Eggesford or Eggsford
EGGESFORD or EGGSFORD, in the hundred of North Tawton, and in the
deanery of Chulmleigh, lies about two miles from Chulmleigh.
The manor belonged, in the reign of Henry III., to the family of
Reigny, from which it passed by successive female heirs to Coplestone
and Chichester. The manor-house was rebuilt by Edward Lord Chichester
(who married the heir of Coplestone) in the reign of James I. The
daughter of Arthur Chichester, the first Earl of Donegal, brought this
estate to John St. Leger, Esq. In 1718, it was purchased of Arthur St.
Leger, the second Viscount Doneraile, by William Fellowes, Esq., on the
death of whose grandson, Henry Arthur Fellowes, Esq. in 1792, it passed by
his bequest to the Honourable Newton Wallop, son of John Earl of Portsmouth, by Urania, daughter of Coulson Fellowes, Esq. Mr. Wallop, who
took the name of Fellowes in 1794, is the present proprietor and patron of
Eggesford-house, then the seat of Lord Chichester, was taken by
Colonel Okey in the month of December, 1645. (fn. 1) The house was rebuilt
by William Fellowes, Esq., soon after his purchase of the estate in 1718.
It is now the seat of the Honourable Newton Fellowes.
In the parish church are monuments of the families of Coplestone (fn. 2) ,
Chichester (fn. 3) , and Fellowes. (fn. 4) There was formerly an almshouse at this
place, founded by Ibote Reigny, and endowed with lands, valued in 1547
at 4l. 10s. 6d. per annum. (fn. 5)
ERMINGTON, in the hundred of that name and in the deanery of
Plympton, lies about two miles from Modbury, and twelve from Plymouth.
Two weekly markets at this place, to be held on Tuesday and Friday,
with a fair for three days at the festival of St. John the Baptist, were
granted, in 1294, to John de Bensted. (fn. 6) There are now two fairs for cattle,
&c., held on February 2d, and June 24th, but they have dwindled almost to
nothing, since the establishment of some great cattle markets in the
The manor and hundred of Ermington, which had been part of the
demesnes of the crown, were given by King Henry I. to Matilda Peverell (fn. 7) ,
and continued for several descents in that family. In the year 1299, Sir
Gilbert Fitz Stephen, being lord of Ermington, conveyed this estate to
John Bensted, who procured a grant from the crown. (fn. 8) It was afterwards
for several descents in the family of Stoner, who sold to Rouse. It
continued in the family of Rouse when Sir William Pole made his collections. The lords of this manor had the power of life and death. (fn. 9)
John Bulteel, Esq. is the present lord of the manor and hundred of
Ermington, which were purchased with its royalties of free warren, free
fishery, &c. &c. by his ancestor, of Hugh Lord Clinton, early in the last
century. Mr. Bulteel possesses also the barton of Stretchleigh, or Strachleigh, the ancient seat and property of a family of that name, who
continued to possess it for ten descents from the reign of Henry III. The
heiress of Strachleigh brought it to Chudleigh, and one of the co-heiresses
of Sir John Chudleigh, Bart., to Prideaux. It was purchased by Mr.
Bulteel of certain trustees acting under the will of Humphrey Prideaux,
Esq., of Place near Padstow in Cornwall, who died in 1792. The old
mansion at Stretchleigh is inhabited by Mr. James Hook, who has a lease
of the barton.
In the year 1623, a meteoric stone fell near Sir George Chudleigh's
house at Stretchleigh: Risdon says that it weighed twenty-three pounds. In
a scarce pamphlet, published soon afterwards, describing three suns seen at
Tregony, in Cornwall, in 1622, its dimensions are stated to have been three
feet and a half in length, two feet and a half in breadth, and one foot and a
half in thickness. It is said in the pamphlet that it forced its way a yard deep
into the ground; the same thing happened in the fall of the meteoric stone
some years ago in Yorkshire. Risdon speaks of the Devonshire stone as composed of matter which appeared singed or half burnt for lime: the
pamphlet above-mentioned states it to have been in hardness and colour not
much unlike a flint, and adds that many gentlemen had pieces of it broken
off from the main stone. There is still a tradition in the parish of the
fall of this stone.
The manor of Woodland was, at an early period, the property and seat
of a family of that name, the last of whom, Sir Walter de Woodland, was
servant to the Black Prince. His daughters and co-heirs married Wybbery
and Solers. By the heiress of one of these, or by one of these co-heiresses,
re-married to Burell, the manor of Woodland came to the last-mentioned
family, who possessed it for many descents. It is now the property of John
Spurrell Pode, Esq., of Slade, in Cornwood.
The manor of Ivybridge, partly in this parish, belonged for several
descents to the family of De Ponte Hederæ or Ivybridge, from whom it
appears to have passed by marriage to Bonville. Lord Bonville gave it
to his natural son, John Bonville, who gave it to his natural son of the
same name. The last-mentioned John Bonville was founder of the family
of Bonville, of Ivybridge, which continued for several descents. The
heiress of this family brought the manor of Ivybridge to Croker, of
Lyneham. It is now the property of Sir John Lemon Rogers, Bart.
The manor of Strode, in this parish, was the ancient property and
residence of the Strodes, who possessed it in the reign of Henry III.,
and probably at an earlier period. About a century ago, it was alienated
on a long lease for 500 years, now vested in Mr. Sampson Croker, having
been purchased, about 1788, of H. Legassick, Esq.
The manor of Worthiheale, or Worthele, belonged, in the reign of
Edward I., to the Pynes, afterwards to the Topcliffes. It is now the
property of Edmund Pollexfen Bastard, Esq. M. P., having been purchased, not many years ago, of the family of Rich, who, in a monumental
inscription in the parish church, are said to have possessed it for four
The manor of Chapel Lee belongs to Humphrey Prideaux, Esq., most
probably by descent from the Chudleighs.
The manor and barton of Ludbrooke, partly in this parish and partly in
Modbury, were for many generations in the family of Moysey, from whom
they passed by descent to the late N. A. Bartlett, Esq., of Modbury. Ludbrooke is now the property and residence of his son, the Rev. N. A. Bartlett.
Preston or Pruteston, in this parish, belonged for many years to a branch
of the Fortescue family. It was purchased in 1738 of Hugh Fortescue,
Lord Clinton, by Courteney Crocker, Esq., of Lyneham, from whom it
descended to Thomas Hillersdon Bulteel, Esq., the present proprietor.
In the parish church is an ancient monument (probably of the Strachleigh family) without inscription, also that of William Strachleigh, the
last heir male of that family, who died in 1583, and his wife, the heiress
of Gould. The heiress of Strachleigh married Christopher Chudleigh,
son and heir of Sir Richard Chudleigh, Knight. The church of Ermington
belonged to the priory of Montacute in Somersetshire. A moiety of the
rectory now forms a sinecure clerical benefice, in the patronage of John
Burridge Cholwich, Esq. The other moiety is a lay impropriation, vested
in John Bulteel, Esq. The vicarage is in the alternate gift of the crown
and of Mr. Cholwich.
Alice Hatch in 1513 gave lands to this parish, now let for about 20l. per
annum, for the relief of the poor not receiving alms; and for apprenticing
and educating poor children.
EXBOURNE, in the hundred of Black Torrington and in the deanery of
Oakhampton, lies about five miles from Hatherleigh, and about the same
distance from Oakhampton. There is a cattle-fair at Exbourne on the
third Monday in April.
The manor belonged to the ancient family of Moels or Mules, till the
reign of Edward III., and was afterwards successively in those of Prous
and Chudleigh. It was sold by the latter to Every, by whom it had been
again alienated before 1600. This manor belonged, in 1774, to the Rev.
Christopher Lethbridge (fn. 10) , and is now the property of Sir Thomas Lethbridge, Bart.
The court barton is the property and residence of Mr. John Tattershall.
The Rev. Finny Belfield, the present incumbent, is patron of the rectory.