Feniton History Group held the 73rd meeting in the Nog Inn

During the afternoon meeting to look at the map website in relation to Feniton, we found it rather sparse on detail and hard to locate a format for data entry, so we have decided to see how it develops and look at it again next year.

Geoff is busy with his volunteer role at the Devon Heritage Centre, this time cataloguing railway documents, one item was staff movement books, he looked for staff local to Feniton, but none found.

The Topsham branch line was mentioned more can be found at this link:

It is suggested that we have a summer outing and walk using the train.

We spoke of the fire at the Royal Clarence and Bob explained how the roof and wall voids allowed the heat and fire to spread from the gallery across to the hotel.

The next discussion was very timely it being Remembrance Tide. Many of our armed forces were awarded medals for their service, though many deserving soldiers missed out due to being on duties not recognised as deserving an award.

In WW1 medals were only given for overseas service. The Battle of Britain flyers also went without while based in the UK, Churchill said that giving medals to all would devalue the status.  More information from this link:

Medals are still being awarded for WW2. The Women’s Land Army have only recently been recognised and the French government has been awarding the L├ęgion d’honneur to D-Day veterans from many different countries for several years, as a way of honouring and thanking those who fought and risked their lives to secure France’s liberation during the Second World War. The Arctic Star is a military campaign medal which was instituted by the United Kingdom on 19 December 2012 for award to subjects of the British Commonwealth for service in the Second World War, specifically those who served on the Arctic Convoys north of the Arctic Circle

Next meeting will be in the Nog Inn 8pm on Thursday 1st December.

Feniton History Group held the 72nd meeting in the Nog Inn

Well what can I say? Another wide ranging and interesting evening. Thank you all.

Sadly Jim is unable to join us with his Ottery WW1 book in November, so we will try to book him sometime next year.

Below are the links to the mapping project, I think it will be interesting to take part and with the local knowledge we have with Alan, Brenda, David and Jo, it will be worthwhile to take part.

Jenny related her fascinating work on “The Mystery of Prince James Lodge”, copies for sale in the Church. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to have all the troops descend on the village  in  1640 and require food for the horses and 2000 men!

Geoff who volunteers in the Record Office has been helping with three van loads of material, the contents of a loft from a business premises in Exeter. Details relating to Shell Mex Garages etc.

Geoff also mentioned maps on parchment / linen for the Red Cross parcel system in Scotland. Also the sinking of the HMS Royal Oak, WW2, there is an Iron Cross medal 2nd class in Honiton Museum.

David is studying Church Graffiti relating to St. Andrew’s here.  Some marks are mason’s working marks, others are witches marks to ward off evil. Feniton has a sun dial scratched into the stone. Names are found, James Russel 1673 or 5, Charles and Minnie in the Belfry! Graffiti was the only way the poor had of making their marl, etched with the point of their shears, sometimes used to sharpen arrows.

Jackie has been to a talk on making of mosaic and found it very interesting, and still done today as a craft or hobby.

Brenda came in with a grin from ear to ear after making a wonderful breakthrough in her family tree research, her five times grandmother from North Devon is related to the family whose descendants were the founders of the Union Castle Line, ship owners. She has found wills and inventories.

George, along with Jenny have been looking at the Quaker Meeting in Uffculm and the 39 Articles of Faith. This links to the Cadbury and Fy families, of chocolate fame!

Bill who has been digging drains in his neighbour’s back garden has found large pieces of shoddy brick work, that must have been rejected by the builders in the 1970s when the bungalows were built.

Will came over to show us an amazing ring from the 2nd or 3rd century a Edward the 6th Shilling and a touch coin from the 1400s. He told us about his visit to Dorset where a hoard of Roman coins found in a pot 6 inches across.

Alan rounded the evening off for us with more of his Devon dialect and local sayings, much to our amusement.  The use of nicknames. The direction of travel, over to, down to, up to.

WW1 Soldiers who died in September 1916 "We will remember them"


Born, 1894 in Broadhembury,  son of Henry and Mary Elizabeth Lovering of Kercombe, Gittisham. ?Curscombe Feniton?

He served in the 4th Battalion Devonshire Regiment and died on the 16th September 1916 age 22 and buried in the Baghdad North Gate war cemetery.

Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919
Broadhembury, Devon
Cullompton, Devon
Regiment, Corps etc.:
Devonshire Regiment
Battalion etc.:
2/4th Battalion (Territorials).

Formed at Exeter 16.9.14. Oct. 2/Devon & Cornwall Bde. 2/Wessex Div. 12.12.14 embarked at Southampton for India arriving early Jan. 1915. 15.10.17 sailed from Bombay for Egypt. 25.10.17 landed at Suez. 13.12.17 to 234th Bde. 75th Div. July 1918 left 75th Div. and disbanded in Egypt on 17.8.18.
Date died:
16 September 1916
How died:
Theatre of war:

He enlisted at Cullompton into 2/4th (Territorial) Battalion,  Devonshire Regiment (NOT the 4th Battalion). The Battalion was formed at Exeter on 16th Sept 1914 and was attached to the Devon & Cornwall Brigade of the 2nd Wessex Division on 2 Oct 1914. They embarked at Southampton for India on 12 Dec 1914 arriving there in early Jan 1915 when they moved to Wellington in the Madras area. The Battalion saw no action for 1916 and most of 1917.H he died of an illness and was not killed or wounded in battle. But if he did die of an illness when serving in India why is he buried in Baghdad? I can only think that as the CWGC site has him in the 4th Battalion, Devon’s on death that he had been sent from his own battalion to make up the strength of the 4th which was serving in Mesopotamia. (Although the Devonshire Regimental history lists him as dying in service with the 2/4th Battalion)  According to the Regimental History the 4th and 6th Battalions in Mesopotamia were very badly affected by illness during the period May to August 1916 at times having half of the strength in hospital. 

Patteson's Cross Refurbishment

Feniton History Group held the 71st meeting in the Nog Inn

Chuffed to report on another very lively evening!

We debated the wanton vandalism to the Boundary Stone, which is safe in my garage. The meeting decided that we would arrange for it to be set in concrete. Thank you Brenda for the hard hitting article in the September parish magazine.

I hope to arrange for Jim Wooley from Ottery Heritage to join us in November for a talk on his book  ‘Ottery Sacrifice 1914-1921’. This has been a huge undertaking embracing years of research and months of preparation. Jim has been helped along the way by his Heritage Society Committee. Supported by a HLF grant under their ‘First World War: Then and Now’ scheme, the Ottery Heritage Society’s ‘Great War Project’ includes plans to publish a series of books recording the activities of all Ottregians who served in the First World War, both those who died and those who survived.

David updated us on the progress so far in getting Patteson’s Cross monument refurbished.
Work will start shortly. It would be useful to see if we can find out about its recent history, the date of the one or two road accidents that damaged it and when it was moved. There is to be a fund raising event in the church to make up the shortfall for the costs.

How this next conversation came about I not sure, but we seem to have a Radio Devon Star living the village, her chats with David Fitzgerald as part of his “Crossword” section each day are legendary. Gloria even has her own fan club!

Alan then had us all in stitches with his wonderful Devon Dialect sayings, “where be her to” and the like. We discussed how there are differences in the various areas of the county. Plymouth born folk use the accent “Janner” according Hugh. Fascinating.

Sadly, I had to leave at this point, but no doubt you all carried on long into the night!

Next meeting in the Nog Inn, thanks to our hosts, Mike and Rosemarie, on Thurs. 6th Oct.

Feniton History Group held the 70th meeting in the Nog Inn

Very sadly I have to report that since our meeting the Boundary Stone has  been uprooted, and is now back in my garage. We will have to discuss what we do about this at the next meeting. The ownership of the stone was also muted.

We had our usual lively and varied discussion, hope I have remembered it all!

2017 will see the 50th anniversary of the closure of the Railway Station. Brenda and Alan remembered the village was promised better transport links by bus, which, never came about!

 Geoff tells The Devon Record Office (Southwest Heritage) has set up a new database of its holdings.  http://devon-cat.swheritage.org.uk/

 Brenda has found some wonderful maps of Feniton Court in the DRO.

The Feniton Carnival was remembered, it was set up to raise funds for the Youth Centre, the last one was held in the late 1980s. The village groups borrowed tractors and trailers from the local farmers. The WI did a float relating to “Boy George” and also one “Ascot” where the ladies became rather tipsy on all the wine! Another float was “Citizen Smith”.

Chris reported all is in hand for the restoration of the Patteson Cross Obelisk, and a fund raising event is taking place in Feniton Church 23rd September. We have been asked to put up one of our display boards, we have the material from the event held previously. 

Alan spoke about place name pronunciation, how people from away say the names wrong. It all has to do with dialect and localisms!!  This led onto how the lack of road signs after the war lead to confusion in the Devon Lanes.

Brenda is still gleaning wonderful snippets regarding Parr Cottage and its history as the village Inn, reading rooms and men’s club. She has found an inventory which contained things like spittoons, a lot of the expenses went on lamp oil, coal and daily newspapers.

The education act of 1870 upset the farmers who had to let their farm lads go to school! It was thought the working classes did not need education.

Bill has been busy with the Carving Group and it is now a very popular craft for villagers.

Feniton History Group held the 69th meeting

Thanks to Brenda and David for running the meeting due to my absence!

Jenny is working on St James Cottage , later named Wimsheet. She outlined where the cottage was which was on the Curscombe road near the sharp bend and after the stream bridge. She had rules out most options of it being linked to Prince James. Can Geoff  check if it is marked on any old maps

Brenda is still working on the Parr cottages, Alan reported on stories associated with Long Linney and Rutts lane. George  is interested in Article 39 of the C of E. Bob offered help with any project work

David reported on the nature of Church graffiti and how it was the only record  of the poor in our churches, all other memorials were of and for the wealthy.

Will has being doing some more detecting at Windmill Hill, sadly no major finds.

The Group all seem happy to have a meeting in August, so I have booked the Nog Inn for Thursday 4th August at 8 pm.

Chris Saunders is leading a project to get the Patteson’s Cross Memorial repaired, there will be a fund raising event in Feniton Church on Friday 23rd Sept at 7:00 pm