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Devon County

Devonshire Rgt.

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War Memorials



St. Mary the Virgin, Morchard Bishop - 2002

St. Mary the Virgin, Morchard Bishop - 2002

© Richard J. Brine


Morchard Bishop is a large parish and village in the old road from Exeter to Barnstaple, 2½ miles N.E from Morchard Road station on the North Devon Branch of the Southern railway, 184 miles from London, 7 miles south-east from Chulmleigh, 7 north-west from Crediton, 15 north-west from Exeter, 14 west-by-south from Tiverton. It is in the South Molton division of the county, hundred, petty sessional division and rural district of Crediton, county court district of Exeter, rural deanery of Cadbury, and archdeaconry and diocese of Exeter. Electricity is available. Water is supplied by the Crediton Rural District Council. 

The church of St. Mary is an ancient building of stone in the perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower with pinnacles containing 6 bells; in the south aisle are two mutilated recumbent effigies in freestone, of a civilian and his wife in the 16th century assumed to represent Sir John Eyston or Easton in this parish and Margaret (Arundel) his wife; there is also a monument, with arms, to Gabriel Greene, gent. ob. 2 Nov 1685 and Dorothy his wife, ob. 10 April 1660; on the north wall is a tablet in memory of John Wallop, 7th Earl of Portsmouth; there is a mural tablet on the east wall to Mr. and Mrs. Comyns Tucker and their daughter Marjorie; the ancient oak screen was restored in 1930; the church was restored in 1889 and has 260 sittings. The living is a rectory, value £600, with residence, in the gift of W. Mountain Esq., and held since 1926 by the Rev, Ernest Edward Doudney MA of Christ's College, Cambridge, who is also Rural Dean of Cadbury.

There is a Congregational Chapel, built in 1860, seating 90 and a Methodist Chapel, built in 1846, seating 130. There are charities of £70 yearly value; and in addition, one of £10 a year, left in 1733 by Mrs. Thomasine Tucker, originally for the education and clothing of eight girls and boys, but which is now awarded as bursaries and prizes under the Board of Education. A small charity, payable out of the Rudge Estate, was revived in 1887 by William Henry Kelland Esq. as a memorial to his mother, the maternal grand-daughter of P. Kelland, of Ridge and Boworthy in Lapford. There is a monument to William Comyns Esq., in Morchard Wood.

There is a granite cross erected to the memory of the 24 men of the parish who fell in the Great War 1914 - 18. The Memorial Hall was founded by the late C. C. Pratt Esq., and opened in 1931. The upper storey is used as an ex-service men's Club. The Earl of Portsmouth, D. Tipper Esq. and the National Council of Social Service are trustees.

A fair is held on the first Monday after the 9th  of September, yearly, for cattle. Beech Hill, the residence of the Misses Comyns Tucker, is a pleasant mansion, originally Elizabethan, restored 1707, during the reign of Queen Anne; again restored in 1810, and almost entirely rebuilt in 1896-97. Barton House, half a mile north-east, a handsome modern building, is the residence of the Earl of Portsmouth. The rector is lord of the ecclesiastical manor. The Earl of Portsmouth who is lord of the manor of Morchard Bishop, is the chief landowner.

The soil is loam and clay and the subsoil is clay and shale.  The chief crops are wheat and barley. The area is 7173 acres; the population in 1931 was 829.


POST: Money Order and Telegraph Office. Letters through Lapford.

CARRIER TO EXETER: W. Edworthy - Fridays returning same day.

OMNIBUSES TO EXETER AND WITHERIDGE: Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Thursdays also in the summer.


Police Station.



Cousins, Mrs., Knightstone House

Diamond, Francis Claude Elliott, Grebertrees

Doudney, Rev. Ernest Edward MA, The Rectory

Gunn, William John, Halbury

Hill, William, Bronwstone Villa

Howard, Mrs. Frank, Venn

Nelson. Miss, Crickett

Portsmouth, Earl of, Barton House

Pritchard, Henry, The Cote

Tipper, David, ACP, The School House

Tucker, Misses, Comyns, Beech Hill


Bennett, Alfred, farmer

Bennett, Arthur, Week Barton & Ridgeway

Bennett, Bessie (Mrs.), shopkeeper, Church St.

Bowden, Walter, farmer, Higher Venn

Brewer, Arthur, farmer, Quick's Tenement

Brewer, John, carpenter, Higher Old Borough

Brewer, John, farmer, Moore

Brewer, William, farmer, Lower Old Borough

Buckingham, Alpha, farmer, Higher Middlescott

Burrow Bros. tailors & post office

Cann, Robert, boot & shoe repairer, Chapel St.

Chanter, John, builder, The Green

Chapple, Thomas, farmer, Wigham

Colton, Jasper Thomas, farmer, Stone Ash

Cousins, Francis, farmer, Oxon Park

Daymond, Stanley, farmer, Rolestone Barton

Devon County Council, quarry renters, Bugford

Diamond, Francis Claude, Elliott, LMSSA London, physician & Surgeon, Grebertrees

Dockings, Harry, farmer, East Sharland

Dockings, Percy, farmer, Southcott & Dinnicombe

Down, Joseph, shopkeeper, Fore St.

Down, Sidney Thomas, yeoman, Rudge

Drew Bros.,engineers

Drew, Albert, boot & shoemaker, 5 Fore St.

Drew, Edwin, builder, Fore St.

Edworthy, Reginald & William, smallholders, New Houses

Edworthy, Thomas Henry, farmer, Middleweeke

Ex-service men's club (Sec. P. Andrews) Memorial Hall

Ford, James, tailor, Trelawney

Ford, Reginald G. W.,draper, grocer, boot & shoe dealer, The Green

Frost, Fanny (Miss), shopkeeper

Frost, William, thatcher, Chapel St.

Fry, Thomas, smallholder, Brownstone

Greenslade, Thomas, farmer, Lane End

Gunn, Ernest William, wholesale butcher, Woolsgrove

Hammett, Benjamin, farmer, Middle Ash

Harris, Thomas George & M.A (Miss), smallholders, Ivy Cottage

Haydon, Robert, farmer, Watcombe

Haydon, William, farmer,

Hill, John, Bucknell, farmer, Higher Brownstone

Holland, William, farmer, Middleleigh

Hooper, Frank, farmer, Kinghtstone Down

Howard, Herbert, farmer, Venn Farm

Hutchings, Cecil Frank, farmer, Middlecott

Hutchings, Edwin Maurice, farmer, Easton Barton

Isaac, A, farmer, Scotland

Lavelle, Anthony Francis, dentist (Mondays 5 to 6pm) Church St.

London Inn - Charles Hilliard

Maunder, Henry, farmer, Knathorne

Melhuish, Albert, farmer, Ingodown

Milton, Charles, farmer, Bonds, Middlecott

Mortimer, Charles, farmer, Aish

National Provincial Bank - Basil Eames Manager - Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fair Days

Oatway, Thomas, farmer, Chillingford

Oatway, Thomas, jnr. farmer, Hill

Otton, Maurice, butcher, Fairfield

Pack, William, farmer, Paradise

Palfrey, Florence Mary (Miss), draper, Church St.

Palfrey, Stafford Llewellyn, farmer, Old Borough

Partridge, Archibald Edward, smallholder, The Laurels

Partridge, John, farmer, Broadridge

Petherick, Archibald, farmer, The Parks

Phillips, Alfred, insurance agent, Steps Cottage

Phillips, Winifred (Miss), grocer & draper

Pope, Hilda (Miss), district nurse

Pugsley, William, farmer, Mare

Pulsford, Charles, smallholder, Shores Farm

Raymont, William, baker, The Bakery, Fore St.

Rice, Sydney & Alfred Ernest, butchers

Rice, William, yeoman, Crookstock

Richards, Albert Samuel, farmer, Tatepath & Hartscombe

Roberts, Alfred, farmer, Farthing Park

Rogers, William Bartholomew, farmer, Broadgate

Saunders, Bernard, farmer, East Aish

Shapland, Francis John, yeoman, Shobrooke

Skinner, Lewis John, fruit grower, Hartnolls

Slade, Samuel, farmer, Rudge Rew

Smith, Charles, AFCL, blacksmith

Snell, Clifford Aubrey, Motor engineer, Accumulators & cycles, London Inn Garage

Stoneman, Richard, dog breeder, Bugford

Symes, William Lionel, grocer, Fountain Head

Tucker, Albert James, farmer, Slade

Tucker, George farmer, North Leigh

Tucker, Hedley jnr, farmer, Langland

Tucker, John, farmer, Upcott

Webber Brothers, blacksmiths, Frost

Wedlake, Thomas, farmer, Brownstone

Williams, Albert Leslie, baker & pastrycook, The Steam Bakery

Wills, Joseph, farmer, The Elms

Wood, Walter, farmer, North Wood

Woodman, William, farmer, Hayland

Yendell, Frederick, farmer, Wood Barton


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