malherbe family. This family held the Manor of Feniton from 1146 until 1555. At one time the village was known as Finneton Malherbe.

Our speaker was Professor Gordon Reeves, who after retirement from a career in medicine, took up researching the Malherbes as a hobby.

The illustrated talk entitled  “Arise Noble Weed”   explained the families origins in France, the place names found in France and Britain which had taken the family name, the researching of very old Latin documents to find the details of the early family in Devon, not helped by three generations of William Malherbes each marrying a wife by the name of Joan!

The description of the family was followed by a compilation of the various coats of arms used by the bearers of the name. Feniton and Payhembury Churches both have  pillars on which have the coat of arms of nettles are carved.

Professor Reeves went on to tell us about the other uses of the name, Malherbes being “bad weeds” like the nettle and leadwort and club moss. Some malherbes were used as dyes like Mallow, Woad and Weld. Also he mentioned the word “malady”.  Today the name is used by a vine yard, there are poets, artists and a haulage company!

Professor Reeves, accompanied by his wife was thanked by David Lanning who presented a Honiton Lace paperweight to the couple.

It was a very interesting evening and to have a talk on a medieval family in a medieval church was perfect. The re-ordering of Feniton Church has provided the community with a versatile venue.   Thank you to all who helped make the evening such a success, the sum of £146 was raised for Feniton Church.

The 19th meeting on 21st Apr 2011 at the Nog Inn

Another lively meeting!

We discussed our plans for the Malherbe Talk. Brenda and Chris to man the table at the door. David will be the MC. There will be a room raffle, prizes please, Bill has donated a beautiful wooden platter, many thanks Bill, proceeds to the Church.Tea, Coffee, juice and biscuits to be severed after the talk.

I will be in the Church 10:00 am on Tues. 3rd May to set up a display, on a medieval theme!! I will try a get some early maps, the Malherbe family tree, the Rectors list, heraldry, and anything you might like to bring along! Difficult period to illustrate.

I became rather excited about early brick making in the village, and from the notes in the Yates files it can be assumed that Sit George Cary was having them made at Colesworthy. I need to do a bit more work on this before I write it up. Alan mentioned the same prefix to Colestock House as Colesworthy, so will explore this.

This was followed by a discussion on various holes to be found the area where brick clay could have been dug. Brian told us about the aggregate from Rockbeare which is thought to be of the finest quality for bridge building. Brian and Maggie also mentioned a “Dark Hole” in a field off Rutts Lane, Alan knows this as the “Old Cattle Yard”.

Very pleased to report that the “Union Chapel” sign is now in the care of the Group. Brian has very kindly offered to look at it with a view to prevent it rotting any further. Thank you Brian.

Alan gave us another wonderful set of dialect saying, he had us all laughing. The best one being the wartime submarine travelling up the River Tale to Luppitt  Harbour.  Thank you Alan. Also cream teas, what goes on the scone first, the jam or the cream?? We also recalled the shops in the village as we will be losing the post office in June when Denise retires. There are plans in mind that it could be in the church.

Maggie mentioned oral history to record the old dialects. This link to the BBC site is an example of this:

Dates of next meetings:
Honiton Museum Tues.26th April 2011 at 10:00 
The Nog Inn Thurs. 26th May 2011 at 8 pm

Clapper Close

This is the name of a field on the old part of the village. The Group had a question as to the derivation of the name. It is given as a medieval word in the OED.

It is a name used for the old stone slab bridges found on the moors in the South West. Did one take the road over the nearby Vine Stream? It is thought there was a sheep wash near the field at one time.

A tool used for bird scaring, similar to the “rattles” used at sports matches.

There is the Home Farm on the Escot Estate known as Clapperentale, the “Tale” part is the name of the river that runs through the farm and the estate. Did a “clapper bridge” exist near the farm?

Claper also is the term for a rabbit warren. Clapper of cronies, a heap of stones. Clapper Board House. Run like the clappers. Clapper in a bell, the church is nearby.

A lady called Miss Fry who ran the shop down Sandy Knapp.  She used to say that Clapper Close was not really Clapper Close but "a clap of crows".  It would make sense as there are always a lot of crows around.

Love to hear any other ideas.

St Andrew's rededication 4th, 5th 6th March 2011

The church interior was destroyed by a freak flood caused by hailstones blocking drains, it affected a lot of the East Devon area on the night of 31st October 2008.

The team gave the church a good clean through, I had the lovely task of polishing the medieval pews. Then the servery was laid up ready to serve the drinks and biscuits for the 220 school children. Then Brenda, Alan and I put up the History display, the boards were a nightmare, the panels did not all come from the same set!!! Phillip came over and gave us a hand, bless him.

The older children came down about 11am and worked in groups around the church, with various worksheets on the stained glass windows, the graves, the images in the carvings, and then after lunch the rest of the school came down and they had a story time all about the church cat and the church mouse. Then the parents arrived for what would have been the school assembly. The children did readings all based on the word “heart”, using the spelling.  The school music club sang so beautifully.

The next service was the funereal of Mrs. Nora Chipperfield, aged 96 and her  burial in the churchyard.

The team came in and put the portable pews back in and re laid the servery ready for tea, The village gathered at the Nog Inn for the Big Parade about 1:30 pm. Some 200 or more, not that many dressed up, but we all followed the piper through the housing estate, banners from various groups and clubs held aloft, down to the church, the parade garnered another 100 or so as folk joined from the streets and houses we passed. We all crowed in to the church, where Rev Cate gave a welcome speech and blessing, Val Stringer spoke to launch the “Friends of St. Andrews” charity and we spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and serving tea and cakes.

The church was cleaned through and made ready for the Rededication service with Bishop Bob, Bishop of Crediton. He is a lovely man and wondered all around the church greeting folk and talking to all  during his address, all very relaxed with laughter and applause, good rousing traditional hymns. The choir struggled with the hymn tune “Feniton Court”, they did not ask the congregation to sing and I can see why it is not popular, very tricky!!!! It does not flow.  The churchwardens were thanked for all the hard work, as was Rev. Cate, all very emotional. Then we set to and served the finger buffet.

The pews were then all turned to face the font ready for the christening of young Isaac, his family waited until the church re opened to get it done he is a school boy now and did a reading at his own christening, I did not stay for that, but took the chance to go home and walk the dogs.

Then it was back gain for Evensong, boy this was different, very different, all very relaxed and you’ve guessed it, clappy happy, dancing, shouting out prayers as and when, voicing random praises, singing very repetitive verses. At times felt very uncomfortable with it!!!! But did enjoying the singing, as I can’t sing, but no one could hear that!!! And……… there was my son playing the Saxophone. He has not played that since he left school!!! But he had been practising and made a good fist of it. He did not want a mic on it, so that if he did get it wrong it would not be heard, but those sat near the band said they loved hearing it. So very chuffed with that.   Then we served all the food left over from the lunch. I don’t want to eat any more cake for a while.

A wonderful weekend was had by all. I just hope the village will come back and help keep the church in the main stream of village life.

Bricks In the Feniton Area

Long Park
Escot House


When Exeter’s trade with the Netherlands was at its height in the 17th and early 18th centuries, ships returning to Devon were commonly loaded with mixed cheap cargoes including bricks, which acted as ballast on the journey home. Dutch bricks were much smaller than English ones, and were often cream or fawn in colour, contrasting with the red bricks of Devon, so they can easily be distinguished nowadays.

Many examples of such bricks can be seen in the buildings and garden walls of Topsham, close to the quays where they were unloaded. They are found in smaller numbers at Exeter and in the neighbouring villages and towns.

The cottages and the Escot estate properties built by the Kennaways have red brick with white or cream bricks as decoration. The Kennaway family were merchants and I wonder if the white bricks used to build Escot House, dated 1838 rebuilt after the fire, came from trade with the Dutch. One other house in the area has a white brick, which is Long Park, near the railway station. A fine example of the red brick with white is Colesworthy House built by the Wheatons c. 1890, but sadly now it is painted white, and the fine brickwork is lost. A recent owner came from the North and hated all the brick back to back housing, so had it painted. The Talewater Brickyard was part of the Escot estate.

A seem of white ball clay runs across the county from Peters Marland to Newton Abbot. The white clay was used in the making of fine pottery, china pipes, for tobacco. The less valuable stoneware clays to produce the pale cream bricks that are a feature of many West Country buildings, as well as drain pipes, chimney pots and wall tiles - notably Candy & Coin of Heathfield, near Bovey Tracey, Hexter Humpherson in Newton Abbot and the Marland brick works in North Devon.

W.G.Hoskins in his book “ Devon” states that brick was very rare in Devon. George Rolle rebuilt Stevenstone in St. Giles in the Wood in the 1540s using brick. Brick was not used in any quantity until the 1690s.

The Customs House on Exeter Quay is of red brick, built in 1681, one of the oldest brick buildings.

There is a field in Strete Raleigh, near Whimple, called “Brickfields” a look at the old tithe map for that area may be useful. There were brickworks on the way out of Ottery St Mary up Chimeway.

Jo Chown received a Christmas Card from a distant relative called Raymond Harris who Alan Powell knows too.  In the card they included an old photo of the family and said it had been taken in front of 'Bricklands' now Appletree Cottage behind the Nog Inn.  I don't know if this is of any interest but will try to get to the next meeting and bring it with me. I do know that there is a considerable seam of very dense clay which runs in front of Myrtle Cottage which one could easily make bricks from! [Jo. Chown]


Members of the Group have been researching the coats of arms in the Church. The pillars carry the Malherbe and Ferrers on the capitals.
On the screen behind the pulpit are two small bosses, we now believe this to be of the arms of the Acland Family, who lived in Feniton Court.

The 18th meeting on 17th Mar 2011 at the Nog Inn

Many thanks to the folk who came on parade.  It was a good event Pam, thank you. The photos were run the lap top. If anyone wants copies give me a shout.
The Rev. Danny : Has asked us to be custodian of the old chapel sign board, I have yet to collect this . Brian Stork has kindly said he will look at the repairs it needs. Thanks Brian.
Jenny, while in the Museum raised a query as to what Mocaden is, it is a light woollen fabric used for under garments.
The canon at Feniton Court:    Yes it was on the front of Feniton Court,. The barrel was about 4 ft long and stood on a chassis with solid iron wheels. [John Bishop] It was presented to Beatrice Acland for her service during WW1 for setting up an Australian Field Hospital in Hertfordshire. Its whereabouts now are unknown.
Further to our discussions on bricks and brickyards, the white bricks used in the local houses built by Kennaway may have come from the seam of white ball clay runs across the county from Peters Marsland to Newton Abbot.  Escot house is of white brick , as is Long Park.
I was able to glean more about the Rev. Smith from the Crockfords Clerical Directory. He drove the last car up to Hembury Fort from Curscombe. [John Bishop], but Brain remembers driving a rally car up there in the 1970s!!
The Malherbe family talk, is now arranged for the  Fri 6th May in the church. Pam has very kindly taken on the publicity for this event. Please let all your friends and family know!
The second of our talks is about Cadaver Tombs, David is to confirm the date of this, more details next month. It will be a general talk lasting some 30 mins + Q & A.
Val Stringer would like a history article to place in the “Friends” Newsletter, ie one of the families. Any volunteers to set about this task please?
Leslie Alford of Payhembury   asked me about a  photo of football match in the 2008 display. Geoff has the display in his loft and will look it out in due course, thanks Geoff.
Sadly the two village websites have not seen any improvement, so George has kindly offered to carry on with this, despite his hard drive failing. Thank you George. I am to look into running a “Blog” for the group.
We  will discuss the display in the church at the next meeting, it will be good to have it up in time for the May talk. I have a set of display boards now for the Group’s use.
Alan entertained us with some very local dialect sayings from the villagers who coined them, Frank Gibbins, George Gear, Cyril Hill, this was of great interest and sparked a lively discussion. Thank you Alan.
The 17th meeting on 17 Feb 2011 at the Nog Inn 

As there was so few of us we had a good natter over a glass of beer!!

Alan discussed with us about the alignment of the Straight Way Head Road to Taunton. The lanes in the old village, had been altered, the left hand lane into Green Land from the Old village was an old quarry and the original road would have passed through the property known as Beechwood.

In 1841 the Turnpike Trust proposed a road from Fenny Bridges to Broadclyst Heath, and also from Fairmile to the Country House Hotel.

The Ottery /  Payhembury road four cross way, now known as Patteson’s Cross was called Spence Cross. Now with the monument to  John Coleridge Patteson (1 April 1827 - 20 September 1871) was an Anglican bishop and martyr. Patteson was educated at The King's School, Ottery St Mary, Eton and then Balliol College, Oxford. He was ordained in 1853 in the Church of England. His old tutor at Eton, George Augustus Selwyn, was the first Bishop of New Zealand, and he persuaded Patteson to become a missionary to the South Seas. In 1855 Patteson set out to found the Melanesian Mission. He founded a college on Norfolk Island for native boys, toured the islands on the ship Southern Cross, and learned many of the local languages. In 1861 he was made Bishop of Melanesia.
On 20 September 1871 he was murdered on the island of Nukapu in the Solomon Islands, where he had landed alone. Natives killed him as revenge against the abduction of some natives by white men months earlier. Two Norwegian historians (Thorgeir Kolshus and Even Hovdhaugen, 2010) have claimed he was murdered because he had an inappropriate, non-sexual relationship with the chief’s wife  Patteson’s brother confirms this in a letter. His death became a cause celebre in England and increased interest both in missionary work and in improvement of the working conditions in Melanesia.
His life is celebrated in the Church of England as a saintly one, and he is commemorated with a Lesser Festival on 20 September. 
Now don’t forget we are taking part in the Church Parade on Sat 5th March, 1:30 pm at The Nog / Station in dress suitable to depict the 1800s.
The 16th meeting on 20th Jan 2011 at the Nog Inn.

Good to see everyone after the Christmas and New Year break. Welcome to Sylvia Harper, we hope you will be able to come again.

David and Val spoke about the plans for the church in March. The men who died in WW1 to be carved give them a roll of honour. 

There was a good response to ideas for our role the parade. Featuring the 1800s. We will need a placard or poster to carry on the day. Can someone come up with a design please?  Brenda suggested we brought along our chosen costumes to the next meeting. [17th Feb]

The Group will put up a table and may be a board display in the church over the weekend. [4th – 6th Mar] If you have anything to put on display please give us a rough idea of it at the next meeting, this is to gauge the space we need.  My thoughts are, the list of Rectors, the pew carvings, photos, the stain glass windows, the flood, churchwardens, church accounts etc.

The holes in the pew ends were for a “dickie seat” a servant would sit on the end of the Master’s pew.

Professor Gordon, a keen researcher of the Malherbe name will be giving a talk on his research in the church on the 6th May 2011 at 7:30pm. David is arranging this. I will arrange a visit to the Devon and Exeter Institution in June.  

George has been busy with the website design and is looking for files and photos to add. Thank you for taking this on for us. For ideas on this these sites are worth a look:

George  - the Rootsweb Organisation host websites, this link gives more detail.

The 15th meeting on 9th Dec 2010 at the Nog Inn.

It was good to see you all such a cold night.

There were several points discussed. One being the body found under the church porch, I remembered reading about a body in similar circumstances at Christow, near Exeter:
Nathaniel Bussell, the parish clerk, is said to have been shot by the Roundheads on February 19th 1631, and to have been buried in the porch where he fell, because he refused to deliver up the keys of the church for the building to be ransacked. The stone is there with the inscription:—Nathaniel Bussell 46 years clark here dyed 19th February, 1631. The date seems a little too early for him to have lost his life at the hands of the Roundheads [cf. Civil Wars 1642-1651].  Ref:

Chris. Saunders brought up a previous item regarding local brickworks, there was one situated at Street Raleigh, being a field name in that area. It would  be worth checking the tithe map for the field.

The research into the coats of arms on the church pews was passed around. The ones relating to the Northcote family have been found and indentified. But there are two that seem rather elusive, a single shield which fits to the name Chatterton, does anyone know of this name in relation to the village church? The other is has the arms of the Baldock on the right, one Elizabeth Baldock married William Gore, but the arms on the left of the carving seem to be of O’Connell, so some confusion there!!

There is to be a weekend of events to mark the re-dedication of the church over the week end 4th,5th and 6th March 2011. The History Group have been asked to take part in the community parade on the 5th. The theme is the 1800’s. We discussed various roles we could depict, the railway, farming, perhaps a pony and trap. Chris. Saunders suggested that Ottery Community Theatre would be able to help with costumes, contact Nora Palmer. The local Morris Dancers, perhaps they would be able to take part, I understand Colin Payne, one of our members is the man to ask.
Ideas for next year, a talk by John Michael Kennaway, a visit to Exeter and the Devon and Exeter Institute.

Mike Spry popped in to tell about the old Chapel sign board, it was repaired about 1980 ish from iroko wood and there is an older sign under the current “onion” one.
Alan gave us one of his fascinating talks, this time on “Sidmouth Road”, this road is shown on the OS Map as running from Langford to Weaver. The road was improved to take passengers from the trains at Hele to Sidmouth before the line to Sidmouth was built.

We had a chat about setting up a website for the Group, the Rootsweb organisation currently offer free space:  We will need a web master / mistress!!

Bill Knollman told us a bit about his life as an undertaker and of living near one of the London Airports leading to a discussion on aircraft!!
Mince Pies and Christmas Greetings were passed around to mark the season. 
The 14th meeting on 18 Nov 2010. 

David gave us an update on the progress at the church, all going as planned. Ideas for the use of the building with the new variable space. One being the provision of “Quiet Time”, something lacking in the hurly burly of life and a christening party may stay in the church for the tea afterwards.

The pew carvings of coats of arms are being researched, the quality of the carvings vary, those done by Mrs. Hart being the more amateur.

The plans for the re-opening on the 6th March, Pam asked for ideas of periods of local history to portray in the parade from the Nog Inn to the church. Suggestions were the 1877 restoration, the Fenny Mead Battle, farming, the railway, the chapel and the persecution of the clergy during the 1645 troubles.

The History Group has given up the plans to buy the Chapel for the village, it will be a burden to fund raise for and repair, the asking price is about £90,000, plus an estimate of £130,000 to repair it. Rev. Cate and David have kindly agreed that we can have a permanent display in the church.

Alan kindly followed on last month’s discussion of the Roman road through the area to Taunton. It ran from Daisymount past Larkbeare to Colestocks via Talewater and up past Hembury Fort. A steep hill for horses!! The state of the roads was better before the use of carts, when the transport was pack horse or sledge. The 17th C saw the stage coach come into use along with the associated coaching inns Colestocks House being one example. The 1720’s saw the introduction of carts and wagons on the roads.

During the war the “Exon Book”, part of the notes made to compile the Domesday was stored in the cellar of Feniton Court.

The Lytch Gate at the church is the village memorial for the fallen in WWW1. To help the school children understand this we are to research the soldiers’ names.

The thoughts of how to handle all the notes and research we have gleaned were aired. A book was thought to be too big a project and it would be better to put together small chapters to sell and then perhaps collate into a full size book at a later date.

Geoff has set up a template so that the folk with laptops who work in the Museum can digitise the Baptisms from the Late Eric Yates files. This will be wonderful asset and will complete the set, as we already have the marriages and burials done by Geoff.

We are pleased to welcome two new members Denise and Michael Banks.