Feniton History Group held the 82nd Meeting in the Nog Inn

Some of the group are busy rehearsing for the church concert, Jenny mentioned the Battle of Wiggaton, I have found this reference:


There is a suggestion that local history groups will be asked to arrange an event to commemorate the 100 year end of WW1, the group suggested afternoon tea, a weekend event, a coffee morning, this would take place around the 11th Nov 2018.

George has been working on his family tree, and has come across a murder!

Bob nattered about the  L├ęgion d'honneur medal, David spoke of a General 2nd class Iron Cross owned by an acquaintance who served on the Russian Front and held  at prisoner of war  camp in Scotland, and married a local girl.

Brenda showed us her display for the school  project she has been working on with the Devon History Society, the land owners were against the children going to school as they would not keep their station in life and be cheap, or even free labour on the farms, these comments were found in the speeches given at ploughing match dinners! The non-conformist churches wanted children to be able to read the bible and supported education.

Maggie recalled the young children that went to work in the coal mines. Brenda’s research also coverers Buckerell School, one of the rectors, Edwin Coleridge, a cousin of Samuel the poet encouraged school and ran a night class.

I too have a poetical link in my own Oxfordshire family tree, Captain Simon Hatley was the seaman who shot the Albatross in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”,

David has finished transcribing the diaries written by William Channon and has some words to find the meaning of:

Polling apples, could be this hand pollinating the trees? Brushing the trees is done to stop aphids attaching to the bark.

Tied wood, is a term used for making wooden hurdles or wood sledges, or could be cord wood, a measurement of a stack of thinings from a wood. He could just have tied wood into bundles or faggots for the fire.

Seared hedge, this is term used in hedge laying where the hedge is trimmed out and the long stems cleared of twigs (seared) ready to part cut through and laid.

Furze cutting, is cutting gorse, this would be collected, dried and used on the fire.

Alan gave us his memories on Ottery St Mary Railway station

The pupils going to King’s School would ride eight to a carriage including a prefect to keep an eye on them. The Honiton School children from the village also went by train.

Ottery had a cinema, the “Scala” and a dash to catch the 10:20 pm train back to Feniton after the film, Alan would call into Townsend’s sweetshop in Mill Street on the way to the cinema.

Alan suffered an accident while shutting wagons for Sidmouth, catching his sleeve on a buffer. The Station Master drove him to Ottery Hospital for treatment, here he met a young nurse and a friendship ensued.

The summer Saturday traffic came down from Waterloo, and carriages split off for the seaside, seven carriages to Exeter, and five for Sidmouth from the main line train. Two small branch line trains would struggle on the Sidmouth Line incline, and a third had to be sent to help.

The group has received a query regarding the Manor of Hayes, which seems to be part of Feniton and Talaton. With the help of Roger this is the reply I sent:

There was no “Manor House” until later when the house called Radcliffe was built on the Manor of Aunke, this is on the Clyst Hydon Road out of Talaton at the T junction signed Clyst St Lawrence and Broadclyst.

The English Heritage listing for the more modern house is found here:


There is also Young Hayes and Blue Hayes on the right of the Old A30, as you leave Rockbeare and head towards Clyst Honiton, possibly part of the same Manor.

We spoke of the Northcote family, who lived in Feniton Court, George junior, Civil Engineer was granted patents for “improvements to apparatus for scraping and cleaning boots in 1874 and for a cask measuring apparatus for quantity of liquid held in the cask granted in 1872.

Don’t forget the talk in the church with Martin Howell on Thursday 19th at 7 pm to set up,

Thank you all for a fascinating evening, we meet next on the 2nd Nov in the Nog Inn 8 pm

WW1 Centenary, 9th Oct 1917 James Ross

James ROSS 

He was in the ASC (T/21423) before joining the West Yorkshire Regt. He was a Territorial so I assume was in the ASC then. The 1st/7th Battalion WYR has the same history after 1916 as the 1st/5th Battalion.

Son of Hugh Ross, of Christow, Sidmouth Junction, Devon. He was a Rifleman in the 1st/7th Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own). Died on the 9th October   1917 age 28  and his name appears on the Tyne Cote memorial Zonnebeke, Belgium. James was declared 'missing presumed dead'. His father Hugh said he would never move again in case 'Jim' came home.

In Memory of 

54510, 1st/7th Bn., West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own)
who died
 age 28
on 09 October 1917
Son of Hugh Ross, of Christow, Sidmouth Junction, Devon.
Remembered with honour

A Talk: A Miscellany about Churches

On the 19th of October at 7.30 pm there will be a talk by
Martin Horrell in
Feniton Church entitled
“A miscellany of little known facts about Churches.”
Come and find out about
Mermaids, Mason Marks, Hunky Punks and many other things that can be seen in local Churches.
Admission to include tea/coffee
Donations will go towards the
Church Fabric Fund.

Village Life Concert

Feniton History Group held the 81st Meeting in the Nog Inn

I was late to the meeting, it was good to see you all in full swing without me!

Jenny was reading an article from the Pulman’s Weekly regarding the father of a baby, I missed the full details.

 Jenny also showed us a coin found in her late relative’s effects, a 350 AD emperor  magnentius after Constantine, to hold something of that age is amazing.

The main part of the meeting was taken up with the plans for an entertainment next month in the church, the Group have been asked to put together some scenes from the village history.

Some of our group are looking at the possibility of re printing Alan’s Booklet of walks around the Village, updating it with some historic additions to three of the walks.

We have the talk with Martin Howell on Thursday 19th October.

I have been told a steam train is coming through on the 23rd September about mid-morning.

David brought up the notes in the Yates file at Honiton Museum giving details of brickmaking at Colesworthy in 1599 and the “Great Wynd” that caused the damage that required the bricks, the nearest in time is the Storm of 1596 that affected the Spanish Armada, if anyone knows of a storm around the time before 1599 we would love to see the notes on it.

The next meeting will be in the Nog Inn on 5th October.  

Facebook Page "How Feniton used to be"

Click on Link : How Feniton used to be

Lots of wonderful photos of the carnivals and the railway.

Dates for your Diaries

The next meeting in the Nog Inn at 8 pm on Thurs. 7th September 2017.

Martin Howell has kindly offered us a new talk called "A miscellany of
little known facts about Churches" on Thursday 19th Oct, 7:30 pm in
the Church.

Jim Wooley and Bob Neal from Ottery Heritage are coming to talk
about Jim’s book on WW1 in Ottery St Mary also in the Church on

Thursday 30th Nov at 7:30 pm