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Yarcombe? We can post your
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pages may be of interest.)
Kindly inform us of any communication and/or
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Ancestral Search 25
was in Yarcombe yesterday and was looking
for the plaque put up from the evacuees of
Lambeth Walk. Just wanted to know where it
is, as my Dad was the one who paid for this.
you have contacted us. I have
sent a photo of the plaque that you
click to enlarge)
which is to be found in the Yarcombe
Village Hall . If you visit
our World Wars pages, within are
photos of the evacuees, amongst whom
are mentioned Patrick, Nellie,
Michael and Peter Sullivan. I
would be interested to learn which
one was your father. Many of
these children went to St Anne's
Roman Catholic Primary school in
Lambeth. I have written to the
school to see if they have an
interest, but I have never received
a reply. I look forward to
hearing from you.
Ancestral Search 24
have a copy of Ruth Everitt's book, but also
want to praise you for all your ongoing
local history research and the support you
offer others. The web pages are
something of which Yarcombe should be proud.
I have family roots in Yarcombe but they are
some way back. The first thing I
discovered was the 5th January 1789 marriage
at Yarcombe of Anna VINCENT and Elias CARTER
Question 1 - How might they have come
to meet? I think Elias CARTER may have
been living in Yarcombe a few months but
after marriage the couple settled in
Harpford where they had 10 children, all of
whom survived infancy. Elias became a
yeoman farmer, churchwarden, overseer etc.
Interestingly Anna had an illegitimate
daughter, Rachel VINCENT who was baptised at
Yarcombe in 1787. I have never found
any mention of the child's father but when
Anna left Yarcombe with her new husband, it
would appear Rachel VINCENT remained in the
care of her maternal grandparents, John
VINCENT b1727 and Hannah.
Question 2 -
Have you any idea who might have been
I know a lot about John VINCENT b1727 of
Dennington and have a copy of his will.
He died in 1812 and left money to both his
married daughter Anna CARTER of Harpford and
to his grand daughter Rachel who had married
Francis WYATT at Yarcombe in 1810. She
had a big family and died a grand old lady
(formally a cow keeper!) in 1875 at
Smeatharp, Upottery (aged 88yrs). I
don't think it a coincidence that one of her
sons Thomas WYATT b1826, married Sarah Hare
CARTER, a grand daughter of her mother (Anna
CARTER nee VINCENT.)
With a fair degree of reliability I can go
back several generations with the VINCENT
family to the marriage of James VINCENT and
Prudence DARE c 1680. However I have
never been able to validate this marriage in
any parish register. The DARE family
that Ruth Everitt wrote about at Clifthayne,
Yarcombe are my ancestors and I believe came
from Kilmington/ Axminster in the late 16th
century/ early 17th century.
Question 3 - My
BIG QUESTION - There are two babies named
John VINCENT baptised at Yarcombe in 1727.
I believe they were cousins! I have
always gone with John, son of Benjamin
VINCENT and Rachel, only because Anna
VINCENT called her illegitimate daughter
Rachel. I would love to have some
collaborating document of this. The
other John VINCENT was son of James VINCENT
and Elizabeth nee TURNER.
Just remembered another -
Question 4 -
How come in John VINCENT's 1812 will did he
have property (Simpson's Court) in Thurlbear?
I know his wife came from Pitminster but
I've never worked out the Thurlbear
Sorry this is so long but when I get on to
talking about family history, I find it
difficult to stop. I am happy if you
wish to add my comments on the Yarcombe
webpage or to share anywhere else that you
fancy. If you know others, I would
love to make contact with people researching
the same names.
With kind regards,
Anne Speight, Loughborough, England
Peter Tarrant writes:
Thank you for your enquiry and kind comments about the Yarcombe website. I added the
Ancestral Searches page nearly 2 years ago
thinking it may perhaps encourage a couple
of enquiries, but have been pleased to see
them arriving at a steady pace ever since!
We are very fortunate to have someone in
Yarcombe as dedicated as Steve Horner and
much of this would have been impossible
without him. Having said that I
suspect some of your questions are a little
deeper than the average. I await
Steve's response with interest!
I was of course delighted to receive your
kind wishes and the information about
various local families with whom you have a
connection. As you know this
information will now be out there on the
world wide web and be collected by powerful
search engines such as Google so your names
may well be picked up by others researching
the same names. I am afraid I cannot
answer any of your detailed questions,
however one question for you please.
Over the years starting in 1582, the Drake
family gradually acquired much of the land
in the parish of Yarcombe. My house now
called Old Woodhayne Farm adjoins Clifthayne
Farm where the Dare family lived. Old Woodhayne
Farm was sold by the estate in
1970, and I am writing a history of the
house which has its origins in the 15th
Century. As Ruth suggests in her book, Clifthayne was probably purchased by the
Drake estate between 1786, when it was owned
by John Willie, and 1794, when it is
mentioned in the Estate timber survey.
Now here comes the tricky part - my farm, then
called Woodend, was owned by Henry Willie who
died in 1792, and I suspect John Willie
and he were related. I am almost certain that
the Drake family acquired Woodend upon the
death of Henry Willie. The dates of
late 1790s might well indicate a sale of
both properties to the Drake family (Lord
Heathfield). Do you have any record,
perhaps in a will, as to when the ownership
of Clifthayne passed from the Dare family to
I am sorry I cannot help more with your
questions, however perhaps others will have
some clues for you.
you for your reply. I realised my questions
were difficult ones. By several
centuries this is the furthest back I have
got on any of my family history branches.
I have attached the Dare wills that I have
but this there may be others.
Joan Dare Will 1626
John Dare Will 1636
Robert Dare Will 1590
Robert Dare Will 1667
You are quite right, yours is a difficult
tree to work out. However, I spent
about an hour on the Ancestry.com web site
and there are several trees there for the
Dare family of Yarcombe, although I am not
certain these are complete and correct in
all detail as there are inconsistencies for
the information as shown.
It is the Will of John Dare, died 1637,
whose wife was called Prudence in his Will,
that is of interest to me as in it he
bequeathes "all my estate of lease of my
tenure of Clifthayne" to his son his eldest
son Robert, born 1621. There is no
doubt that John Dare was of some stature in
the parish describing himself as a Yeoman.
I have one further clue for you which
relates to a Court Case filed 23rd November
1600 called Drake vs Major. Thomas
Drake was the brother of Sir Francis Drake
who inherited the estates of his late
brother and Major was the Vicar of Yarcombe
1579-1627. The Vicar claimed his
entitlement of tithes from Drake and in his
pleadings show all the holdings in the Manor
of Yarcombe farm by farm and the name of the
person who held the land. A Robert
Dare is shown as holding both Clifthayes and
land in Dennington. This leads me to
the conclusion that this Robert Dare was the
son of Robert Dare* whose will was dated
23rd July 1590. BUT by 1637 the
holding of Clifthayne was in the ownership
of John Dare so your hypothesis that Robert
Dare* died and thus the estate went to his
brother John may be correct.
you. I received the photo of
Cliffhayne. Looks a place full of
history! Many thanks. You also
asked for my family tree as it pertains to
Yarcombe. There are 2 interconnected
parts - the DARE tree and the VINCENT tree:
Hannah VINCENT was the person who left
Yarcombe and moved with her new husband to
Harpford in the Lower Otter valley.
All dates given are from registers at
Yarcombe (unless described differently).
Hannah Vincent b. 13 March 1768 and m. 5 Jan
1789 to Elias Carter (before this marriage
Hannah had an illegitimate child Rachel
b.1787 but when Hannah married, Rachel
remained with her Vincent grandparents. I
know a lot about Rachel. One of her son's
married a grandchild of Hannah Carter. The
families must have kept in touch). Hannah
Carter d 1852 Harpford.
John Vincent b.1727 and m. 12 Feb 1765
Hannah Beer, widow. John Vincent was
described of Dennington, he made a detailed
Will, d.1812. Hannah died 12 Jan 1822.
Benjamin Vincent b.5 Feb 1700 and m. 21 Sept
1725 Rachel Denham at Pitminster. Their
children baptised at Yarcombe. Benjamin died
16 Dec 1764 and Rachel died 13 March 1769.
James Vincent b.22 Jan 1636 and m Prudence
Dare (no record found of this marriage) but
they had a large family baptised Yarcombe.
James died 1721. Prudence died 3 Feb 1724
Robert Vincent b.1 Oct 1587 and m. 27
November 1625 Jane Way. They had many
children. Robert died 21 Jan 1669. Jane died
4 Jan 1662.
Prudence Dare b. 5 March 1658 married James
Vincent about 1680.
Robert Dare b.24 Jan 1618 (son of John &
Prudence). Married Ann? (Ann is noted in
baptism registers as mother of his children
but no marriage found, probably c1657. Maybe
her surname was Titus???). Possibly Ann died
c1668 and Robert had a 2nd wife. In his
Will, Robert describes his wife as Agnes.
Robert died 1667.
John Dare - no idea when or where born, but
his father was Robert Dare and John was only
the 2nd son. (The elder son was Robert Dare
who as a bachelor died sometime after 1600,
but with no heirs). John married Prudence
Mathew, possibly at Yarcombe. Their children
born 1616-1630. John Dare died 1636. His
wife outlived him but I don't know when she
Robert Dare of Clifthayne. No idea when or
where born or who was mother of his children
- Agnes, Joane, Robert, John. Robert Dare
snr died at Yarcombe in 1590. Will.
I hope you can put together a tree from all
this. It does get confusing when the
same names are used over and over again.
As you will notice there are several places
where I lose track of people but the records
are patchy and difficult to read this far
back. The Vincents are known to move
around local parishes and just possibly the
Dare family originally came from Kilmington
Many thanks for all your interest.
Please let me know if you find any new
Ancestral Search 23
Have just been browsing your excellent site;
I am looking into my wife’s ancestor, a John
Wiscombe (or Wescombe) who was born in
Yarcombe around 1775. I think he
married Anna Mutter in 1805 and had 3 or 4
children, then married Mary Brewer in 1815
with whom he had a further 10 children!
I can only find a single birth record so it
looks like he married twice, although I am
not sure what the circumstances were.
I believe his parents were Robert and
Jemima, who I assume also lived in Yarcombe.
He was in the 1841 census in Yarcombe but I
cannot decipher the address given as the
image quality is very poor. Any help would
be gratefully received. Thank
Peter Tarrant writes:
Thanks for visiting the Yarcombe website.
I have scanned the publication 'From Monks
To The Millennium' and Wiscombe/Wescombe
drew a blank, but there are references to Mutter
and Brewer reproduced below.
Much may be irrelevant, for example the
second extract for Mutter refers to a property rather
than a surname, but I have included
each paragraph in full for completeness:
is probably the mill at
Dennington that is mentioned in
early documents. In 1600 there
is a mill listed as Dynyngton
Mill, occupied by John
paying tithes of 12d. to the
vicarage. In 1782 there is
dual ownership or a mortgage
arrangement between the Drake
Estate and widow Spiller.
Occupiers of the mill include
John Spiller, Robert Willie,
John Wilce and William Manley.
The ¾ acre mill pond was fed by
a stream rising on Brown Down.
The machinery consisted of an
overshot wheel 12` in diameter
and 3` wide that drove a shaft
which not only powered the mill,
but also passed into the house
to assist with the mixing of
dough for bread making.
The electoral roll of 1832-3
shows that it was a rented
Estate above £50. The
Estate kept the mill and
bakehouse in good repair,
T.Trott repairing the oven and
replacing bricks, and Hockey &
Co. providing new mill stones
for £12 in 1897 as well as
repairing arms and bearings in
1899. A flour machine was
supplied in 1901 and more
repairs were undertaken on the
water wheel and machinery
costing £81. 10s. In 1931
the mill was sold and the
sitting tenant, Mr.F.Quick,
became the new owner. By 1953
the water wheel required
extensive repairs and the mill
first documentation of this
property that could be found was
dated 1784, when a Peter Toller
bought a freehold estate of 23
acres from William Hill.
Prior to this date the property
had been known as May‟s tenement
at Marsh. Peter Toller left
Toller‟s Marsh to Stephen Gollop,
subject to payment by Gollop of
£100 to his sister, Mary, wife
of Ben Hurford, at the age of 21
years. The property was
actually inherited by George
Gollop, (Stephen‟s brother),
Stephen having died before he
could claim his inheritance.
Peter Toller had another
property known as Toller's
Mutters. This was sold to
the Yarcombe Estate sometime
before 1810 and it was added to
New Barn. George Gollop retained
Toller‟s Marsh, using it to
raise money by leasing and
releasing and mortgaging. A
Samuel Wyatt of Buckland St.
Mary paid George Gollop £300 for
a release in 1844. This was the
era of coaches and coaching
routes, and land at Marsh, being
on the London to Exeter coaching
route, would have been much in
demand. Part of the estate near
Clifthayne, a small field of
just over an acre called
Marshment Down, was sold to Mr.
John Kerly, a gamekeeper on the
Yarcombe Manor Estate. A
poultry enterprise was operated
for a while at Toller‟s Marsh
during this century and it is
now a privately owned
(also known as Higher, Middle,
Little and Haines Hay)
is difficult to decipher with
any accuracy the exact history
of the remaining Hays from the
available documents. It is
probable that Higher Hays either
incorporated Haines Hay or was
once known as "Haines Hay‟.
Little Hays is shown on the
Enclosure Map of 1817 as Middle
Hays. In 1600 it was an
important area as there are four
Hays listed:- Haye - occupier
Richard Newberie, tithe 6d, Haye
and Adam‟s Meade - occupier
Elizabeth Mathew (widow), tithe
8d, Hayes and Rodlands Meade -
occupiers Brigett Turner and
John Soper, tithe 8d, and Hay
and Hynxwell - occupier Charles
Pavey, tithe 10d. Hynxwell is
described as barton land. In the
1727 Land Tax Survey there are
three properties listed as Hay.
They are as follows:- For Hay,
John Strickland, tax £1. 19s.
11¾d, For part of Hay, David Pay
(perhaps Pavey), tax 12s. 7½d,
For Hay, Susanna Trott, tax 8s.
5d. Also shown are
Hinkswell, John Strickland, tax
14s. 8¾d. Adams and Willmore,
William Matthews, tax 17s. 10½d.
The Estate Timber Survey of
1794-5 shows a small property
called Middle Hay and two larger
holdings, Higher Hay and Haines
Hay. The Land Tax of 1798
shows John Strickland as owner
and tenant of Hay (leased for
lives from Estate); he is also
the tenant of Haines Hay, for
which he paid a tax of £1. 15s.
9½d. This is almost
exactly the total of tax paid
for the properties of Pay, Trott
and Strickland (Hinkswell) in
the 1727 Land Tax Survey.
By 1810 Higher Hay is no longer
listed, but there is a Mrs.
Strickland shown as a tenant of
Lord Heathfield‟s at Haines Hay
as well as Haykins and Wellsmead.
The Enclosure Map of 1817
reintroduces Higher Hays, with
John Matthews junior as the
occupier, and Middle Hay
(Little) is shown with no land,
and the occupier as Richard
Mutter. Hearsay from
reliable sources tell of a fire
at Higher Hays and the existence
of another fine older building
between the two existing Hays,
which was pulled down.
The references to Brewer follow:
BEACON HOUSE (formerly site of
Beacon House has recently been
built on the site of Yarcot. The
skilful use of local stone in
its construction has helped the
house to blend into the
surroundings. There were
probably three cottages on this
site, although none of them
remains today. The first
documentation is a schedule of
deeds relating to a cottage and
two pieces of garden. In 1827
gifted it to his
grandson John Pike, who in 1831
transferred the cottage and land
to Robert Spiller (Panshayne)
for 2,000 years. He received £20
plus interest and moved to Stockland. The two pieces of
garden referred to are probably
the site of Beacon House (Yarcot)
and Emmet‟s Farm. In 1877 R.Pavey
sold the property to the
Yarcombe Estate. In 1931 the Yarcombe Estate sold Yarcot, a
stone-built thatched cottage,
and not even the walls remain of
what had once been known as
"Brewer's Cottage‟ to the
north-east of Yarcot.
PETERHAYS (also known as
Petershegh or Great Peterhays)
Peterhays, recognized as one of
the best farms in the Parish,
was for many years the property
of Exeter Cathedral. In 1326
Bishop Walter Stapledon‟s tenant
had the following stock on the
farm:- 2 sumpter beasts (draught
horses) valued at 10s., 16 oxen
at 6/8d. per head (£5. 0s. 8d.),
1 bull 6/8d., 1 yearling 1/6d.,
180 sheep at 12d. per head (£9.
0s. 0d.). In the grange the corn
was worth £9. 6s. The dead stock
of timber, lime, laths and cut
stone for the new buildings was
valued at £10. 1s. 0d. There was
also timber worth 10s. at Madeford. Bishop Stapledon was
murdered in London and his
successor was James de Berkeley,
whose very brief episcopate was
of 14 weeks! “Death overtook him
on June 24th., 1327 while on a
visit to Peterhays, an episcopal
manor in the Parish of Yarcombe,
on the north-east border of his
diocese”. His death was
registered at Newenham Abbey at
nearby Axminster. In
1600 the three occupiers of Peterhays, William Bennett,
and John Symes
were required to pay a tithe of
4s. 9d., the highest in the
Parish. There was a valuation of
the property in 1647. Rents and
profits per annum were £10. 0s.
0d., improvements above per
annum, £108. 10s. 0d., timber
and wood valued at £66. 13s. 4d. Reprizes were to be paid to Sir
Francis Drake (impropriator) out
of Peterhays at a rate of 10s.
10d. per annum. During the
eighteenth century Peterhays was
leased to Stephen Weston of
London and for a time the farm
became known as Weston Lands. Weston sub-leased it in 1728 to
Jonathan Newman, a merchant from
Salisbury, Wiltshire. By 1798
Lord Heathfield had obtained a
long lease on the property and
John Seward was his tenant. The
Land Tax Surveys of 1810 and
1832 show Robert Smith was
followed by John Smith as tenant
of Peterhays. The Electoral roll
of 1832-3 states that it was an
Estate worth more than £100 per
year. There was probably a fire
that destroyed part of the
farmhouse, as it was rebuilt in
the 1860s. One of the buildings
was unusually named 'Spillers
Hall'. (Robert Spiller was a
tenant in the nineteenth
century). The present owner was
unable to shed much light on the
subject, but did confirm that
there was a large building which
some time ago had been used
occasionally as a dance venue.
The Yarcombe Manor Estate
intermixed its freehold estates
with the leased Peterhays
holding and in 1931 sold a small
dairy farm known as Part
Peterhayes, which comprised 35
acres and a thatched cottage. Great Peterhays was sold in 1961
by the Church Commissioners.
Many thanks for
your enquiry and we are always pleased to
try and help with such enquiries, it all
adds to our pool of knowledge about the
history and people of our village.
I looked at the 1841 census and as you know
it is possible to decipher that John
Wiscombe was living with his son Walter aged
12 and his daughter Charlotte aged 21 - his
occupation is shown as a Cobbler.
The location is perhaps Mannings Common and
this fits with other properties in the area
which would have been covered by the
enumerator walking or perhaps riding from
door to door in the area. If you
Ancestral Search 1, you will find more
information about the cottage(s) at Mannings
Common which no longer exist.
You will probably have noted at this time
there were other families in the parish with
the name Wiscombe, doubtless progeny of your
prolific ancestor! Good luck
with your continued research , we always
Ancestral Search 22
My great, great grandfather, William Lentell
(b.1829) came from Yarcombe and he and his
father before (Matthew Lentell) lived at
Williambeer Farm on the parish border of
Yarcombe and Upottery. I
wondered if you might have any information
on the farm in the village book ‘From Monks
to the Millennium’. Many thanks,
Peter Tarrant writes:
Thanks for your enquiry. A scan
of 'From Monks To The Millennium' reveals 15
references to Williambeer Farm over 7 pages.
There is no mention of the Lentell surname
but a John (or J) Lental is mentioned twice,
in connection with Knapp Farm and
Williambeer Farm (see below). If
you would like a digital copy of the book I
believe a modest donation to our village
magazine, Yarcombe Voices, would suffice -
please contact the editor,
Knapp is listed with Crokam in 1600.
Christian Vincent (widow) is shown as
dwelling at Crokam and having the tenure and
occupation of Knapp. She died in 1606,
leaving her estate to her son, Symon
Vincent. The tithe payable was 7d. In the
Land Tax of 1727 Mary Paris paid a tax of
£1. 7s. 4d. for Knapp. By 1794-5 there was a
large amount of saleable timber, worth £58.
12s. 8d, comprising 52 oak and 10 ash; the
house is noted as needing repairs. There was
a boundary stone marking the extent of
Yarcombe Parish with Upottery placed in the
River Otter in 1864. Tenants of the Estate
included John Lental and Edward Webber.
Knapp, with Knight‟s Mill and Rackley,
making a total of 76 acres, were sold in
WILLIAMBEER (also known as Williambeare)
In 1600 this farm is listed with Pipenhays.
Williambeare has Thomasine Vincent as the
occupier and Pipenhays has Joane Vincent
(widow) as the occupier. The combined tithe
is 12d., so it is one of the more important
properties. The 1727 Land Tax shows a Mr.
Gifford as the owner of Williambeer and
Richard Stevens occupying Pipenhays. The
Timber Survey of the Drake Estate in 1794-5
states that there were 20 oak, 20 ash, 7
beech/sycamore, 7 elm and 1 fir of saleable
timber at Williambeer, worth in toto £46.
17s., and 10d, and 18 oak and 36 ash at
Pipenhays. The 1798 Land tax shows Lord
Heathfield owning Williambeer, with J.
Lental as a tenant, and Widow Westlake (with
mortgage or lease on years or lives to Lord
Heathfield) as the owner of Pipenhays, with
J.Loosemoore as the tenant. Williambeer must
have had water meadows as the Estate renewed
the hatches in 1870. Pipenhays no longer
exists as a separate holding. Williambeer
with Farthings included was sold in 1931.
The sale catalogue shows that Williambeer
then consisted of 84 acres and one of the
buildings was a pound house with a granary
I note that
Ancestral Search 8 refers to a similar
surname (Lenthal) and was wondering if you
have any evidence of a connestion..
Ancestral Search 21
name is Heather and I live in Appleton
Cheshire, my Gt Gt Grandfather was John Lee
who I believe lived according to the 1881
census at Axiviney cottage and then later at
the Rising Sun Inn as both the landlord and
also a bootmaker. Do either of
these premises exist, and are there any Lee
family still in Yarcombe? I also
have Childs, Sartin and Spiller in my family
tree, wondered if you could help at all.
Many thanks for your
enquiry. You are correct, I have
located your great great grandfather John
Lee (aged 29) on the 1881 census living at
Axviney cottage with his wife Emily aged 25
and his daughters Blanche aged 6 and Mabel
aged four. This cottage no
longer exists, although we have reason to
believe was located just below Whitehorns on
scanned map (click
As for mention of the Rising Sun public
house this set us scratching our heads as
there are/were several pubs of that name in
the area. However I have located
John Lee as landlord of the Rising Sun in
Stapley which is in the neighbouring parish
1893/John Lee/& Shoemaker/../../Kellys
1902/John Lee/& Shoemaker Asst
Overseer & Parish Clerk/../../Kellys
I am not certain if
this pub still exists as a licensed
premises, but I feel certain the building
will still be there. In the 1901
census he is shown as living in the Rising
Sun with his family, Emily his wife and
their children, Lucy Mary (12), William
George (9), Herbert Jack (9) and Margaret
Gillian (3). In the late 1890s
there were several families with the surname
Lee in this area but to my knowledge the
name has died out. The family
name Spiller crops up very often in the
records and a branch of the family still
live in Yarcombe. I hope this is
of help to you. If you give me a
few more clues perhaps I can answer more
Heather Coulson writes:
Thanks for that information. My
Spillar connection is Mary Bromfield Spillar
who married Joseph Board. They
were the parents of Emily, John Lee's wife.
I am sure they were from Churchstanton but
could they have relatives in Yarcombe?
The Spiller family are
very much part of Yarcombe history and there
are still members of the family in the
parish. I carried out a quick
check on Ancestry.uk.com and you are
correct, your branch of the Spiller family
(note spelling) were residents of
Churchstanton and Mary married Joseph Board
on 23rd August 1852 in the parish church in
Churchstanton. Mary and Joseph
(a blacksmith) later in their lives lived in
Marsh which is a hamlet of Yarcombe Parish.
I hope this is helpful.
Heather Coulson writes:
you Steve for that, it's amazing there are
still members of the family still in the
parish. Would be interesting to
find out what branch they are from.
is a very difficult question to answer
without constructing the whole Spiller tree!
In the Bishopswood village hall there is a
very large tree almost covering one wall
which amongst others shows a large number of
Spillers. If you are ever in the
area it's worth obtaining the key and having
a look. Great to work with you.
Ancestral Search 20
have been tracing our ancestors, the Spiller
family back to Yarcombe. They
were living there in the 16th century, if
not before. I understand that
there may be some information about them and
about the village in the book ‘From Monks to
the Millenium’. I understand
that you may be able to put your hands on a
copy of the book. If you can I
would love to purchase one or borrow one.
Perhaps I could make a donation to a local
charity. Please let me know if
this would be possible. Kind
Miranda Gudenian replies:
Yes, your family has deep roots in Yarcombe,
and there is a lot of historical information
(here) on the village website.
Local historian Steve Horner may be able to
answer a number of your questions about the
Spiller family. Hard copies of
the book 'From Monks to the Millennium' are no
longer available, though occasionally a
second-hand copy does come up for sale. However, a pdf is available for a donation
to Yarcombe Voices, the village magazine.
Do let me know if you would like it.
Andre & Clare Evans respond:
Thanks so much for your help.
This is of great interest to us.
We did find a number of Spillers in the
churchyard. We would like to
have a copy of the pdf. We will
make a donation to Yarcombe Voices.
Miranda Gudenian replies:
Thank you so very
much. From Monks to the
Millennium was written by a dear friend and
neighbour of mine, Ruth Everitt.
Her research continued after its publication
in 2000. Ruth died in 2014 but
her historical research is continued by
Steve Horner who I have copied in to this
email. I have also copied in
Yarcombe Voices' Treasurer, Maggie Tomkinson,
who will send you bank details.
I will send the pdf in a separate email
As Miranda has
explained I would be delighted to assist
further, I assume that you are the same
Clare Evans whose initial queries are
covered in Ancestral Search 13 here in our Yarcombe website. Please let me
know if you do uncover more of your families
connection to our village so that we may add
to our pool of knowledge. Good
Andre & Clare Evans reply:
Thank you Steve, yes this is one and the
same Clare Evans. Clare’s mother
was Heather Spiller whose father RG Spiller
ran a building business in Chard.
I believe that you can still see the RG
Spiller vans running around the area.
We have got as far back as Robert Spiller
who lived in Yarcombe between 1579 and 1617.
His father was John Spiller. We
understand that the Spillers were originally
Huegenots who came over from the continent
for religious reasons. So far we
have no more information than that, but we
will keep trying. I will send a copy
of the family tree over. If my IT skills are
up to it, I will do a screenshot.
We are now happily settled in Cornwall
having moved around quite a lot. Will be in
Many thanks for your reply, it is a pleasure
to work with you to find out more about our
Parish and its history. Indeed I
can remember when RG Spiller had a builders
yard and building business in the centre of
Chard, although that land now has been built
over, the business is now based on servicing
and selling kitchen ranges such as Aga and
Rayburn they have a very good reputation in
the area. I believe Eagle Plant
was also part of the RG Spiller Group but is
now a separate business – coincidentally I
am about to visit their premises in Chard to
hire an excavator for use here next week!
Good luck with your researches into the
early origins of the Spiller family.
I might just add that it is a pleasure to
work with you, we have responded to several
queries in our Ancestral Searches section of
the website, never to receive any further
Ancestral Search 19
recently been doing some research into my
family's history and have come to find that
my mother and two uncles were evacuated from
London to Yarcombe. In fact, I
found a picture that has the three of them
in, Jean, Fred and David Crump, on your
brilliant website. I have really
enjoyed finding this website and reading
about Yarcombe and how it treated its
evacuees. It has left me
yearning for more information - would you be
able to recommend any other websites or
museums, or anywhere I could find more
information from, please?
Somerset must have left an impression on my
mother as she returned when I was a child
and it is where I live now, and only an hour
away from Yarcombe.
I was delighted that
you have located our website.
It certainly has attracted a lot of
attention and interest over the past year or
so. First may I assume that you
have identified your Mother Jean and
Uncles Fred and David from the photo of the
evacuee class of school children – on our
World War II page: Fred Crump
second row first on LHS and your Mother Jean
second row last on RHS - Is this
correct please ? Can you spot
them in any other of the photos we have on
the website? I
understand David and Fred were twins and
were billeted with the Venicott family here
in Yarcombe - I need to find out the exact
address. Your Mother was
billeted with the Moore family at Four Elms.
The entire class came down from London from
St Anne`s Roman Catholic School Lambeth
London, with their teachers, Miss Stringer
and Miss Marsh. I have written
twice to the school secretary asking for
more information but have not had a reply –
perhaps this might be another source of
information for you. I may be able to dig
up some more information if you can give me
more background, for example dates of birth
and possible street address where your
family lived in London. Do you
have any reminiscences or stories that they
told you about their time in our village?
I look forward to hearing from you.
I have posted a random collection of
links, primarily intended for local
residents, on the
Internet Links page, although they often
become out of date when the website owners
make modifications which are out of my
control. Simply doing a Google
search for Yarcombe produces good results,
too. You can also find back
issues of our local magazine on the
Voices page. If you have
specific questions let us know - Steve
Horner, our local expert, is very good at
digging out fine detail.
accident, certainly a coincidence I have
found more information about your uncles
Fred and David Crump - see
Register of households. This
register was compiled at the start of the
Second World War, 29th September 1939 to be
precise, to form the basis of a national
identity register. Fred and
David Crump were billeted with Blanche Vellacott at Broadley which is at the top of
Yarcombe Hill on the A30 on the way to
Honiton. You will note Fred`s
date of birth is shown as 23rd December 1930
and Dave`s as 15th August 1932, so I was
wrong - they were not twins! I
have a suspicion that they may have settled
down in this area after the war was over.
I hope this is helpful.
Ancestral Search 18
I came across your website about the
Yarcombe World Wars which I found very
interesting. My family has very
close links to the village. My
father's, my uncle's and my aunt's ashes
(respectively Gordon Hayne, David Hayne and
Sheila Hayne) are interred in the Baptist
churchyard as well as those of my
grandmother's cousin and her mother
(respectively Lily Salter and Hattie
I'm writing because, with my cousin, I shall
be visiting my great Uncle's tomb in Ponte
Sur Sambre in France (Ernest Bibbs), who was
my grandmother's elder brother (Ada Jesse
Bibbs). I notice you have some
details of his campaigns in France on the
website, do you have any more details of
these? And I was wondering too
if the photo you mention of all the family
at Waterhayne farm is visible anywhere, or
whether you can get hold of a copy?
Nice to think he was remembered by the
village last year with a bonfire!
Thanks for any help or details.
Dr Jeremy Hayne
Reminiscences of Hays Farm,
written by Jeremy's father Gordon in
Dr Jeremy Hayne contacted me from
Milan, he is a relative of Ernest Bibbs,
Sergeant in the Machine Gun Corps who was
killed on the last day of the war and whose
family are descended from John Matthews (
1798-1879 ) who farmed South Waterhayne.
John Matthews' children were John, Harriet
(Hettie) Henry and Mary (Polly) and lived at
Hay farm. Polly married Robert
Henry Bibbs and moved to Birmingham where
they had one son, Ernest and 6 daughters,
Alice, Laura, Ada, (Jesse) Doris, Hettie and
Constance. Ada married George
Hayne and their children were Gordon, Peter
David and Joyce.
the father of Dr Jeremy Hayne.
Although John Mathews senior farmed at South
Waterhayne, this family were farming Hay
farm, but I await comment from Elaine Munt
on this point.
I was delighted
to receive your e-mail explaining your close
connection to Yarcombe. I had a
quick look at the website as I am not
certain how much information is to be found
there. I have much more
information on Ernest Bibbs in my filing
system and I am almost certain that the
photo of South Waterhayne came from Elaine
Munt whom I see regularly, as she is related
to the Mathews family. I shall
give you every assistance possible and I
wish you well on your trip to Belgium.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Jeremy Hayne responds:
In your first email you said you had more
information on Uncle Ernie Bibbs.
When you have a moment perhaps you could
send something on, I'd be very grateful.
Referring to above
photos, here is a list of all the people.
Matthews, of course, was my Great
grandmother's maiden name and I always like
the photo of her two brothers
looking very dapper (John and Henry - who
died young). John, as you can
just see, had a missing left forearm and
was, according to my grandmother (Ada
Jessie) a bit of a scamp, teasing his
nieces. In the second photo: Adults from the left:
Lily, her mother Hattie, Auntie Dolly
(Doris), Auntie Connie, behind Connie there
is Auntie Laura though we can't see her very
well, Auntie Olive is next to her.
At the back is Uncle Billy Cox (Doris's
husband), Grandma Jessie and Cousin Ernie
(Laura's eldest), Joyce (my father's eldest
sister) is on the end and next to her Joan
(Laura's second) - I think she has Gordon
(my father) in a head-lock, Connie is
holding on to Laurie (Olive's youngest),
then Peter and David (my father's elder
What relationship does
your friend Elaine have to the Matthews?
I guess we are related somewhere along the
Going back to Ernest
and Evelyn it's interesting that my
grandmother named my father Gordon Ernest
and his elder sister Joyce Evelyn.
Ernest's fiancé Evelyn
mother & sisters
Lily & Arthur Salter. Lily took over
the running of Hay Farm with her
mother Hattie, they are both buried
in the Baptist churchyard there. My
father and his family spent all
their summers there with their
mother. I think my aunt Sheila was
evacuated there during the war.
Aunty Polly with sister and brother -.John
Matthews, Hettie Matthews and Great Grandma
Ernest and mum
Some years ago,
when I was researching those men from
Yarcombe who gave their lives in the great
war Elaine Munt kindly permitted me to copy
the attached photo (below, left) of the
Matthews family who lived at Hay farm.
The photo includes Ernest Bibbs who was
killed in action on 10th November 1918.
The key person in this photo is John
Mathews (3rd from left in back row) who was
the tenant of Hay farm at this time; he was
born in 1840 and died in 1921 aged 61.
I have been able to date the photo as being
1910 or thereabouts from the baby, Constance
Annie Bibbs who was born in 1908 and I guess
she is about 2 years old.
Previously Jeremy Hayne sent us his father’s
reminiscences of Yarcombe and in that he
explained that John Matthews daughter Mary
Jane (Polly) married Robert Henry Bibbs and
they moved away to Birmingham, however at
every opportunity the family headed back on
the train to Yarcombe. The
children of Robert Bibbs and Polly were
Ernest*, Alice, Laura*, Ada*, Doris*, Hettie*,
Constance*. Those marked with *
are all present in the photo.
Jeremy Haynes' comment below.)
Back Row left to right:
Laura May Bibbs married Harold
Ernest John Benjamin Bibbs Killed in
action 10th November 1918
John Mathews Hay farm Died 1921
Ada Jessie Bibbs married (George )
George Salter married Emma Helena
Hurford Birch Mills
Lily Salter married (AG ) Bailey +
Frank Salter married Emma Summers
Lily Berry married Jones
Olive Kathleen Bibbs married Evan
Mary Jane Matthews married Robert
Henry Bibbs (Polly) holding Connie *
Harriet Darby Matthews married
George Salter of Hemyock (Hattie)
Jane Joan Clarke Brought up by Frank
Julia Anne Matthews married Alfred
Berry a Policeman ( from Worcester)
Doris Emma Mary Biddle married
Hettie Lilian Bibbs died 05/01/24
*Constance Annie Bibbs on Aunt
Polly`s lap died 05/01/1977 aged 6
+Lily Bailey last survivor of this
In this smaller photo are an
elderly couple who I have been able
to identify as John and Elizabeth
Matthews (nee Newton) at Mount
Cottage Yarcombe on 25th March 1845.
This identification is again thanks
to Elaine who enlarged the
inscription for me. This
is a very early example of a
photographer's work and it is
certainly the oldest photo we have
which was taken in Yarcombe.
The above information came to us from
two people Elaine Munt and Jeremy Hayne who
are obviously related through the Matthews
line and it has taken me some time to work
out the relationship. The key
ancestor is John Mathews who married
Elizabeth Newton born in Otterford in 1796
and died in 1879, during which time he and
his family farmed at South Waterhayne, they
had three daughters Mary, Hannah and
Elizabeth and two sons John Junior (born
1828) and Henry (born 1835).
John junior was a tenant at Hay farm and he
married Mary Jane Darby whose photo was sent
to us by Jeremy Hayne, and is already up on
the website; it is John Junior's son, again
called John, who is shown in the photo and
who died in 1921.
Elaine is descended from the second
son Henry born 1838, whose
photograph Elaine has kindly
provided to me (right), as well as
manuscript extracts for her family
Bible which permitted me to put
together the tree (below), which is
in my own hand writing.
Finally the piece de resistance:
portrait of John Matthews which I
believe is still hanging in a house
in Combe St Nicolas:
It is really quite amazing what can
be found on the web !
Jeremy Hayne responds: Thanks
for this. As you know I visited
Ernie Bibbs grave at Ponte Sur Sambre with
my cousin and it was a moving experience.
This information is very interesting and
it's great to be able to fill in details of
the family. There are just a
couple of errors. Ernest Bibbs was killed on
the 10 November not the 11. Ernest's next
youngest sister was called Olive (Olive
Kathleen Bibbs). I think the
Alice you have written (children of Robert
Bibbs and Polly) must be a misreading, so
all the Bibbs children are in the photo.
It's nice to be able to pick up on another
branch of the family, namely that of Elaine
(hello!) and I've added all the info onto my
Ancestry.co.uk family tree. I
attach a couple of photos (below) from my
recent trip to France. One shows
me and my cousin Catherine Eddy (second
daughter of Joyce Hayne). Thanks
for all you work and interest!
Many thanks for your prompt reply, it really
is a pleasure working with you.
I am also pleased and deeply moved that you
paid your respects at the grave of Ernest
Bibbs and that his memory lives on.
If we find out any more information about
the Bibbs/Matthews family I will pass this
on to you.
Ancestral Search 17
I’m wondering if you can give me more
information on the Popes who lived in
Yarcombe in the 1700s and 1800s and appear
to be my ancestors.
My 5th Great Grandparents appear to have
been John Pope (born c1767) and Ann Thomas
(born c1766, died c1797). My 4th
Great Grandparents Joseph Pope (born c1792)
and Ann Cooke (born c1795) married in
Yarcombe (Aug 1816). My 3rd
Great Grandmother Anne Pope (born c1822).
The 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses have
various family members living in Axviney,
Pithayne & Grovewell Cottages.
I’ve been reading Ruth Everitt’s Book which
mentions the arrival (or rearrival??) of the
Popes to Yarcombe on page 14, presumably
after the death of Ann Thomas, but I’m
wondering if there’s any more information on
them or their parents. Any help you
can give would be very much appreciated.
Many thanks for
this information about the Pope family who
lived in Yarcombe in the 18th and
19th Centuries, it certainly adds
to our store of information.
Apart from the
mention in Ruth Everitt's book I have little
information to add to that which you have
already accumulated. If you so
wish I can take photos of the cottages where
your family lived, although from memory
Axviney no longer exists.
However perhaps we have a family connection
although it’s a long shot. My
great aunt Maria Horner born Lyme Regis in
August 1850 and died in Chagford on 22nd
February 1923 married Henry JJ Pope who was
born in Seaton on 30th December
1839. Maria owned a haberdashery
shop in East Street Taunton and had two
children Maria Beatrice Pope and James John
Horner Pope who was a photographer in
Dave Johnson replies:
reading, I also believe Axviney no longer
exists but any photos of Grovewell and
Pithayne Cottages would be very welcome.
I’m currently unaware of any links to
Chagford, Seaton or Taunton but have found
links so far to Charmouth, Tiverton and
Crediton, more through the descendants of
John Pope and his 2nd wife, Elizabeth
Dolling. I haven’t gone far down
those links so anything is possible.
Overall, I’m looking to firm up some of the
information I have gleaned as I can’t find
multiple firm sources though I do appear to
have DNA links through John Pope.
Any information or photos will be gratefully
Peter Tarrant adds:
There are photographs of Grovewell Cottage
Photograph Page 8,
obtained from Mary Copp's collection.
Pithayne Cottage is also referenced in
Ancestral Search 12.
for the prompt response, Peter Tarrant has
directed you to a photo of Grovewell
Cottage. There are two Pithaynes, Higher – which is quite high
status building and Lower Pithayne.
If you have a copy of the census record
which shows the entry for your ancestor and
his family I might be able to identify the
dwelling more readily. If you
ever find a link back to my “Popes” please
let me know. Charmouth,
Lyme and Seaton are all coastal villages not
Dave Johnson replies:
Here is the 1871
Census record with Joseph Pope (4th
Great Grandfather) at aged 80 living
with his daughter and family in what
I assume is a lower Pithayne
censuses have him living in Axviney
Cottage and 5th great grandfather
John Pope in Grovewell.
Peter, thank you for the link to the
photo. Funnily enough,
the photo was how I found your website in the first place.
I was searching for the various
addresses I’d found on the various
19th century censuses and found the
photo which then brought me to the
1871 Census record
Peter Tarrant writes:
Thank you for your comments.
Steve and I are very pleased that the
website, and the Ancestral Searches page in
particular, is proving so useful.
Page 8 I have posted a few shots of
Lower Pithayne, firstly from a southerly
aspect, then from the east.
Ancestral Search 16
Hello. I am asking if you can
help with a bit of tracing on the maternal
side of my family tree. As you see my name is Angus Passmore.
My maternal grandfather was Alfred Samuel
Lawrence born it appears in Yarcombe around
1883/84, his father was Alfred Richard
Lawrence and his mother Rhoda or Rodha (as
it appears on the 1861 Census).
It would seem that my grandfather may have
been born outside marriage as the birth is
registered in both names? Rodha
was born in Yarcombe around 1850/51.
Her mother (my GGGGM) was Charlotte Spiller
born 1820/21 again in Yarcombe, she is
listed as widow in 1861 Census.
Rodha it appears had two sisters and one
brother. In addition there are
three other males listed on the Census, two
of their job descriptions would indicate
farm workers. Unfortunately the
address is unclear but the last word could
be “farm” but that is only an educated
guess. Any information would be gratefully
Your enquiry on the Yarcombe website is
most interesting and I am certain we can
The entry in the 1861 census can be read as
Charlotte Spiller aged 41 Widow farmer of 20
acres employing I man and 2 boys born
Rhoda daughter aged 10
Thomas son aged 4
Thomas son aged 2
William Locke aged 77 Boarder (in fact Charlotte`s father)
William Pavey aged 18
William Locke aged 20 Cattle man
Please see this extract from Ruth Everitt`s history of Yarcombe
“From Monks to the Millennium“:
LIVENHAYES (also known as
Levenhays or Livehayne)
is one of the oldest surviving
properties in the Parish, dating
from the early sixteenth century
and constructed of local stone
and flint rubble with Beerstone
ashlar chimney shafts. It
began as an open hall house,
(see foreword), heated by an
open hearth. The hall was
probably floored over in the
late sixteenth - early
seventeenth centuries and the
partition in the original
jettied chamber includes the
ladder access doorway, which is
a two-centred arch with moulded
surround. The high
standard of modernisation in the
sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries was probably ordered
by the owner/occupier Samuel
Newbery. A plaque dated
1662 with his initials carved on
it can be seen in the chimney
shaft at the service end of the
house. Was this the same
Samuel Newbery who had been seen
in Monmouth‟s Camp in 1686? He
was eventually pardoned, but at
1600 there were two Livenhayes.
Alice Helliar, (widow), lived in
one and John Pullen and Maude
Browinge were the occupants of
the other. Both properties
paid a tithe of 8d. The
1727 Land Tax Survey shows
Robert and Susanna Newbery as
the two owner/occupiers.
By 1794-5 the Yarcombe Estate
owned Higher and Lower
Livenhayes. The will of
Robert Newbery made in 1748
doesn't show either of the
Livenhayes - but perhaps the
Newbery support for Monmouth led
to impoundment of property or
large fines. The
Livenhayes were valuable
property, the saleable timber
being worth a total of £362.
16s. 9d. and comprised of 146
oak, 186 ash and 23 elm.
Heathfield is shown as the owner
of the "Two Livings‟ in 1810,
and John Burrow is the tenant.
There was a change of tenant by
1832, when Abraham Spiller was
farming the two Livenhayes and
Broadley. In the 1850
White's Directory Charlotte
Edwards (widow), was the tenant.
She took in a lodger, one of the
who was handicapped with a
"gammy‟ leg. The Estate
paid Mrs. Edwards 3/- per week
for his keep. In 1896
Thomas Spiller was the tenant
and it was during his tenure
that 5 acres of land slid away.
The Estate gave him an allowance
of 5s. per acre on his rent.
Yarcombe Estate sold the
property in 1931, when it was
described as "a Choice Dairy and
Stock- Rearing Farm of 84 acres
3 rods 1 perch‟. The
Farmhouse had an entrance lobby,
living room with open hearth,
sitting room with a fine oak
mantel, together with a beamed
and quartered ceiling and a cool
dairy. Upstairs there were
4 Bedrooms and a Cheese Room.
The sitting tenant was Mr.
P.R.Rich. It remains with
the Rich family and provides one
of the best examples of a
medieval house in the area.
Livenhayes farm house is a most wonderful
old building which has recently been sold.
At that time it was owned by Lord Heathfield
and thus Charlotte was a tenant farmer.
Charlotte seems to have been a most
redoubtable lady who lived to a great age
and who married on several occasions. There
are still several Spillers living
She was born on 21st May 1820 in
Churchstanton Devon - a neighbouring parish
to Yarcombe - daughter to William Locke and
I think her first marriage was to ? Sparke
in Honiton in the 1st quarter of
However her first husband must have died
quite soon after this marriage and she then
married Thomas Spiller on the 3rd
June 1851 in the Parish of Wilton Somerset.
We can then deduce from the 1871 census
she was married to Robert
Edwards aged 70:
She was still living at Livenhayes in 1891
with Robert's three children and two of her
own, Naomi and Thomas. I suspect that this
marriage to Robert Edwards took place in
Exeter in the 2nd quarter of
She was still living at Livenhayes in 1891.
She possibly died in 1894.
Now turning to the Lawrence side of the
family, Alfred Richard Lawrence married Rhoda
Spiller in 1871 and in the 1871 census they
were living in Combe St Nicholas.
In the 1881 census they were living in North
Common Cottage Yarcombe (just below my farm)
with three children, Pamela 7, Elizabeth 5, and
In the 1891 census only Alfred is
mentioned (I assume Rhoda had died by this
date) with his children Pamela 17, Ernest 13,
and Samuel aged 7, a perfect fit with your
suggestion. He was born in about
1883 but I would warrant he was not born
outside the marriage! Do you
have a copy of his birth certificate for me
to examine please?
Altogether a fascinating part of our village
I do hope that this is helpful.
Miranda Gudenian adds:
was mentioned in
Pevsner; a most beautiful ancient house.
Angus Passmore responds:
Thank you very much for your detailed
response, you have filled in a lot of blanks
in regards to my ancestors. I
think it may well warrant a visit to
Yarcombe in the near future.
Incidentally a long time ago we lived in
Dunkeswell without being aware of how close
it was to the family history.
Alfred Lawrence my grandfather married a
Seaton girl Alice Stembridge who was the
daughter of Sam (Long Service RN) and Emelia
(Nee Bull, a Crewkerne family). Alfred went
on to fight and survive WW1 as a Royal
Engineer in Mesopotamia, after which he
became a builder in Seaton and constructed
several properties that still exist in
Seaton. He eventually died of
Addison’s disease potentially triggered we
think by Malaria contracted during WW1.
Thanks again for
all you help.
Ancestral Search 15
Hi, very impressed with your
site and your ancestry pages. My great grandparents x 4,
Hugh Pavey and Joan Trenchard were married
at Yarcombe on the 23rd June, 1797.
They had two children William and Frances
Pavey (my great grandmother x 3).
Frances was baptised in Yarcombe on the 3rd
August, 1800. Any information
that you may have about Hugh Pavey or his
family would be greatly appreciated. I have already been
considerably assisted by Michael Haynes with
the Trenchard family following his earlier
post on your ancestry pages. Many thanks,
I will be very pleased to help you in any
way possible with your researches.
Let me begin by explaining that we are very
fortunate in Yarcombe because much of the
land in the parish has been in the hands of
one family since the time of Sir Francis
Drake who started accumulating land
hereabouts since 1582. The
estate records were deposited in the Devon
County Records office in about 1950 and thus
remain as a source of our knowledge, and
from which my dear departed friend Ruth
Everitt was able to compile her book "From
Monks to the Millennium".
I therefore attach a scan
of the relevant pages of this history which
contain references to the Pavey family and
their land holdings. The first mention is of
one Charles Pavey who was occupier of
Broadley in 1600 so your family have been
well embedded in this area for many
Let me know if I can further assist
you, sight of your tree might give me some
David Thomas replies: Thank you so much for the very prompt
response and the useful information
provided. We have a lot to be grateful to
Ruth Everitt for and people like you who are
happy to share the knowledge of past records
Ancestral Search 14
a great site, thank you. I'm
currently researching Pattimore and Dommett.
I have a marriage certificate for James
Pattimore and Caroline Dommett, married in
1892 in Yarcombe church. Any
information regarding either would be
fantastic thank you.
Thank you for visiting the Yarcombe website. Like you, we are keen to
learn more about those who have lived in our
village. I can immediately
provide you with two documents (below) that
will help trace your ancestors.
The first is an extract from the record of
Baptism in Otterford church.
Caroline was baptised 16th July
1871, daughter of Thomas (a cobbler) and
Louisa (? poor writing) Dommett.
The second is a copy of the 1881 census for
Yarcombe. Caroline is shown as
living in Marsh - a hamlet in the parish of
Yarcombe - with her mother, Louisa (now a
widow) and her five siblings.
Her father Thomas must have died within the
previous two years - James her brother is
aged 1. Her mother Louisa is
shown as having been born in Buckland St
Mary, an adjacent Parish in Somerset to Otterford. Yarcombe is also
adjacent to Otterford but across the border
in Devon. At this stage I
cannot find any more about Caroline.
However if you can scan and send her
marriage certificate to me I can carry out
more research for you into her husband James
Pattimore. Incidentally how
are you related to Caroline ?
Mandy Trimby replies: Thank you so much for that.
Caroline was my great grandmother.
I know she died at the young age of 43 in
Taunton and James her husband was a coal
porter in Taunton. Not sure how
they ended up here though. I
believe the witnesses were Fowler.
Can't seem to find a birth certificate for
James although he is in the workhouse in
1871 and 1881. Thank again for
all your help. (Marriage
Yes, you are correct - James was in
the Union workhouse as a child in
Chard in 1881 (Document 5).
The mention of Union confirms that
Caroline who lived in Union no5 in
Marsh, that this was also a
workhouse. In 1871
(Document 4) he was living in Crewkerne
with his mother Sarah Jane Pattimore.
He was aged 4 at the time and was
born in Crewkerne. No
sign of his father Simeon who
perhaps had died?
I thought you may be interested to see the
1911 census (Document 6)
I guess you know the rest of your tree.
If I find any further record of the Dommett
family in Otterford I will let you know.
Ancestral Search 13
name is Clare Evans. I am descended from the
Spiller family in Yarcombe and more recently
in Taunton. My mother’s name was
Heather Jean Spiller. I have
started researching the Spiller family
history and have got as far back as Robert
Spiller, 1579-1617 of Yarcombe.
His wife was Margere Colliar, 1583-1614.
If you have any more information on this
family, I would be very grateful to receive
it. There is a family story that
indicates that the Spillers may have come
from the Low Countries as Huguenots, for
religious reasons. I would like to find
a copy of the local history book, if this is
family are one of the prominent
names in the history of our Parish
and there are still members of the
family living hereabouts.
I had a quick look in the book "From
Monks to the Millennium" for early
references to your family and below
is an extract for your information which
shows Zachary Spiller who left his
properties of North Waterhayne and
Crimshayes to his wife Alice.
This suggest to me that the author
of the book Ruth Everitt must have
found a copy of his will in the
Devon County Records office or in
the National Archives in Kew, I am
not certain if there is a connection
to your branch of the family.
I also looked on Ancestry.com - of
which I am a member - and noted that
your family tree is there on open
access. The father of
your Robert Spiller (1579-1617) was
John Spiller born Yarcombe 1528.
married in 1578 and died in Yarcombe
1582. From this it is obvious to me
that the Spiller family were classed
as Gentry in those far off days and
must have taken a important part in
the development of our community.
You may also be aware that Sir
Francis Drake has a very close
connection to our parish so your
ancestors were alive when Queen
Elizabeth rewarded Sir Frances with
land in the parish in 1582.
be delighted to assist further with
your researches, however it will
need a stroke of luck to go further
back than the birth of John Spiller
in 1528. The book
I refer to "From Monks to the Millennium"
is now out of print but does
occasionally show up on Amazon. I hope
this helps, however if you do find
yet more information about the
Spiller family please post this on
our website. Good
North Waterhayne once belonged
to Zachary Spiller (gent). In
his will he left his wife,
Alice, his tenement at North
Waterhayne and Crimshayes for
life and afterwards to his son,
John. In 1600 North Waterhayne
is shown as two tenements
occupied by Robert Spiller. It
is combined with Farm Ground,
whose occupants were John and
Alice Spiller (widow). North
Waterhayne Farmhouse is a Grade
II listed building, constructed
in the early sixteenth with
later sixteenth and seventeenth
century improvements. The
original early sixteenth century
house was of three-room and
through-passage plan. Originally
the house was open to the roof
from end to end, divided by low
partitions and heated by an open
hearth fire. Around the mid
sixteenth century the small
inner room was floored over and
a chamber added above; this was
probably reached by a ladder.
There is a fine intersected beam
ceiling with richly moulded
beams. The bedroom in the East
wing had a built in toilet (garderobe)
cupboard. The seat remains to
date, although the floor has
been made up underneath.
Originally the waste dropped
down through a cavity (still
inside the wall) to the ground
floor and into a pipe that went
through the garden. This bedroom
could be reached via a stone
circular staircase leading up
from beside the inglenook
fireplace in the room below.
In 1727 Sarah Spiller (daughter
of Zachary) was the occupier of
Crymeshays. This was probably
the site shown on the 1817
Enclosure Map in a field known
as „Grimsey‟ on the left hand
side of the driveway, just
before the turning to the main
farm yard. Thomas Bovett (-the
Bovett family supported
Monmouth-) was the occupier of
the larger Estate, but by 1794
the Drake Estate owned all the
properties at North Waterhayne;
the saleable timber was 88 oak,
62 ash and 54 elm. The Land Tax
of 1798 shows Bowyer‟s
Waterhayne tenant as William
Jennings, who paid a tax of 2s.
½d, Smythe‟s Waterhayne, tenant
William Wale, who paid a tax of
£4. 16s. 9½d. (this was the
present day North Waterhayne)
and Cross Waterhayne (Crymeshays),
tenant John Seward, who paid £2.
14s. 8½d. By 1810 Cross
Waterhayne and Smythe‟s
Waterhayne have been combined
and William Jennings is the sole
tenant. Bowyer‟s Waterhayne is
separately listed, but has the
same tenant, William Jennings.
The North Waterhayne driveway
used to continue towards
Crisland, bearing left half way
along the drive and joining with
what was once a larger road
starting near Four Elms. The
Estate still owns North
Waterhayne and it was
substantially modernised in the
mid twentieth century.
Waterhayne Cottage is on the
left hand side of the entrance
to North Waterhayne and was
formerly a farm worker‟s
cottage; it is now privately
Clare Evans replies:
Thank you so much for
your very informative e-mail. This
has been of great interest to me and
my family. I will try to
pursue this further and intend to
contact the Huguenot Society in
order to try to establish whether
the family came from the Low
Countries originally. If
I find out anything further, I will
let you know. I would
also like to visit Yarcombe and to
see the house that Zachary Spiller
left to his wife Alice.
Delighted that we are able to help
you. I have just looked
up the derivation of the name
English: occupational name for a
tumbler or jester, from an agent
derivative of Middle English
spill(en) ‘to play, jest, or sport’
(Old English spilian). English:
nickname for a destructive or
wasteful person, from an agent
derivative of the homonymous Middle
English spill(en) ‘to spoil, waste,
or squander’ (Old English spillan).
German and Dutch: occupational name
for a spindle maker, a variant of
Spille with the addition of the
agent suffix -er. In some cases a
variant of German Spieler.
North Waterhayne farm, which Zachary
Spiller left to his wife Alice, now
belongs to the Sheafhayne Estate and
the tenancy is due to change at the
end of March which may give you an
opportunity to look over the house
at that time - if I can help please
let me know. I also
strongly recommend that you obtain a
copy of the Will of Zachary Spiller
from the Devon County records
office. I set out below
a copy of the Index of Wills held in
Exeter - if you do obtain a copy I
would be most interested to make a
copy for my own records.
AJP Skinner bequest 1934
Type of Document: 'W' - Will, 'A' -
Administration, 'I' - Inventory, 'O'
Form of Document: 'or' - Original,
'co' - Copy, 'ab' - Abstract or
Extract, 'tr' - Transcript, 'le' -
Please let me know if I can help
Ancestral Search 20.
Ancestral Search 12
stumbled upon your excellent site whilst
researching the Mullett family tree.
They were resident at Whitehorns and Beacon
farms. I see there was a Mullett
mentioned in the memorial to those who lost
their lives in WW1 in the Baptist church on
the site. My father is
registered as being born 3rd June 1919 at
Beacon farm Yarcombe. My
grandfather William Mullett (married to
Grace Wakley) is registered as resident
Beacon farm in 1911 census. The
1891 & 1901 census shows the Mullett family
as registered at Pithayne Cottage.
The 1861 shows my great grandfather Charles
Mullett (married to Sarah Miller) registered
at the Mill in Yarcombe.
Evidently the Mulletts were long term
residents of Yarcombe but I cannot figure
out the relationship between the people and
all these different residences.
I have tried to track down a copy of the
book, "From Monks to the Millenium" but it
is out of print. I hope you can
help. Kind regards,
Here is a map
(click to enlarge)
of our Parish identifying
the various house/cottages
where your family lived in
you are correct, there is a
W Mullett mentioned on the
Baptist Chapel memorial,
however this is an
indication he served King
and Country, he is not
recorded as “Our Brave Dead”.
This may be your Grandfather
William Mullett ????
check the spelling of Grace
Wakley please, it is
confusing there are two
families with different
spellings Wakley and Wakely
in our records.
Just out of interest do you
know when your family left
the village ?
Let me start
with some historical
background for you; a large
part of Yarcombe parish was
and still is held by one
family, which started when
Queen Elizabeth 1 presented
to Sir Francis Drake a part
of the Manor.
The estate grew under
careful management by Sir
descendants – Sir Frances
did not have children. Whitehorns was part of the
estate until it was sold
with other properties in
1931 when the sitting tenant
Mr F Mullett purchased the
until about 1880 Whitehorns
was an outlying part of the
adjoining Parish of Membury
which does cause confusion!
In more recent times the
Yarcombe Estate repurchased
Whitehorns which is a
beautiful thatched house
nestling in a quiet valley.
Please see the map (right)
which indicates the
properties where your
I do hope we shall have more
details about your family to
post into our website.
Joan Berry writes:
I think that
Thomas Wakely may have been
a relative of my Godfather
(George Wakely, who was a
Thatcher) but unfortunately
I know nothing of his family
apart from the fact that
they were connected to the
Mullet family of Whitehorns
Below is a scan of
the 1901 census covering Whitehorns
which shows the Yarcombe Wakelys in
residence. Up until
about 1880 Whitehorns was an
outlying area of Membury Parish.
The Walter Wakely I am researching
came into Yarcombe from Otterford
and thus I suspect not connected to
your family –all very confusing but
very interesting none the less.
Miranda Gudenian writes:
Chris Mullett may be
interested to know that one of his
family, Bill Mullett, owned the
house I now live in, The Beacon (as
it became known in the 1970s). I
would have to check our deeds but I
think the house was sold after Mr
Mullett's death in the early or
Miranda Gudenian adds:
memory serves me correctly Bill
Mullett lived in one half of the
house - which was turned into two
cottages when the Estate bought the
place in the late 19th century - and
he let the other half. Again if my
memory is correct Bill Mullett
purchased the house in 1931 in the
Estate sale of properties.
Both Bill (Boy) Doble and Frank
Wale remembered Bill Mullett.
Kirth Gensen writes:
been going through several boxes of
stuff I’ve inherited from my eldest
brother and found this pamphlet and
press cuttings about Yarcombe:
Thanks a million for
all this information about our
Parish. There is a lady
in the village called Barbara Salter
who remembers Mr Mullett from
Whitehorns, and the processional
cross for which he donated the wood
is still in use in the church.
The booklet is also most
tells me that the author was Freddie
Orchard who was the organist in the
church in about 1969/70 and that
Bishop John Armstrong, who had hand
in the research for the booklet, was
Vicar of Yarcombe at that time and
was previously Bishop of Bermuda.
This enabled me to trace Freddie
Orchard through a genealogy website, and I came up with the
Frederick Theodore A Orchard was a
school master who was born on the 1st
January 1904 and died in Honiton in
the second quarter of 1982.
His wife Gwendoline Mary Orchard was
born on 9th December 1903
and is buried in the Yarcombe
churchyard. Bishop John
Armstrong was obviously quite a
character. He was a
chaplain in the Royal Navy for 28
years and rose to be Chaplain of the
Fleet and served in this position
Immediately upon his retirement from
the Royal Navy he was consecrated
Bishop of Bermuda in 1963 where he
served until 1970. It
can be assumed he then retired to
Yarcombe where he was the Parish
Priest for some years.
He died in 1992. Barbara
told me he was very high church but
“we soon put him right about those
I also attach
(right, click to enlarge)
a photo of your family gravestone in Yarcombe churchyard which you may
Please keep in
contact and if you require any
further information I shall be
pleased to help.
Ancestral Search 17.
Ancestral Search 11
What a find – the records of
Yarcombe. I have traced the
ancestors of the Trenchards from Sampford
Moor in Somerset (my great grandparents)
back to one John Trenchard in Yarcombe.
I have approx dates of his birth, namely
1700, and death approx 1788, with records of
his marriage to Mary Satterley m 14/2/1737,
marriage to Sarah Spiller, m 30/10/1753, and
finally, possibly, Elizabeth Board, m 5 Feb
1788. Although I have some dates
of birth and death for these ladies, I would
appreciate it please if you could provide
these accordingly. Also their
parentage. My biggest search however is
for John Trenchards parents etc, as he is
the last one my tree.
I have had a quick look at your
enquiry. Trenchard is not a name
which can readily be associated with the
Parish of Yarcombe in East Devon.
The records show John Trenchard did marry
Mary Spiller - a local name - on 30th
October 1753 - John's third wife.
Have you tried looking at the
Trenchard family of Charminster?
Sorry I cannot help further, however if
you have other clues please let me know.
Thank you for your recent reply expressing
interest in what I have found out about
Yarcombe Trenchards. I have
attached a file (see below), which I hope
you can open giving data on John Tenchard
from 1700 down to the latter Trenchards from
Yarcombe. If this works for you
then I can put together more family
descendants, who are not part of my
ancestral tree, but nevertheless come from Yarcombe. Please let me know if
you would like me to repeat the exercise for
the other Trenchards.
Michael, I am
at present (Oct 2019) researching the
history of my house and in the course of my
work I have come across the name John
Saturley who is mentioned in the Will of
Henry Willie who died in 1792 (PCC PROB
11/1226). Henry Willie possessed
land holdings in the adjoining parishes of
Yarcombe, Otterford and Upottery amongst
which he held Woodhayne (where we now live)
variously called at that time Woodend and
Woodhayes. In his will is“I give
and xxxx to William Willie son of John
Willie our cottage late Saturleys in North
The estate map of 1809 shows John Saturlays
in green on North Common (just below the
right hand punch hole on the map below,
From your own family tree posted on Ancestry
I note that the Saturley family originated
in Bovey Tracey starting with Nathaniel
(born 1605) who married Hannah Price; their
son Simon was born 1672 in Yarcombe and
Simon`s daughter Mary (born 1703 in Yarcombe)
who married John Trenchard. Thus
it would seem to me that the Saturley family
were well established in Yarcombe from 1672
through to Mary (died 1747) and her siblings
It puzzles me that there is no mention of
the Saturleys that I can find other than the
cottage which belonged to John Saturley
mentioned in Henry Willie`s will.
Perhaps you may have more information to
hand that I might study.
Ancestral Search 10
am researching my husband’s family and have
just found the Yarcombe webpage with
all the interesting information it
contains. I was particularly interested in
the Ancestral Searches page and the
reply comments by Steve Horner to Lefayre
Palmer’s enquiries regarding the Spiller
family ( Ancestral Search
My husband is Lyndon Spiller and below I
give details of his family tree as far as we
have been able to ascertain.
Timon (alt Tymon)
Spiller 1743 – 1804 Yarcombe
+ Sarah Moore
Abraham Spiller 1765 – 1834 Yarcombe
Elizabeth Clarke 1772-1842
Naboth Spiller 1802-1878 Yarcombe –
died in Rose Cottage Chard
Eliza Knight 1816-1905
Naboth Spiller 1845-1918 Combe St
Nicholas died in Clyst St George
Mary Warren 1851-1906
John Spiller 1885 – 1975 Wandsworth
Common/Clyst St George/Canada/ New
Zealand/died in Melbourne, Aus
Ruby Baker 1881-1977
William Clarence Spiller 1918- 2010
+Nada Veronica Tasker
Lyndon Stuart Spiller
+Julie Lynette King
note that Timon and Abraham Spiller are
listed in the Index to From Monks to The
Millennium and wonder if it is possible
to gain any further information about any of
our family members.
Any help that you can give will be really
Steve Horner writes:
I am delighted to be able to try to help
you. There are still a good
number of Spillers living hereabouts,
however I strongly suspect their knowledge
of the ancestors does not go back more than
one or two generations! It would
certainly be a coup if we could find a
Yarconian (or is it a Yarcombite?) who is
related to one of the Pilgrim Fathers.
Do you have a copy of ”From Monks to the
Millennium”? If you do not
please look at the index to any particular
Spiller and I will scan the entry for you.
Julie Spiller replies:
Thanks for your
prompt response. No, I do not
have a copy of the book but note that
Abraham Spiller and Timon Spiller are both
listed. Amy Spiller could be Abraham’s
daughter and there is also a Robert – but
then there were so many Roberts in the
church register that it could be any one of
them. I am currently working my way
through the register and finding that there
were so many Spillers listed as well
families who married into the Spiller clan.
If you could scan a copy of relevant
information for Abraham and Timon it may
give me some background information.
Unfortunately we will not be any help with
your dream of finding someone who is related
to the Pilgrim Fathers. Our grandfather
left England later and finally settled in
Australia – which is where we are living –
even though my email may suggest USA.
Steve Horner replies:
See Extracts 1 to 4, below.
One reason that we know so much about our
local history is that most of the land in
the Parish belongs to one family, who are
descended from Sir Francis Drake of Armada
fame, and this family or perhaps their
lawyers presented all the estate records to
the Devon County Record Office.
From a quick glance your family appear to
have Baptist connections. The
Baptist Chapel is still a thriving
congregation. If I can help
further please let me know.
During the nineteenth century
Marsh was a „hive of industry‟.
The Census of 1841 gives the
following trades, all based in
the village of Marsh:-
Richard Wyatt - Baker.
James Glade - Horse Keeper,
John Stone - Wheelwright,
William Spiller - Baker,
Thomas Stone - Blacksmith,
John Spiller - Horse Keeper.
Thomas Hurford - Carpenter.
There would have been no
shortage of employment with a
major coaching inn, "The
Heathfield Arms", close by. The
group of cottages opposite "The
Flintlock" was once used in
conjunction with "The Heathfield
Arms". One of the middle
cottages, known as "Wayside",
had a large archway and,
although this has now been
blocked, remnants of the
composite stones can still be
seen. Originally the carriages
were able to pass through the
arch and make an overnight stop.
Sleeping accommodation was
provided in rooms immediately
above the arch for the Coaching
Company‟s employees. An
Indenture of 1835 shows that
there was a dwelling house,
smith‟s shop and office and a
messuage, dwelling house,
wheelwright‟s shop and office on
a piece of land known as "Lower
Shop Close". The cottage next
door to "Wayside" is known as
"Lower Shop Cottage" and at the
opposite end of the terrace is a
cottage known as "The Old
Forge". Probably these are the
premises referred to in the
Indenture. On the other side of
the Marsh road there are two
other older cottages, Ivy and
Rose Cottages. Latterly one of
these was inhabited by Sparke,
who was a carpenter, so maybe
they were the two cottages
listed separately on the 1841
Census sheet, housing J. Spiller
and T.Hurford, but there can be
no certainty. Lye House was once
the home of the garage owner,
Douglas Leach. The other
properties on the Marsh road are
MARSH CHAPEL (now Old Chapel
It was in 1849 that services
were held in a house lent by
Timon Spiller. After two months
the house became too small for
the congregation and the
spacious club room was taken,
the rent being paid by a Mr.
Crabb and a friend. The building
was legally licensed so that the
services would not be
In 1854 the Meeting House was
erected on behalf of the
Yarcombe Baptist Church for the
sum of £4. The trustees were
mostly local:- Joel Knight -
Yeoman, Richard Coleman -
Yeoman, James Knight - Yeoman,
Charles Crabb - Cooper, Henry
Bayell Lockyer - Yarcombe
(Minister), William Bond -
Yeoman, Chardstock and Richard
Keeping, Chard. Services were
held regularly until the Chapel
was closed in the 1970s. The
property was sold in 1981 and is
now the Old Chapel House.
Broadley was mentioned in the
Court Rolls of Henry VI and the
name is probably a corruption of
Broad Lea (wide clearing and
field). Charles Pavey was the
occupier of the tenement and
cottage at Broadley in 1600. The
tithe he was required to pay was
8d. The owner in 1727 was Robert
Newbery and in 1798 Broadley was
combined with Brimbley. Timon
Spiller was the tenant of Lord
Heathfield. It was noted in the
Estate Timber Survey that
Brimbley house needed repairs
and that there were 46 oak, 54
ash and 16 elm on the
properties. In 1810 Abraham
Spiller was the tenant of
Broadley and Brimbley and it was
in 1827 that Greenwood‟s map
showed an asylum clearly marked
close to Broadley. However, no
documentation has been found to
support the location of such an
establishment there. It could
have been a private secure
house, but there was an asylum
at Broadhayes, Stockland, so
perhaps it was an error by the
mapmakers. Abraham Spiller was
still the tenant in the
Electoral Roll of 1832-3, when
Broadley was shown as a rented
estate of over £100 per annum.
An interesting field name was
listed in the crop book of the
Yarcombe Manor Estate under
Broadley; it was Higher Old
Church of Bushams.
Two external stone plaques on
buildings at Broadley Farm bear
the initials of Thomas Trayton
Fuller Eliott Drake, who
inherited the Estate in 1813 and
who showed great interest in its
administration during the
remaining 57 years of his life.
There is some documentary
reference to a fire at Broadley
and perhaps some features in the
kitchen bear witness to such an
The large fireplace has Hamstone
jambs which support a fine and
massive monolithic bressumer cut
from the same material. Its
girth is no less than 9ft. 6ins.
and its exposed depth, 31ins. An
ogee moulding is finely carved
to soften the angle between the
front planes of jambs and
bressumer and those of the
recess. The actual fireplace
opening measures 8ft. 2ins. by
4ft. 6ins., and now holds a
modern cooker. Carved into the
upper left front of the stone
bressumer is what must have been
a small cuboidal cupboard, any
earlier wooden fittings such as
a door having disappeared long
ago. Perhaps this was a cupboard
for the storage of salt in
pottery vessels? The style of
the fireplace surround indicates
a Tudor or early seventeenth
century date, but it is unusual
to find such a grand one in a
farmhouse. Until relatively
recently it had been covered in
dark-coloured paint. The
features which may bear out the
possibility of replacement due
to fire damage are the doors and
the beams. The timbers in the
kitchen ceiling are sawn rather
than adzed and chiselled, as
would have been the case in the
Tudor period or the seventeenth
century. They are not chamfered.
In other words, they are typical
of what might have been made in
the early nineteenth century.
The doors are mostly of the
traditional farmhouse plank and
batten type of the same period,
with contemporary ironwork
hinges and latches. Proof of
these conjectured dates is the
poker-burnt..... "1827" on the
main door to the kitchen. In
fact that year is indented twice
on the same door, one image
being upside down. Could it be
that this celebrates completion
of the work of restoration of a
fire-damaged part of the farm?
LIVENHAYES (also known as
Levenhays or Livehayne)
This is one of the oldest
surviving properties in the
Parish, dating from the early
sixteenth century and
constructed of local stone and
flint rubble with Beerstone
ashlar chimney shafts. It began
as an open hall house, (see
foreword), heated by an open
hearth. The hall was probably
floored over in the late
sixteenth - early seventeenth
centuries and the partition in
the original jettied chamber
includes the ladder access
doorway, which is a two-centred
arch with moulded surround. The
high standard of modernisation
in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries was probably ordered
by the owner/occupier Samuel
Newbery. A plaque dated 1662
with his initials carved on it
can be seen in the chimneyshaft
at the service end of the house.
Was this the same Samuel Newbery
who had been seen in Monmouth‟s
Camp in 1686? He was eventually
pardoned, but at what cost?
In 1600 there were two
Livenhayes. Alice Helliar,
(widow), lived in one and John
Pullen and Maude Browinge were
the occupants of the other. Both
properties paid a tithe of 8d.
The 1727 Land Tax Survey shows
Robert and Susanna Newbery as
the two owner/occupiers. By
1794-5 the Yarcombe Estate owned
Higher and Lower Livenhayes. The
will of Robert Newbery made in
1748 doesn‟t show either of the
Livenhayes - but perhaps the
Newbery support for Monmouth led
to impoundment of property or
large fines. The Livenhayes were
valuable property, the saleable
timber being worth a total of
£362. 16s. 9d. and comprised of
146 oak, 186 ash and 23 elm.
Lord Heathfield is shown as the
owner of the „Two Livings‟ in
1810, and John Burrow is the
tenant. There was a change of
tenant by 1832, when Abraham
Spiller was farming the two
Livenhayes and Broadley. In the
1850 White‟s Directory Charlotte
Edwards, (widow), was the
tenant. She took in a lodger,
one of the
who was handicapped with a
„gammy‟ leg. The Estate paid
Mrs. Edwards 3/- per week for
his keep. In 1896 Thomas Spiller
was the tenant and it was during
his tenure that 5 acres of land
slid away. The Estate gave him
an allowance of 5s. per acre on
his rent. The Yarcombe Estate
sold the property in 1931, when
it was described as „a Choice
Dairy and Stock- Rearing Farm of
84 acres 3 rods 1 perch.‟ The
Farmhouse had an entrance lobby,
living room with open hearth,
sitting room with a fine oak
mantel, together with a beamed
and quartered ceiling and a cool
dairy. Upstairs there were 4
Bedrooms and a Cheese Room. The
sitting tenant was Mr. P.R.Rich.
It remains with the Rich family
and provides one of the best
examples of a medieval house in
In 1600 three properties were
listed; a cottage combined with
Cornhill and two cottages
occupied by Elynor Witcombe
(widow). In those days the road
(or trackway) would have been
HIGHER MOORHAYNE (also known as
Elianor Legett paid a Land Tax
on a property on this site in
1727. It was usually included
with Cornhill and sometimes the
Land Tax was combined. In 1766 a
Jacob Legget was killed by a
horse and slide. (Slides were
used instead of carts on steep
slopes.) Could he have lived at
Legot‟s Moorhayne? In 1798 Widow
Bond was the owner, with John
Spiller as the occupier. It is
probable that the Yarcombe
Estate had a lease or mortgage
at this time, as it is listed in
the Estate Timber Survey with
another cottage at Lower
Moorhayne as having 10 oak, 17
ash and 4 elm ready for sale.
John Spiller was still the
tenant in 1810, but by 1832 Sir
Thomas T.F.E.Drake had a new
tenant, Hugh Crabb. He was a
cooper and a shed near the house
used to contain a large
fireplace - could this have been
where the barrels were made? In
1935 George Phillips, the
installed a cider press at
Higher Moorhayne, which was sold
by the Yarcombe Estate in 1931
together with 12 acres. The
dwelling house was described as
substantially built of stone,
with stuccoed walls and slate
roof and a lean-to tiled cider
cellar. The buildings included a
pound house, a small
hard-bottomed yard and a cow
house with a hay loft over.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH AND
In Calways Cottage
Baptists were meeting as
early as 1787. Four
people were mentioned;
William and Grace Trott,
S.Knight and Maratha
It was Samuel Vincent
Churchstanton who was
responsible for the
erection of the Chapel,
and the builders were
the Trott family. There
were 12 trustees and
local names were William
Wale - Farmer, Yarcombe,
James Trott - Mason,
Spiller - Farmer,
Yarcombe, John Trott -
Samuel Vincent (Junior)
- Farmer, Churchstanton
and Samuel French -
Farmer, Dalwood. Others
were from Chard, Taunton
The Indenture conveying
the site on which the
Chapel and three houses,
(the Manse, Mount
Cottage and Chapel
Cottage) were built was
dated 15th May 1829. It
was between Betty Bishop
of Yarcombe, Widow, and
John Wale of Yarcombe
and the twelve trustees,
and is in the following
terms, “All have
contracted and agreed
together for the
absolute purchase of the
fee and simple
inheritance of the piece
or parcel of land herein
after described, being
part of the said close
called Four Elms at the
price of £12. 10s. and
the said trustees having
erected a Meeting house
to be kept and enjoyed
and used as a common
free and Public meeting
house of Particular
One rule was that no
person should be buried
within the said Chapel.
It was James Trott, one
of the first trustees
who lived at Newcott,
who was buried outside
the chapel front door.
This was the spot where
he used to stand to
shake hands with the
will now accommodate
about 100 people, and
the baptistery is under
the front of the pulpit.
There are two memorials
for those who gave their
lives in the First and
Second World Wars. The
1914-1918 memorial also
contains 80 names of
those from the Parish
who served for a
Julie Spiller replies:
Thanks for the help on
the Spiller family. It has been most
useful. The information on Brimbley,
Broadly and Livenhayes was most interesting.
I am now following down the families of the
wives of the Spillers. Abraham
Spiller married Elizabeth Clarke – daughter
of Naboth Clarke. I am wondering if your
helpful book – or any other source - has
information on Naboth Clarke or any other
members of that family. Naboth
Clarke and Elizabeth Stickland
married in April 1770 at Yarcombe. I
believe that Naboth and Elizabeth had at
least seven children - Elizabeth, James,
Richard, Mary, Grace, James and Sarah
between 1772 and 1781. I believe
that Naboth died around 1784.
Elizabeth Stickland’s parents were John
Stickland and Mary (?Dean).
Abraham’s son Naboth Spiller married
Elizabeth or Eliza Knight daughter of James
and Elizabeth Knight. I note that on page
50 there is reference to James Knight being
one of those who were trustees of the
Yarcombe Baptist Church in 1854.
Any further information you may have on any
of these will be really appreciated.
I am delighted to be able to help you.
Herewith information on Naboth Clarke,
Extract 5, below. The author of the
book, Ruth Everitt spent time in the Devon
Records Office so the letter which provided
her with this information must be on file.
Also information on John Stickland of
Moorpit farm, Extract 6, who is almost
certainly one of your forebears.
Elsewhere another Stickland relating to 1832
can be found. Your reference on page 50
is to James Knight Marsh Chapel - Marsh
being a hamlet in Yarcombe Parish - this
chapel was closed in the 1970s.
I am not certain where the original Charter
can be found, perhaps in the records of
Yarcombe Baptist church. If you
can provide me with further details of
Naboth Spiller marriage to Eliza Knight I
will further research this line for you.
The name Spiller is very common in these
parts. I look forward to hearing
from you again.
Although the Drake family owned
a large Estate at Yarcombe,
there were other quite
substantial land owners, notably
the Newberys, Vincents,
Stephens, Cossins, Bovetts and
Spillers. Some of these families
prospered, others disappeared;
in those turbulent times it was
necessary to be supporting the
right religion, the right
heir-apparent and remain
healthy, in order to retain
one‟s property. Sir Francis must
have taken quite an interest in
his Estate at Yarcombe. Letters
show that in 1709 he was greatly
concerned about the appointed
rector, Gamaliel Chase, who is
described as being a drunkard
and a debtor. As authorised in
the original bill of sale for
the manor, Sir Francis possessed
the right to select the Rector
for the Parish. However, perhaps
he felt it was more politic, in
those religiously volatile
times, to keep quiet, as he didn‟t
pursue the matter, and the
appointment remained with the
Crown. The next Sir Francis, the
4th baronet, made little effort
or impact. His son, Sir Francis
Henry Drake, who inherited the
title in 1739, was made of
„sterner stuff‟. Consolidation
and improvement of all his
estates was his format.
Agriculture in England was
undergoing a revolution:
techniques had improved, there
were better implements, and the
land was beginning to be
enclosed, so making farming a
„fashionable‟ and prosperous
trade in which to engage.
(George III had a model farm at
Windsor). It was at this time
that some of the farmhouses in
the Parish, such as Livenhayes,
Underdown, North Waterhayne,
Clifthayne and Coburns were
improved and made larger.
Letters from Drake‟s bailiff,
John Cooke, who lived at
Longbridge, show that Sir
Francis was kept well informed
about his Yarcombe Estate,
although resident in London a
great deal as Master of the
King‟s Household. The Estate at
Yarcombe seems to have been let
out on very commercial lines,
with the bailiff keen to get the
best rental, but also
considering relevant factors
such as time of year, fences or
lack of fences and keep already
taken by potential bidders.
Great attention was paid to
timber and orchards, both of
which were valuable commodities.
Several farms had land set aside
as nurseries, in which to grow
trees for sale later on. In one
of Mr. Cooke‟s letters there is
a detailed description of an ash
sapling that had been stolen,
the top half being left propped
up in an upright position in the
hedgerow! There must have been
some rogues around Yarcombe at
this time, because in the same
letter he mentioned that Mr.
Williams of Sheafhayne had been
to see him about the prevalence
of the night-hunting of hares.
Sir Francis had already offered
a reward to bring the poachers
to justice; now several Yarcombe
worthies wished to join with
him, Thomas and Robert Newbery,
John Williams and Naboth Clarke
being the most prominent.
Benjamin Bright was the owner of
this property in 1727 and it was
probably the same Benjamin
Bright who was documented in a
marriage settlement of 1716.
Moorhaine, Jonathan‟s Plot and
part of Sellwood (an orchard)
was the settlement that Benjamin
Bright, sergemaker, offered to
Peter Roberts, a clothier in
Exeter, for Mary Robert‟s hand.
In exchange Peter Roberts gave
Benjamin Bright £200 and his
daughter. The Land Tax Survey of
1798 shows a tenement and a
cottage at Lower Moorhayne.
Southcott‟s Moorhayne and
Southcott‟s Town were both named
after the owner, Jane Southcott.
By 1810 Lord Heathfield had
acquired the properties and his
tenant was John Spiller. More
land was added to the property
by 1832 when James Knight was
the tenant. In 1931 Lower
Moorhayne was sold by the
Yarcombe Manor Estate, when it
was described as a dairy farm of
62 acres. The farm buildings
were around a courtyard and
there was a pound house with an
apple loft over, cow stalls for
17, and by the road was a 3-bay
cart and wagon shed with a
thatched roof. There is no real
indication as to where the
cottage was sited, but in a
nineteenth century O.S.map there
were two cottages shown near the
present-day „Hamperlands‟ which
were marked as "Moorhayne
Roger Perham writes:
Julie, I have just revisited the
excellent Yarcombe Ancestry page and
read, with great interest, your
communication with the researchers
there. It is clear that
your husband and I share a common
ancestor in Naboth Clarke (my
paternal ancestor married Elizabeth
Clarke's sister Mary).
If you are still involved in the
research I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thank
Julie Spiller replies:
Roger, I am currently spending more time on
my own family history research – but I do
hope to get back to the Spiller/Clarke
research. Not enough hours in the day!
I would be happy to hear from you and follow
Ancestral Search 9
I am researching my
maternal family side of the family tree.
My grandmother Harriet Carter, according to
census records was born in Yarcombe in 1905.
Her father was called Jabez Carter, her
mother was Bessie, and she had two sisters
Eva Dorothy and May and one brother
Frederick George who are also recorded as
having being born in Yarcombe. I wondered if anyone
knew where the Carter family lived in the
village and any other interesting
information about the Carter family.
Thank you for your assistance,
Peter Tarrant writes:
Dick and Dorothy Carter passed away
some time ago but lived in a small cottage
called Cornhill, on a road to the south off
the A30. If this turns out to be relevant
I can point out some photos of the building
on the Photographs pages. The new owner
has made (and is still making) extensive
changes since, though. I have
alerted our local expert Steve Horner, so
you may hear from him soon.
Ancestral Search 8
Hi, my name is Jennie. I have
been doing research into my family tree and
am looking for any help that anyone may be
able to give me.
currently trying to find any information on
the Lenthal family of Yarcombe in Devon.
I know that Ann Lenthal was born in
1734 and my 6 times Great Grandmother.
She died in 1829 in Yarcombe. I
know that she married John Loosemore of the
same parish born 1730. I am
looking for information on her parents.
I believe that her mother's name may have
been Jane. I have a rare genetic variant called
G-Norfolk and am trying to trace my ancestry
as it means that I am of Mediterranean and
African origin. I am wondering
if the Lenthal family may be the key to
solving the mystery. Thank You,
Steve Horner replies:
cannot help on Lenthal side, however it
would appear that the Loosemore connection I
may have more positive information.
There is a farm in the northern part of our
Parish, called Northam’s which has belonged
to the Yarcombe Estate for many generations
– the estate was founded by Sir Francis
Drake. In 1798 the Tenant was
John Loosemore and between 1810-1832
the tenant was James Loosemore.
If you can send me a link to the
Yarcombe lineage of your family I may be
able to help further, indeed you may wish to
see a map of the parish which I will
willingly send to you.
one other clue with which I may be able to
assist. In 1580 the Zane family
lived in the house I now own and it is
believed this family originated in Venice.
Perhaps this may be where your genetic
G-Norfolk gene came from? Who
knows – it’s a long shot. For
reference, also see
Diane Rees writes:
Jennie, I read with interest your message on the Yarcombe website and your search relating to
your ancestors. I too am
researching my father's family who came from
Yarcombe and I have found the gravestone in
the Yarcombe cemetery belonging to the
Loosmore family. My research
shows that Ann and John married on 22 March
1758 and John died 7 February 1815.
I can go back as far as the 1630 and Anne
Lenthal is on my family tree.
I found a direct link to Ann and John in the
parish records registering the births,
marriages and deaths. One of
their children James Loosmore married
Elizabeth Pratt and one of their sons Robert
Loosmore (my great great great grandfather)
married Elizabeth Hopper in Bridgend, South
Wales and one of their sons, Robert married
Emily Russell whose son Joseph Loosmore (my
grandfather) married Margaret Lloyd (my
History tells that two of the Loosmore
brothers went to Bridgend, South Wales in
the early 1800s and my father's family is
from this link. I was born and
lived in Swansea, but moved to Devon in the
It would be good to get in touch.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Diane Rees (nee Loosmore)
Peter Tarrant writes:
Search 22, received in December 2019,
makes reference to the surname Lentell or
Lental. Let us know if you
believe there is a connection worth investigating.
Ancestral Search 7
I have just come across this site and
wonder if you can help me find out who my
Great Great Grandmother's parents
were. Her name was Sarah Vincent from
Yarcombe - she married William Hodges on
21/2/1821 at Ruishton. I found
the Marriage Certificate but there were only
two names as witnesses - Abraham Grabham and
Harriet Hobby, so a bit of a dead
end. These names are not in the Hodges
family as far as I know. My
maiden name was Hodges. It’s a bit of a long shot but maybe if
there are any Vincents still around there
who possibly did some research I would love
to hear about it. Regards,
Ancestral Search 6
am researching my Spiller family of Yarcombe
Devon and have just come across the
wonderful publication of Yarcombe Voices.
It is wonderful to learn of people who
endeavour to keep alive the history of their
The earliest Spiller I have is one born in
1553 in Yarcombe. He had a son
Robert whose son William married Joane
Warren, daughter of Edmund Warren and Mary
Warren. I am coming across
pedigrees taking Mary back to Richard Warren
a Mayflower Pilgrim. I am
descended from Jane on the attached file
It would be lovely if I could be in contact
with any Spiller or Warren descendants still
in Yarcombe and to discover if any of them
have any knowledge of a supposed descent
from Richard Warren who went to America as a
Having also discovered the website
Yarcombe.net I am impressed with this
great and wonderfully presented source of
information regarding the home of my
In grateful anticipation of any help you are
able to afford me.
Lefayre Palmer nee Heslehurst
ancestry comes to me through my paternal
grandmother Laura Elizabeth Heslehurst nee
Outline Descendant Report for William
1 William Spiller
(1572 - ) B: 1572
+ Elizabeth Gammmon
...... 2 William
Spiller (1614 - ) B: 1614
...... + Joane Warren
............ 3 Simon
Spiller (1655 - ) B: 1655
Elizabeth Newberry ( - 1696) D: 1696
Thomas Spiller (1693 - ) B: 1693
Honor /Robert Weard ( - 1794) D:
........................ 5 Robert
Spiller (1747 - ) B: 1747, M: 1767
........................ + Mary
Clarke (1748 - ) B: 1747/48, M: 1767
Jane Spiller (1798 - 1870) B: 1798,
M: 1815 in Charles Church, Plymouth,
D: 1870 in Ford Park,
the Barbican, Plymouth
William Reburn (1792 - 1872) B: 1792
in Liskeard, Cornwall, M: 1815 in Charles
Church, Plymouth, D:
1872 in Ford Park, the Barbican,
Steve Horner writes:
just read your note posted on our
website and in this message I will
try and give you some initial
information about Yarcombe which has
a rich and interesting history.
There are indeed members of the
Spiller family still living in our
Parish and the Parish records are
littered with reference to them, but
as far as I am aware not one mention
of the Warren family. There is a very good book that
records the history of Yarcombe,
"From Monks to The Millennium"
written by Ruth Everitt which I
helped her compile and below is an
extract of the relevant section of
the index which demonstrates
the multitude of references in the
book to the Spiller family - if
you spot a particular name of
interest I would be pleased to send
you more information:
12, 14, 17, 36, 39,
41, 45, 49, 50, 76, 86, 89,
107, 108, 112, 115
41, 112, 113
14, 17, 32, 36, 45, 47, 98
39, 49, 107,
34, 54, 63,
66, 74, 75, 78, 86, 99, 103,
111, 113, 120
community is a rural parish in East
Devon comprising about 500 persons
in widely scattered farms.
The ownership of much of the Parish
goes back to the time of Sir Francis
Drake whom as a reward for helping
Queen Elizabeth 1 was given tracts
of land hereabouts and the ownership
has remained in the same family, but
not direct descendants, ever since.
I have also spotted the name
Newberry which family also owned
land in the south of the parish in
the 17th century.
You have hit
upon a rich vein of history and if I
can I will assist you further.
I would appreciate some more
background of your own family and of
course the important connection to
The Mayflower Pilgrims.
Ancestral Search 5
I am hoping that someone out there could
give me any information about my
grandmother's family the Paull's of Yarcombe.
Any help would be gratefully received.
I have several photos of the Paull family, particularly of my great great grandfather
(pictured left) on an early 1900s postcard with the
caption printed on the front "Yarcombe's
The Paull's were connected to several other
Yarcombe families such as the Bright, Harris
and Vincent family.
Hawkins (nee Harris) is connected to the
Paull line via the Harris family. My great
grandmother was Mary Jane Harris (married to
Thomas Paull). Not exactly sure
what relation that would make Ellen to me,
but we are connected somewhere along the
||Hawkins family details
Steve Horner writes:
I have had a quick look at the census
records and in 1911 James Paull was living
in Crislands which is a cottage about ½ mile
from the centre of the village.
According to the 1901 census he was living
in Webble Green just across the Yarcombe
Parish border In Membury. The
photos you sent are quite exceptional
especially of the pig cull, all the family
obviously taking part - my guess is that the
photo was taken in about 1900. I
do not recognise the farm , so I suspect it
may be in Membury - I will make enquiries.
I know an Accountant who lives in Chard
called Ed Paull, perhaps he is a relation?
The name Paull with a double ll is perhaps
unusual. Do you have any
knowledge of your family tree?
Bartlett replies: Thank you very
much for the info, Steve. The
Paull family are definitely more connected
to Membury than Yarcombe, but like you said,
the border between the parishes is very
close. I have done a fair bit of
research into the family history.
The family has some connection to a few
Yarcombe families through marriages.
I had a chance to have a look at the
gravestones in Yarcombe churchyard and
noticed several family names that I
regonised (Bright, Harris, Hawkins, Vincent
etc). If you have access, you
may care to have a look at my Spurway family
tree on ancestry.co.uk.
Interesting to hear about someone in Chard
with the name Paull. The double
L not being all that common, so I would
definitely we must be related some where
along the line.
The photo of the
pigs being cut up is a great picture, so
amazingly clear so that you can see
incredible detail. (like the water running
from tap into the tub in the background).
They definitely weren't a family of
vegetarians ... again many thanks.
This photo is a bit of a mystery.
Does anybody know where this was
taken? I assume this is
a farm building. Is it in Yarcombe
or perhaps Membury? Who
are the people in the picture?
Does anybody know who they are or
where it was taken? It
has always intrigued me...even if
nobody recognises it, it is still a
great photo showing life in days
Ancestral Search 4
CAN YOU HELP ME TRACE MY
My name is Gary Brennan; my mother's name
was Millicent Loosemore, born to John
Loosemore who was born in Yarcombe in 1865.
I came here recently to retrace his steps to
moving to the USA and in the hope of getting
in touch with any other Loosemores in our
clan in the area. If you know
any and they would like to find out about
John, please would you ask them to email me
firstname.lastname@example.org or 1(559)351-6165
Thank you for your
Diane Rees writes:
Gary, I sent you an email at the
beginning of June (2019) with regard to your
search for any Loosmores. My maiden name was Loosmore and my father's ancestors are
buried in Yarcombe Cemetery. I
am also writing up the family tree and in my
research found a link to your mother.
Perhaps you did not receive my email?
Gary Brennan replies:
want to thank you for your information, I
did get your email and my own investigation
in my family tree has taken me in a
different direction. I have
found that my grandfather's family in
England is in Yarnscombe, Fremington,
Atherington birth, death and burial records.
My great grandmother (Mary Ann Moore) is
buried in Yarnscombe with my great
grandfather John Loosemore who died in 1865.
I did not know that Yarcombe and Yarnscombe
were not that far from each other and that
they were so close in name. I
want to thank everyone in Yarcombe who were
looking into this matter and trying to help.
This gives me an excuse to visit your
beautiful country again. If you
have any information on my mother, I would
like you to send that information to me!
This Loosemore family has to stick together!
Haha. I enjoyed touring through
England and Scotland, you have a wonderful
Steve Horner adds:
I believe Yarnscombe is in North Devon near
Barnstable, about 100 miles away as the crow
flies! I would also mention
Ancestral Search 8 in which Jennie Brock is
also searching for a Loosemore relative, but
she did not reply! We would
always be pleased to learn more of Diane's
(and Jennie's) relatives from Yarcombe.
Ancestral Search 3
am a Bowyer from Canada, and am
researching my roots to your
beautiful area, does anyone you know
have any suggestions for me?
Sad to hear about the Inn, it looks
Peter Tarrant writes:
FYI: I'm happy to say The Yarcombe
Inn reopened in August 2019 after
concerted efforts by villagers and
the Parish Council! Your
enquiry was made several years ago
but I am unaware of any response you
may have received.
Perhaps you could update us?
We have recently had the ability to
scan the digital version of the
publication "From Monks To The
Millennium" and there are several
references to the Bowyer (or Boyer)
name which I have posted below:
One of the last working
mills in the Parish.
Little remains of the
mill, but older "Yarcombites"
can still remember the
miller Hurford, his old
grey horse, and the way
the bags had to be
carefully arranged on
the cart to maintain a
good balance. Another
feature of the mill was
an abundance of rats!
Birch Mill was always
linked with Shepherds
Panshayne, and until
1884 it was in Membury
Parish. When Lord
Heathfield bought the
Panshayne Estate from
in the early nineteenth
century Birch Mill was
included in the sale.
The sitting tenant was
William Boyer (Bowyer).
A complicated action of
trespass in diverting a
Drake (plaintiff) and
Codrington took place in
1788. This possibly
referred to the water at
Birch Mill. Various
villagers are recorded;
one is from John
occupied the mill. He
states that the water
used to run along the
bottom of the mill
garden, obliquely across
Brick Lane to the south,
under an arched bridge
in the lane, and then
Another version is
reported from Nathaniel
Case, which has a note
rather unkindly in the
margin stating, "Witness
deaf as a haddock"!
Birch Mill is now a
In 1727 Sarah Spiller
(daughter of Zachary)
was the occupier of
Crymeshays. This was
probably the site shown
on the 1817 Enclosure
Map in a field known as
„Grimsey‟ on the left
hand side of the
driveway, just before
the turning to the main
farm yard. Thomas Bovett
(-the Bovett family
supported Monmouth-) was
the occupier of the
larger Estate, but by
1794 the Drake Estate
owned all the properties
at North Waterhayne; the
saleable timber was 88
oak, 62 ash and 54 elm.
The Land Tax of 1798
Waterhayne tenant as
William Jennings, who
paid a tax of 2s. ½d,
tenant William Wale, who
paid a tax of £4. 16s.
9½d. (this was the
present day North
Waterhayne) and Cross
tenant John Seward, who
paid £2. 14s. 8½d. By
1810 Cross Waterhayne
and Smythe‟s Waterhayne
have been combined and
William Jennings is the
Waterhayne is separately
listed, but has the same
Jennings. The North
Waterhayne driveway used
to continue towards
Crisland, bearing left
half way along the drive
and joining with what
was once a larger road
starting near Four Elms.
The Estate still owns
North Waterhayne and it
modernised in the mid
Waterhayne Cottage is on
the left hand side of
the entrance to North
Waterhayne and was
formerly a farm worker‟s
cottage; it is now
(also known as Sheppards,
Shepherd‟s Cottage and
This cottage was closely
associated with Birch
Mill, having had the
same tenant. Originally
it was on the Panshayne
was the leaseholder. In
1808 Lord Heathfield
bought the property, and
Sir Francis Drake paid
for a schoolroom to be
added to the cottage in
1875, so providing
for Marsh children.
Desks and seats for the
new schoolroom cost £3.
5 shillings; the school
was largely funded by
Sir Francis, who gave
£15 yearly, and by the
vicar, who gave £10. Two
of the later
Mrs Pengelly and Mrs
Sparks. The schoolroom
was licensed for divine
services in 1907.
Steve Horner adds:
I would stress the importance of the
fact noted by Ruth Everitt that
Panshayne, Birch, Whitehorns, part
of what is now Yarcombe Parish, was
prior to 1883 an outlying part of
Membury Parish and therefore a
search of Yarcombe Parish may not
reveal details of for example births
deaths and marriages which probably
appear in the Membury records.
Ancestral Search 2
my family history I have an ancestor called
William Michael Laurence (1871-1954), who,
according to his death certificate lived at
The Vicarage, Yarcombe, as a retired fruit
farmer. His wife was called Louisa. He
died 29 March 1954. Please could you tell
me whether there are any local memories of
him or his wife?
Thankyou for your time and patience.
Peter Tarrant writes:
Hi Paul, your appeal was received
before this webpage was created in
2017 and has been copied from your
original email. It has
been on the
website for some time now but I
don't know if anyone contacted you
directly. Going by the
responses I got it seems no one has
any real information, but I'll cut
and paste the emails I've already
received and forwarded to you below
for reference. All
verbal enquiries I made were met
with blank faces I'm afraid.
I'll leave the website entry here
unless you want me to delete it.
Frank Weeks writes:
Only thing I remember about the
Vicarage is that there used to be a
Filbert Nut tree on the front lawn.
A filbert is a large hazel nut if I
remember correctly. In
order for young schoolboys to go
raid the tree the method was to run
to the tree, grab what one could and
then flee before any retribution
from anybody at the house as the
tree was in full view. I
don’t recall anybody being caught.
Though we were probably watched with
amusement by the residents.
One will never know.
Joan Ewins writes:
At the time of the death of William
Laurence the Revd. H.C. Thompson
lived at the Vicarage. I
remember from my childhood that
Revd. and Mrs Thompson used to let
some of the rooms at the Vicarage to
a couple of retired ladies with the
surnames of Freeman and Stanley.
Perhaps Mr. Laurence had rooms prior
to that. Shirley Briant
may know as her mother seems to have
kept in contact with past Vicars.
I hope this is helpful.
Kind Regards, Joan Ewins
Lesley Sutton writes:
The Churchwardens could look in the
chest to see whether he was buried
there are not many of us who lived
in the village and are still alive.
Shirley Briant has lived here all
her life and John Salter of course
may have some knowledge. Neither
have internet access.
Paul Brookes replies:
Thank you for all your hard work on
my behalf. I have not
had any responses from it but I am
very glad for the comments you have
provided. In response to
one of those I do not know whether
he was buried in the local
churchyard and would dearly like to
find out. Please can anyone help me
in that respect? Also, I
would be very grateful to take up
your kind offer of keeping the
request on the site.
Kind Regards, Paul
Ancestral Search 1
if you can help me? I am the
Great Granddaughter of Mary Hurford who
married James Willie in 1873 and who lived
in Yarcombe at Holly Cottage.
Many times as a little girl my Grandmother
told me stories of her Mother who was a
wonderful lady, she was not only a herbalist
but midwife to the local people who would
walk miles across the fields to ask for her
help and advice. She was also a
wonderful seamstress and gardener growing
all her own herbs for her medicines.
She also kept a pig and chickens so she was
virtually self-sufficient apart from general
supplies which once a month she would walk
across the fields 8 miles there and back to
Honiton to buy.
I grew up
in Yeovil and my Grandmother and Grandad
also moved there from Chard after they were
married, so as a little girl I loved to hear
all their stories.
years ago I tried to find my Holly Cottage
but was not successful, I am enclosing some
old photos for you to see, they are of my
Great-grandmother, my Grandmother and her
sister Sarah Ellen, also the cottage and
garden, maybe, just maybe you will be able
to tell me if the cottage is still standing!
I would love to know. I now live
in Teignmouth and am coming up to 76 years
old (Mar 2017)!! It would be
lovely to have some history to pass on to
my children, Grandchildren and Great
forward to hopefully hearing from you and
thank you in advance.
regards and best wishes,
It is believed the
property referred to as Holly Cottage was
more likely to have been Manning Common
Cottage at Manning Common, close to Black
Allers, a short distance from, and the other
side of the A303 from Knighthaynes Farm and
Cottage. Unfortunately the
building was demolished, it is believed, in
the 1930s, although this has yet to be
verified. During investigations
it was found that a great uncle of Joan's,
Jack Willie, who was believed lost at sea
during WWI actually died of pneumonia whilst
still on active service in 1919 in Malta and
a photograph of his grave there was
obtained. Memorials, including
one to J H Willie, can be seen in the
Baptist Chapel here in Yarcombe (see the
World War I page).